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What we learned from three years of bra engineering, and what's next • Bra Theory
Mona Zhang:
<p>In the beginning, I wrote a Python-based program that would take measurements as inputs and, after a few calculations, output the pattern (or blueprint) of the bra. We built it end to end, even including the seam allowances and labels that bra-makers require to sew the pattern…

…In 2016, we quickly learned a painful lesson: the important part was not the technology itself, but closing the feedback loop of measurements and bra-that-fits.

As much as I wanted to nerd out and build a sexy (pun-intended) 3D solution, we actually had to scrap our algorithm for a period of time so that we could move faster.

So we ditched the algorithm for something more agile, with fewer assumptions: we became a custom bra-maker.

We didn’t forget our vision. As our bra-makers taught me about the garment, I taught them about the algorithm. What we did had to be reproducible. Our resident bra-makers soon learned that whenever they “eyeballed” something, I was going to swoop in and ask a lot of annoying questions. We began to get feedback on the product, even if it wasn’t purely produced by code, in a way that could inform the code.

Though we pivoted from the 3D technology, it allowed us to simplify the problem.</p>

There's a lot of naivete on show here; but also optimism that she can create the perfect bra and that women will put down $350 per.
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9 days ago by charlesarthur

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