MARKET RESEARCH

COMPETITOR & CONSUMER ANALYSIS

The first step in developing the Adapted Apparel collection was to conduct market research on the current state of the women's adaptive and traditional apparel market. A radar chart was used to synthetize the findings and identify where there are gaps and opportunities in the market to offer untapped value to individuals with lower-body mobility issues. Interview transcripts were utilized to discover the functional, expressive, and aesthetic needs of the chosen market , providing a research driven intent for the design of the collection. 

COMPETITOR RESEARCH

The following competitors were selected for aspects such as their presence in the market, the variety in their product offering, and their innovative drive. Brands in the adaptive market have a stronger focus on innovative features and the disabilities they cater to, while the traditional non-adaptive brands are more aesthetic oriented.

YS21KT006-PINE_034_1024x1024.jpg

JUNIPER UNLIMITED

BRAND OVERVIEW

Juniper Unlimited offers three unique collections designed specifically for users with upper and lower body mobility disabilities. The brand's Yarrow collection is women focused with a wide offering of adaptive products including a variety of seated fit pants, wrap dresses, blouses, and sweaters.

Age Icon.png

CAPABILITIES
MOBILITY ISSUES

Location Icon.png

LOCATION
NORTH AMERICA

AGE RANGE
30-60 YEARS OLD

Price Icon.png

PRICE RANGE
$50-$90

TARGET MARKET

Capabilities Icon.png

The Yarrow collection's biggest advantage is it's wide range of aesthetically pleasing and comfortable designs that are offered in various colorways at an affordable price point. Beyond aesthetics, the brand's patented MagnaReady based garment closure system provides Juniper Unlimited's consumers with the ability to easily don and doff their clothing.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

1603821302-mos-womens-kinetic-adaptive-pant-black-2.jpg

MINISTRY OF SUPPLY

BRAND OVERVIEW

Born out of the labs of MIT from two engineering majors, Ministry of Supply believes in a science and engineering based approach to fashion design. The brand's only adaptive item, a pair of seated fit dress pants chock full of innovative features is a direct result of this science led approach.

Age Icon.png

CAPABILITIES
MOBILITY ISSUES

Location Icon.png

LOCATION
INTERNATIONAL

AGE RANGE
25-50 YEARS OLD

Price Icon.png

PRICE RANGE
$100-400

TARGET MARKET

Capabilities Icon.png

The brand's Kinetic Adaptive Pants are outfitted with various features, including velcro entry, waistband grab tags, adjustable leg openings, ergonomic pockets, and a knee dart to reduce leg compression. Although they're currently limited to one item, their potential to apply their innovative approach to adaptive products makes them a competitor for the future.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

IZ Adaptive Jacket.png

IZ ADAPTIVE

BRAND OVERVIEW

IZ Adaptive primarily focuses on developing a wide range of products for individuals with lower body mobility disabilities. The brand's product offering includes shirts, seated fit pants and leggings, outerwear, and dresses, all designed for women and gender nonconforming consumers.

Age Icon.png

CAPABILITIES
MOBILITY ISSUES

Location Icon.png

LOCATION
INTERNATIONAL

AGE RANGE
40-65 YEARS OLD

Price Icon.png

PRICE RANGE
$50-$800

TARGET MARKET

Capabilities Icon.png

As one of the biggest players in the adaptive market, IZ Adaptive has built a competitive advantage on it's brand name alone. Their popularity is largely in part to their vast selection and numerous adaptive features including, easy access side entry systems, seated fit pants and tops, and disguised garment openings for users that need quick access to catheters.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

ADAPTIVE MARKET

Untitled-4.png

ANTHROPOLOGIE

BRAND OVERVIEW

Retailing behemoth Anthropologie is widely known for their bohemian inspired designs and casual everyday wear. Their vast collection suits a wide range of style preferences and price points with fast fashion-esque basics and high-priced designer dresses and coats.

