by Riley Kaminer
FIT:MATCH, based in Fort Lauderdale, recently partnered with Savage x Fenty to deploy its tech in the lingerie retailer’s Vegas location.
E-commerce has exploded, amounting to almost $5 trillion worldwide in 2021, with analysts predicting 50% growth within the next four years. Despite this growth, challenges still remain – particularly within the apparel industry, where fit plays an important role in how consumers make decisions about their purchases.
One Fort Lauderdale-based company is devising digital solutions to enable customers to find the right fitting garments. FIT:MATCH has developed a B2B platform that uses augmented reality technology to analyze users’ body shapes and determine which clothes have the best fit.
“We set out to simplify the shopping process,” founder and CEO Haniff Brown told Refresh Miami. “Right now, the experience feels very cumbersome to a shopper and requires a lot of guesswork.” Brown said that FIT:MATCH’s technology can “almost guarantee that the right product will come in the mail.” Not only does this save the consumer time. Brown noted that shipping returns back and forth is costly and also environmentally unfriendly.
“This is a huge problem for retailers, worth $100 billion or more,” said Brown (pictured above). He started FIT:MATCH in 2018 after stints in investment banking and private equity, with a focus on the retail industry.
The FIT:MATCH customer journey is straightforward. A sales associate takes a 10-second body scan using Apple’s LiDAR technology and augmented reality (soon, users will be able to scan themselves at home). That creates what Brown calls a “digital twin,” or a 3D avatar of oneself. 30 seconds later, users are provided with a personalized assortment of everything in that brand’s catalog that would fit them.
In late January, FIT:MATCH announced a partnership with Savage x Fenty to deploy the technology in the Rihanna-backed lingerie retailer’s Las Vegas location. Brown underscored that this partnership is particularly exciting because getting a bra that fits correctly is one of the apparel industry’s most vexing problems. Bras are also one of the strongest verticals in apparel, Brown noted, since they are worn by a reported 90% of North American women.
Savage x Fenty has also made a strategic investment in FIT:MATCH as part of this partnership. In a statement, Savage X Fenty’s co-Presidents, Christiane Pendarvis and Natalie Guzman, commented: “We’re extremely pleased to partner with FIT:MATCH to lead innovation in the shopping experience and eliminate the fit question for our Savage X Fenty customers, so they can shop for and wear our product with absolute confidence.”
Pendarvis and Guzman continued: “We offer an extensive product assortment that makes identifying the right size even more important for our customers and are thrilled to roll out Fit Xperience [FIT:MATCH’s product] in all of our stores.”
Despite the sensitive nature of bra sizing, Brown affirmed that users have nothing to worry about when they’re getting scanned. “One of the reasons why we decided to go with this LiDAR and augmented reality solution is that everything is processed on the device,” he explained. “Nothing is sent to or stored on the cloud, which is where there is a window of opportunity for bad actors to do something wrong.”
Brands pay a monthly licensing fee to use FIT:MATCH’s platform. So far, the startup has had success in areas where fit trumps style, including intimates, denim, swimwear, uniforms, and high performance activewear. FIT:MATCH has raised $7 million across three angel and seed funding rounds
FIT:MATCH currently has around 25 full-time employees around the US – a figure that Brown expects to double very soon. He is excited about the South Florida tech scene. “When I quit my job in private equity and I told everyone that I was moving from New York to South Florida, people thought I was crazy,” he said, noting that he now feels vindicated by the mass migration of northerners to the Sunshine State. “As bullish as I was on Miami before COVID, I’m ten times more bullish now.”
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