The Black Tux, a suit and tuxedo rental startup based in Santa Monica, has scooped up another $25 million in funding to make sure groomsmen no longer look like they’re wearing their dads’ old suits.
Led by Stripes Group (also investors in eco-friendly fashion brand Reformation) with participation from prior investors First Round and Menlo Ventures, the Series B comes less than a year after The Black Tux wrapped up a $10 million Series A in January.
“The current tuxedo rental market is served by the same two manufactures across every retail store in the U.S.,” says Blackmon. “We’re talking polyester suits, microfiber shirts, and plastic shoes… any guy who has rented before knows the experience.”
By owning the entire supply chain and bringing all logistics in-house, including dry-cleaning, tailoring services and inventory management, The Black Tux is able to offer higher-quality garments at a lower rate than the going rental tux.
The brand’s suits and tuxedos, made from the same Italian fabric that many top fashion brands work with, start at $95, with the average customer spending around $140.
Catering to an on-demand-obsessed generation, The Black Tux walks you through an online fitting process that matches your measurements to Black Tux garments using a sophisticated algorithm (yes, seriously). The company asks what day your event is, ships your suit out a week in advance, and promises to overnight you replacement garments (or foot the bill for local tailoring services) if the suit doesn’t fit.
Considering that the typical tuxedo rental process involves going into the rental store three times — to get fitted, pick up your tux, and drop it off after the event — and sets you back a good $200 bucks, it’s no surprise that The Black Tux has grown its customer base into the hundreds of thousands and repeatedly sold out of inventory since launching in June of 2013, according to Blackmon.
“This is a multibillion dollar industry that’s completely overlooked because it’s completely unsexy,” Blackmon says. “There’s little incentive to change because the whole industry is ubiquitous, and most people in the garment or fashion industry don’t look at rentals as something they want to disrupt.”
That being said, Blackmon says The Black Tux plans to experiment with offering certain items for final sale because customers frequently ask if they can keep the suits they’ve rented.
The latest tranche of funding brings the company’s funding total to $40 million since 2012.