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Wacoal Swaps ‘Antiquated Practices’ for ‘Foolproof Sizing Tool’

Bra sizing has been long overdue for an upgrade, according to Wacoal.

Because the current measurement chart for women’s intimates was derived from Victorian shirt sizes, and was developed in the 1930’s, the intimates maker said, “it’s not surprising that standards based on the perception of women’s needs 90 years ago [are] outdated today.”

Now, the Japan-based company is taking a tech-focused approach to revolutionizing the process of fitting bras. What’s more, shoppers can use it from home, saving them the time, trouble and discomfort of being measured in person.

On Tuesday, the company launched MyBraFit, an AI-powered fit app developed to generate a shopper’s bra size in minutes without the use of measuring tape, math calculations, or even an input of the wearer’s current bra size. The patent-pending tech also delivers personalized recommendations of the brand’s products, based on the consumers breast size and shape.

The tool delivers sizing data as well as personalized product recommendations, the brand said.
The tool delivers sizing data as well as personalized product recommendations, the brand said. Wacoal

According to Wacoal, MyBraFit users can use the app to capture an image of their body using a self-timed, hands-free photo. After answering a short questionnaire about their bodies and breast shape, which includes prompts to describe the slope of their shoulders and the type of coverage they’re hoping to find, the app generates their bra size and customized suggestions from the more than 60 styles in the brand’s collection. Shoppers can purchase product directly through the app, if so inclined. The brand said that the app is powered by a proprietary algorithm developed from decades of feedback from Wacoal’s fit experts.

“The hard truth is that the intimate apparel business relies on antiquated practices that have not changed in decades,” Miryha Fantegrossi, Wacoal vice president of merchandising and design, said in a statement. While the industry has long relied on shoppers to provide their own information regarding sizing, the app was designed to bring a new sense of ease to the fit experience, she added. Calling the app a “transformative solution,” Fantegrossi said Wacoal’s vast knowledge of fit and style expertise has helped create “a personalized, time-efficient, and foolproof sizing tool for everyone.”

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Wacoal vice president of merchandising and design Miryha Fantegrossi.
Wacoal vice president of merchandising and design Miryha Fantegrossi. Wacoal

“As the customer is transitioning to a more digital mindset, we need to make sure we’re accessible to the customer wherever she wants to experience the brand,” Fantegrossi told Sourcing Journal, adding that what in-person fitting offers in accuracy, it lacks in convenience. The app will allow women to “shop efficiently for bras” without visiting stores or interacting with sales associates.

The app’s development is a part of the company’s broader goal to bring tech-forward tools to its e-commerce channel—a goal that has proven especially applicable amid the pandemic. Shopping in person became a task fraught with risk, and even as retail begins to emerge from the crisis, highly personal interactions like bra fittings are likely to remain low on consumers’ to-do lists. Meanwhile, digitally native subsidiary Lively, which the company purchased in 2019 for $85 million, has likely informed Wacoal’s desire to grow its online business as younger shoppers flock to the web for purchases of all kinds.

Wacoal also pointed out that the safety and security of shoppers’ information and images have been prioritized throughout the app’s development, and the company has worked with a prominent technology firm to ensure that the virtual imaging is secure. Shoppers’ scans are not saved, Wacoal said—only size and product recommendations are.

“In recent years, we have noticed a behavioral shift– consumers becoming increasingly reliant on digital options,” Mitchell Kauffman, Wacoal America’s president and CEO, added. “With that in mind, it’s important to continue to find ways to innovate and create a seamless experience for consumers.”

The app is a key part of that forward movement, Kauffman said, adding that the concept will “allow Wacoal to connect with customers in a new way, giving them a personalized shopping journey that leverages our expertise in fit and unmatched service from the comfort of their home.”