Universal Standard co-founder Alexandra Waldman on Friday died from cancer at the age of 57.
Born on April 13, 1966, Waldman had an aggressive form of cancer and underwent multiple medical trials for nearly two years, according to an Instagram post from Universal Standard this week. She had stepped away from the day-to-day business to focus on treatment.
“Alex was unapologetic and unwavering in her mission to make fashion more accessible for all people, regardless of size. She optimistically challenged the status quo, pioneering industry-shifting initiatives that have revolutionized fashion,” the Instagram post said. “She leaves behind a legacy, but also a blueprint for how we all can champion a more inclusive future ... As we look ahead, we are more motivated than ever to honor Alex in our unwavering commitment to improving the industry standard through inclusivity and accessibility.”
Waldman founded Universal Standard with CEO Polina Veksler, launching the size-inclusivity brand in 2015 with its first 8-piece collection. Since then, the company has grown its product offerings and collaborated with major brands to improve sizing capabilities.
Universal Standard in 2018 partnered with J. Crew to release a size-inclusive collection including tops, dresses, skirts and pants available in sizes up to 5x. The predominantly direct-to-consumer company then partnered with Adidas in 2019 for a performance collection in sizes XXS through 4XL.
Helping it grow its workwear offerings, Universal Standard acquired luxury womenswear brand Henning in April, bringing on Henning founder Lauren Chan as Universal Standard’s head of brand partnerships. Additionally, Universal Standard entered the swimwear category for the first time in June with an eight-piece line ranging in sizes 00 to 40.