Aesthetic Icon-05.png
Age Icon.png

TARGET MARKET

AESTHETIC
BOHEMIAN

AGE RANGE
20-45 YEARS OLD

Location Icon.png

LOCATION
INTERNATIONAL

Price Icon.png

PRICE RANGE
$60-$700

The brand's immense retail presence and widely suitable product range has allowed Anthropologie to carve out a significant portion of the women's apparel market and develop a competitive edge. Their AnthroPerks program helps to lock in their customer base with perks like free shipping and members-only sales.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Untitled-2.png

FIRST RITE

BRAND OVERVIEW

As a small independent label, First Rite focuses on shrinking their footprint by taking a hands-on approach to the sourcing and production of their products. Their product offering revolves around small biannual capsule collections that consists of airy linen sets and alpaca sweaters and outerwear. 

Aesthetic Icon-05.png
Age Icon.png

TARGET MARKET

AESTHETIC
MINAMILIST

AGE RANGE
25-35 YEARS OLD

Location Icon.png

LOCATION
NORTH AMERICA

Price Icon.png

PRICE RANGE
$100-$200

First Rite's competitive advantage lies in their personalized sourcing strategies and their careful selection of high quality and sustainable materials. Their all natural fiber lineup consisting of organic cotton, linen, and alpaca wool, originate from socially sustainable mills and each fiber is either Okeo Tex or GOTS certified.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

PDP_White_Hero_900x900_SU21_AsymmetricalOverlayDress_Camel_0390_NEW.jpg

CUYANA

BRAND OVERVIEW

Founded on the principle of "fewer, better," Cuyana provides their consumers with an offering of high quality, intentionally designed garments that are constructed to last. The 80 piece collection is largely comprised of dresses, jumpsuits, blouses, and lounge pants, all in timeless silhouettes.

Aesthetic Icon-05.png
Age Icon.png

TARGET MARKET

AESTHETIC
MODERN

AGE RANGE
25-40 YEARS OLD

Location Icon.png

LOCATION
INTERNATIONAL

Price Icon.png

PRICE RANGE
$75-$350

Cuyana's universally appealing modern aesthetic delivered at a moderate price point is the brand's biggest advantage in the market. The brand commitment to quality has also given them a competitive edge by offering offering a two year warranty and in-house repair services for all products, free of charge.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

TRADITIONAL MARKET

COMPETITOR ANALYSIS SUMMARY

Comparing the two markets and the product offerings of the selected competitors, there is a clear disconnect between modern aesthetics and innovative functional design. This issue is even more troublesome for consumers under thirty, as the overwhelming majority of the products that the chosen adaptive brands offer are being targeted to middle-aged consumers. There also appears to be a theme in the adaptive market where innovation comes with an extremely high price tag. This only assists in further deterring consumers from entering the market and reaping the benefits of the added functionality.

 

Inversely, the traditional retail brands are delivering product variety and a wide range of desirable aesthetics priced more appropriately for a younger consumer. Aside from Ministry of Supply, the traditional brands also put much more importance on the quality and sustainability of their materials than the adaptive brands. They do not however provide any innovative features to increase the quality of life for people living with a disability, placing consumers in a position where they must chose between satisfying their functional needs or their aesthetic and expressive needs.

 

As adaptive design methods become more widely known and refined, it is likely that traditional retailers will begin to experiment with implementing these features into their already existing styles. Ministry of Supply is an example of this trend, as a traditional brand that successfully released a highly functional and reasonably priced adaptive product with out sacrificing the brand's aesthetic integrity.

CONSUMER NEEDS RESEARCH

RESEARCH METHODS & FINDINGS

Consumer research for Adapted Apparel involved the analysis of eight interview transcripts from a study focusing on the functional, expressive and aesthetic apparel needs of individuals with upper and lower body mobility impairments. The participants represented an age range from 20 to 55, residing in a mix of urban and rural environments, with an average income below the median household income level.  

