We’ve embarked upon a #PetiteRevolution!
Since the 2013 launch of Jeetly, the first collaborative apparel brand for petite women across the world, there has been a steady formation of new petite clothing brands in the UK, US and Europe. Petite clothing is designed for women of short stature, typically 5’3 and under, who find regular-sized clothing a poor fit that almost always requires expensive alterations by a tailor. Jeetly was born out of Founder Jess Jeetly’s frustration of looking too young at work because her workwear was ill-fitting - like a girl dressed in her mum’s clothes. Jess 5’1 couldn’t find stylish workwear that fit her petite proportions and her relentless search for a ‘grown-up’ professional wardrobe made her realise that the fashion industry had failed to recognise the needs of young aspirational petite women. Jeetly’s market research proved that 1 in 3 women in the UK and US are petite (under 5’3 in height) and 85% of those struggled to find petite workwear, -the womenswear category with the most restricted choice for petites.
In 69 countries the average height of a woman is below 5’3, yet no global fashion brand exists that caters to their petite sizing, until now...Jeetly is the first collaborative clothing brand for petite women , which means real petite women (the customers) are part of the brand as they co-design every garment and determine which clothes are manufactured for every collection instead of these choices being dictated by designers and retail buyers. Using social commerce, Jeetly showcases samples online, customers make changes to the designs and vote them In or Out of production for retail. The brand began its journey with workwear and sold in 16 countries in its first year and was shortlisted for several business awards, winning London’s best startup by TechCityNews. Endorsed by petite celebrities in 3 continents including an A-listed Bollywood actress, Jeetly has featured on television and news.
Jess Jeetly’s story has inspired petite women around the world who wished to solve the issue of a lack of petite clothing and had the idea but never acted upon it until Jeetly gained interest from petites worldwide. Despite Jess having no previous experience in the fashion industry, she was determined to find a solution for petite women and was courageous to challenge the status quo by giving real petite women the chance to finally have a voice in fashion. Having witnessed the early success of Jeetly, aspirational petite women followed to launch their own petite line, some even launched as a ‘workwear’ brand, comparable to Jeetly.
Jess confirms she receives on average one email per week from petite women seeking advice to launch their own fashion brands: Jess doesn’t see these brands as competitors, rather she embraces them as ‘changemakers working for the common good of all petite women who have been underserved by the fashion industry’.
She goes on to say ‘Jeetly’s aim has been to initiate a revolution in the apparel industry, supported by petite bloggers and consumers to prove that there is a need for more petite clothing online and in-stores so we are proud to pioneer a movement in the right direction! We’re here to make a positive change for petite women with a sustainable fashion business that benefits the consumer, the retailer and the planet’.
By Lara Simkin