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Top 25 Women of Influence 2018: Alexandra Waldman



Alexandra Waldman

Founder, Universal Standard

Universal Standard began as a conversation between Alexandra Waldman and her co-founder, Polina. Alexandra was frustrated and disheartened by the lack of access to fashion being a size 20 meant — not only could she not shop at the same stores as her much smaller friends, she could barely shop anywhere — even though the Canadian native was living steps from New York’s 5th Avenue. Asking themselves the questions: “How can we participate in the change we wanted to see? How can we bring all women together in a way that no one ever has before?” the women quit their corporate gigs and Universal Standard was born. The company, whose mission is to ensure plus-sized women have access to style, not just clothing, grabbed headlines earlier this year when it partnered with J.Crew for a collection that goes up to 5X, or size 32. The deal, which will likely propel Universal Standard from the relative unknown, ensures Waldman’s expert knowledge of plus-size garment cut and fit is applied to a brand that has traditionally catered to a much narrower group of women. And Waldman and her business partner have vowed it’s only the beginning: “We’re not done — not even close — and we promise we won’t stop until we bring fashion for all women up to a Universal Standard.”



Who else are we honouring? See the full Women of Influence Top 25 list for 2018.