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Charming Shoppes reinvents ecommerce experience
17
Sep '11
A century ago, the New York Herald ran an advertisement that put the Lane Bryant brand on the map. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of this milestone, Lane Bryant, the most recognizable brand in plus size fashion, is once again charting a new direction for the industry with the introduction of Fashion Genius, a breakthrough technology that gives full figured women what they crave most: easy access to a world of plus size fashions that caters to their unique body shapes and style preferences.

In just three minutes and with no measurements required, the one-of-a-kind fit and style solution guides plus size women through a simple survey that marries their curves, fit issues and signature styles to a world of bras, tops and bottoms that are an ideal fit for their individual figures.

Rolling out on LaneBryant.com as well as plus size sister brands, including Catherines.com, FashionBug.com, Cacique.com, and new online shopping hub, Sonsi.com, Fashion Genius takes the guesswork out of shopping online, enabling plus size women to turn personalized picks into fully styled, head-to-toe outfits that they can shop, save and share with their friends.

According to Jill Hutchison, general manager of Sonsi.com, Charming Shoppes' award-winning online shopping and social destination, "with Fashion Genius, she can truly achieve her full fashion potential in an online shopping environment that's designed just for her. It's like having your own personal department store delivered to your living room."

Citing Fashion Genius as an Internet first, Bill Bass, president of Charming Shoppes Direct, describes the breakthrough technology as a game changer for women who shop online. "Until now, searching for apparel online has been a frustrating hit or miss experience, lacking the personalization necessary for finding clothes that fit," says Bass, who added that the company's goal was to create the Internet's first fit search engine that would make shopping for clothes online as easy as shopping for a book or computer.

"We're especially excited that plus size women, a typically underserved and marginalized demographic, will get the first bite of the apple. In less time than it takes to get dressed, Fashion Genius solves the fit issues that have historically plagued the nearly 60 percent of American women who wear size 12 and up."

Math Meets Fashion, Fit Meets Style
It took a team of mathematicians, computer scientists, and fashion industry experts to uncover the link between a woman's shape and the issues she has with finding clothes that both fit and flatter. Powered by an algorithm that took months to build, using 70 million points of data, Fashion Genius was the result of an enormous Charming Shoppes research and development project that included 10,000 in-person fittings of bras, pants and tops and 1.25 million survey answers.

According to Rob Holloway, chief executive officer of Zafu, Charming Shoppestechnology partner on Fashion Genius, the simple survey-based technology hides a complex fit and style algorithm that is hard at work behind the scenes. "The beauty of Fashion Genius is its ability to transform a complex search engine function into an easy to use, uniquely personal, rewarding clothing shopping experience," says Holloway, who pointed out that shopping is an intensely personal experience, yet when it comes to shape, style and fit, the fashion world at large has historically given plus size women generic solutions. "Now, at last, millions of plus size women can shop online with confidence that the clothes they buy will fit well and look great. And the best part is Fashion Genius' pictorial survey format makes the process simple, fast and fun."

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