Tailored to Perfection
It’s time to revolutionise the art form of tailoring with technological innovation. London is the birthplace of British tailoring and home of the world’s best-dressed men, but tailoring is still considered a time-consuming and expensive luxury.
We bring together master tailors, high-quality materials and technology-enabled custom fitting. The result is a bespoke shirt with a perfect fit.
- Harry Morgan, Founder at FITTED
How it Works
Like all the best startups work partner with the idea is simple, but the execution is hard. This is how FITTED works:
Step One: Design your shirt
Step Two: Get measured
Step Three: Your shirt is made
We met Harry through the New Entrepreneurs Foundation; he joined to find the right contacts to bring FITTED to life.
As with many startups we meet, the FITTED journey has been a difficult one. Harry was candid about the problems he faced, and he was looking for a way forward, he explains:
I made a bad decision on hiring an agency – and it was costly.
This agency was instructed to manage the first build of the FITTED Online tool. Four months into the build, the project was stagnating, something was wrong. Deadlines were missed, there were constant delays, and the excuses weren’t adding up. It was a worrying time.
It turned out the agency had problems of its own. The business had financial challenges, and the development team were struggling with some technical aspects of the build. We decided to cut our losses and retrieved 20% of the budget – it was time to find a new partner.
When we met Harry, he quickly sold us on the business model. He knew his customers really well and had been through several iterations of the idea before settling on the current plan. The concept felt like the right business model at the right time.
A Turnaround Job
However, it was a pretty tough brief.
A lot of the budget had been eaten up already, we’d been left with an unnecessarily complicated codebase, and we had no access to the original developers.
The front end was built with REACT and the backend with WordPress; this added a complication that we had to absorb and run with.
The first challenge was the complex measurement prediction process; an actuary developed a model to turn 1.3m measurements into product options.
The second part was a tool called the project visualiser that turned customer preferences into a preview of their shirt. This tool was fundamental to the project, and the previous agency had clearly struggled – for this part we’d be starting again.
There had also been some issues with the images needed for the visualiser – around 12,000 images were required, and the first batch weren’t good enough. A new set had to be factored into the time and cost of the new build.
If these elements can be brought together, the results are powerful. The level of detail is awesome. Customers can choose styles, fabrics, colours, collars, add initials and design details like the buttonhole thread.
On the surface, this was a really difficult project, but ultimately we believed in Harry – we felt that if we could get the product built, that the startup was strong. We knew we were in for a challenging build, but the rewards were huge – we were excited to agree terms and start working with Harry.
Harry on MOHARA
I was pretty cautious about my next partner; I knew that another mistake would kill this startup. I met Rich from MOHARA through the New Entrepreneurs Foundation community and felt very positive about MOHARA from the start – we connected and built a relationship quickly.
The feedback on MOHARA from the NEF community was really good; it was important to have testimony from people I trusted, and that was the reason I joined NEF in the first place.
The MOHARA model of taking equity in FITTED and being a partner was appealing. I didn’t just want a transactional relationship: I wanted a team that were more invested in the project from the start.
Getting to Work
There was a challenging period of scoping out the project – we had to draw on a lot of different experts in MOHARA to work out how we could turn the half-finished product into Harry’s vision. We needed to speak to eight or nine guys across the team to develop the plan.
We used team members in Bangkok, London and Brighton to bring the project to life. The key team members were one front-end, two back-end developers, and a project manager that worked closely with Harry.
A critical principle of our design strategy process is to ensure strategic oversight is consistent throughout the build, and the development team are inserted early to add insight.
In the FITTED project, Harry and the MOHARA project manager Andy were providing daily oversight and feedback. Because the project was so visual, it needed Harry’s eye to determine whether the output looked right from his perspective.
An element of this project was understanding exactly what Harry wanted (which was challenging because it was a brand new concept) and deploying the right development and design team to make it happen – within budget. Any misstep could have led to quickly obliterating the budget.
It was a collaborative effort, and as a partner we needed to get it right; we don’t make any return from the work we complete, all our returns come if the business succeeds.
Hard Work + Collaboration = Results
To cut a long story short, we got the job done!
Harry was a brilliant founder to work with; he had a clear vision which he could communicate to us – this wouldn’t have been possible without his daily involvement. From our side, the real challenge was taking a bit of a mess (in terms of the codebase) and plotting the best way to fulfil Harry’s vision.
Harry was happy with the results:
The guys at MOHARA delivered on their promise; I was in a tough spot and was struggling to see the best way forward. MOHARA were great for a few reasons:
- They listened to what I needed and had clearly worked on this type of troubleshooting project before.
- The team at MOHARA had first-class technical skills; they took my product and explained the best way to get a result – they also delivered the visualiser, which was difficult.
- Most importantly, it felt like a partnership, that they were working with me and not for me. There was strong sense we were in this together.
- Frankly, because of the equity deal we struck I was able to get an incredible amount of high-quality work done for a brilliant rate.
We are continuing to work with FITTED to build on the first project. A key element of the value proposition is the measurement process, and we’re working with Harry to look at different ways to enhance the process, including artificial intelligence.
The product offering will go way beyond shirts. First, we want to nail bespoke smart casual for men and then look at using our technology to deliver in other vertical – ladies jeans is one that excites us.