There are just few options on the market for petite women — e-commerce or otherwise — and even fewer for those with a taste for designer duds. But a groovy new online boutique, Stature, is here to solve that problem: The site launched in June in hopes of filling a gap in the petite space by offering fit guides for the high-end fashion they sell.
Avani Agarwal, one of Stature's five-foot-tall co-founders, describes Stature as being "an online boutique run by small women for small women" that features well-loved independent designers. "We try to vet the fit of existing pieces for smaller frames, or work with individual designers to create custom sizes on key pieces so customers don't need to get additional hems or tailoring," she says.
Agarwal only launched the site along with friend and former co-worker Camille Moroz, also five-foot-tall, earlier this summer, and it's already flush with dresses, tops, jumpsuits, pants and shoes all modeled by "real" women who are five-foot-four or shorter. Designers include Rachel Comey, Dusen Dusen, Wray and Carleen.
The idea for Stature came to Agarwal and Moroz during a business trip the pair took to Tokyo in 2015 while still working for a large corporation. In their downtime, they went shopping and had a shocking experience: Agarwal explains that most of the brands in Tokyo carried clothes with shorter sleeves and more proportional lengths — clothes that actually fit both her and Moroz's petite frames. Agarwal recounts feeling excited that a maxi dress fit her "the right way."
"This shared experience was so eye-opening for us; we found beautiful, well-made, unique pieces that fit our bodies well, and it was easy and pleasant," says Moroz. "We had both wished for better solutions quietly on our own, but had really never thought about pursuing a business idea."
Soon, though, Stature was born.
Agarwal and Moroz began working with designers to create petite-sized items based on a smaller size chart for their future site's shoppers to create a boutique with offerings similar to what they were able to find in Tokyo. They met with designers at trade shows or buying appointments and began working to find items in their collections that could work on smaller frames. Moroz and Agarwal stocked up on sizes that already fit smaller frames well, while also working with designers to create custom pieces for Stature.
"The designers know their own collections well and will tell us what will fit petites," says Agarwal. "That's always a great start."
Moroz offers that Ellen van Dusen of Dusen Dusen, for example, is petite herself. "She has a great eye for designing for different body types," says Moroz. van Dusen not only designed petite items for Stature, but also connected the two with designers who would be willing to work with a petite-focused brand. "It became an awesome community of creative women who wanted to be a part of it," says Moroz.
The two note that Stature is targeting a unique market: a group of urban, professional women who have a certain amount of disposable income and who want to build a capsule wardrobe. On this topic, Agarwal says that she and Moroz want to target an audience that is looking to stay away from fast fashion.
With their debut summer collection, their site currently features denim dresses, high-waisted pants, classic low heels and striped sacks dresses for summer, while brands like the aforementioned Rachel Comey, Wray and Carleen, as well as Loup and Ilana Kohn, all make appearances.
"We didn't want it to seem cute," says Agarwal of the summer range. "We wanted it to be playful, but did not want to go down that route of childlike cuteness."
As for how the garments actually fit petites? Some items featured in the boutique are straight-sized, but the site's listing offers information on how it fits a petite frame. Stature lists flat measurements for all garments, which makes it easier to understand and replicate measurements at home before ordering.
"We wanted to make sure all of the measurements are very detailed so people could see that things fit them," says Moroz. "Some of the oversize items will flatter curvier petites."
It's worth noting, though, that many of the offerings in the Stature shop only include sizes extra-small and small. Occasionally, the shop offers a medium or a petite-medium, but those are few and far between. According to Agarwal, this choice was intentional as mediums and larges often feature shoulders too broad and torsos too long to fit a true petite.
Expanding size offerings, though, is on the owners' minds. "We want to expand our roster of designers and perhaps tap into other categories, like accessories," says Agarwal. "We also hope to some day reach a broader spectrum of petite sizing."
For fall, the two are looking to work with the same designers, as well as a few new ones. "There's a lot of color in the collection," says Moroz, hinting at a metallic gold top and coordinating pant. "We saw a lot of the collections were bent more towards maximalism."
The two also plan to explore a pop-up shop, perhaps somewhere near their home-base in Brooklyn. For now, though, they'll relish the feedback they're getting from customers.
"We're floored by how positively people are responding to the idea," says Agarwal.
Moroz agrees, and says that for now, the two want to focus on the community they're building. "Since we are so new and just launched, we're hyper-focused on getting the word out. We want to build that community and tap into other categories."