Universal Standard, a direct-to-consumer brand which launched in 2015 catering to sizes 10 to 28, is expanding to sizes 6 to 32.
The full range is available on the web site.
“We are officially entering the straight size zone,” said Alexandra Waldman, cofounder and chief creative officer, in an interview Monday. “We wanted to learn our trade on the harder end of things. Draping and fit for a bigger body is very challenging. We wanted to learn everything we needed to learn. We grade differently between each size set, rather than by formula, as most brands do it.”
Waldman, who founded the firm with Polina Veksler, cofounder and chief executive officer, said she didn’t want to just be a plus-size brand. “Any brand that comes into play now has got to think more broadly and much more inclusively,” said Waldman. She explained that they wanted to create a brand that smaller sizes would be happy to participate in. “We don’t treat our double-digit audience any differently than we would expect to treat the straight size audience. We want her to have the same quality and style. We think it’s really important to stop segregating by size and style,” said Waldman.
Universal Standard has built a reputation for its modern, elevated essentials. The line, which has 100 styles, includes clothing for everyday, special occasion, outerwear, ath-leisure, workwear and accessories. The entire line — which is seasonless — retails from $30 to $280. The collection includes plus petites and petites.
“They’re supereasy to throw on and look like you care about style. We wanted to create a line of cool, clean, urban essentials that make you feel great to go about your errands during the day,” said Waldman.
Veksler added that the company’s goal is for plus-size and straight-size women to be able to shop together, no matter what their size is.
“The whole random ‘us and them’ has to stop existing,” said Waldman.
Veksler said the company’s ultimate goal is to go from size 0 to 40, which she hopes to do next year. In addition, the company plans to open showrooms in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland by the end of the year, where customers can have one-on-one appointments with a stylist and place orders.
Universal Standard, which produces its collection throughout the world, offers its line on its web site and nordstrom.com, as well as at Christian Siriano’s New York boutique called The Curated NYC. The company has showrooms, where customers can place orders, in New York and Seattle.
Universal Standard’s Fit Liberty program will be extended to the extended size range. This program allows women to replace their clothes, free of charge, if their size fluctuates up or down over the course of a year.
A round of funding this past February was led by Imaginary Ventures, with additional participation from Red Sea Ventures, Elizabeth Cutler, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jonathan Neman, Nicolas Jammet and Ruth and Tom Chapman.