Japan’s Zozo says new body-measuring suit overcomes flaws of original

An employee of online fashion retailer Zozo Inc. demonstrates the company’s Zozosuit 2, a 3D body measurement suit, at their Tokyo office in Tokyo, Japan October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

(Reuters) – Japanese online fashion retailer Zozo Inc 3092.T says the successor to its “Zozosuit” body-measuring suit has solved the flaws that sank its earlier version.

The original polka-dot bodysuit, which when scanned with a smartphone allowed users to upload their measurements and order custom-made clothes, received massive interest from the fashion industry but failed to drive sales amid complaints of poor sizing.

Zozo’s engineers had reworked their algorithms and increased the number of measuring markers to 20,000 from 400 previously for the “Zozosuit 2”, Chief Operating Officer Masahiro Ito said in an interview.

“We have spent the last two years getting rid of every issue that people had so the entire process is more robust,” he told Reuters.

“Last time we were going too fast. Right now, I don’t think we need to be too careful either,” said Ito.

Accurate and easy-to-use body measuring technology is being targeted by online fashion retailers trying to reduce returns.

Zozo, which is controlled by SoftBank’s domestic internet business, is also seeking partners in fitness, healthcare and other sectors.

The company hopes to offer the suit within a year. The new design can be produced at low-cost via an easily scalable printing process, Ito said.

Best known for the Zozotown online mall, the firm also offers the “Zozomat” for measuring feet, which it says has cut shoes returns by around a third.

Founder Yusaku Maezawa exited the firm last year. He has attracted more than 10 million Twitter followers with cash giveaways and a plan to orbit the moon on a SpaceX rocket.