Why J. Crew Introduced Size 000

J. Crew London - H 2014
Ray Tang/Rex/REX USA

J. Crew London - H 2014

It's not about vanity sizing or anything.

Since J. Crew's introduction of its size 000, or XXXS, clothing, the retailer is facing backlash from the fashion community for reportedly taking vanity sizing — a way to mark larger clothing as a smaller size — to the next level.

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The real reason behind the 23-inch waist size? J. Crew is trying to tap into customer demand in Asia, according to the retailer's rep.

"We are simply addressing the demand coming from Asia for smaller sizes than what we had carried. Our sizes typically run big and the Asia market tends to run small," a J. Crew spokeswoman said in a statement. "To further put into perspective, these sizes add up to the smallest possible percentage of our overall sizing assortment."

She added: "J.Crew's sizes run across the board to try and accommodate as many customers as possible. … We run up to size 16, we carry petites and talls, and our shoe sizes run from 5-12. [It's] all based on customer demand."

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Indeed, J. Crew's online sizing chart lists a range of sizes for petites and tall, as well as specific swim sizes for long and short torsos.