Ohio-based slow fashion marketplace Mive announced its launch on Friday, bringing its vision of size inclusivity and made-to-measure apparel to the world.
The company’s premise hinges on an augmented reality “measuring tape,” which uses a smartphone camera to capture images of shoppers and quantify their figures. From there, customers can check their measurements against size charts while shopping or, more to the point, use the details to order made-to-measure clothes.
Mive puts the measuring tech at the heart of its shopping experience from the very beginning. Consumers begin by registering for an account, filling in a few personal questions — such as height and weight — and start measuring with the smartphone camera. There’s also an option for manually taking body measurements.
With those details in hand, shoppers can browse offerings inside the marketplace. At launch, there are six brands: Bata NYC, Emma Bean, Fatra, Izayla, Luz Muerta and Nimph, which hail from places like New York, Los Angeles, Barcelona and Madrid.
“We make it easy and seamless and there’s no barrier getting custom garments,” said Maya Caine, cofounder of Mive. “We found that a lot of women thought this was something only celebrities can have. We are made very much democratizing the made-to-measure experience, so all women have access to it.”
The fashion start-up took up the mantle of slow fashion as an intentional contrast to the problematic premise of fast fashion. Sustainability advocates point to the industry’s waste, while racial equity proponents point to other issues, like unfair pay gaps for workers, many of whom tend to be Black and people of color. Fast fashion’s reputation for appropriating others’ designs has also galled critics.
Among them is Maya’s sister, cofounder Mica Caine, who delivered a scathing reaction to Megan Thee Stallion’s collaboration with Fashion Nova last year on social media.
Both Mica and Maya also see the broader fashion industry fail when it comes to size inclusivity. Now they aim to make less wasteful and more inclusive made-to-measure options more accessible to a broader range of shoppers.
In that way, the launch of Mive may be as much about starting a movement as a marketplace.
As for what’s next, the company will be hosting a public launch party online on Friday evening, with a roundtable discussion led by Ibada Wadud, founder of Lulah and adjunct faculty member at Parsons School of Design, along with speakers from several of Mive’s partner brands.
According to Maya, the company also has another debut planned for next week.
“At New York City Refashion Week, we’ll be launching our refashioning service or introducing it for the first time,” Maya Caine added. “Instead of just buying designs selected by different slow fashion brands or provided by different slow fashion brands, you can also refashion a garment that’s already in your closet.”