2018: A Look Back
It was a monumental year for US. From FASHION FREEDOM to FOUNDATION, and Fast Company to J.Crew, here are the top 10 moments from 2018.
Photography by Ronan Mckenzie
1 - WE INTRODUCED FASHION FREEDOM WITH SIZES 6 - 32
Erasing the line between “us” and “them” by building a brand that was size agnostic - was our goal from the start. We wanted all women to have equal access to quality & style regardless of size. We wanted all women to be able to shop together - off the same rack. We wanted to be the brand that made that a reality, and in May we took the next step in that journey with an updated size range (6-32) and a defined mission: FASHION FREEDOM - where size is irrelevant, style is the only filter, quality and fit lead, and fashion is created with all of us in mind.
High-performance, high-style athleisure wear got US in gear in 2018. Tech-forward fabrics and bold, bright styles elevated the gym uniform, and earned the Next-to-Naked Bodysuit a spot on the 2018 SELF Fitness Awards list.
3 - WE ASKED YOU TO HELP US GIVE BACK
Giving back is vital to US - it’s part of our DNA. This year we continued working with Dress for Success and First Step through Fit Liberty - our revolutionary shopping program that allows you to replace any piece in our core collection for a new size within a year of purchase. We were able to donate over 10,000 pounds of clothes to these organizations empowering women to achieve economic independence by returning to the workforce. Then we asked you to send US your old jeans in exchange for free jeans through our Denim Drive. Now we’re working with the Blue Jeans Go Green program to recycle all donated pairs into denim insulation used to build homes across America.
“We were able to donate over 10,000 pounds of clothes to organizations empowering women to achieve economic independence by returning to the workforce.”
4 - WE EXTENDED OUR MISSION ACROSS THE INDUSTRY WITH J.CREW
Our mission of FASHION FREEDOM shouldn’t be isolated to our brand, so when J. Crew asked US to design a capsule collection and help them permanently scale their brand to be more inclusive, we jumped at the chance. The fit-focused collaboration combined Universal Standard engineering with iconic J.Crew style (think gingham & stripes) in a collection engineered for the diverse spectrum of American women. Not only could tens of millions of women suddenly shop the brand, it was official - the mainstream fashion industry was finally changing.
“Our mission of FASHION FREEDOM shouldn’t be isolated to our brand, so when J. Crew asked US to design a capsule collection and help them permanently scale their brand to be more inclusive, we jumped at the chance. ... It was official - the mainstream fashion industry was finally changing.”
We started outfitting the modern working woman with sharp, sophisticated workwear to help her rule the boardroom in style. Our goal? Let you focus on the work while we focus on the wardrobe.
6 - WE PROPORTIONED FOR PETITES
When we released elevated essentials for petites, we started from square one. No formulaic applications. No short-cuts. So we broke everything down to build it back up and properly proportion for petites. That means a mini dress stayed mini and skinny jeans didn’t turn into boot-cuts.
7 - WE WERE “MOST INNOVATIVE” ACCORDING TO FAST COMPANY
When Fast Company’s list of Most Innovative Companies 2018 came out, we were honored to be mentioned alongside brands we admire - brands that are also taking steps to address representation and inclusivity by providing access to more women than ever before. We promise to continue innovating in 2019 - to continue thinking outside the box. In fact, we plan to throw the box out all together...
“Universal Standard started with two friends who wanted to shop together, but we’ve come this far because of you.”
8 - WE CELEBRATED 3 YEARS OF US
Thanks to you, we celebrated three years of US. Universal Standard started with two friends who wanted to shop together, but we’ve come this far because of you. You are our very reason for being, the woman behind every thought, every attempt, every idea. You are the inspiration that makes all of us push and pull, and think, and imagine, strive, and innovate. You are the reason there is an US.
This year we opened our downtown doors in the heart of Soho. 65 Greene St. became our first store, a hub in one of the world’s preeminent shopping centers where we wanted to create a space where all of US could shop off the same rack - literally.
10 - WE CHANGED EVERYTHING WITH FOUNDATION
It started with 7 pieces - fit-first, supremely soft, layering basics that belong in every woman’s closet. It became a revolution. Everything we’ve done so far has led to this moment. We set out to create a brand for all of US. As we are. With FOUNDATION we turned that future goal into a present reality. It was a moment of monumental firsts. Our first major campaign, our first collection in our new size range, our first opportunity to let all women, sizes 00-40, belong to the same brand. It wasn’t just about access, it was about representation. It was about the feeling of seeing yourself reflected in an image, and of feeling seen in return. In its simplest iteration FOUNDATION is just that - the start, our groundwork, a promise of what’s to come.
See you in 2019!