Rian Buckley, who has worked as a full-time model for more than eight years, knows the value of a good-fitting pair of jeans. That’s why she launched Fitcode, a new fashion technology company based in Kirkland.
In January 2015, market research firm Voxware reported that 57 percent of people who returned an item they purchased online did so because they did not like it once seeing it in person. Additionally, 54 percent of the people surveyed said they received the correct item, but it was the incorrect size or color.
Buckley’s solution is to eliminate sizing from shopping vernacular. To do this, Buckley and her team created an online fit tool that helps women figure out what style of jeans will fit their body type. Instead of telling the customer what size of jean to buy, Buckley is pushing consumers and retailers to instead use a “fitcode” to help customers determine which jeans to purchase.
“If I’m (modeling) jeans for Nordstrom, they’ll bring in another girl the same size but with a different body shape, and the jeans will look totally different on us. So telling me what size to buy really doesn’t help. You really want to know what style flatters your shape and what fits you,” Buckley said.
A new user is asked four questions about fit problems, such as too-tight thighs and calves, or gapping at the waist. The user is assigned a numerical code based on her answers and is presented with an array of denim within her score.
Fitcode doesn’t have a retail arm; instead, it directs shoppers to retail partners and brands. The company is paid per click-through. Additionally, product returns are a major source of losses for e-commerce firms, and Buckley said Fitcode will negotiate a percentage of the decrease in returns as one piece of the revenue model. Fitcode still is operating in beta, and recently raised a $1.8 million investment round led by Kirkland’s Harvey Partners.