Students support women with modular bras

ASU students started a women's clothing brand in their entrepreneurship class

Women around the world suffer from ill-fitting bras. Breasts come in all shapes and sizes, and no two are alike. Two students at ASU have teamed up to support women by providing an alternative to the bras currently offered on the market. 

Their modular bra, JustForMe, was created by Jessica Maschino, a fourth-year chemical engineering student, and Joel Guy, an ASU sustainability graduate. They worked together in an entrepreneurship class last semester that challenged students to find solutions to common issues. 

“Throughout the course of that semester, we developed the first prototype of … what is now JustForMe,” Guy said. “The idea was to develop a bra where you could swap pieces in and out of using some different customization options for both comfort and their convenience.”

Creative Fashions, the label of the team currently working on JustForMe, is throwing out the one-size-fits-all mentality. They say that one size doesn’t fit all, nor should it. 

“This is an idea that I’ve had since I was in middle school, maybe even as late as high school,” Maschino said. “The idea was that women aren’t shaped evenly on both sides. That’s not always the case. There’s always some sort of disparity in the sizing on either side. When you go shopping you’re forced to buy a bra that’s one size. You have to pick if you want it to be too tight or too loose, for either your right or your left, depending on which one is bigger (and) which one is smaller.” 

Finding the right bra size can either make or break a woman’s physical health, as ill-fitting bras can induce breast, back and shoulder pain. Guy and Maschino also hope JustForMe helps breast-cancer survivors who have undergone mastectomies. 

“In the future we’d like to expand to the medical industry,” Maschino said. “I’ve had a few of my family members have cancer, and a few of my family members’ friends have died from breast cancer. But they had mastectomies before they passed, and before I had anyone in my life like that, I didn’t really realize how big of a struggle it was for people who had a double mastectomy to find something that works for them and that makes them feel normal.”

JustForMe will begin with basic bra colors such as black, white and nude, but will grow to include fashionable patterns and shades for customers to mix and match. 

“Eventually we’ll sort of have an image similar to a LEGO store,” Guy said. “People could go into a Target or a Walmart and pick out pieces that they want in a big tub, and can build their bra on the spot.”

Creative Fashions plans to launch a kickstarter within the next eight months to start mass producing the bras, and then move to an online store where people can buy complete bras or just the parts they need to replace. Their final move would be to stock stores like Victoria’s Secret, Target or Walmart with their products. 

A large portion of the brand’s current funds have been put toward anonymous surveys through Amazon Mechanical Turks. Jake Casas, a senior global studies major and research analyst on the Creative Fashions team, asked women broad questions about their bra shopping habits, and then introduced them to JustForMe. 

"I asked, ‘Is this a product that you think of as something you need?’ and a lot of people said ‘Yes,’" Casas said. "Some people of course said, ‘No, it’s not something I need’ but a lot of people said, ‘Yes, this is very awesome. I would love to try this.’ Those are some pretty positive responses we got from our survey."

JustForMe’s innovative design is both fiscally and environmentally conservative, making the bra a dark horse among other brands.  

“Say one of the (bra’s) components breaks,” Maschino said. “Instead of going out and buying a completely new bra and spending not only the gas money, but the time … We would be able to order and offer replacement parts. So if one cup doesn’t work or breaks, (or) an underwire pops out and it’s stabbing you, you won’t have to go out and buy a completely new bra. You can just get online and order a new piece. That would save material.”

Casas is very proud of their effort to conserve material in the bra industry. He was drawn to the project because nothing like it has ever been done before. 

"It was something new," said Casas. "I had never heard of this. I can see the potential in this. It’s pretty innovative. As far as we know, there’s not many players in this market space doing what we’re doing. We’ve only identified one other company that is doing something remotely similar to what we’re doing, so we’re first in the space, and that’s what really excites me about this."


Reach the reporter at dsimari@asu.edu or follow @daniellasimari on Twitter. 

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