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Getting the fit down to a science

posted: 7 September, 2018

Despite being Japan’s largest fashion eCommerce destination, I’d hazard a guess there’s a fair chance you’ve not heard of Zozo, nor their owner, Start Today. Until last month neither had I. But if their data-driven approach to custom-fit manufacturing takes off, it has the potential to change both the fashion industry and the way we shop.

‘Participant A’

What stands Zozo apart is their Zozosuit; trumpeted as a revolutionary technology that brings accessible and affordable 3D body scanning into the home. To you and I, it’s a two-piece, skin-tight polka dotted bodysuit.

3D Model

Those polka dots aren’t just a bold fashion statement though. No, they’re stretchable markers which, when paired with a smartphone, are used to capture – Zozo claim – about 400 measurement points. By way of comparison, on average a tailor takes about 20. Using photos taken at a dozen different angles, their proprietary algorithm processes this data to generate a 3D model of your body based on where each unique white dot was captured in space.

All very well you might say, but it’s when Zozo combines your data and embed it in their genuinely innovative “made to order” manufacturing production line that makes you sit up and take notice.

The potential implications for the fashion industry are enormous… if it works. From reduced costs of production (waste, sustainability) and distribution, through to tighter stock control and fewer returns, there are many up-sides to explore. Meanwhile, Zozo might well find themselves sitting on a goldmine of data.

Welcome to a size free world? Well, my order has been shipped, so I hope to be able to let you know soon!