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ASOS rolls out augmented reality technology to make online shopping more inclusive

C. True Coleman faced a dilemma all too common for many brides in search of that perfect wedding dress.

The bride-to-be wanted something they would feel special and comfortable in while celebrating their big day, but faced added difficulty finding the perfect gown because Coleman was up against a 3-month time crunch and is also a plus-size bride.

“As a plus-size bride, I always knew I’d be shopping online for my dress and because of the timeline, I didn’t have much time for alterations either,” Coleman, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. “I was so scared something would arrive a month before the wedding and not fit or need to be seriously altered.”

Coleman said they scoured the Internet looking for a dress through retailers like ModCloth, Torrid and Boohoo, but didn’t find any they wanted to wear on their big day. That’s when their friends told them about ASOS, they decided to look at the British retailer’s website, upon which they found their “dream sparkly dress” for their wedding.

According to Coleman, what set ASOS apart from other retailers wasn’t necessarily the quality or style of its dresses, it was a feature on its website that allowed potential customers to view how dresses would look on models of different sizes. The tool, which was first introduced last year in partnership with the tech company Zeekit, uses an augmented reality technology to map dresses onto a model, giving customers a simulated view of a product on various body types and helps customers to purchase clothing that fits correctly.

Though several brands have incorporated some form of augmented reality on their websites in recent years, ASOS, a brand geared for 20-somethings has been widely credited as a leader in using this type of technology.

“I got to view the dress on a model that had a body that looked like my body,” Coleman said. “It’s super rare for me to buy a garment online and it fits perfect. It’s always too small.”