When Jenna Lyons left J.Crew a little over a year ago (soon followed by the departure of her successor design director Somsack Sikhounmuong) it seemed that a whole new chapter for the iconic brand was imminent. First industry vet Johanna Uurasjarvi was announced as the next chief designer officer, and today J.Crew’s teamed with a much newer name in fashion for a project that’s about to change everything you knew about the company’s sizing. And it starts with the Universal Standard for J.Crew collection, available now.
Though Universal Standard has only been around for a few years (compared to J.Crew’s approximately 35), the two have come together for the just-released collaboration—a lineup that speaks to Universal Standard’s modern, clean-lined approach to double-digit-sized design complemented by J.Crew’s classic aesthetics (think stripes, rich colors, and effortless silhouettes). But this isn’t just a capsule collection. “This collaboration is part of a much larger sizing roll out for J.Crew,” chief merchandising officer Lisa Greenwald tells us. “This summer and fall, you’ll begin to see more of your favorite J.Crew styles in additional sizes and accessible to more people as we work towards inclusive sizing across categories.”
J.Crew currently has designs on its site that run anywhere from a 000 to 24 (not too shabby of a range at all, compared to most other mass brands), however this partnership acknowledges how much further it—and perhaps the industry as a whole—can grow and improve when it comes to inclusivity.
“We recognize our platform as a mainstream American brand and feel proud to have the responsibility and the privilege to do more for our customers,” Greenwald says of the brand’s self-professed “overdue” expansion and also highlights why a relatively new name in fashion was the perfect partner to get it right. “We wanted to work with experts in the field on this collection to kick off a much larger roll out of extended sizes, new fits and fabrications across the brand. We recognized Universal Standard’s highly technical approach and reached out to them to help create a new collection tailored for the real, diverse spectrum of the American woman.”
The result (at least initially) is a small collection of strong, polished, everyday pieces available to shop today. And though the sizes span from XXS to 5X, don’t call it a “plus” collection. Greenwald says the brand will be making no such distinction. While J.Crew has learned about the technical and design approach from its latest partner, “we also learned the importance of offering our customers a truly inclusive experience.”
Shop the Universal Standard for J.Crew collection below, and look out for more exciting changes on the horizon.