March 6 2015 Latest news:
Ben Woods, Business writer
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
A Norfolk entrepreneur has launched a digital rival to Savile Row by taking traditional suit tailoring online.
Elliot Suiter has set up a UK branch of the Australian start-up company InStitchu – an e-commerce site providing suit customisation for a cut price.
Since its launch three weeks ago, the 23-year-old from Watlington, King’s Lynn, has already recorded more than 20 orders and seen upwards of 60 people registering on the website.
But while the main focus is to make 3,000 orders in the first three years, Mr Suiter is also keen to launch pop-up shops in Norwich and Cambridge – or even a fully fledged store in London.
“There is a massive demand at the moment for customisation,” Mr Suiter said. “Because of how much variety there is out there, people want their things to be personal to them. Meanwhile, men’s fashion is growing at a rapid rate. The combination of these two areas means that there is a genuine demand for tailored suits. Formal wear is certainly becoming more fashionable for younger people.”
Shoppers can buy a suit from InStitchu by entering their measurements online, or by arranging a booking to get measured.
Each suit is then manufactured in China, with an average price of £200 to £500.
Mr Suiter became involved with the company after meeting the owners while travelling in Sydney, Australia.
He convinced them to set up InStitchu in the UK, despite their initial plans to launch their first overseas operation in America.
But while suit tailoring maybe steeped in heritage, Mr Suiter is keen for the business to be at the forefront of technological advances, with plans to use a full-body scanning machine to take suit measurements in the future.
“Referrals will be a big part of our business,” he added. “We are looking to do pop-up sites in coffee shops. We will use our full-size banners so we can market strongly.
“Our long term aim is to have pop-up shops in hotel foyers or bank buildings.
“In Australia we have a portal measurement system, which provides 3D body scanning, but we need to find a base for this in the UK.”
With a reputation as one of the toughest people in business, many stores would shudder at the thought of getting the Mary Portas treatment.