Business / Corporate

Japan's Zozo expands made-to-order clothing service using measurement-taking bodysuit

Reuters

Online fashion retailer Zozo said Tuesday it is expanding its offer of made-to-measure clothes using skintight bodysuits that help customers upload their measurements online.

Zozo, which operates Japan’s popular shopping site Zozotown and is officially called Start Today Co. Ltd., sells clothes from other brands. But it sees the future of online fashion retail in bespoke services and has set up a made-to-measure service using the bodysuit, called the Zozosuit.

By photographing themselves wearing the skintight polka-dot Zozosuit, users can upload their body measurements to ensure a perfect fit for the clothes they order.

“The time where people adapt to clothing is over. This is a new era where clothes adapt to people,” said Zozo Chief Executive Officer Yusaku Maezawa.

Zozo said it is adding business suits and formal shirts to its private clothing line, taking orders starting Tuesday. The suits will retail for a limited time at ¥21,900, with a regular price of ¥39,800.

The company is on track to ship a million Zozosuits to customers by the end of July, Maezawa said, its second such suit after the first attempt was hit by production delays and high costs.

The Zozosuit and some private clothing line items are also available in 72 countries outside Japan, and Maezawa sees overseas growth as key to the success of the private clothing line. However, online fashion mall Zozotown’s foray into selling in China earlier in the decade ended after less than two years.

Success could see Zozo putting further pressure on Japan’s fashion retailers hit by decades of price pressure. Shares of suit retailers Aoki Holdings Inc. and Aoyama Trading Co. Ltd. fell more than 7 percent after the news.

Following Maezawa’s comments that Zozo was considering working with Shima Seiki Mfg. Ltd., whose whole-garment knitting machines can produce seamless items of clothing, that company’s shares jumped as much as 16 percent in afternoon Tokyo trade.

Maezawa, a former drummer in a punk band, grabbed headlines last year when he bought a painting Jean-Michel Basquiat for a record $110 million, adding to his collection of contemporary art.

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