 

Common functional themes throughout the transcripts were the need for alternative entry systems, thermal regulation, and unimpaired range of motion. Aesthetic and expressive needs revolved around the desire to “look normal” and not draw attention to the individual's disabilities, with many participants noting the lack of aesthetically appropriate clothing options in the adaptive market. To overcome these issues, many participants avoid the adaptive market entirely and instead prefer to have their traditional clothes tailored to meet their functional needs. These desires and frustrations can be visualized in the consumer profiles below, with quotes coming directly from the study's participants. This collection will address the concerns of these individuals by establishing an aesthetically pleasing silhouette first, and then determining how utility can be integrated into the design to meet the functional needs of the target market.

CONSUMER PROFILES

Consumer Profiles w shadow-04.png

AMBER'S PROFILE

"Shirt cuffs scrape up on my chair, so a shirt that’s perfectly good now is not good in a year."

DESIRES
When she shops for clothes, Amber seeks out minimalistic styles that are lightweight and breathable because of the heat that builds up between her body and her chair.

FRUSTRATIONS
Amber finds that traditional clothing can restrict her movement when wheeling her chair and the adaptive clothes that she's bought don't seem to target her needs as a wheelchair user. 

AGE
26 YEARS OLD

OCCUPATION
GRAPHIC DESIGNER

INCOME
$40,000

OLIVIA'S PROFILE

"I can be a little more casual, but I want to have clothes that look nice that are professional."

DESIRES
Olivia needs high quality clothing that reflects her status as a professional businesswoman. She prefers modern styles and traditional colors that she can wear in a variety of settings.

FRUSTRATIONS
Olivia's reduced mobility can make it difficult to don and doff the modern styles that she really wants to wear, so she often has to have her clothes altered to meet her needs.

AGE
31 YEARS OLD

OCCUPATION
PUBLIC RELATIONS

INCOME
$90,000

Consumer Profiles w shadow-07.png
Consumer Profiles w shadow-06.png

COURTNEY'S PROFILE

"The adaptive clothes that I’ve seen aren't very attractive, they don't seem appropriate for my age."

DESIRES
As a college student, Courtney is looking for affordable clothes that she can express her self through, clothes that make her feel confident and don't draw any  attention to her disability.

FRUSTRATIONS
Courtney wants to try out adaptive clothing, but the adaptive brands that she knows of don't have any variety and the "medical style" of the clothing doesn't suit her age or lifestyle. 

AGE
20 YEARS OLD

OCCUPATION
COLLEGE STUDENT

INCOME
$15,000

VALUE PROPOSITION MAP

Value Proposition Map-01.png

VALUE PROPOSITION

TARGET MARKET

NEEDS ASSESSMENT

The value proposition map was used to align the product development process with the core desires and frustrations of the target market. The pains in the right side of the diagram reflect the needs that are not being satisfied by current product offerings, while the gains are representative of the target markets main desires. The customer jobs section describes the environments that the target market engages with, which helps identify the end-use of the products. These factors were then matched one-to-one with corresponding actions on the left side of the map that could potentially add value for the consumer. 

RADAR CHART EVALUATION

Radar Chart-01.png

CHART ANALYSIS

Data garnered from competitor and consumer research revealed five key design factors for product development. This chart was used to succinctly determine how those factors are being met in the current marketplace by ranking competitors from 0-5, with 0 at the center of the chart representing a low score and 5 at the edge a good score. As the chart shows, adaptive brands are meeting needs like innovative design and ease of donning and doffing, but they are unable to deliver those features in a modern aesthetic. Traditional brands are the opposite, able to meet aesthetic needs but unable to provide any adaptive functionality. This collection aims to take a more balanced approach, shifting the focus towards the radial center and expanding outward to meet each factor evenly.

CHART KEY

JUNIPER UNLIMITED

MINISTRY OF SUPPLY

IZ ADAPTIVE

ANTHROPOLOGIE

FIRST RITE

CUYANA