There are plenty of custom tailors on the Internet these days and they seem like the perfect business – you take a commodity product and spiff it up then send the work to places where expert custom manufacturers aren’t that hard to find (namely places like Hong Kong and Taiwan). The resulting products are bespoke and make the owners feel like they’re in on something special. It works every time.
That’s why IndoChino’s recent “traveling tailor” program is so interesting. IndoChino makes suits and shirts based on your specific measurements. You follow a quick set of video tutorials to measure your chest, shoulders, gut, and groin and then send those numbers off to skilled tailors. The tailors whip together your clothes, add a monogram, and you pay $600 or so for the privilege. Then, barring massive weight gain or loss, you can go back to the site and order new clothes without the hassle of finding a tailor.
However, IndoChino wants you to go through the hassle of finding a tailor – their tailor. The first Traveling Tailor event happened in Vancouver last November and the next one will be in Calgary (both are cities in a country called Canada, IndoChino’s home. Canada is North of the United States and is also known as “America’s Hat”) this year. The events were a rousing success with a number of dudes rolling through to get fitted and, more important, a number of conversions. The most important thing is that each of these walk-up clients immediately became IndoChino customers, even if they didn’t buy anything immediately.
The problem with many custom sales sites is that there is an essential desire in shoppers to touch and hold items they’re about to buy. While this need has been denuded drastically over the years, the only way it truly works is if you have an overtly non-draconian returns policy. Most services, then, allow you to return anything at any time and offer lifetime guarantees and free shipping.
For a custom service like IndoChino, however, you have the quite a bit invested in these clothes and they can’t be easily refurbished and resold. Therefore, these traveling tailor pop up stores make perfect sense. They’re a simple strategy to build word of mouth marketing, increase the customer base, and ensure users understand and can truly visualize what’s for sale.
The company is planning on moving down the West Coast this year with an upcoming event in Seattle as well as events in San Francisco and New York. Timing hasn’t yet been determined.
These pop-up stores feature samples of all their wares as well as on-the-spot fittings (and order forms) for lads who want to look smart for upcoming soirees.
The company has 55 employees in Canada (see above), Shanghai (not in Canada), and China (another country that is not Canada) and was founded in 2007 by Heikal Gani and Kyle Vucko. The founders found it hard to buy off-the-rack suits that were sufficiently handsome and so decided to buy custom. A few years later they’re shipping suits to 60 countries (including the aforementioned Canada.)
With more sites like this (and this and this) popping up on the Internet, that guy with the beard is probably going to have to clear out his warehouse.