Los Angeles Clothing Labels Technology Based Approach to Custom Suits Creates Value in a Luxury Segment

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Requisite Clothing's hybrid approach to building custom suits using a combination of technology and old world craftsmanship has fueled growth in sales of their luxury goods in a down economy.

Customers end up spending about the same or even less (when bought in bulk) and they get exactly what they want fitted exactly to them

For luxury brands and retailers the slow economic recovery has kept them reeling. Most are experiencing steep double digit percentage decline in sales but Los Angeles based Requisite Clothings innovative technology based approach to manufacturing their custom suits has helped them to not only weather the storm, but thrive. They are quick to point out that since the collapse of Lehman brothers in 2008 – the unofficial start of the recession- They have seen triple digit percentage increases in sales.

“When times get tough, the first thing people usually cut out are indulgences…you know, wants, luxury. For most out there they assume that custom suits fall in to that category, but what has fueled our growth has been the fact that our business model is value based” states creative director for Requisite, Chris Vance.

Since the start of mass production hit tailored clothing in the late 60’s, The custom suit segment has been synonymous with luxury and with a business model that required them to be built completely by hand and only by superbly skilled master tailors. This resulted in a product that has been outrageously expensive and consequently out of reach to the everyday consumer.

“The way custom suits are made today is largely antiquated. Its still the year 1902 for a lot of the tailors out there, everything is made by hand and only ultra skilled labor is involved. That is where we saw the opportunity for growth” States Vance.

Borrowing cues from the automotive industry, Requisite created a streamlined approach to custom suit and custom dress shirt manufacturing. With relatively “new” technologies such as the internet and computer aided drafting- C.A.D. - they have broken down the process so that technology and skilled labor can co exist and work together.

“What used to be done by hand, like patterns, can now be done efficiently by CAD. What used to be a one man job is now built by teams using an assembly line process. The ultra skilled labor of our 2 master tailors with 20 +years of experience is not needed to do general seams, so where applicable its replaced by skilled labor instead.” adds Vance "Talk about talking things for granted, e-mail has been around for decades, but the ability to transmit large files of data allows us to design patterns in New York and instantaneously get it back to our home office here in L.A. That’s a game changer for this industry, it allows us to operate anywhere in the world in a cost effective manner, all without sacrificing quality.”

This allows Requisite to retail custom suits at a fraction of the general market. With suits ranging from $ 895- $1275, which gets roughly 20% less when bought in “bulk”, their pricing is more than half of the $3000 –$5000+ of the old guard. They are the first to admit that they are not inexpensive but even then their customers are seeing value.

“ Our average customer spends $500-$800 for suits off the rack and then they need another $100-150 in alterations and after all that it still doesn’t fit quite right. Going custom guarantees the fit, not to mention we will always have more choices as far as fabric, style and cuts goes. It just makes sense.” Adds Vance.” Customers end up spending about the same or even less (when bought in bulk) and they get exactly what they want fitted exactly to them, yes there are cheaper suits out there but I do not think anyone can match us when it comes to “bang for your buck”

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Jeric Rivera
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