Universal Standard co-founder Alexandra Waldman is proving that fashionable clothing can indeed come in all sizes.
Alexandra Waldman left a career in marketing to co-found Universal Standard from her New York City apartment with the goal of creating beautiful clothing to fit bodies larger than what the industry considers to be “sample size,” like her own size 20, for one.
That was three years ago, and now Universal Standard carries a full range of plus and straight sizes, from 0-32, including a range of denim in a variety of lengths to serve customers across the size and height spectrum.
Every experience along the way—“both the pleasant, and the less”—has helped Waldman grow in the denim and apparel business and make smarter decisions every day. She’s particularly optimistic about the industry-wide movement toward “inclusivity and diversity” and hopes future denim professions take up the mantle. “A lot of innovation lies in places you would not expect,” Waldman said. “Broadening your understanding of fit across a bigger variety of body shapes and sizes can lead to amazing ideas and great brands.”
For Waldman, denim is beginning to break free from its heritage and roots—and that’s a good thing. “The elevation of denim into a broader spectrum of design is wonderful to see,” she said, adding that “the classic will always be important.”
She touches on a theme that echoes myriad other denim insiders: the industry must do its part to ensure a sustainable future. “I would love to see more initiatives to recycle denim—both from the consumer and the manufacturing side,” Waldman concluded.
What is your first denim memory?
What is your favorite pair of jeans?
"There is a reason why we as a brand went into denim. I wanted to make a jean that I could not
find anywhere else. Once we had our classic Seine denim, I never looked back."