For more updates about the The BoF 500 subscribe to the Daily Digest newsletter

For more updates about the The BoF 500 subscribe to the Daily Digest newsletter

{alt missing} Courtesy

Polina Veksler & Alex Waldman

Co-Founders, Universal Standard

Their size-inclusive brand is realising its eponymous mission to set a new standard for modern fashion tailoring.

Biography

Polina Veksler and Alex Waldman jointly founded the global retailer Universal Standard, renowned for its innovative size-inclusivity policy. The brand was born as Veksler and Waldman’s mission to break down the hard barriers between sizing in fashion, bringing modern, high quality garments to double-digit sizes. Waldman is the creative director, while Veksler serves as CEO.

While shopping together, Waldman and Veksler were confronted with the lack of modern, high-quality clothing options available in both their sizes. Determined to correct this disparity and create equal access to style for women of all sizes, the two invested $150,000 each into founding Universal Standard, and their 8-model launch sold out in six days. In 2016, the brand opened their New York showroom, switched to a weekly drop structure and launched a highly anticipated denim jeans line with an initial 1,700-person waitlist.

The brand underlines its “fashion freedom” mission with the added accommodation to smaller sizes in their newer ranges, now offering sizes 00-40. It also received much recognition for its “Universal Fit Liberty” return policy programme, offering returns on products for a year, depending on whether a client’s size changes, as well as its “See It in Your Size” online shopping option. Universal Standard opened its Seattle showroom, partnering with J.Crew on a fitness wear collaboration and has also collaborated on collections with Rodarte and Goop.

The company has also attracted the attention of Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet , MatchesFashion founders Tom and Ruth Chapmen and Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow, each contributing to Universal Standard’s $7 million Series A funding round. In 2018, Universal Standard made Fast Company’s list of the “Most Innovative Companies.”

Vital Statistics

Nationality

United States

Location
United States
Member since
2019

Similar Profiles

Ben Francis

Founder & Chief Executive, Gymshark

Michael Preysman

Founder, Everlane

Simon Beckerman & Maria Raga

Founder & Chief Executive, Depop

Josh Luber

Co-Founder, StockX


What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.

Presented by Snapchat