The San Francisco-based startup uses a 3-D body scanner to custom-make apparel based on 66 measurements.
Once a customer’s measurements are saved, she can order more items from future collections using the same measurements. Scanning is free. A blouse in the new collection is $395, while a bomber jacket goes up to $1,100. That puts the looks at the higher end of contemporary space, but the pieces are made on-demand.
Designs will be updated each month with capsule collections from designers and tastemakers that use a revenue-share model.
Founder and chief executive officer Andrew Wyatt doesn’t come from the world of fashion, but rather hoped to solve a problem in an industry that provided “two-sided value.” Wyatt was previously at Shyp, which dramatically streamlines the process of sending packages.
“We enabled individuals to outsource a costly part of the business, from a time perspective, that wasn’t core to the business,” he said, which is something he hopes to re-create with Cala. He also happened to notice that his girlfriend’s primary use of Shyp came in the form of e-commerce returns. No surprise, then, that he settled on solving fit in fashion.
Although Cala is starting with women’s clothing, Wyatt admitted that he is no stranger to the fit conundrum: In high school and college, he said, he was fired from his job as a fit model when his bum was too big.
However, Wyatt said the business is starting with women’s wear, as he found women are particularly underserved in the made-to-measure market. For the inaugural Cala collection, Wyatt started with wardrobe essentials, and he plans to bring the technology to major cities to measure fashion influencers.
On the production side, Wyatt said that he is really “leaning into” preorders and minimizing complexity with small collections. Plus, he said, there really aren’t a lot of returns when everything is made to measure.
The looks will be manufactured in Los Angeles.
For the October collection, Cala worked with designer and photographer Anthony Cucculelli, who has previously designed and shot campaigns for brands including Diane von Furstenberg, Adam Lippes, Rachel Zoe, Roberto Cavalli, Yigal Azrouël and Nathan Jenden. Collection 02 will be available Oct. 15, and includes six pieces, ranging from $250 to $1,500, and includes a leather jacket and tuxedo pants. To coincide with Collection 02, Cala will be hosting scan events in Los Angeles and New York City in October.
So far, Wyatt said, “everyone is really excited about the ability to bring an amazing product directly to the audience in a short time frame by sending a few sketches and fabric choices.”