I recently noticed Amazon Prime Wardrobe is ramping up with try-before-you-buy (TBYB). Ever astute, I’m sure Jeff Bezos has contemplated the costs associated with the inevitable garment returns. I’m also willing to bet that, if traditional MTM could fit more than 50% of body types, he would have chosen this over TBYB. Embarking on a TBYB model before tackling MTM, is strategically clever, but it also speaks of an industry wide inability to deliver satisfactory MTM to bodies that significantly differ from the “norm.”
Micro-factories demonstrating the technology to make mass garment customization possible are seen at all major trade shows and they are not smoke and mirrors. Save for one key detail these technologies work brilliantly. They can precisely translate our bodies to virtual 3D avatars, adjust the girth and length of a garment pattern, and provide a virtual environment for realistic garment fittings. The problem is, while customized avatars and virtual fittings have reduced the time involved with trial and error traditional practices, bespoke fit continues to require heuristic practices to achieve bespoke results.
The intricacies of body shape continue to rely on trial-and-error fittings, inhibiting the full potential of automated fitting technologies.
Existing profitable MTM companies should not be cited as examples of proof positive fitting methodologies. With their current profitability coming from the small segment of the population they can accommodate, they are merely an example of future potential. The scenario is similar for size selection platforms. The results of current fitting technologies are only as valid as the methods by which measurements are analyzed. If we accept that technology is currently limited by flawed body shape and garment fit data analysis, new methods of analysis could bring mass garment customization to reality overnight and drastically improve size selection algorithms.
Traditional gender specific methods of body shape analysis are inhibiting current technologies. Bespoke data analysis can improve fitting platforms and make mass garment customization a reality. Contact me to discuss how bespoke methodologies can improve automated garment fitting technologies.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energies not on fighting the old but on building the new.”