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Studies found that 42 per cent of consumers worry about getting something that fits well, with denim named as key category and 85 per cent of consumers stay loyal to a brand because their products fit them. For brands to differentiate in an increasingly competitive market, they must offer: excellent fit, newest washings and coatings, newest fabric compositions and focus on a specific target group.
Alvanon suggests five top tips on how to execute consistent fit to ensure competitive edge and consumer loyalty.
Brands should first start with the demographic of their core customer — where they live, age, ethnic and socioeconomic group. This important data will help to segment the customer profile and in turn drive out a body shape standard.
Next while considering new shapes and silhouettes brands must imagine it on their most popular selling size, as this is their true customer. Having a graded 3D virtual body or fit mannequin will help a brand to stay focused on this and ensure fit integrity is maintained across the entire size range. It is difficult to talk about standard sizing for jeans as it differs from brand to brand. The key to success is maintaining consistency for the consumer; they must work to standard measurements as guide rules and understand what ‘loose’, ‘straight’, ‘slim’, and ‘skinny’ mean for the brand in terms of core measurements and sizing. This approach drives sales and minimises returns.
The third tip is to focus on more sustainable materials and denim manufacturing processes where recycled, recyclable or low-impact materials are the key ingredients. The key from a fit consistency angle is for brands to categorise their fabrics based on weight and modulus (stretch properties) for example rigid, comfort stretch, super stretch; the other factors are aesthetic and will alter the look of the garment but will not directly impact the fit. Garments should be fitted after the correct wash as there is a big difference in fit between a rinse, classic stone wash or vintage washed garment.
Consistency is another key factor brands should keep in mind to keep customers loyal season after season. Trends may change but the basic body measurements and core shape standards should remain largely the same. An existing pattern block can be adapted to incorporate seasonal trends with the body fit remaining constant in terms of shaping through the rise and crotch. To support brands in achieving great body fit, Alvanon has launched a new men’s form specifically for fitting denim. The form has been designed to reflect the way men stand for better read of balance and rise angles, it has a deeper indent at the back rise, so fabric doesn’t ‘bunch up’ or fold in at the seat.
Lastly brands should never forget their best sellers. They should update in-line with trends but maintain the core shapes that their customers return to each season. Skinny jeans still represent 58 per cent of women’s jeans, so skinnies are core to a denim retailer. (PC)
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