HBS Grad Raises 200k for Custom Clothing Line at Betaspring

Posted by jcashman

Fitted Fashion, one of the 11 Startups presenting at Betaspring today, announed they have raised $200,000. The custom clothing company is looking to raise another $800,000 during today’s presentation in front of more than 100 potential investors in Providence, Rhode Island.

Fitted Fashion told New England Post they raised $100,000 from friends and family and the other half from a local angel investor, who wished to remain anonymous for now.

Betaspring is a mentorship-driven Providence-based startup accelerator program for technology and design entrepreneurs who are ready to build a product, launch a company, and change the world.

Fitted Fashion’s CEO, Jamal Motlagh, is a Harvard Business School graduate, who realized there is a major challenge with many of today’s clothing products. COO Charles Tse has worked on custom clothing and fabric pattern making for the last two years. Charles, along with professors of fashion design from Beijing, produced the IP for Fitted Fashion’s jean patterns that fit 90+% of consumers the first time.

Fitted Fashion believes that each person should be their own fit model and have clothes made specifically based on their uniqueness. What is the consumer need? Various clothing types, such as Jeans, amplify these issues– for example over 56% of respondents to a 2008 Mintel survey report that it is difficult to find properly fitting jeans. Women have a particularly difficult time with jeans as the average female tries on 10 pairs of jeans before she finds one to consider purchasing. Fitted Fashion felt Web 2.0 has also failed to solve these issues. The current solution to ill fitting clothing is simply free returns. This option is sub-par for the customer, the environment and the company (billions are spent each year on returns). 85% of respondent’s biggest fear of purchasing clothing online is that it will not “fit or look good.”“Me-commerce,” using the internet to customize goods, has exploded with consumers preferring products that can be created to custom fit or be personalized specifically for them suggesting that consumers prefer customized apparel if and when available (i.e. Nike-id shoes and Gemvara for jewelry).

Fitted Fashion is creating a platform for customers to connect with brands, labels and designers for custom clothing- an Etsy for custom clothing. Companies that currently offer “custom fit” clothing online rely on either an outside tailor or self measurement. Both techniques are highly variable and frequently inaccurate. How does Fitted Fashion Solve the “Fit Problem”? Fitted Fashion uses a digital tailoring machine (body scanner) which allows us to collect over 200,000 data points on a customer. Through their propriety IP Fitted Fashion then converts these measurements into unique cut and sew patterns for custom clothing. These patterns are used to create unique 1-off custom clothes by either the Fitted Fashion house brand or a 3rd party vendor. If Fitted Fashion does not provide the custom clothing, they will take a percentage of sales for both connecting a customer to a specific brand and providing accurate measurements and patterns for their custom clothing. Typically a retail location will mark up their goods 100+% on each item, and major sites such as Zappos offer a 15% referral fee – Fitted Fashion believes charging between the two will allow designers to fully utilize their offering while maintaining profitability.

Fitted Fashion is currently working to place scanners within existing clothing stores to collect costumer measurements and build the Fitted Fashion label. Their initial focus is on clothing types that are either inefficient in terms of fit or shopping process. Jeans as well as business wear (suits and dress shirts) are two such categories. Currently they are selling both categories through 4 different locations. They are simultaneously looking for additional partners and have interest from both bridal and bathing suit designers. Larger brands are also interested in their technology and are willing to pay for consumer acquisition as well as accurate measurements.

Eventually, the sheer amount of consumer data owned by Fitted Fashion will be valuable not only for custom clothing but also for size matching across various brands as well as advising large clothing manufacturers on the true sizing of their consumer.

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Posted by jcashman on Sep 8 2011. Filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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