Clone Me!
Jay Chopra

Detroit Denim Co.

simplifying mass online customization

Detroit Denim Co. is a fashion boutique specializing in bespoke jeans

UX Research + Design
5 Months
Ronak Patel, Claire Yerman, Kristina Tsao, Alexis Bausch, Vivan Hu

An Overview

DDCo. began as a one-man operation, slowly blossoming over several years at a river-front location in the metro Detroit area,  eventually being featured on 'The Profit'. My team and I met with the Co-founders and determined the operational feasibility of rolling out a new product category.

I helped determine the feasibility requirements of mass online customization, redesigning the experience of ordering bespoke denim, and launching a new digital product offering

The Challenge

  • Optimize factory operations for a  customizable product offering
  • Understand existing consumer behaviors and determine custom denim requirements
  • Digitize a time-intensive measurement process to grow a local business

The Solution

  • Determine feasibility of online mass customization
  • Research competitors and interview local and relevant stakeholders
  • Design a bespoke data entry form for users to input measurement specs


DDCo. needed help launching a digital product for customers worldwide to input specific measurements, so they could reach a wider audience and sell more jeans.

Up until this point, the brand was taking personalized measurements by hand for nearly every customer, however this limited the amount of customers they could service as this was a time intensive process that could only be done locally.

Simultaneously, our team had to consider how DDCo's in-house factory might intake in this customer information and be able to craft different sizes, washes, and cuts of jeans using the equipment they had on hand. Our goal was to find a scalable way to offer custom jeans to the masses, using an online platform.

Stakeholder Analysis

Our team was able to both drive to Detroit for in-person user interviews, as well as conduct phone calls and surveys through various social media channels.

Social Media Interviews

As a local fashion boutique with national recognition, DDCo. has built an astounding vocal customer base that reps the brand on social media.

We were able to reach out to these individuals and interview them about how they might go about customizing a pair of jeans.

Competitive Analysis

Our team researched boutique denim brands across the US, identifying customization offerings at various price levels, determining a gap in the market where DDCo. could find success:

Read the full Competitive Analysis below ⤵️

Dissecting the factory process

Our approach also involved learning about the actual process of making a pair of jeans.

Once we understood the steps, we applied our user research of customization preferences to each step of the jean-making, informing the in-house operational model.

Research Takeaways

  • DDCo. had the opportunity to occupy a mid-level gap in the boutique denim market
  • Customers were vocal about supporting a business that was "handmade", "local to Detroit", and "Made in America"
  • We determined that fit, wash, and embroidery were the main  design elements feasible for customization

Prototyping a E-Commerce Flow for Customizing Denim

Users begin by selecting the wash of the denim'

Each page offers a different feasible aspect to customize

The final step requests specific measurements of the inner leg, outer leg, and waist band

Interactive Prototype

Below is a very basic prototype based on customization factors that we identified as desirable by customers, and feasible by the DDCo. Factory.

Click Here to see today’s "Build Your Jeans" Product Feature from Detroit Denim Co. ↗️

Product Features






Detroit Denim Co. is a local business that's trying to implement large scale tech-optimized processes in their factory process, and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to help them on their journey. It was really exciting to not only gain exposure to the business side of fashion, but also to do so with a brand that has the recognition of being featured in Shark Tank, and by Shopify Studios.