J. Crew recently made headlines for offering clothing in a 000, or XXXS, size.
Many were quick to criticise the company for offering this size, implying that it encouraged unhealthy standards for women.
But a recent piece by Amy Merrick in The New Yorker explains the micro-size.
“J. Crew said that the sizes are a response to the requests of petite Asian customers, particularly at its new stores in Hong Kong, who had trouble finding Pixie pants and boyfriend jeans that fit them,” Merrick writes.
Asian customers have become a priority for many retailers as opportunities to build new stores in the U.S. dwindle, according to Merrick.
“What’s happening at J. Crew can be difficult for Americans to grasp: as the U.S. has become a less attractive place to open stores, retail isn’t solely about their needs anymore,” Merrick said.
Retailers like Abercrombie, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, and Lululemon have announced plans to expand in Asia.
Troubled brand Juicy Couture is also staging a comeback there.
While 000 might seem like an absurd size to Americans, it’s actually necessary if J. Crew wants to expand in Asia.
As the average American size gets bigger, retailers keep having to adjust the “medium” size.
This means that all other sizes are also skewed larger.
In short, J. Crew is offering a size 000 because Asian customers need it.
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