Yet another fitting “system”

Abigail sends word on a company called Fit Logic from a woman named Cricket Lee. After reviewing the site and the press material, I don’t know what to think. All I can see that she’s done is develop styles to fit three different kinds of bottoms. That’s hardly earth shattering. Between the press and the site, I can’t tell what she’s really selling; is it licensees for this handy dandy new fit formula she’s discovered –and patented– or is it actual product presumably designed to body shape and size? What you won’t find on the site are actual photos of products. The thing I find absolutely amazing are the time and costs of the development of her “system” to the tune of 2.5 million dollars spent over 4 years. Boy, I wish I could get a gig like that. I can’t imagine what could have cost so much or why it would have taken so long to do it. For expedited information on sizing, she could have forked over the $20,000 it costs for the Size USA study. I realize she’d need 3 sets of patterns for different anthropometric profiles but $2.5 million in 4 years? I just can’t imagine how she could have spent that kind of money.

On a related note, I’ve noticed that a lot of entrepreneurs like to brag about how much they spent developing their product, as though the amount of money was positively correlated to the ultimate value of the finished product. In the case of start ups, much of this money can be wasted due to inexperience so bragging about what you’ve spent might impress some people into thinking your product is grade A stuff but other people -in a position to know more about the costs of product development in your industry- will question your ability to succeed. I mean, if you’re blowing that kind of money at the outset, how will investors know you constitute a value? I’d think it’d only work if they did not know that the costs of product development in apparel are the least costly as compared to product development in any other kind of manufacturing.

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11 comments

  1. Irv says:

    It looks like a retailer (Nordstroms) and the Shopping Channel are trying to use a gimmick to gain market share and are not doing anything differently that others have not tried. 2.5 million dollars for what ? All smoke and mirrors to me. And Cricket’s sad story in her press release really moved me. Moved me to laughter.

  2. Jeff says:

    It appears Fitlogic is sadly developed for women only. One would think a 2.5mm investment would suffice to include the less desirable sex as well. How challenging could it have been? A thistle to Norstrom.

  3. siddielou says:

    Hmmmmm, I plugged in all my info and got this:

    Sorry, at this time Fitlogic cannot find your size meeting the measurements you have entered. Fitlogic understands how important the proper fit is… and how elusive measuring yourself can be. Please take a moment to recheck your measurements. We hope you will come back and check with us again, as we are continually adding new styles to our program.

    I wear size 18-20 RTW pant and have a sway back/tilted waist. I understand I’m a plus size person and all but I don’t think 18-20 is all that large, esp. since the shopping network she touts as a customer carries up to 22/24 in its standard lines.

  4. Stacy says:

    Hello Kathleen,
    I purchased your ‘book’ over 10 years ago and often recommend it to my clients. I managed a pattern service bureau for 8 years and completely understand both a customer’s frustration with sizing and the point of view of the designer/pattern maker.
    1. When a designer creates their product, they have a specific target market in mind. The sample size and grading system are designed around this. If the product line includes a mini-skirt for example, they don’t want to see that product on a size 20 gal. So the question I always asked was “who is the biggest and smallest person you want to fit with this product line?” and then a size system was defined based on this.
    2. Do all styles look good on all body types? NO! – Because its all about fitting goals and what flatters your figure. If a designer is creating a product line for the middle market, I suspect the rise will be higher, more ease, longer finish lengths.
    3. It is the responsibility of the designer/product manager/tech designer to create a product line for a specific market and then EDUCATE that market as to who this product was especially designed for. Many major department stores (Target) are using the SizeUSA data to create labels for different target groups. The size ranges are smaller, but they are designed for specific markets and they will fit properly and look great on the target body type.
    4. FitLogic – Looks like a new wrapper- people don’t want to know that they are now called a different size. They just want a size 12 to be a 12!

