Jul 11, 2018
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J.Crew x Universal Standard collaboration offers plus sizes up to 5X

Jul 11, 2018

In an effort to gain traction after losing Mickey Drexler and Jenna Lyons, J.Crew is venturing deeper into plus sizes with the launch of a 22-piece extended-sizing collaboration with plus-size label Universal Standard.

Universal Standard for J.Crew poplin high-low maxi dress ($150) - J. Crew

The J.Crew x Universal Standard collection includes tees, tops, cardigans, tracksuits, jumpsuits, and dresses. The line uses cotton poplin, cupro and stretch jersey to apply J.Crew's monochromatic aesthetic to plus-size styles.

The collection is a departure from the traditional pattern grading process where measurements are mathematically added to increase sizes without initially fitting on a real body. Instead of scaling up regular sizes, J.Crew relied on Universal Standard's designers to adjust darts and seams for a better fit.

"We fit each piece in the collection to women of all sizes instead of scaling a single set of measurements," the brand highlighted in a release. 

Explaining the decision to release a new plus-size collection in a statement, Lisa Greenwald, J.Crew's chief merchandising officer, commented, "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."

Alexandra Waldman, Universal Standard's co-founder and creative director, added that the line presented "an opportunity to partner with a beloved American brand to broaden the size spectrum and make clothing available for so many more women."

The collaboration further consolidates J.Crew's corporate goals of representing and including women of all shapes and sizes, and Greenwald noted that the collection will be integrated into the retailer's wider women's category, and not be labelled separately as a standalone plus-size line.

This is J.Crew's second dive into plus-size, having first ventured into extended sizing with sister brand Madewell this January, offering an expanded denim size range of 23 to 35. Plans exist to further grow the retailer's denim offerings up to size 37, while other categories including sweaters, tops, knits, jackets and dresses will be expanded up to size 24 later this year.

Pieces in the Universal Standard x J.Crew line are priced from $50 for a tee to $150 for a poplin dress and are available in sizes up to 5X. The collection is available online now and will launch at twelve brick-and-mortar J.Crew stores next week.

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