Petite Designer Spotlight: Allison Izu

I’d like to introduce my guest blogger for the fifth and final day of Petite Fashion Week, Allison Izu Song from Allison Izu.

Jeans . . . it’s a love/hate relationship for most of us, and for those of us who stand tall at 5’4″ and under, it’s sometimes more hate than love. . . .

I am a designer who is 5’2″. I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology to learn all about fashion and design, and what I left school realizing was that the fashion industry does not consider petite women when designing.  We are more of an after-thought, even though we make up the majority of American women.  So I decided to make it my mission to create clothing specifically for women 5’6″ and shorter.

Allison Izu PetitesMy name is Allison Izu Song – a guest blogger for Petite Fashion Week; and my brand Allison Izu focuses on making petite women feel and look long, lean, and beautiful.  For me, it is all about changing the proportions of the clothing and how they fit our shorter frames.  For jeans and pants, I take up the knee break and slim out the high thigh and knee area.  This creates a longer leg line, especially if you love wide leg trousers or bootcuts.  Then I work to re-proportion the inseam by creating customized inseams in a 27″, 29″ and 31″.  Lastly, I change the details, smaller back yoke and back pockets (to lift and perk up the derriere) and smaller front pockets and fly.  (Smaller details are better for our smaller frame.)

And throughout this whole process, I am still trying to create a jean or pant that is comfortable (always using quality fabric with stretch) and that will last for years . Everything I design is 100% Made in America. I want you to enjoy wearing pants again!

So how do you shop for petite clothing, in a sea of clothing made for taller women . . . KNOW YOUR PROPORTIONS.  Like I said, I’m 5’2″. I know I have a longer torso, and shorter legs (27″ inseam, please) and I also know I don’t have a defined waist; I’m pretty straight-bodied.  So I dress accordingly – I like to tuck in my shirt whenever possible, even if it’s a casual tuck in (just a quick tuck in of the front of the shirt, leaving the back hem out). This helps to elongate my legs.  I also love to wear skinny or straight jeans, which I will roll the hem of to show my ankle.  This helps to show off the skinniest part of my leg, which makes me appear skinnier!

I also try new things . . . wearing a higher rise on pants was foreign to me, but I tried it and I like it.  It definitely makes my bottom half appear to be the longer half. I also use tricks to make me feel better – a lower neckline is more appealing on my body frame, and I try to layer as much as possible to create interest.  For those of us with a curvier body, I would suggest wearing tops that hit your high hip. Don’t cover your beautiful hips, just accentuate them in a different way.  And if you have longer legs than your torso, you would probably favor a lower rise or a mid-rise pant, worn with a flowy top. I would also suggest wearing accessories which are longer (longer necklaces) to create the illusion of a longer top half.  It’s all about thinking of your body as shapes and then understanding what you want your shape to look like to others.  Knowing your body is half the battle, and the other part of the battle is trying new things.  Take the time to try on things you wouldn’t have before – and enjoy the process!!!

Allison IzuI am a designer and advocate for petites, and hope through events like Petite Fashion Week we can bring awareness to this sector in fashion, and make demands from other companies to keep us in mind while designing.  GO PETITES!

Please check out my website, – I am currently working on expanding my collection to include tops and other fabrications other than denim.  For Fall 2013, I am going to release some great basics in black denim, and also play with mixing black pleather with black denim!  I am also creating casual, comfy tops for everyday.  And for Spring 2014, I am creating a color-blocked collection of black and white with pops of prints and patterns inspired by Hawaii.  I always bring back my basic shorts and will introduce new fun trend shorts, too.

And feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you would like to see in a new collection or how something fits (or doesn’t fit). I have been designing Allison Izu for almost 5 years now and I learn so much from suggestions and comments from my petite customers. Thank you so much!


Check out Allison’s bio on the Petite Fashion Week website here.


Leave a Reply