    I am currently employed with a major CAD pattern vendor. Virtual sampling is the wave of the future and sizing is a very important topic to me and the vendor.
    Keep up the good work on your Blog Site. I forwarded your Welt Pocket Construction to an associate. Let me know if you want to check out Virtual Sampling – Its great!
    Regards,
    Stacy Holt

  5. jinjer says:

    I think everyone is interpreting what FitLogic is incorrectly. Cricket Lee would be better able to answer the questions y’all aren’t really asking, but
    1) she doesn’t produce a line herself
    2) The “system” is really new. Currently, there’s only one designer using it, but her stated goal is to have many, many clothing lines using her system. I’ve e-mailed her, and I’ll let you know what I find out, but I’m guessing that her “system” comprises:
    1) “standard” measurements separated by body type so you can develop patterns for each one
    2) grading rules for each body type.
    Apparently, she’s selling this information.

    I’m interested to know how she did her research to get it. If she actually measured thousands of women, for example, well, that would be worth it. If it’s what I think it is, it’s information you have personally expressed interest in: a modern survey of women’s sizing where the data isn’t all lumped together until it’s meaningless, but channeled into meaningful categories.

    I’ll let you know when/if she gets back to me.

    …And it only makes sense that she focused on women. Doing the same thing for men is like putting out a first line with lingerie and evening coats.

  6. Kathleen says:

    I’m interested to know how she did her research to get it. If she actually measured thousands of women, for example, well, that would be worth it. If it’s what I think it is, it’s information you have personally expressed interest in: a modern survey of women’s sizing where the data isn’t all lumped together until it’s meaningless, but channeled into meaningful categories.

    This information is already available from various sources (ASTM for one) so it’s duplicating existing efforts. She doesn’t have anything that I don’t have already. And also (as you said) I’d be concerned about methodology. I mean, did she research anthropometric survey methods and use those standards in her research? Even people well versed in these topics commit horrendous gaffes (speaking of the over 55 study). It’s also my understanding that Cynthia Istook did quite a bit of this work already (derived from the sizing usa study -why didn’t Cricket use that? I think she doesn’t know about it) and came up with 11 different figure types that she is similarly trying to license to manufacturers. In summary, she’s not doing anything new and I’d have reservations about her survey methodologies. Keep us posted.

  7. mopar says:

    I’ve tried on her pants samples. What she’s done is created three types of pants fits, for women who are big at the waist, at mid-hip, and at lower hip (or the thigh). One of the types did technically fit me, but I didn’t care for the fit and wouldn’t buy such a pant. To my eye, the fit made me think of the department store “better” pant. It was a little too long in the body/pelvic/crotch area for me (I am *not* saying the waist hit too high) and there were horizontal creases radiating from the crotch area in the front. But that’s just me.

    I applaud the idea and her intentions. Women have many differently shaped bumps distributed in different places, and ready-to-wear doesn’t easily accommodate this reality.

    Nonetheless, I think it works better to simply have lots of different manufacturers aiming to fit a variety of figure types. I am hopeful that the recent SIzeUSA studies will lead more manufacturers to produce more garments for pear-shaped size 10 and 12 women than they have been, since this is a sizable part of the population that has been underserved.

  8. Danielle says:

    Garfield & Marks, who developed the patterns according to the Times article, went out of business after shipping Spring 08. A couple of friends lost their jobs. Probably not directly related, but there it is.

  9. Israel says:

    As most of these responses indicate. Purchasing, donating time/money, or anything else to Cricket Lee and Fitlogic would not be a wise move. She has owed our company for over a year now. We continue to hound her and get rude responses…usually claiming they are waiting for new investors!! My word of advice DON’T INVEST in Fitlogic or with Cricket Lee. We are currently having Dateline pursue a news piece on her which is sure to get the message out on her and her company spending habits.

  10. eugene wilson says:

    As a potential investor, I am learning as much as possible about Fitlogic before deciding either way. Does anyone have any more current feedback regarding them (Fitlogic/ Cricket lee) ?

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