Universal Standard- No More Limits in Sizes
The new York Based clothing brand truly knows what’s going on with the fashion hot topic.
On my last post, I talked about the modesty of fashion, which includes queer fashion, ethical fashion and of course, body images. The class material is an interview with Alexandra Waldman, co-founder of Universal Standard and Lauren Downing Peters, fashion scholar, covering the "Body Positive" phenomenon which has been quite a hot issue on the catwalk in recent years. They talked about the plus-size fashion from many different aspects: the history and the business, but the most fascinating part for me is the concept behind Alexandra’s brand.
People say it’s not easy to be a woman. Well, it’s even harder to be in the size 14 or above, which includes 68% of the American women. Let’s face the music. Plus sized clothes are so sophisticated and time-consuming to design that cheap fast fashion brands don’t even bother to produce. The plus size fashion is left behind. The truth is— we never had better taste, we just had so little options!
So here’s when Universal Standard, the NY apparel clothing brand serving women sized 10-28, comes in to save our wardrobe. It aims to make fashion a better and diversifying place for the customers.
Let’s look at some quotes from the interview to know the dilemmas in current plus size fashion and the body positive issue.
I bet you blame your body in the fitting room when you can’t fit in this pair of gorgeous red pants in the largest size in the store. Yeah, me too. What’s worse, in order to not experience this body hatred again and again, you decide not to try on anything cute from the racks— "look but don’t touch" is the shopping strategy. And days later, you suffer from regret by constantly thinking about these bad boys that you didn’t even dare to try on. It’s a completely unfair torture for all the fashion wannabes. We have applied the society beauty standard in the way we shop. Instead of pursuing what really fits us, we reject every good clothes so we don’t feel bad about ourselves.
But it is actually fashion’s fault that there are no suitable clothes for us. And Universal Standard wants to fix this problem. "Shop in the same rack" means not only more happiness in the fitting room, but also erasing the line between size 14 and 15. No more "plus size fashion", but simply "fashion".
It’s funny that we all have some lovely clothes that don’t fit us anymore yet we still keep them in the closet. Why? With this idea of "so someday when I get thinner again, I can wear them". It actually stops us from investing in good quality and well- designed items, because "when I get thinner, I’ll buy prettier clothes". In reality, we just sit back and wait, with more and more horrible clothes piled up in the corner of the bedroom. We are so caught up by the idea of becoming thinner without realizing that the best time to look beautiful is now.
Universal Standard has the perfect solution to solve the problem. (And I love the idea!) "When your size changes, we change with you." Fit Liberty allows the customers to change their purchases within a year— for free. We can shop without anxiety that it might not fit us in the near future. We are allowed to be flawless right now.
The designers, Polina and Alexandra, truly understand the feeling of being excluded in clothing and they care for their customers. Universal Standard provides the freedom to dress the way we like, shop the clothes we adore and embrace the body we have. They see the problems and the future in fashion, and they are trying the best they can to break the limits in sizes and beauty standards. We are still far away from the real fashion diversity— not even close— but we are trying so hard to let the world realize that the true fashion celebrates just the way we are.