How ZOZO’s technology is correcting the errors of online shopping
We have all experienced the perils of online shopping: you fall in love with a piece—which looks flawless on the model in the photo—choose between an often restrictive size selection, and receive the item, only to discover it doesn’t look quite as you expected it to. That’s because our bodies are all different, and what fits perfectly on one person may fit horribly on another, even though both identify as a size “medium.”
ZOZO has set out to fix this conundrum.
“Our founder, Yusaku Maezawa, became consumed with improving the fashion industry’s sizing problem after building Japan’s largest fashion e-commerce destination,” Alisa Gould-Simon, ZOZO’s VP of Marketing, tells Fashion Mannuscript. “Committed to finding a solution that would benefit as many people around the world as possible, Maezawa began development on the ZOZOSUIT and a line of affordable, size-free clothing for men and women.”
The way it works sounds relatively simple, though it took seven years to develop: you provide ZOZO with your height, weight, and gender upon ordering the ZOZOSUIT, after which the company processes the information and delivers you a custom bodysuit.
“The ZOZO experience is powered by our proprietary measurement system, which includes the ZOZOSUIT, a stretchy top and pant set that is covered in over 300 fiducial markers,” Gould-Simon says.
Once your suit arrives, you download the ZOZO app, which connects with the suit’s technology to develop a 3D measurement of your body. The suit captures around 400 measurement points to gain a precise layout of your body, which you can then use to order custom clothing from ZOZO’s fashion line.
“The process of measuring typically takes 3-5 minutes and the resulting measurements are more accurate than a human tailor,” adds Gould-Simon.
Currently, ZOZO Clothing, which is designed in Japan, features mostly basics; your classic blue denim jeans, knitwear long-sleeves, cotton t-shirts, and simple button downs. But every piece is tailored to fit the individual dimensions of each buyer—everything from stitch thickness to fabric length to seam placement is considered when an item is being made. Expansion is on the horizon, however.
“We are always looking to add new items to ZOZO. Most recently, we introduced 100% Merino Wool Sweaters to our collection of t-shirts, jeans, and oxford shirts,” says Gould-Simon.
While it’s taken some time for the company to perfect its cutting-edge technology, ZOZO is fast growing, with availability in 72 countries around the world. As a relatively new company, the ZOZO team is constantly seeking feedback to improve their brand.
“We have heard from a lot of satisfied customers and have received an incredible amount of support and enthusiasm for the mission driving our business,” Gould-Simon assures.
Companies like ZOZO are the catalyst behind the changing dynamics of the fashion industry, plunging into the world of technology and emerging with innovations that will forever alter the way the system operates.
“We believe personalization and customization will be central to the future of online shopping, as will technological solutions to age-old struggles with sizing. For too long people have had to fit into standard sizes, when in fact clothing should be made to fit each individual person. Even in today’s increasingly personalized world, the experience of buying clothing is still extremely generic,” Gould-Simon concludes. “We hope to provide a possible solution.”
Long gone will be the days of aimless size guesses and disappointing packages of ill-fitting items—with technology like the ZOZOSUIT, a future of custom-made, unique-to-each-body clothing can be a reality.
For more information, please visit zozo.com.