Size-Inclusive Brand Universal Standard Embarks on Highly Anticipated Founders Cross-Country Road Trip & Model Search
In Partnership with Nordstrom and The Lions Model Management
NEW YORK— On September 8, Universal Standard, the direct-to-consumer brand for women size 10-28, is embarking on a two-month, twelve-city road trip for a series of pop-ups in collaboration with Nordstrom and a nationwide model search in partnership with The Lions Model Management. This project is giving a voice to millions of American women who represent the vast majority, and who, are often ignored by the mainstream fashion industry.
The cross-country road trip and model search is one in a series of big, bold initiatives from a brand that is quickly becoming synonymous with a movement to change the apparel-industry landscape, and bring a fashion-first, quality- centric approach to size-inclusive clothing. The project is motivated in part by the overwhelming demand from consumers to experience Universal Standard in person, and by the brand’s desire to proactively reach millions of American women.
Nordstrom will be hosting six of the twelve pop-ups in their top markets including Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, Washington D.C., and their long-awaited Century City location in L.A. This is the first time Universal Standard will be working with a major retail partner.
“We’re working hard to represent a broader range of sizes for our customers by bringing them the best possible product including exclusive and limited distribution brands, said Tricia Smith, Nordstrom executive vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s and designer apparel. “We believe this partnership with Universal Standard will give us the opportunity to better serve our customers and shine a light on the need to be more inclusive.”
In addition to the six cities hosted by Nordstrom, Universal Standard will be traveling to Portland, Austin, Houston, St. Louis, Columbus, and New York to hold its own pop-ups and events. The two founders, Polina Veksler and Alexandra Waldman, will be on the road at each location where they will be meeting customers and conducting Q&A’s to provide additional insights into the brand aesthetic and philosophy.
Universal Standard will also be conducting a model search throughout the duration of the road trip to find the faces of its next campaign in partnership with The Lions Model Management, a boutique modeling agency whose clients include Irina Shayk, Kate Upton, Cameron Russell, Stella Maxwell, and Karen Elson. Top contenders from the search will be flown to New York to meet with executives from The Lions for the opportunity to be considered for a contract with the agency. The Lions is pursuing a vision of change in the industry, looking beyond measurements to find individuals who have unique qualities, empowering them to pursue their passions, and helping them build extraordinary careers.
“A size 6 woman never had better taste, she just had better options,” says Alexandra Waldman, Cofounder and CCO.
The cross-country road trip and model search sets the stage for the next phase of Universal Standard’s growth and cements the brand’s position as a leader in the plus size category, as well as an industry disruptor. With initiatives like this and Universal Fit Liberty, which allows customers to exchange pieces for free if their clothing size changes within a year of purchase, the brand proves its commitment to setting a new standard for the size 10+ consumer, and continues to demonstrate innovation in its approach to addressing an underserved market.
“A vast majority of American women have been living in absurd exclusion based on size. There is no reason for any woman to think ‘I can’t participate in the style I want because my body is bigger.’ We are saying, ‘now you can!’” explained Polina Veksler, Cofounder and CEO.
“The Lions mission is to empower women in fashion and effect positive change in the industry and we’re happy to partner with Universal Standard to help increase the visibility of a group representing about 100 million women in the U.S. alone,” said Julia Kisla, CEO and managing partner, The Lions. “We look forward to meeting the top contenders from across the nation and to potentially expanding our roster.”
Cities: Seattle (Sept. 8-11), Portland (Sept. 16), San Francisco (Sept. 21-24), Los Angeles (Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 5-6), Austin (Oct. 11-12), Houston (Oct. 14-15), Dallas (Oct.18-21), St. Louis (Oct. 23), Chicago (Oct. 26-29), Columbus (Oct. 31), Washington D.C. (Nov. 3-5), New York (Nov. 7-8)
About Universal Standard: Polina Veksler and Alexandra Waldman had become tired of the established fashion standard; size had become the dividing line determining who had the privilege and freedom to dress with quality and style. So, determined to solve this problem, they launched Universal Standard in September 2015. Starting with the premise that clothes should look and feel good, they designed their own fabrics, applied keen insight into their designs, and with unrelenting attention to detail, created a line of modern, elevated essentials with a chic, downtown but classic aesthetic—giving women a new standard in style, experience and innovation.
About The Lions: With locations in New York and Los Angeles, The Lions is a boutique agency devoted to building powerful personal brands out of the passions, interests, and ideas that make each of their clients truly extraordinary and unique. The Lions is committed to using its distinctive platform to Empower Women in fashion and give its clients a voice to make a difference. The Lions is the modern model management agency.