Finding a garment that fits - whether online or in-store - has been an issue in retail for years, and with increasing attention on sustainability, is gaining more attention. A study by EY found out that 76% of shoppers return clothes because of sizing, with return rates costing UK retailers an estimated £60bn a year.
As we enter a new decade, sizing and fit technologies, which have existed for a while, are maturing and hoping to deliver the experience they promised at the start - providing the perfect fit for the customer and eliminating the returns for brands.
An exciting new entrant in the space is Anne Oommen Lingerie - a startup combining personalisation and on-demand production in a store environment to create bespoke lingerie.
“Shopping for lingerie is a really negative experience for so many women,” says founder Anne Oommen. “If you consider the main purpose of a bra - providing support - most of the women I have spoken to say that it’s often one of the most uncomfortable things they have to contend with on a daily basis.” Poor fitting bras aren’t just a question of discomfort. For many it can lead to health issues.
While things are changing (a number of companies have launched brands carrying broader ranges and sizes), “these are still mass produced and will inevitably still require some compromise by the wearer,” argues Anne. “I wanted to do something about it and spent a lot of time talking to women: high street brands; leading breast surgeons and fashion industry professionals, and eventually identified a solution that worked. It was a truly global effort, using specialists from London; New York; California and Hong Kong.”
The solution is a shopping experience combining customisation and speedy on-demand production to deliver truly unique lingerie products. “We are creating a reality where you can go into a store, choose your bra style and colour, get measured and leave in an hour (after some bubbles and hot drinks) with a bra that is made entirely just for your body, and your body alone.” If you don’t want to wait, the startup can courier it to you when it's convenient, so you can be in and out within minutes. All in a completely private luxe environment.
“It's all about getting that fit. We’ve taken away sizes - every woman’s body is different, including each breast, so how can you expect a mass produced item to provide the support that is needed? A significant consumer trend as we enter this decade is how quick consumers expect to receive high quality products, so the initial measure to product-in-hand time was a key factor in our process development.”
Anne explains that the proposition of the custom products being available on the same day, and the technology that underpins it, is what differentiates the brand. “The technology is key, it lets us measure our clients and create the product so quickly. And it keeps things economically more friendly and sustainable as well. We're not wasting as much fabric, we only use fabric that we need,” she says. “It's not something that's around anywhere else at the moment, so we are really excited about how this might lead to some really positive changes. There aren't any luxury, even mainstream brands that do this. They still take weeks to produce the product, and often use mass produced components, like the underwire for example.”
Anne Oommen Lingerie is Anne’s answer to lingerie fit that promises to provide that dream fit women have been looking for. Designed to look gorgeous but also to support each woman’s unique body, and give that confidence boost to carry them through their day. Interested shoppers can sign up for updates and see a preview of the launch video now.
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