• Hanna Zhu

TrueToForm


TrueToForm is a patent-pending body scanning and data management platform that makes it easy to design clothes for real people and real bodies. Remember the last time you went from store to store, trying to find your perfect fit, and finding that nothing quite works? Or when you ordered pants you were excited about only to find out they didn’t fit? TrueToForm aims to solve that problem by conducting a complete 3D scan of the customer’s body to capture both measurements and shape, enabling apparel designers to create clothing specifically tailored to the customer. Users can scan their bodies with the TrueToForm app on their own mobile devices in less than 30 seconds. An avatar for the user is then generated, which the user can then choose to share with a designer or business using a 6-digit share code; no photos or videos are uploaded or stored in the process.


Users first scan their bodies:


Avatars are then generated:



The inspiration for TrueToForm came to sisters Janice Tam – who serves as the CEO and attends Chicago Booth – and Margaret Tam – who has an engineering background and

serves as the CTO – more than a year ago, as the pandemic was in full force. During the

summer of 2020, while everyone was in quarantine, Janice and Margaret picked up a new hobby for sewing and altering their own clothes. As two petite women, they looked for dress forms that would match their own body type. The more they searched, the more they realized that dress forms – a foundational tool for how clothing is made – were not representative of many people’s bodies, including their own. Given Margaret’s experience working on sensing technologies at Apple for five years, the sisters began wondering if it would be feasible to create custom dress forms from a scan of the body from a mobile device.


This led the co-founders to develop their first minimum viable product – a scan of the body that created a replica of the torso, or effectively, a virtual dress form. As they began talking to technical designers, pattern makers, and brands, they realized that the pandemic was causing a huge shift in the fashion industry. Because of the new challenges associated with in-person fittings, the industry was actively searching for digital solutions and adopting them at an unprecedented pace. Seeing that the future of fashion was digital, Janice and Margaret recognized that their technology could enable a much more powerful solution than the physical dress form. This inspired the team with the vision of what TrueToForm is today – a 3D body scanning app that enables designers to construct and fit garments using a fully virtual representation of the body.


TrueToForm went on to participate in a number of entrepreneurship programs, including the Polsky I-Corps Program and Polsky Build Accelerator, to further their customer discovery efforts and continue to build out the technology. They were also accepted into the Ballard Spahr BASE program, which awards pro bono legal counsel for student entrepreneurs. Along the way, Janice and Margaret assembled a team of ex-Google and ex-Apple engineers and designers and brought on marketing and finance team members from Chicago Booth.


Currently, TrueToForm is in closed beta-testing with early adopters to further validate the new technology. The startup is focusing first on custom-fit markets, which include costume designers for film and TV productions, as well as made-to-measure apparel brands. This fall, the startup closed an initial fundraising round with key investors from the retail and entertainment sectors of the fashion industry. REFASHIOND Ventures, an early-stage seed fund with deep expertise in fashion tech and supply chain tech, participated in the round, along with Alexander LoVerde, the founder and prior CEO of SyncOnSet, the industry-standard digital continuity app for film and TV productions that was acquired last year. TrueToForm plans to use the next 8-10 months to validate the app’s accuracy, robustness, and usability to prepare the product for market. The startup plans to raise another larger pre-seed round through the New Venture Challenge, an accelerator program hosted by Chicago Booth’s Polsky Center that has launched 370+ startups to date.


In the long-term, TrueToForm envisions being a game-changer in how apparel is made. Traditionally, apparel brands have used fit models to determine standard sizes for their target demographic (such as the small, medium, and large sizes we see). Consumers are then left on their own to figure out which brands fit them best – or in essence, which brands design clothing on fit models that match their body types. TrueToForm’s scanning solution makes it possible for brands to get a direct line of sight into their customers so that they can develop more informed sizes based on the measurements and body data of actual customers. TrueToForm’s mission is to change the way clothing is made in order to revolutionize the way clothing fits.


To learn more about TrueToForm, visit their website at www.truetoform.fit, where you can also request to join their beta. The TrueToForm mobile app is currently available on the App Store for iOS devices that support Face ID, so give it a try!