Online Fashion Site Counts on Body-Scanning Tech to Rival Gap

(Bloomberg) -- Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is ready to take on Uniqlo and the Gap, and his plan begins with a funny-looking spandex suit he says will revolutionize online clothes shopping.

His company, Start Today Co., which operates the popular fashion site Zozotown, announced it will begin distributing a body-tight suit it says can accurately measure every person’s proportions. Customers don the suit, scan themselves with their smartphones, and generate 3D models of their bodies. The Tokyo-based company will then offer clothes to fit those measurements.

Online Fashion Site Counts on Body-Scanning Tech to Rival Gap

Dubbed Zozosuit, it’s Maezawa’s big bet on growing his 20-year old company into one of the world’s fashion giants. The idea is that providing clothes that take the guesswork out of sizing will not only win over those who already shop online, but also attract customers who are put off by the hassles of shopping.

Maezawa on Friday laid out a 10-year timeline that will see his company’s market value rise more than fivefold to 5 trillion yen ($46 billion).

“Without trying anything on or giving it any thought, you’ll get something delivered automatically that perfectly fits you,” Maezawa said at a press conference in Tokyo, donning one of the suits. “We’ll jump into the top 10 global apparel makers.”

Shoppers returning clothes bought online because of a poor fit has been one of the biggest frustrations of the retail industry as customers shift their habits to the web. Amazon last year bought Body Labs, a 3D body-scanning startup that allows people to create a digital avatar of themselves that can try on virtual clothes.

Maezawa said the suit will begin selling in over 70 countries by July, and he expects to distribute six million to 10 million of them by March.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.