Is Amazon about to disrupt the customised clothing market?
As far as global disruptors go, Amazon is at the top of the list. It has shaken up entire industries with its functional yet aesthetically bland e-commerce platform, disrupting – if not bulldozing - brick-and-mortar retail, groceries, even insurance and fashion.
While the online behemoth firmly has its eyes on fashion’s luxury sector, it also hopes to disrupt customised clothing, specifically the affordable bespoke category. A newly launched custom clothing store called Made for You sees Amazon offer bespoke-sized t-shirts via an app.
How it works
Users enter details about their size, height, weight and body type as well as defining their preferences for collar, sleeve, length and fit. Users must upload two photographs allowing Amazon to create a virtual body double to see how the t-shirt will look. Amazon says it deletes the images after the last step.
The service is currently only available in the U.S. but is likely to roll out soon to other product categories and markets.
A virtual body double
According to Forbes, Amazon acquired Body Labs, a machine-learning company three years ago, for a price between 50 and 70 million dollars. Body Labs specialises in body shape analyses, developing custom avatars and calculating clothing sizes from videos and images.
For Amazon customers to be able to buy garments that fit their body shape is an entirely new business category, and one with enormous potential. High street brands have long been plagued with sizing issues, where a one-size-fits-all mentality has allowed mass produced clothing to be the norm in how fashion is consumed. Large factories cannot make modifications to singular items, but Amazon’s new service, however limited in product options, allows for adaptations beyond fit, including neckline preference, sleeve length, colour and choice between two fabrics. For the price of 25 dollars customers have something unique, not off the rack, that is guaranteed to fit.
If they rolled the service out to include other styles we could soon have an entire wardrobe of affordable made-to-measure apparel from Amazon.
Image Amazon Made for You; Article sources: Forbes, Engadget