To allow it to focus more on the customer side of the business, tailored suit startup InStitchu has taken a $2.5 million investment from clothing manufacturer Dayang Group, Techcrunch reported. The purpose of the investment was to strengthen ties with Dayang, according to InStitchu Co-CEO James Wakefield.
“We’re in a fortunate position where we didn’t need the funding,” Wakefield told Techcrunch. “That wasn’t really the reason for us doing the deal. It was mainly around our view of Dayang and where they’re taking made-to-measure suiting over the next few years.”
Dayang was already manufacturing half of InStitchu’s suits. But, through the partnership, InStitchu could turn to the firm for more of its production.
In time, Wakefield said that fewer customers will opt to go to department stores to purchase clothes. In comparison to off-the-rack options, InStitchu allows customers to customize their suits down to the look and measurements. If the suit doesn’t fit, InStitchu will reportedly pay for alterations, remake the suit or offer customers a refund.
InStitchu’s offerings include suits made from Australian Merino wool. It also has showrooms that combine the “old-world tailoring, sort of luxury experience” with the company’s technology, according to Wakefield.
In the U.S., Detroit-based custom-made suit retailer 1701 Bespoke has a similar model as it, too, combines the attention of personalized shopping with the convenience of digital purchasing. Instead of looking at clothes in-store, however, 1701 Bespoke customers touch fabric and talk about their style goals. When it comes time to buy, they shop on their own time through the website.
1701 Bespoke is also a very experiential base attempt on the middle market, with an initial in-store visit typically stretching to two hours.
“We’re able to not only help them with fabric selections, but also help them formulate their style [and meet those goals],” the company’s co-founder, Max Schmidt, has said. “From that perspective, we’re competing against some of the other custom outfits out there.”