October 21, 2021

UO professor helps Old Navy improve plus-size options for women


Physique scan pictures of actual women helped designers give attention to shaping plus-sized fashions to improve match, moderately than simply making them greater.

EUGENE, Ore. — The phrase is “Bodequality.” Old Navy hopes individuals perceive it is extra than simply their newest campaign slogan.

This 12 months, the clothes retailer did away with its plus-size part. As a substitute, it introduced all women’s sizes collectively: 0 to twenty-eight in shops and as much as measurement 30 on-line. And whereas anybody can change a retailer structure, Old Navy dug deeper, turning to College of Oregon professor Susan Sokolowski for assist.

“Old Navy got here to me they usually talked about ‘democratic match’ — having match for all people,” mentioned Sokolowski, founding director of the Sports activities Product Design Graduate Program on the College of Oregon. “I used to be educated as a designer at school and realized the engineering and the science behind it as properly.”

Science is strictly what Sokolowski used to assist Old Navy overhaul how their plus-sized gadgets had been made. The objective? Create one thing that truly suits bigger women’s our bodies, not merely make bigger clothes.

“That was our analysis query,” mentioned Sokolowski. “What does this physique kind appear to be?”

For the reply, Sokolowski and her staff of grad college students used information from lots of of 3D digital fashions created from actual women. One discovering stood out.

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“Because the physique strikes from a measurement zero to a bigger measurement, it actually does not keep as an hourglass form,” mentioned Sokolowski. “Within the attire business, the hourglass form actually is not related to actual our bodies.”

Armed with that info, Sokolowski’s staff created improved samples of plus-sized fashions and had a take a look at group attempt them.

“They mentioned issues like, ‘I am extra snug. This feels higher,’” shared Sokolowski. “I feel consolation equals confidence and confidence equals success and so that may be a very highly effective phrase—the phrase consolation—in our work.”

In an announcement to KGW, Alison Partridge Stickney, Head of Women’s and Maternity Merchandising at Old Navy praised the adjustments.

“This launch is a milestone not solely for Old Navy however for the style business,” mentioned Partridge Stickney. “We hope that it’ll encourage additional change.”

Sokolowski could not agree extra.

“I obtained an e mail this morning from a colleague about how excited they had been to have the ability to purchase attire that matches them,” mentioned Sokolowski. “I feel that is just the start.”

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