Made-for-you manufacturing hasn’t before been a common concept, but as consumers increasingly opt for personalized product, brands like Ellie Kai are finding themselves filling a need others aren’t.
Born out of founder Liz Hostetter’s need to find clothes that fit her taller frame, Ellie Kai lets women choose from a set of silhouettes—with style consultants available to help along the way—pick from upwards of 30 fabrics, add custom touches like a brightly colored zipper, specify a customized length, and have their item sewn to order and delivered in three weeks. Prices range from $115-$300.
Since its launch in 2014, the Boston, Massachusetts-based, Asia-sourced brand has been letting the customer be the designer, so to speak.
To take the fit a step further, though, Ellie Kai will now have the help of fit expert Alvanon, which just awarded the brand one of its two-year mentorships as part of the Dr. Kenneth Wang Mentorship Program.
As a mentee, Ellie Kai will get Alvanon’s help to strengthen the brand, benefitting from statistical sizing data, technical design tools and training in key areas of fashion, including not only fit, but production, supply chain issues, marketing and sales.
“We are thrilled to be a part of Alvanon’s mentoring program and believe this will be a game changing opportunity for Ellie Kai,” Hostetter said. “We are determining ‘Core Styles’ in order to ensure consistency in fit and institute a platform for all designs. Once this is established, the prospect of customizing the details from sleeve style, length, fabric or accessories becomes the greatest unique selling point for Ellie Kai.”
Alvanon CEO Janice Wang said of the company founder, “She has driven Ellie Kai to embody a new model of direct selling; one that provides direct access to on-demand, personalized fashion by defining, and thus controlling, the entire supply chain. Unlike other direct sales companies, Ellie Kai’s just-in-time manufacturing controls every part of the process—from design concept, fabric sourcing, and production, all the way to the company’s own sales network and clients.”