A New Forest teenager has launched a fashion app which allows shoppers to virtually try on outfits they have found online before placing an order.
Rebecca Mabbett, of Dibden, is behind R Reflections, a phone app which lets users combine pictures of clothing from internet stores with one of themselves.
The 19-year-old came up with the idea after a bad experience buying from shops on the web.
“I ordered a few different items of clothing from various online clothing retailers,” she said.“However, when I tried the clothes on for the first time on holiday, half of them didn’t suit me, my body shape or my skin tone. I was disheartened as I had ordered the clothes to match or create outfits to wear out in the evenings but I couldn’t use half of them.”
Rebecca mulled the problem while on holiday and brainstormed with her dad.
“Imagine if there was an app where I could upload clothes to a virtual picture of myself to see if they suit me, my body shape and skin tone. This would solve mine and everyone else’s problem”, she thought to herself. “After the conversation with my dad, I researched innovation companies to see if it was a good idea and most importantly to see whether it was worth pursuing.”
Rebecca, who said she has always dreamed of running her own business, turned to Innovate Product Design. It helped her launch the business and develop the app, which went live earlier this month. Users can upload either a full body photo or just their face into the app, after which they have the option of choosing skin tones. Once their profile is set up, pictures of clothing found online can be placed onto the body or face, and adapted to match the shape and skin tone.
“The result is that individuals will be able to view what the clothes look like on them before buying the product,” said Rebecca, adding that the software benefits the retailer and the environment as well as the shopper. “Customers will have already seen how the clothes look on themselves, and decide whether or not they like them. If they like them online then here is a lower chance of returning items as they have already seen it on themselves virtually. This benefits online retailers because they wouldn’t have to spend out as much money on pre-paid return labels and staff to handle the returns. There’s also a benefit to the environment by reducing CO2, plastic packaging and production waste all made through returned items. My idea places the clothes on the end user and their different body features not on a model. This is because everyone is diverse and different and nobody is exactly the same size, shape and skin colour.”
She says that as customers look to buy clothes online, different styles and types of clothing suits different people, therefore when the clothes are modelled, there is a high chance that they look different on the model to on the end user.
R Reflections is free to download for all Apple users, with a subscription option of £1.99 per month for extra features. Rebecca is planning an Android version if the software proves a success.