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Dressformer brings the dressing room to your computer screen

Dressformer, one of 128 MassChallenge finalists, photographs articles of clothing and turns them into digital garments that can be “tried on” by an avatar that matches an online shopper’s measurements.
Dressformer, one of 128 MassChallenge finalists, photographs articles of clothing and turns them into digital garments that can be “tried on” by an avatar that matches an online shopper’s measurements.Credit: Callum Borchers

Shopping for clothing online is convenient, but it comes with one major drawback: You can’t try anything on.

A startup company called Dressformer is out to solve that problem by enabling shoppers to create avatars that match their every measurement — neck, bust, waist, inseam, etc. — and try on garments in a sort of virtual fitting room.

“We’re revolutionizing the way people shop online, providing an accurate, 3D virtual fitting solution for online garment retailers, helping them to reduce the number of returns and increase sales,” said Vagan Martirosyan, Dressformer’s managing director. “At the same time, we help the user to find the right size of their clothing.”

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Dressformer is one of 128 finalists (and one of four from Russia) in this year’s MassChallenge, an annual accelerator program and competition for young companies. Martirosyan’s team and entrepreneurs from 11 other countries moved into shared office space in Boston’s Innovation District this week.

In total, the MassChallenge finalists will receive more than $1 million in cash awards and $15 million of in-kind support over the next four months.

Dressformer has been testing its technology on what Martirosyan described as the Russian version of Facebook, and plans to introduce the service to Facebook in America this fall.

A shopper need only create her avatar once. The avatar can then model clothes on the websites of participating retailers, helping the shopper assess the fit and the look.

It will be a useful tool, Martirosyan said, because as many-a-shopper has discovered, “large at Tommy Hilfiger might be extra large some place else.”

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