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ASBCI hosts conference on fashion sizing and fit
Apr '15
The recent ASBCI conference titled, 'The Fit Factor – World class wisdom on fashion sizing and fit' saw participation from a global line up of technical experts and market and consumer research specialists.

“These experts shed new light on practical solutions to winning the sizing and fit battle in the apparel and lingerie industry,” a press release from ASBCI informed.

Delegates heard how major brands have embraced the latest 3D virtual product technologies, new online consumer engagement strategies and consumer research to help them improve fit.

Delegates also were told how the tool has helped increase brand loyalty, reduce returns and development lead times while increasing full-price sell-throughs and conversion rates.

The keynote address was delivered by Ed Gribbin, president of Alvanon, who said, “An NPD Group survey found that 80 per cent of consumers are unhappy with fit.”

He advised delegates to look for inspiration outside the apparel box and pointed to technology giant Apple as an example of how a successful business can operate by treating “design as a science”.

Key attributes of the tech world include low returns, high sell through rates and huge profitability, which is in stark contrast to the shortcomings of the clothing industry.

He added, “The brokenness begins at the design stage in the apparel field due to aesthetic criteria being given precedence over technical fit practices.”

He urged delegates to use solid science as the basis of their designs and share consumer shape standards, pattern blocks, technical fit forms and grading rules with everyone involved in the product development process.

“Fluctuations in body types across regions exacerbates the sizing and fit challenges for intimate apparel,” Julia Mercer, lingerie technical manager at Marks and Spencer explained.

She shared commissioned research findings that showed 23 per cent of women have never been fitted for a bra, and more worryingly, 82 per cent had been fitted in the wrong size.

Detailed research was conducted across 28 countries to gather intelligence on body shapes as a way of tailoring fit more accurately to the profile of each country.

International size conversions and a myriad of grading rules further add to the confusion. However, the successful launch of the M&S Bra Fit Calculator app and online service, offers an innovative, yet simple solution.

Consumers are asked to take just one measurement, followed by a short series of aesthetics based questions to reveal the correct size and most suitable styles for that particular person.

Providing a live demonstration on how to take exact measurements for bespoke tailoring was Philip Parker, vice chairman, Henry Poole & Co.

The Savile Row craftsman offered traditional and detailed instructions for perfectly measuring a customer for one of a kind attire.

He cautioned that the majority of problems occur when trouser patterns are cut incorrectly, and should that be the case, then the best solution would be start again. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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