Universal Standard Store Puts Retail Labels To Shame With Its New Size-Inclusive Store

Since founders Alex Waldman and Polina Veksler began their line of luxurious basics, the pair has started an undeniable revolution in the sizing arena of fashion. The brand was initiated with the goal in mind of putting old-school boundaries of plus size or straight size clothing aside and working towards creating products that are catered to ladies of all measurements.

This week, they hit a milestone with their most daring move yet, the grand opening of their first retail location. The boutique is located at 65 Greene Street in the middle of SoHo, alongside some of the most successful retail labels in the world. This store is, however, different from any retail line you’re likely to find in New York, thanks to its wide selection of sizes, which range from 00 all the way to 40!

“This is the only brand in the world that is doing this,” said Waldman during a visit at the space. “We wanted to, not just in our store but in general, show the industry that this can be done really well to the benefit of all concerned.”

The vision of the brand teaches a lesson that the fashion industry has yet to acknowledge. The retail revolution that has led to the entry of new brands that cater to larger sizes has mostly taken place online, while brick and mortar stores have been slow to adapt.

Waldman’s goal was to even the imbalance between what is offered online and what consumers can buy in real life. “I think there’s a huge lack of actual access for women of all sizes to be able to walk into a store and say, ‘I like this. Can I have that in my size?’ ‘I love this neighborhood but the only thing I could buy here were candles and purses—it breaks my heart to walk into a store where I’m with my friends and I just have to stand there.’”

This sense of exclusion is the exact opposite of what Waldman wants her customers to feel when they walk into her store. With an 11-month lease, the New York location functions as an extended pop-up – but there’s more. This week, the ladies will introduce The Foundation Collection, which offers a range of layering pieces in ultra-luxe materials and hopes to eventually open a fresh line of accessories and shoes.

“We just want to make sure that what we’re making is, is constantly getting better and that we’re speaking the kind of language that can change the industry,” she says. “The answer isn’t more plus size brands it is just removing those barriers and saying, okay, all brands start making clothes for all women. That’s what we believe.”