Zak vigorously disagrees. When she first launched the brand, she was focused on creating a supportive, well-fitting bra, but because the startup had limited resources, she could only create a narrow size range. “I kept hearing from family members and customers who had seen an ad for the brand or knew someone who had found a Thirdlove bra that they loved,” Zak says. “But because they were a larger size, we had nothing to offer them. It really sucked: As an entrepreneur, I felt like I was failing them.”
Thirdlove is known for its “fit finder” questionnaire on the website, which gathers information from women about what they are looking for in a bra. It helps the customer find the best bra for them from Thirdlove’s selection, but more importantly, it helps the company build a repository of data that will help it figure out what products to make or how to tweak existing products. More than 10 million women have now filled out the questionnaire, which has resulted in 400 million data points. One important thing that Thirdlove found in this data is that a significant proportion of women cannot find a bra on the market that is both large and comfortable enough for them.[Photo: courtesy of Thirdlove]Zak says her company is now big enough to tackle this challenge. Since the brand launched in 2013, it has grown steadily and employs more than 250 workers Last year, it landed another round of funding, bringing its total to $13.6 million. With this new investment, the brand began beta testing larger sizes in its most popular style, the classic full coverage bra. The brand had created a small run of these sizes, primarily to gather feedback, and they sold out in eight days. This convinced Zak that it was time to roll these bras out, bringing us to today’s expansion to 70 sizes.
Even though the larger sizes cost 45% more to produce, Zak is committed to keeping the price the same across the entire range, so all classic full coverage bras cost $68, which is on par with other premium brands on the market. The bras will come in the brand’s five “Naked” shades, which are designed to match a wide range of skin tones. “If you put a 34B and a 40H next to one another, they look exactly the same, with one proportionally bigger than the other,” she says.
[Photo: courtesy of Thirdlove]Importantly, Zak has refused to assign the label “plus-size” to these new larger sizes. There’s not going to be a separate dropdown menu for larger sizes, either. Instead, women of all sizes will be able to search for products in the same way.