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Zozo: Not fit for purpose

posted: 17 December, 2018

In September, we wrote a blog post – Getting the fit down to a science – about an interesting, and potentially significant, development in the world of fashion and apparel sizing: the Zozosuit.

For the uninitiated, the Zozosuit is a polka-dotted two-piece, skin-tight bodysuit. When worn and paired with a smartphone, the polka dot sensors are, Zozo claims, used capture hundreds measurement points to determine “your unique fit”. And the point of this? To make and deliver “custom-fit” clothes in two weeks to customers in 72 countries. No tailors. No guesswork.

“The time where people adapt to clothing is over, this is the new era, where clothes adapt to people.”

Yusaku Maezawa, CEO & Founder of Zozo Group

Sounds great, right? Yes, and possibly too good to be true.

Zozo wasn’t able to handle the complicated logistics, nor the demand. Their two-week delivery commitment morphed into six-weeks. For me, make that six months.

In terms of quality, the items – a plain grey t-shirt and slim tapered jeans – felt on a par with many conventional fast-fashion retailers, which was to be expected given the price-points. More importantly though, the fit really wasn’t any better than anything you could buy off the rack. That ‘just right’ feeling I’d been anticipating, well, it just wasn’t there.

Around the same time, Zozo abruptly announced they were ditching the body-measuring suit altogether, saying it was no longer needed as they’d collected enough data to estimate ideal clothes by a customer’s height and weight alone. That’s right, estimate.

“We believe every body deserves to be celebrated, which is why we aim to fit everybody. At ZOZO we are building a size-free world.”

The problem now for Zozo is that they’ve rowed back on their central purpose – their reason for being – and in doing so they become just another apparel company.

Sadly, what promised so much ended in a whimper.