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How We Design - The Measurements We Use

How We Design - The Measurements We Use


As I glide gracefully into my mid-40’s, I take a pause to think about where I started as a brand. I wanted to put petite women on the map and have the fashion industry take notice of our shorter statures. I wanted to become the brand that made clothing specifically for short women. And while this is still a mostly unsolved problem in this industry- I now feel like I have a new basket of issues I need to bring attention to.

In design school, we all used the same basic fit model form to design and create clothing, back in my 20’s (while in school) I could take clothing off of my model form and try it on my own body (mind you the length was always too long) but other than that, everything else was the same - waist, yup! Hips, yup! And bust - kinda sure!

But as my design career progressed, so did my mindset about design and the old way of creating clothing. In my 30’s - I had kids, and while still in pretty decent shape, saw my waistline and hips grow. But my design aesthetic needed to be comfortable, easy to care for and chase after kiddos in. . . That is where Allison Izu found its focus - elevated basics made for “real women”

But as I aged, I realized what I learned and where I started over 25 years ago in design school does not apply now in my 40’s. The same “basic fit model” is nowhere near basic for my body or age demographic. So I went back to my own basics, and reshaped my “basic fit model” to be a “real life basic fit model”. I did some research about how women’s bodies change after 30, where we gain weight (and why). And I used this new found knowledge to give women the confidence to embrace their bodies, where it is today, while still embracing their own unique style.

Fashion should be fun, unique, empowering, comfortable and easy - it should support your life, not make it harder. It should lift you up, instead of making you want to break into tears of shame (when you arms dont fit into a size 10 leather jacket!) And so, I wanted to give you a glimpse into where I start with each design . . . I start with my own, unique and realistic measurements and proportions, and I design accordingly.

A little extra padding in the back, yup. A little extra pouf in the mid-section, sure! And maybe sprinkle in a little extra extra into the thighs, ok why not. And for the women, like me, a little more else into the sleeve circumference (nothing like the All Saints leather jacket!). LOL


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