Thanks to the Internet and social networks, consumer-driven sourcing and fashion design is the wave of the future ... or, in some cases, like ForTheFit.com, just the status quo. Founded to meet the fashion apparel needs of men and women of a variety of hard-to-find sizes, ForTheFit.com began their journey with short men's clothing back in 2005. This week, ForTheFit presented the marketplace with an industry first and reached its biggest milestone to date with the launch of its first denim jeans line. ForTheFit's denim was designed start-to-finish specifically for its two main niche markets: Short Men and Tall (but not necessarily Big) Men. Said Bova, "We consulted with our own customers and considered every detail, from the obvious like rise and inseam, to the seemingly minor: belt loops, zipper lengths, pocket sizes and pocket openings." ForTheFit's jeans are proportioned for men under 5'9" and men over 6', with slim, athletic and big (or stout) options for both. They are available for sale exclusively through ForTheFit's online store, (MSRP $119.00; short men's pants, http://www.forthefit.com/Men_s_short_rise_low_rise_short_length_denim_jeans_s/125.htm and tall men's pants http://www.forthefit.com/Men_s_tall_rise_long_inseam_pants_trousers_denim_shorts_s/153.htm).
In addition to denim, ForTheFit sources, designs, manufactures and retails short and tall men's clothing and offers a full complement of styles in hard-to-find sizes, from pajamas and athletic wear, to formalwear and suiting. Bova recalled meeting and consulting with men's fashion industry insiders when she started ForTheFit.com, "They said I was crazy and tried to school me on the basics of the bell-curve and the need for a brick and mortar store." But Bova's personal experience with hard-to-find sizes (she is 5'1", her husband/cofounder Jeff Bova is 5'7", and some family members happen to exceed the 6'3" mark) made it clear that the demand existed. The supply, however, did not, said Bova. "In stores, I would ask sales staff to point me in the direction of pants for my husband with a 30" inseam or shorter. Some even laughed." Why wasn't she discouraged? "I knew the number of men shorter than the bell curve exceeded 28 million; adding tall men doubled that number," explained Bova.
An online-only platform for ForTheFit.com allowed the company to reach the largest possible audience from their first day. Social networking allowed them to engage their customers in a constant dialogue. Bova is enthusiastic about her customers, "The demand for our products has been overwhelming, and given the economic downturn that began around the time we launched in '05, we have been extremely fortunate." Indeed, with growth rates since 2011 exceeding 30%, ForTheFit has proven that clearly a niche Fashion business can flourish. The secret, offered Bova, is listening: "Customers can tell you what they want better than anyone."
Founded by a couple of short people big on ideas and determination, ForTheFit.com sources and manufactures clothing that offers men and women (tall, short, slim or stout) a better overall fit (the key to a better look). ForTheFit began offering clothing for shorter men under 5'9" in 2005, adding other hard-to-fit categories for men and women as recently as 2011 (tall men's sizes). ForTheFit hopes to add more segments in the near future. To learn more, visit ForTheFit.com at http://www.ForTheFit.com.
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