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Cut & Seam
Cut & Seam is a service that helps users make bespoke clothes in China.
Its uses contextual information and networking to revive fabric markets and connect them with Chinese youth.

Context

2015, 6 months. Diploma project, Shanghai, China

Skills

Field Research, User Experience, Art Direction.

I started this project with a desire to explore alternative ways to consume in China.

China has a history as a manufacturing country, and I wanted to empower consumers, allow them to participate in the production of what they buy, rather than simply undergo marketing campaigns.

While exploring the country,
I got fascinated by the
«Fabric markets»

The Fabric Markets are a concentration of hundreds of little shops. They were initially fabric sellers, trading all kinds of garments and providing tailoring services. They are linked to China’s history as a textile producing country, and can be found in all major cities.

I found that users love fabric markets, because they are involved in the process.

Users can make their own bespoke clothes, change color, materials, or add details. They develop a strong bond, and have pride in the final product. It is theirs, and automatically has an added sentimental value.

But, navigating these markets can be tricky,
and users often ended up with unexpected results.

They suffer from a bad reputation due to the lack of trust between shops and customers, the difficulty of finding useful information, and many of their models are out of date.

So I worked with users and a fashion designer to identify what was missing in the process

Observation and Interviews helped me to identify the problems. The technical and professional inputs were done by a fashion designer, an expert on the subject. By organizing and animating workshops and creative sessions with users I was able to get new insights, and test directly Ideas or prototypes.

By iterating between design and testing,
I created a tool that could

Facilitate the process of bespoke clothing,
by providing users with a step by step guide, shop ratings and reviews, find maps and indicative prices

Help promote that amazing place,
by proposing a platform, where users can get inspiration from others, share the clothes they have had made, connect to existing social networks,
and get feedback from the community.

And it really helped new users to have a smooth experience.

During all the stages, the project had a real traction with its users, and I was really pleased to see that when testing in the real setting, the users, although completely neophytes, were able to navigate the market without hurdles, and managed to have clothes made, that they love.

«I dind’t know this place before,
I will definitely come back»
ZhuChao, 25

«It was all easy,
those pants are perfect»
ZhaoXiaoJiao, 45

«These dresses are like my babies,
I will always remember Shanghai»
Cherie C, 18