The little black dress might be a wardrobe staple, but finding the perfect fit can prove challenging for many shoppers.
But Carly Bigi, the founder and CEO of Laws of Motion, is attempting to subvert the traditional sizing model employed by the vast majority of brands and retailers.
While most apparel comes in a fairly limited size range, from size 0 to size 16 or sometimes 24, Laws of Motion boasts 99 different “microsizes” with nuanced differences in shoulder and hip width, length, and specially placed darts for optimal fit.
It was a workwear shopping trip with a male friend that illuminated the dearth of custom-fit women’s professional clothing for Bigi.
“I quickly realized the many efficiencies and conveniences available in menswear, whereas I faced obstacles every step of the way,” the founder told Sourcing Journal.
That male friend was able to walk into a menswear shop, select fabrics and have his measurements taken in under 30 minutes. His new suit was delivered within days, Bigi said, while she was forced to try on dozens of dresses and settle on one that only “sort of fit.”
The experience highlighted a gap in the market that Bigi became determined to fix.
“From there, I set out on the journey to overhaul the fashion industry’s antiquated sizing model and to create a seamless, affordable and efficient process for women to find perfect fitting workwear,” she said.
The brand’s first offering is a $195 standard sheath dress called the Alpha. It’s available in red, navy, and of course, black.
Laws of Motion gathered body measurement data from 10,000 women (capturing nearly one million data points) to create its proprietary fit algorithm to make the dress, Bigi explained. Working with two data scientists over a period of two years, she also looked at dresses from “a wide array of designers to evaluate size variations.”
“After two years of research and development, our designer and data scientists worked together to develop an operating model that defined the variables within each measurable part of the female body that correlate to fit,” she said. “They were able to determine the most consistent varieties to create Laws of Motion’s sizing structure and worked hand-in-hand with the company’s in-house designer to bring this to life through patterns and manufacturing. Through this process, our team determined 99 microsizes that take into account the different ways women distribute their weight.”
When a consumer shops for a dress on the site, they’re asked to fill out a short questionnaire with questions about height, weight, age, ethnicity, jean size, bra size and more.
The answers are “run through an ensemble of algorithms” developed by the brand’s data scientists, which evaluate the inputs that designate the shopper’s custom size. Bigi said the data gathered on ethnicity and age is something she and her team intend to evaluate further, to determine whether those characteristics correlate in any way to body shape or proportion, and could therefore impact sizing.
According to Bigi, Laws of Motion’s algorithms have a 95 percent success rate in finding the perfect fit.
And with every sale, the brand gathers more data to further refine the sizing model.
Bigi generated $1 million in pre-seed funding, which she used to commission the construction of a fully-automated manufacturing system in a warehouse in Brooklyn.
Every piece is made to order in 10 minutes flat, and delivered within 1 to 2 weeks of ordering. The brand holds no inventory, and the process creates no waste, Bigi told Sourcing Journal.