CFO - Chief Fit Officer
This article popped up in my linkedin timeline not to long ago, and I think it's rather a genius idea, for commercial apparel.
The theory is, we need to take ownership over "fit". As is, it's now "owned" by TD, PD, and Design, and, to a certain extent, Sales- so, who starts fit initiatives? Who owns the work? Who benefits from the results? Clearly, the entire company, but that makes providing a quality brand fit extremely hard.
TD is usually thought of as a service provider- the group that will provide the service of making a garment that fits. However, we don't truly own the fit- we get directives from each of the groups listed above.
I think, especially building on the idea of making sizing truly inclusive, companies should invest in making Fit a business tenet that isn't a part of "Product Development". Why not? Fit is the number one reason a garment is returned, or not purchased in the first place. Additionally, if you have a department that is already working towards fit and quality, it only makes sense to have them own that share of the business- this allows the brand ID to truly function in terms of aesthetics.
This would obviously require some re-jiggering in terms of what kind of size assortments are ordered (see previous post re: smaller grade groups, more specific fits and more fits in general). However, as the industry is now getting faster and faster (I don't mean speed-to-market in the fast fashion sense) but in terms of ordering smaller quantities and shipping them to buy-now-wear-now- this would allow a greater chance for a hive functioning together towards the holy grail of "omnichannel".
I think this would also require Sales/Merchants to work much more closely with TD than most companies do currently. However, if you set up the business so everyone in TD is completely clear on the brand aesthetic, and is trusted to completely own the fit, then theoretically this could work... Not impossible, but hard to do the way most development and supply chains are set up currently.
Fit, as I've seen historically, is the one thing everyone wants to touch- but at the end of the day, the more hands in the pot, the more muddy and boiled down a good thing becomes.
Is there anything you like better than forward thinking for an entire industry?