I took time to write about my background and how I became a fit technology consultant.
I am an independent fit technology consultant. I love fit and have been passionate about fit for the last 8 years. My passion for fit and unique experiences have grown into a budding career that I wholeheartedly enjoy!
I’m all about fit. I was always fascinated with design and particularly construction. I use to watch and sit in on fitting with tailors who came to my house to measure my parents for their custom suits. I had the privilege of growing up with an aunt who had over 20 years of experience as a seamstress and tailor. My aunt made customs jumpers, dresses, pants...etc for my sister and I on a regular basis and first introduced me to sewing and pattern making at an early age. By age 14, I designed a collection of dresses with my sister as my fit model and number one customer. My aunt taught me how to start with base patterns, make unique patterns to match my designs and ow to fit the patterns to our customer. The best piece of advice I received from my very skilled aunt was to always make sure the designs were realistic and functional. This is where my love for fit began.
The benefit of having attended NC State University’s College of Textile was the intense study of fabrics and product development from a scientific standpoint. The Textile College owned every machine used in the industry from the spinning of fibers to cutters and finally sewing machines. My first introduction to 3D body scanners and the future implications of the technology took place at NC State and furthered my curiosity and love of fit, data and future innovation. I used the scanner technology to create unique patterns for my senior collection where I used custom printed silks, lycra, and cotton blends. The scanners allow me to complete my entire collection without needed constant fittings for my models. In fact I only met with each model twice: once for scanning and then for a final fitting a few days before my senior show. The time saved, data collected and the better understanding of fit would inevitably change my career path.
While in college and immediately after, I worked in retail. Retail is not a glamorous job and certainly wasn’t the pinnacle of where I wanted to be, but it provided me with unparalleled experiences in which I encountered fit, fit perception and fit influence on a personal level. I became a top seller based on my extensive knowledge of fabrication and construction, which work right in hand with fit. In fact my education gave me an advantage that led me to move beyond retail into entrepreneurship. After working with hundred of customers I begin to developed a mental fit algorithm that consisted of identifying the body type and personality type and matching it with the garments while creating the right experience on the road to the final sale.
Luxor + Finch 1.0
Luxor + Finch, the current title of my consulting company, was once an online women’s contemporary store. Eager to combine my education and training to advance my efforts, I decided to open an online women’s store based on fit and styling. While operating the store I discovered the power of social commerce and its ability to reduce fit based returns. After operating the store for three years incorporating several techniques to help users understand fit, I began to develop a hypothesis for fit technology in the virtual world. The hypothesis was based on the idea that fit could be best translated if consumers were categorized into archetypes ( these archetypes were based on behaviors and motivations). For each archetype fit had a specific meaning and based on that meaning, their influence and understanding of fit could be persuaded through unique in-store and online experiences.
I closed down my store and left New York city to pursue the hypothesis fulltime at Cornell University under the direction of Professor Susan P. Ashdown. I was hoping to take my knowledge and use it as an algorithm to create fit technology and fit based UX strategies. My thesis study,"A Comparison Study of Male Denim Shopping Behaviors and Fit Perception In-store and In the Virtual World" define male denim shoppers into archetype and analyzed fit perception and purchase influences online and in the virtual world. The implications were profound. The study revealed that fit influence can be broken down into three distinct categories: “style based”, “brand based” and “function based”. These categories help to influence the UX design of e-commerce and inevitably increase sales, satisfaction and customer retainment.
I now work as an independent fit technology consultant. I work with companies to build better platforms, educate users and investor, as well as create better UX strategies for e-commerce. A lot of people in the fashion tech space have great ideas and experience but they have not spent the hours in fitting rooms, in wardrobes and one-on-one sessions understanding the real motivations for purchases that I have. They lack the understanding of consumers’ fit perceptions and influences, the difference between perfect fit in numbers (measurements) and perfect fit in theory (style). Translating the shopping experience into the virtual world requires a very unique understanding of the interactions between products, consumers and experience. In between those combinations is where I find a home for my passion.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ME AND MY EXPERIENCE, WORK, BLOGS, PUBLICATIONS AND OR PENDING PATENT, CONTACT ME DIRECTLY: JCOUCH@LUXORANDFINCH.COM.