Few industries with mainstream visibility and appeal have remained as unplugged from serious tech disruption as apparel and fashion. Of course, the realm of shopping has had major shifts, as has the marketing of clothing from the runway to the mall clothing rack. But the way that clothes are actually made has remained surprisingly unchanged in many ways.
When it comes to the incredibly popular category of blue jeans, for example, clothing samples are typically designed to the proportions of a single human “fit model.” Then, versions of that design are replicated in smaller and larger sizes to be sold to the masses. Different brands are known for having different shapes, but with the ever-increasing variety available in the premium denim category alone, it can be pretty daunting to know where to start. Basically, if you want more customization for fit, you better have a good tailor.A company called Bodymetrics is keen to bring a bit more personalization to this whole process. The company, which is jointly headquartered in London and San Francisco, makes walk-in pods that use the same technology found in the Microsoft Kinect to get a full rendering of the shape and size of each shopper’s body. The program, which has software and hardware components, then recommends to you the best brands, fits, and sizes for your body type.
Bodymetrics has made quite a splash in the UK for several years, but just landed stateside this past summer when it installed a scanner at the Silicon Valley outpost of Bloomingdale’s. Like a lot of people I know, I’ve been eager to check it out, but also a bit skeptical — about both the technology and the platform’s actual usefulness.
So I solicited TechCrunch’s head of events and partnerships (and resident fashion bug) Leslie Hitchcock and TechCrunch TV producer Ashley Pagán to make the trek down to the Palo Alto Bloomingdale’s to try out the Bodymetrics scanner in person. You can watch her experience with the technology along with Bodymetrics’ creative director Tania Fauvel in the video embedded above.
It was also a big pleasure to meet with Bodymetrics’ co-founder and CEO Suran Goonatilake, who was on-hand to dive a bit deeper into the company’s technology and business strategy. You can watch our interview with him in the video embedded below.