Hemster is the world’s first-ever on-demand tailoring service. The fashion tech startup allows brands and retailers to offer their customers a more personalised customer experience, leading to reduced returns and increased in-store conversion.
“I grew up in South Korea, where shoppers typically find the correct size based on weight first and where tailoring is expected, even with budget options,” Hemster CEO and founder Allison Lee said in a statement. “In the US, shoppers very often have to choose from small, medium and large sizes, but those sizes don’t fit almost 90% of people. I founded Hemster to make it simple, convenient and cost-effective for US consumers to solve the fit problem, while giving brands a new, scalable way to provide excellent service to customers.”
Customers can book an appointment with a Hemster “fit provider,” schedule a personal in-home fitting, or use the “RulerSticker” tool to mark clothing items for in-store tailoring. The fit designer will then perform a fitting with the garments and work alongside the company’s tailor partners to perform the proper alterations. The company’s tailors specialise in different types of garments, including bridal, menswear and fashion design—making them more productive and efficient than what is typical in the industry.
To ensure a perfect fit, the fit designer will bring the customer’s garments back for a second fitting or drop off.
Customers’ measurements and fit data are kept on file, allowing them to shop at any participating retailer or brand and not have to take new measurements. This information also helps brands to recommend the best size for each customer.
Hemster services are available in California and New York, specifically Orange County, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Manhattan and Brooklyn. Diane von Furstenberg, Outdoor Voices and Alo Yoga Partner are among the company’s first major retail partners.
“It’s critical for us, as a retailer, to continue to implement features and services that help enhance our consumer’s life: the woman who is in charge, busy, and needs an unparalleled one-stop experience,” said Sandra Campos, CEO of Diane von Furstenberg. “Hemster provides the perfect solution in offering a custom fit, and we are excited to partner with them at DVF.”
The New York-based company raised $4 million in post-seed funding in a round led by Bullpen Capital, with participation from Hustle Fund, Oyster Ventures, The Fund and FJ Labs. The funds will be used to expand throughout the United States, expand its team and scale its operations.
“Bespoke tailoring is one of the world’s oldest professions, but the industry hasn’t seen a radical update in decades,” said Paul Martino, general partner at Bullpen Capital. “We invested in Hemster because of the unique opportunity they’re giving retailers and brands to connect with their customers. Their ‘perfect fit’ data holds massive potential for traditional retailers, e-commerce DTC players and marketplaces alike, who all crave new and personal touchpoints with their customers.”