Universal Standard has built a business on offering sleek, minimalist pieces to a full range of consumers—and it is now tackling the holy grail of styles, jeans. The New York-based apparel brand has recently launched its Denim by US collection, which comes in sizes from 00 to 40, and starts at $90.
Founded by Alexandra Waldman and Polina Veksler, Universal Standard, as its name suggest, aims to appeal to all women, and not just those that many in the industry tirelessly, and perhaps carelessly, cater to.
Indeed, when it comes to fashion, size matters. The way garments fit the body, allowing consumers to feel at ease and emboldened is the major reason why fashion is a billion-dollar industry. Yes, design and creativity play a large part, but at the end of the day, fashion is a utilitarian medium. To whit, a dress or pair of jeans needs to be suitable on a range of forms to really have an impact and generate enough sales to be commercially viable.
Sadly, most big-name brands stick to a very antiquated mindset, one that proselytizes an ideal body type. It is slender, often devoid of curves and, most important, unattainable for real woman. To be sure, the average American figure ranges from 16 to 18. Yet, many labels don’t offer styles in this bracket. And if they do carry larger sizes, the styles are just enlarged variations of what was made for a petite form.
“People always think fashion is fashion, that you can compare straight-size fashion to plus-size fashion,” said Waldman over the phone. “But you cannot. It’s like comparing oranges and giraffes. They have very little in common.”