When we promised to make size irrelevant by creating unprecedented access for all of US, we also set out to make real representation a reality and redefine inclusivity. Narrow definitions of beauty have shaped our standards and governed our screens for so long that our perceptions of “normal” have become skewed and a chasm emerged between “us” and “them.” We decided there should only be an all of US. We decided it was time for a new normal.
Being in the world - walking down the street, flipping through our feeds, or riding the subway - shows us the diversity that’s often lacking 50 ft. above, on the billboards we pass and the advertisements we unwittingly acknowledge as aspirational. We see these two worlds coming together, so that what’s around us is reflected right back at us. So that the images we see make us feel seen.
So that there is space for all of US. As we are. Anywhere.
To manifest this idea we went straight to the source - a place where diversity comes to life every single day - the New York City subway. We cast this campaign with 26 women who we met there, asking them to appear in the advertisements they’ll soon be surrounded by on their daily commute.
All unique and beautiful in their own way. All depicted just as they are in Universal Standard.
"I was thinking a lot about my experience with US and what a joy it was to be included in a fashion shoot with “real” women of all shapes, colors and ages. We all ride the subway and the random, fleeting connections I have made on the trains and platforms are some of my most special NYC memories. It is very easy to feel invisible in the city when you reach a certain age, so to be seen and approached to be a part of the shoot was such a surprise and so deeply validating. We all struggle to feel good in our skin and images that proudly represent us as we are makes one's skin glow from the inside, where is matters the most."
- DEENA / @Dewdro328
"Being asked to be part of this campaign felt like a reflection of all the deep work I've been doing to love myself as I am and further validation that I don't have to change to be recognized, loved, and desired."
- JO / @dancejumper
"Every woman has had the experience of not being able to get the right fit in their clothes, of seeing the clothes on a model who looks nothing like them and then being disappointed with the fit of the clothes. But being able to see the clothes in my size and knowing how they will fit with Universal Standard takes all the stress out of shopping.
Being a part of this campaign was incredible, wearing beautiful clothes and hanging out on set with the most incredible group of women was amazing.
Wearing beautiful clothes and feeling stylish has been the best way for me to accept myself and love the body I’m in, and being a part of this campaign felt like the ultimate act of self-love. It felt like the perfect end to the journey of self-acceptance I’ve been on, being photographed as I am, in clothes that fit like they were made just for me."
- BETHAN / @welshgirlinparis