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The ZOZO Suit: Crash & Burn

White background above picture of black body suit covered in white dots on hardwood floor with text overlay The ZOZO Suit: crash and burn

The ZOZO suit crashed and burned very fast.

It was a pretty good idea. The Japan-based company developed a digital platform to create bespoke clothing. Bespoke (or custom made) clothing is exceptionally expensive because of the precision fit. Ever heard of Savile Row? Probably not if you don’t pay thousands of dollars for bespoke suits. ZOZO was supposed to remove the costly barrier of entry into well-fitting clothes.

This cached version of their now-defunct site touts “clothes designed for you.” It promised to be “more accurate than a human tailor.”

It started with a tight-fitting black body suit covered in white dots—kind of like actors filming CGI scenes for movies. Standing in front of your phone camera, it would take 360-degree pictures of your body, using the dots as anchor points to determine your measurements.

Here I am in my ZOZO suit pretending I’m…a mime? Anyway, you’re not supposed to stand like this:

Woman in stretchy ZOZO suit (stretchy black body suit covered in white polka dots) smiling at camera with her hands up

 

This data would be stored and you could order clothes to fit your unique measurements.

The success of this is dubious at best. YouTuber Safiya Nygaard tried the service and received clothes that maybe fit.

The problem is the clothes aren’t actually custom made. They’re more like a “best” fit. But even that was based on supposedly accurate data culled from your measurements.

I ordered my “free” ZOZO suit back in October (shipping was $4). Because we were moving in December, it got packed up with the rest of my sewing “studio” and ignored. That is until I got the email on April 25th that effective immediately they were shutting down. Talk about a surprise. The company knew back in January that it was beginning to tank.

The app is still available until May 26th but it’s only good for taking measurements. They won’t ship clothes or even take new signups after that time.

You stand in your ZOZO suit about 6 feet from the phone camera. The app walks you through the 360-degree rotation like a clock, so you pivot to each “hour mark.” It takes less than 3 minutes.

The first time around my measurements were off by a solid 2”! I manually measured myself in the suit to make sure and yup. My bust is not 49.25”!!

Body map of my measurements using the Zozo suit

Since I can’t do anything with this data, I didn’t try again for more accurate ZOZO readings.

So what are we all supposed to do now with these funky suits? I spent a few minutes goofing off around the house to test its house-suityness properties. After all, it’s very stretchy but not uncomfortably tight. You can tell from the ultra high-quality snaps that we took this very seriously:

1. Read a book!
Woman lying on bed reading a book while wearing the Zozo suit (a black stretchy body suit covered in white polka dots)

2. Scowl at the tv from the couch.
Woman stretched out on a yellow couch holding a remote and scowling at something off to the left, while wearing the Zozo suit (a black stretchy body suit covered in white polka dots)

3. Do some yoga.
Side view of woman in a Zozo suit of black stretchy suit covered in white dots doing downward dog on a purple yoga mat

4. Strike a pose.
Front view of woman in Zozo suit, a black stretchy body suit covered in white dots, with a straw hat and one arm up in the air

After 5 minutes of these shenanigans, I was done. The ZOZO suit’s fiber content of 68% polyester and 32% spandex makes it 100% nonbreathable. I couldn’t wait to peel it off.

So now what? What are we all supposed to do with these space suits that we can’t even lounge in around the house? Do you have any ideas for upcycling these things? Let me know your ideas in the comments.

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