Pop-up stores are the food trucks of fashion. It’s a trendy, time-limited opportunity to check out the wares of a traveling salesman. In the food truck world, customers are chasing gourmet on wheels. In fashion, pop-up stores are a chance to get unique looks.
For 4 days this week, Indochino, a company that normally serves their customers soley online, has taken over a space at the base of the Calgary Tower to ‘suit up Calgary.’
The Indochino story is one of Canadian start up success, celebrity backing, geeky ingenuity, and fashion forwardness.
Kyle Vucko and Heikal Gani are best friends who craved custom clothes they could afford. Instead of off-the-rack with expensive alterations, the friends set out to create a company that would be customized to the customer right from the start.
Their business plan was for a company that would craft stylish, custom made suits matching every man’s unique size profile. They would be ordered online, delivered anywhere in the world—and take the strain off our wallets. In 2007, Indochino was born.
The star power of Indochino, and the name that had me sit up and take notice of the story when he came on board last spring, is NBA All-Star Steve Nash. “I have a huge passion for men’s apparel and brands that are innovative,” Nash told Techvibes. “So, it is extremely exciting for me to be a part of a brand like Indochino and to have the opportunity to design my own signature collection with them.”
Nash is a friend and business partner of Indochino Chairman, Jeff Mallett. Both hail from Victoria and are co-owners of the Vancouver Whitecaps. Mallett, the former President and COO of Yahoo!, introduced Nash to Indochino as a result of their shared interest in men’s fashion.
With Mallett on board, and his Yahoo! pedigree, the internet model of the company is on sound footing. On the first night of their visit to Calgary, Yucko wasn’t talking to fashionistas, he was rubbing elbows with the tech start-up types at AcceleratorYYC.
Customers in more than 60 countries have taken their own measurements, ordered their suits and in 4 weeks have had custom tailored clothing arrive. As with other online retailers, the company takes customer service seriously with a no nonsense guarantee. If it doesn’t fit, you can send it back at their expense to have it remade, or they will give you $75 to find a local tailor to fix it for you.
While Indochino makes it easy for you to self-measure for your suits, the pop-up experience takes service beyond the mouse and makes it personal. You are perfectly measured, you are personally styled.
And the best part? My wife now knows my numbers. If she wants to get me a gift, it’s a guaranteed perfect fit.
Internet fashion for men is starting to take off. Up next? The Dollar Shave Club.