Fashion Design: Size Really Does Matter
In 2002, fashion designers literally sized themselves out of the market by producing garments that failed to fit (literally) the needs of consumers. Shoppers who visited their local clothing stores knew this was true. While the size tag on any particular piece of clothing said "medium," "large," or "small," it was a fact of life that buyers had to try on numerous garments before finding one that fit properly within their size category.
"…Sure, right now, people have less money. But they still want to buy clothes. They still want to update their wardrobes. They just aren't finding what they want, and when they do, often it doesn't fit. And if it doesn't fit, forget it." --Marshal Cohen, senior industry analyst of research firm NPD.
Lesson learned: Consumers are more demanding, and the one-size-fits-all philosophy is no longer valid. Today, the fashion industry is struggling to regain market share, and ironically enough, the glimmer of success it is experiencing is in fitted jeans. The premium jean market saw sales growth of 17% during 2008 and continues to grow though 2009, while other apparel lines are languishing.
For a long time, clothes manufactures used to base their clothing lines on standards for body shapes from antiquated 1940's statistics. This has changed and current geographic and demographic data about buyers such as gender, ethnicity, race, and education are crucial in understanding what the consumer wants. While designing cutting-edge fashion is good, attention to the most obvious requirement for clothes, a proper fit, is something that cannot be overlooked by today's fashion designers.