How Goop and Universal Standard Are Creating "A New Normal"
At first glance, size-inclusive clothing brand Universal Standard and Goop, the lifestyle brand founded and owned by Gwyneth Paltrow, may not seem like they have much, if anything, in common. Universal Standard makes contemporary clothing for women of all sizes, including trendy plus-size clothing — in fact, some of the brand’s offerings are available up to a size 40. Goop, on the other hand, is a controversial wellness brand that describes itself as “aspirational”; it offers products like an $895 rose-gold fragrance flask and a nearly $3,500 vibrator. Despite their differences, the two brands managed to find common ground, partnering on a limited edition Goop x Universal Standard capsule collection.
“Goop has always been a disruptor, giving women a new and unique way to think about wellness,” Alex Waldman, CEO and co-founder of Universal Standard, tells InStyle. “This aligns with what we are doing with our clothing, establishing a new normal, and giving all women a new way of looking at fashion and shopping. We see this collaboration as a strong manifestation of the changing tide in fashion and apparel.”
“Each piece was tailored to someone of your same size,” reads the Goop website, “So there’s no sizing up or down to a single fit model. So every notched lapel, every swingy wide leg was engineered to work with the proper proportions. Add in the true-black palette and move-with-you fabrics and you have a collection that is sharp, smart, efficient, and beautiful.”
All of the pieces are available now at goop.com, all with Gwyneth’s personal stamp of approval and styling tips.
“This black jumpsuit is fantastic,” Paltrow writes on the goop website. “Quintessentially goop to the core, it’s wildly comfortable and gets the job done in the office or lets loose on the dance floor, all with a simple swap of heels. There’s something very Audrey Hepburn about this [Brushed-Back High Low dress]. Dressing up doesn’t get more elegant than this."
Additionally, on the Universal Standard website, there is a wide array of minimalist-chic clothing options in a range of sizes, everything from plus-size jeans to all-size dresses and statement blouses. The Goop x Universal Standard collection is an extension of the same aesthetic that the brand is known for.
“This is a collection of five classic wardrobe staples for every woman,” Waldman says. “They’re elegant, minimalist essentials that go from day to night — everything from a modern jumpsuit that’s great for the office, to a sharp tuxedo jacket that puts a new spin on special occasion wear.”
Universal Standard brings some much-need size inclusivity to the Goop style offerings — previously, all clothing on the goop website stopped at a size 12. The $250 million lifestyle brand is finally ready to dip its toes in the plus-size fashion and size-inclusive space, and according to Paltrow, it’s just the beginning.
“At Goop, I always say internally something that we try to do is eliminate shame by talking about things, whether it's sexual health or stress or post-natal depression. I want Goop to be a place where women who are feeling marginalized in any way can come and find content and product,” Paltrow told Business of Fashion. “This is an area where we haven’t been great, and I believe inclusivity is really important.”
Universal Standard also has the opportunity to get their merchandise in front of an entirely new audience — the reality is that in wellness and lifestyle spaces like the one Goop occupies is dominated by clothing brands that offer little in the way of extended sizing. The direct-to-consumer clothing brand has made leaps and bounds since 2015 to reach bigger and bigger corners of the market, all with the hope of bridging the gap between straight-size and plus-size clothing shopping.
And, like Goop, Universal Standard is a disruptor in its own space. What started as a plus-size brand has transcended to creating clothing in the unprecedented 00-40 size range — a decision that has received both criticism and praise from consumers.
“It has always been the mission of Universal Standard to eliminate the notion of plus-size and othering in favor of an industry that is size-irrelevant,” Waldman explains of the decision to collaborate with Goop. “With the Goop collab and other size-inclusive collections, we are furthering our mission and proliferating our message of fashion freedom throughout the industry ... we are proud to work with Goop to transcend the dividing line of size and give all women equal access to their brand. We hope that we are moving into a world that is more inclusive, more open and gives a larger voice to women.”
The Goop x Universal Standard line is available to shop at goop.com, as well as goop’s permanent stores in Los Angeles and New York City. To shop the rest of the Universal Standard collection, visit universalstandard.com.