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STUDY THROUGH THE YEARS

Cricket is a thought leader in the fashion industry and has impacted every corner of the industry with the original idea of adding shapes to fit. She threw out the one fit model standard and started over with years of evolving research on body types and application.  The concept of a commercial standard to be adopted by many brands was a new thought at the time.  She presented the idea of fit standards by shape, inventing the original fitfinder and algorithms around shopping and placing fit per customer. She was the first one to adopt and promote diversity in fashion by applying fit to many people and not just one fit model. 

Over a 23 year period, Cricket studied every touchpoint around fit by creating and selling clothing for women that would include her concepts:

  • Discovering the scientific changes in women's bodies by studying over 350,000 women through the years. She determined how the human body changes by shape and no single fashion brand has been able to crack the code although many have tried to offer shapes. Shapes only work across the board - not per single brand.

  • Women's bodies don't change the way the industry is applying fit by one fit model per brand, so she knows what changes are needed through years of trial and error.

  • Today, all of the learnings through years are applied to a sophisticated and advanced science, recreated beginning in 2020 and now being completed from a different perspective than earlier versions.

 

RESEARCH TIMELINE

1997-2000 Mary Duffy Personalities

Packaged, licensed and rolled out apparel collection with body types on HSN with Mary Duffy, owner of world’s first modeling agency for plus sizes and petites (sold to Ford Models) and writer of body type book HOAX. Stretch knit merchandising concept with fit preferences used (no special patterns - just styles that worked for body types)

Learnings: Women responded to buying clothing according to their body type or shape.

2001-2003 Cricket Lee held initial research inside top specialty discounter Target stores with permission of then SrVP of merchandising. After partnering with Nautica to build a Cricket Lee brand with body types inside the clothing, their interest was in the fit system but not her personal brand.

Learnings:

  • What she had created was a shape fit system, and the style wasn't relevant to the fit

  • No-one at the time had ever separated fit from style, so she started working on a fit only licensing concept

  • During full body research, they discovered the bottoms were biggest problem

  • Tops research was set aside before testing in market, pulling out three bottom shapes for a testing period

  • She started detailed fit research on women to determine shapes, had to throw out the fit standards and vanity sizing methods to affect it

 

2004-2006 Fitlogic beta tech brand - 3 bottom shapes discovered for trousers only; addressing torso shapes for mass tests

Retail prices tested: $99, $235, and $347 bottoms; studied on air, inside brand marketing and POS messaging response

Initial Department Store, Online and TV licensing tests

Tested with Garfield Marks at Nordstrom, Jones New York in Macy's and Jones Elements on QVC.

After the tests were completed with Nordstrom, they were ready to roll out. Nordstrom being the only store that set up 3 ways with signage, and had an in department video of the system explained.

QVC sold out $700,000 in 14 minutes (6 minutes early on PM Style) with first ever online Fitfinder invented by Cricket Lee.

At an event held at Macy's, Cricket interacted with the customers and they were able to sell $5000 worth of pants in 1.5 hours.

Learnings:

  • Wherever Cricket as the inventor spoke, women responded to the promise and delivery of never trying on again

  • Without adequate customer education in stores it is impossible to educate consumer

  • Video or TV education necessary to educate women on a mass level

  • Hundreds of stories including New York Times and Today Show where over 500,000 women came to the site

  • Couldn't roll out because the consumer responded to Cricket's innovation personally, but the industry wasn't ready for a plus-size older woman to lead the fit side of fashion

 

Activated Media Attention:

New York Times: "Clothes That Fit the Women, Not the Store"  Michael Barbaro

New York Times: "A Woman Full of Hope in the Dressing Room"  Melanie Warner

Today Show: Katie Couric and Cricket Lee

Over 700 blogs and articles written, tv appearances

2007-2009 

Online and Designer Boutique Tests

Retail prices: $79, $247, $600; studied online marketing and showrooming

Alex New York in BarriePace.com (International Womens Corporation sold to Chinese company mid test), 

Sherry Cassin Cassin Collections   

          11 designer boutiques successful through trunk shows across the country

Learnings:  

  • Women don't like alterations, and would buy multiple tops when the bottom fit was guaranteed

  • Trunk shows showed successful results

Note:  Vogue Magazine created a pitch deck on my behalf and pitched to 7 top designers in NYC without results. I was too early for such a disruptive idea to take hold.​

 

Today Show: Meredith Vieira

Wall Street Journal Cover: "Cricket Lee Takes on the Fashion Industry"  Ann Zimmerman

Wall Street Journal Video

Chicago Tribune: "More Fitting Clothes Urged" Jaclyn Giovis

 

Learnings: 

  • Too early for industry adoption e-commerce apparel only 3%

  • In designer boutiques, tested showrooming and dropshipping successfully

  • Designer chose a shape for stock, and custom for the other two shapes

  • Was able to get licenses with Ann Taylor, Li&Fung (Vera Wang for Kohls), and Ellen Tracy.

  • Vogue Magazine approached us for a strategic alliance and approached 7 top designers on our behalf, but no acceptance of new paradigm

  • Recession halted development for lack of marketing funds, so decided to study consumer direct next and abandon retail tests without our own marketing budget.

 

2010 - 2013 Cricket Lee with Fitlogic

Cricket Lee consumer direct events with Ewomen Network

Set up booth at two subsequent yearly shows to engage women to champion us to market

On stage presentation: eWomenNetwork International Conference 2011

For more information about these champions, Sandra and Kym Yancey
 

2014 to 2017 Cricket Lee's LittleBlackPant with Fitlogic Beta Brand

Natasha Lee got involved and created a house brand to further test the concept, and prove out the consumer side of the study.

Team created robust predictive assortment models by shape (within 2% accuracy over 250,000 transactions)

Used direct response marketing. 

Learnings:

  • Took three attempts to figure out how to sell apparel in less than a minute online with fit identification

  • Studied all customer interactions, photos of customers, returns reductions, marketing messages

  • $9,000,000 in 15 months in one pant online only

  • First Purchase customer service protocol

  • Global certification standards completed

 

Activated Consumer Attention through social media channels:

Dallas Morning News: "Little Black Pant May be A Right - Size Revolution (Natasha Lee)"  Cheryl Hall 

Cricket Lee; Finalist - Industry Icon, Trendsetter (2016; 2017)  Southern California Apparel Association 

 

2018-2019

Licensed both brands to Park Avenue Apparel (now Measure and Made), and released control Fall 2017

$4,000,000 in gross sales over 2 year period. Both beta brands were acquired for $1 through an unanticipated notice of sale by the licensee in December 2019.

2020-2022

The system works so well that the system (fit and online fitfinder) was chosen by Good Housekeeping as the best fitting jean in America on Good Morning America January 22, 2020. 

Women's Wear Daily  July 1, 2020

Starting over with our knowledge and understanding of how women's bodies change, we began development of a new system using a different data approach based on observation of more shape nuances by team during test periods.  Now in development of fall 2023 launch of system at retail and in special marketing efforts. 

OVERALL ACHIEVEMENTS OF CRICKET'S FIT TESTS

1,400,000 users through online fit quiz for personal fit identification 

62,000 fit research of women to establish science in beginning

300,000 transactions totally eliminated serial returns (meaning we only allowed purchase of one size per person through shopping cart)

150,000 customer database collected

50,000,000 media impressions from major media - over 750 stories

17,000,000 social media impressions 

We discovered that it is a consumer pull technology, meaning costumers will demand it once available.

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