Starting an Apparel Company- Fit and what you need to provide to freelance designers

People often reach out to me to start a brand. Many times they have some of the business plans fleshed out, but they don't have enough understanding for fit. As a designer, we need to understand what body to use before we begin.


The quickest example to make this understandable is talking about target markets. Let us review these key points.


  1. The target market is age 35-55 female. Based on this data I know I have to use a fit model that is female and age 35-55. This is important due to the biological changes that happen to us as we age.

  2. Target Market has on average 1-3 children: I know that I need to also find a fit model that has had children. This is another biological change that impacts the form. Thus helping create a more succesful fit.

  3. The target market has about 5-15 hours a week at the gym: My fit model needs to have about the same time spent in the gym. This will mimic the mass market that is targeting how the bodies displace fat. Shape and muscle mass.

  4. Target Market has an average height of 5'2": The average height is key to width shape and fit. If I have an average market in a 5'2" range, I need to make Petite focus items and branding.


These aspects of how someone lives are essential to a pattern drafter and what is needed to deliver goods you need. Oftentimes there is a fit disconnect if different bodies are used throughout the fit process.

For example, the start-up brand is unaware of what they need, the designer has to create a fit for them with limited direction. The product itself may be perfect for how the designer drafted the pattern. Now the prototype is sent to the brand and the item doesn't fit the model they put the item on. Prototype failure occurs because they used anyone and not the fit model that is similar to the foundation measurements the designer used. When the design is done remotely due to Covid-19, we can see this happening more often. The example below shows what is considered to be an average fit for a woman in America. This is compared to the same fit, but a shorter body.



The changes in the body are minimal but because the height is about 4 inches in difference the fit will be a bit off. Also, note the ladies chosen to have a lower drop in breasts due to childbirth and a wider set in the hip. The tone is also a bit looser due to a less active life. The age range is in the early 30's.


I know that I need to also find a fit model that has had children. This is another biological change that impacts the form. Thus helping create a more successful fit. You can ask them to just make whatever, but to some degree as the business owner, you must participate in this process to be effective and reduce returns and issues in customer service.


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