Most Innovative CompanyThe brand now services an estimated 87 percent of women. Personally, I've been assessed by multiple professional bra fitters, and been told, yup, I was wearing the wrong size (32C), and that my true, more atypical one (30D) was only available in high-priced luxury brands—conveniently sold in their shops and never at my beloved Marshall's.
For ThirdLove, now may be the best time to grow in light of difficulties at rival Victoria's Secret With that in mind, the intimates brand is pursuing every strategy, from opening stores in select markets to bringing on board creative agencies, to bolster its marketing and branding efforts.
As an online company, ThirdLove relies upon millions of data points from customer feedback to engineer its new products — and for the last four years, one request has been constant: A cotton bra that women can live in. For the last two years, ThirdLove has been designing its response.
But in 2013, Heidi Zak along with her husband David Spector (both ex-Google execs) set out on a mission to revolutionize that experience - using technology to improve the product in terms of fit and comfort, as well as how bras are delivered to the customer and how customer loyalty is maintained.
Over at Vox, reporter Zoe Schiffer has an interesting story about ThirdLove, the upstart bra company that positions its lingerie as by women, for women.” Turns out that contrary to its feminist public image, actually working for the company seems pretty awful: employees complain about a bunch of things, including low pay, shitty benefits, and a co-CEO that bullies them.
Typically, bras come in band sizes from about 32 to 40, and cups from A to E. ThirdLove makes band sizes ranging from 30 to 48 and A to I, with some half-cup sizes (from A½ to E½) interspersed among band sizes 30 to 40. From a manufacturing standpoint, the offerings make sense: Band size and cup size is inversely proportional, so a 34B would have the same cups as a 32C and a 36A.
Referring to Zak's company, Lori Greeley, a former CEO of Victoria's Secret and now a board member at ThirdLove, said: "In all the years I've worked in the industry, I've never seen such dedication to inclusivity." Greeley worked at Victoria's Secret, first in merchandising and later in the C-suite, for more than two decades.
Shopping here also includes the often invaluable perk of an energetic customer service team and a 100% fit guarantee (If you take the company's Fit Finder and order the wrong size, ThirdLove will work to get you into the perfect fit at no further cost, donating the bras you don't keep to a women's shelter if necessary).
A Fast Company article titled Victoria's Secret threw shade at ThirdLove, and CEO Heidi Zak had the perfect response” described Zak as the founder without mentioning Spector at all. The super cool part is that ThirdLove ships you a backup size, so you can try on two bra sizes in the comfort of your own home (with all your favorite tops—it's handy to see how the bra looks under your clothes).
The search to finding a well-fitting bra can be a sport in itself, and often times, ends with many women resigning themselves to a lifetime of discomfort by purchasing the wrong size or fit. ThirdLove and Spector declined to comment on this accusation but through their legal representation did emphasize that it is Zak and not Spector who is truly running the company.