Well Made

Alexandra Waldman, Universal Standard: Reflecting the World As It Is – Well Made E102

December 11, 2019 · RSS · Apple Podcasts

Universal Standard is creating a world where size is obsolete. To hear co-founder and Creative Director Alexandra Waldman talk about it, what they're doing at Universal Standard is overdue and obvious. She said, "All of us actually believe in the body positivity movement, [but] the brand is not about that because we do not believe that you should have to make an emotional payment to buy a frock."

It's as simple as that. But building that experience is not simple. Photographing each item on every size model is not simple. Offering free exchanges with the Fit Liberty program is not simple. All of it requires research, agility, and thoughtfulness. Listen to hear how Alexandra and her team are working to build the largest size range in the world.

“In order to find something attractive, you have to see it over and over and over again, and most women just are not represented to the public eye.”

 Alexandra Waldman, Universal Standard: Reflecting the World As It Is – Well Made E102

On this episode, Stephan and Alexandra start by talking about why Universal Standard doesn't want to talk about size (3:30). Why isn't every apparel brand doing offering an expansive size range? Alexandra touches on the manufacturing and design challenges of a full size range, but ultimately she breaks down the stigmas around bigger bodies (5:10).

Alexandra gets into the nitty gritty data that informed designs for the brand (10:53). She explains the motivation and logistics of the Fit Liberty program (15:34). The goal of the program is to fight the bullies in our heads and on the internet to help people live for who they are right now (15:43). Finally, Alexandra talks through the unique experience of their five U.S. retail locations (33:10) and the payoff they've seen from the intensive planning and production that goes in to their See it in Your Size feature (37:12).

Thumbnail photo by Heather Sten for Quartz. All other photography by Universal Standard. 

You can find this and all future episodes on iTunes, Google Play, and here on the Lumi blog. This episode was edited by Evan Goodchild.

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