Thirdlove Try Before You Buy!The disruptive lingerie retailer ThirdLove is set to open its first ever physical store later this year, introducing its Fit Finder” technology to bricks-and-mortar for the first time. The startup, which launched in 2012 and positioned itself as a body-positive bra option, will open a temporary boutique in Manhattan's SoHo district—a 10-minute walk from the nearest Victoria's Secret—where it will cull data from customers on their shopping and dressing-room preferences.
Another up-and-coming player in the lingerie space, Adore Me, is planning to open hundreds of stores in the U.S. over the next few years, aiming at Victoria's Secret's real estate — its more than 1,100 shops in North America, many within suburban shopping malls.
Despite ThirdLove cofounder Heidi Zak previously stating she had no intention of moving into brick-and-mortar , she said she eventually came to recognize a physical store's potential to reach new consumers, particularly women who prefer to test particularly fickle garments like bras in real life.
The company has come a long way from its original data collection system — asking women, via a Craigslist ad, to come to its San Francisco headquarters wearing their best bra and take a photo of their breasts with an app that could calculate their bust size.
Over at Vox, reporter Zoe Schiffer has an interesting story about ThirdLove, the upstart bra company that positions its lingerie as by women, for women.” Turns out that contrary to its feminist public image, actually working for the company seems pretty awful: employees complain about a bunch of things, including low pay, shitty benefits, and a co-CEO that bullies them.
We've always approached bra and underwear shopping by browsing sales, asking friends for their favorite brands, buying a nude strapless bra in a bridesmaid-induced panic, and simply snapping up anything cute that caught our eye in a moment of shopping weakness.
None of us really agreed with it from the beginning.” Plus, the company had just come out with another campaign celebrating women's individuality with the slogan To each, her own.” It was like ‘what if a woman wants to be in the show or watch it, why are we telling them what to do?'” a source we'll call Kate said.
Zak and Spector are aware of the issue of privacy, an obvious concern as more women are finding photos of themselves leaked on the Internet. More than 14 million women have taken the quiz, and the company has sold four million bras, according to a statement.
For our ThirdLove bra and underwear review, we tried out a half-size smaller and larger than our normal size. One of its major innovations was developing half-cup sizes, since the brand's data found that 37% of women did not fit neatly into the traditional range of cups.
The search to finding a well-fitting bra can be a sport in itself, and often times, ends with many women resigning themselves to a lifetime of discomfort by purchasing the wrong size or fit. David Spector and Spector declined to comment on this accusation but through their legal representation did emphasize that it is Zak and not Spector who is truly running the company.