Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

Reinvented Clothes Hanger Won't Ruin Your Necklines

Ziba introduces perhaps the most dramatic rethink of the hanger in over a century.

The basic shape of the clothes hanger—a flattened triangle with a hook—hasn’t changed much in over a hundred years. It’s perfectly serviceable for jackets and button-up shirts but fails miserably when it comes to T-shirts and crewneck sweaters, stretching and deforming their collars. Why hasn’t someone redesigned the hanger already?

Finally, someone has: Mehdi Mojtabavi, an industrial designer at Portland-based Ziba, ditched the rigid model and developed a hanger made from two polypropylene parts: a hook attached to a flexible cross-piece that, when squeezed with one hand, collapses to slip gently through a neck hole before releasing to support the garment’s shoulders. The concept won an IDSA award in 2008, and Ziba has since built a patent-pending prototype.

The studio is looking for a manufacturing partner or licensee and estimates that Eslimi won’t cost any more to produce than the nicer hangers one might find at a housewares store. "It’s the sort of thing that looks obvious once you’ve sort of built it," says Ziba’s senior writer, Carl Alviani. "And that’s basically how you know that it’s a beautiful solution."

Add New Comment


  • Ryan Bailey

    This looks like a wonderful solution to hang up sweaters and avoid the "hanger bumps" from the weight of the sweater. If it avoids those, I'm very interested!

  • FIL

    I seem to be the only one here who likes to hang T-Shirts, basically because I hate looking through draws and folding clothes... But I would have to agree that the design is too complex and expensive for use in shops.

  • Alexa

    I work in an up market clothes store. We are definitely not interested.

    Can this thing hold anything heavier than a t-shirt?

  • Nic

    I really feel like these people are just creating problems rather than solving them. It seems like a very extravagant video explaining this 'new solution' to something that doesn't really have a problem.
    What seems to be their main achievement is reducing the time it takes to hang up and take down items of clothing. This is great and I don't dispute this, but the product really isn't as great as this man is trying to promote.

    What they have not achieved is something that would change how garments are hung. My first qualm is that are t-shirts really better off being hung? There is really nothing that backs that up.  I challenge anyone to try and see the difference on two people, one wearing a hung tshirt and one wearing a folded.

    Secondly, the shoulder piece is more horizontal.. this is absolutely counter-productive. Shoulders aren't horizontal, and garments are definitely not designed to be that horizontal, so really, you're potentially distorting them further.
    The video says it reduces the stretch of the neck hole. Well.. not really, this hanger has no trouser bar, any hanger that has no trouser bar can easily be inserted into a t-shirt without stretching the neck anyway, you just have to put it in at an angle. (By the way also, this hanger has no trouser bar, you're actually losing a functionality rather than gaining one)And if you do have a plastic trouser bar hanger and you really care about a slight stretch in your neckline then I'm sure you will have the will power to bring the hanger through the base of the tshirt.

    Third, yes, those plastic hangers can leave shoulder bumps on your tshirts, but what is suggested here really doesn't change anything if not makes things worse. Because your bar is more horizontal, the sleeves have a steeper angle of drop meaning even worse shoulder bumps.

    Fourth, I don't think I've ever had a problem putting a hanger on or taking it off a rail.

    Fifth, costs, apparently it will cost the same as 'a nice hanger that you might buy at a house-ware store'. Have you ever looked at a price of 'a nice hanger that you might buy at a house-ware store'. Definitely way more expensive than the plastic hanger he was comparing it to in the video. The only time I've ever known people to buy a nice hanger from a house-ware store is when they are looking to buy suit-hangers.
    This won't even interest retailers, the costs compared to hangers that they currently use will be drastic. These hangers also take up far more space. Perhaps these will be taken up by up-market fashion retailers? Well.. this brings me to my next point..

    Yes I know design is subjective, but 'elegant'?!? I don't ever see that hanger fitting in with the aesthetics of wooden closets, or even besides any other wooden hangers so definitely not in any designer clothing store.

    Sorry guys, you've got a great marketing team working on a terrible product.

  • Scott Phillips

    First off, a co-molded hanger with 4 different parts cheaper than a regular hanger? I do not think so. The trade off is not sufficient. Hang your t-shirts/sweaters. Really? This comes from a renowned design firm. They should be embarrassed by not having an understanding of the use case/need. 

    Secondly, Ziba Labs? You are a design and innovation company. Why do you need a separate lab to innovate? 

  • Ben Kurtzer

    Here's my solution for any shirt - bring the hanger in from the bottom of the shirt.

  • Richtpt

    The problem I have is not the neck getting stretched out, rather those nice bumps you get close to the shoulder after the shirt has been on the hanger for awhile.  I wear XL shirts and the hangers just aren't long enough to go to the shoulders.  That's one reason I fold my t-shirts.  Also, this hanger looks to be about as wide as 2-3 regular plastic hangers, which means less room to hang stuff up.  I'll have to choose which shirts get hung up and which don't, and t-shirts will always lose that battle.  Still, it is a nice design, I just don't see it doing anything for me and I'll continue to buy the current plastic hangers.

  • Janet Erwin

    I love the innovation, but it still doesn't do anything to help me individually hang my socks.

  • Vvego

    There will be a market for this in the retail sector...especially in more upscale stores.  These hangers can probably be store-branded and offered as incentives or gifts to customers who purchase some type of minimum.

    From the video, it looks like a great design.

    Well done.

    Vvego International

  • Ricardo Sa Freire

    I get people saying this is necessary but people working in stores would appreciate this. And thinking again this is probably the market that will buy this stuff... I personally prefer wooden hangers. 

  • AmyOhMy

    "The Most Dramatic Rethink of the Hanger in Over a Century"?  I've no argument with the elegance of the design or that it solves an issue with hangers and necklines. However solving the mild annoyances endured by people with closets full of "expensive T-shirts" isn't dramatic. Here's my criticisms with the concept: 1. T-shirts and sweaters are knits, the properties of fibers having been woven together makes hanging a bad choice for these items (sweaters more so than T-shirts) as it stretches the weave over time. 2. Multiple parts and multiple materials? That's irresponsible design. Can we think beyond the landfill a little bit here? Also, the familiar 'ol molded plastic hangers are in a price range that people can afford. Do we really need another "design" product that's costly to produce and priced only in a high end market segment? I'd be more impressed if it competed with the conventional design. 3.   Making another hanger does not seem to solve the lack of desire to hang clothes in the first place. Not a major criticism, but it's an irksome thing to hear product designers assert that they're behavior changers. 

  • Juan Trillo

    So... now I'am supposed to hang my tshirts... This is over thinking to get an "under-designed" product. What about heavier clothes... or is it a super-custom-not-useful-for-anything design?. Ja! everybody want's an apple style design story video, cmon be original!! It seems they dont't want to see that the obvius solution is much simpler.