Having lived in Japan for many years I’ve gained an appreciation for the peculiarly Japanese trait of taking an existing concept, and via ingenious innovation, improving it to a previously not conceived level. This is known as ‘kaizen’.
The genius lies not in the improvement of the product itself, but rather the processes behind the product. That is, the way it’s made. Examples of the Japanese improving upon the original concept are as abundant as they are divergent: cars, bourbon, jeans, burgers, even jazz itself has been redefined within the Japanese context.
It appears the Japanese have done it again, this time with a truly remarkable innovation in the measurement system of clothing. “What we see in Japan, in a wide range of pursuits, is a focus on mastery,” says Sarah Kovner, who teaches Japanese history at the University of Florida. Zozo is a case in point.
What was immediately clear to me as I pulled on the Zozo measuring suit for the first time is that, until now, what we have been obliged to make do with is an anachronistic sizing standard ill-equipped for the innumerable body-type variations in the human species.
Since the Industrial Revolution when mass produced clothing became possible for the first time, production has relied upon processes that scale but do not fit every body type. If you have an atypical shape, purchasing clothing has never been an easy or enjoyable endeavour for this reason. Such standardization was essential before the advent of current 3D body mapping technology.
Catapulting us into a new paradigm is Japan’s own Yusaku Maezawa who has spearheaded proprietary pattern generation technology, aka – the Zozo measurement system: The Zozo suit and Zozo App – allowing you to attain a personalised 3D body scan. Once the scan is done, without the need to try anything on, you can order the clothing you want with the confidence that it’ll fit your frame – whatever that is – to perfection.
You may think that this technology comes at a hefty price, not so. All items are under $US100, with massive expansion on the horizon. It’s a truly remarkable and brilliant innovation in clothing. If you’re an ‘early-adopter’ by nature, catch this wave and join the street-ware avant-garde.
Find out more about Zozo Suits here.
J.A. Gleeson is a Personal Trainer at Tribe Social Fitness, Sutherland Shire, Sydney.