It’s a big ask isn’t it. When you can walk into some stores, try a suit on, feel the cloth and walk out with it for, in come places, less than $100 who is going to pay $2,500 for a suit over the internet?
Surprisingly, a lot more people than you think. You lose a lot of personal service when buying on-line. However, all those extra services cost money and in most cases a lot of money and by not providing those services we can afford to sell our suits far cheaper than your local tailor.
The trick to selling over the internet is to be able to offer goods at a price point where the customer decides it’s worth foregoing those little extras they will get at your local tailors. We do it on our basic range. Our Beijing suits are great suits for the money. Where else can you get fully canvassed suits for $338? Not many tailors do full canvas suits anymore and for those that do, prices start around a grand.
It’s the same with the premium cloths. Those who know and understand good suiting will see suits made from Taylor and Lodge cloth and starting at $1,199 and think that either I’ve made some sort of mistake or I’m completely off my rocker. When they see that I’m talking about full floating canvas as well as completely hand stitched (although this may be re-inforced along the seams by some machine stitching, even Savile Row do this) they will think I’m completely insane.
Until now, a suit of this quality for $1199 was unthinkable and certainly can’t be done by western tailors. Think about it for a second. How much do you think it would cost for a local tailor, with at least ten years tailoring experience, to sit at a worktable with a needle and thread making 4,000 to 6,000 individual stitches by hand to construct a suit? You’re talking around 80 to 100 hours labour here. Even at a very low $40 an hour your talking $3,200 to $4,000 in labour alone before adding on any costs much less actual profit. Who knows any trademan who charges $40 an hour anyway?
Sorry, but in western society and even a considerable part of Asia it can no longer be done affordably. Even in Hong Kong you can’t buy suits like this for that sort of money. Although, they have established workshops in China, the cost of operating the store in one of the world’s most expensive cities prohibits the selling of these high quality suits at this price.
I know a tailor in Sydney who will make you a beautiful bespoke suit from Taylor & Lodge cloth. He will do a number of fittings for you. The suit is still cut and stitched in workshops in China but he also has his own jacket maker on staff in Sydney who will finish the suit perfectly. The end result is an immaculate perfect fitting suit certainly equal to a suit made by any of the best bespoke tailors in the world today.
As this suit would be full bespoke in every sense of the word I’ll happily admit it will be a better overall suit then the one I’ll sell you. It will also be at least five times the price as well. So despite us both hand stitching our suit in Chinese workshops, using top grade trimmings including a handmade linen and horsehair canvas my $1,199 suit now becomes $6,000-$7,000. That’s a lot of money for a better fit.
The idea of selling these suits was to allow Elite Suits customers to buy world’s best quality suits at an affordable price. suits made with the world’s finest cloth and tailored by Asia’s finest for less than what you will pay for an average suit in a department store.
I was recently in one of our local department stores looking at an Armani suit. A very nice busimess suit if you like paying $1,799 for suit with a fused canvas made in a Turkish factory that won the contract by offering to make the most suits in the shortest time. Personally, I have a bit of an issue paying $1,799 for a suit that probably cost less than $200 to make. Everything someone flashes his Armani label (half of which are cheap knock-offs anyway) at me I just smile and nod. I simply don’t have the patience to explain.
Do you think I’d swap my fully hand made full canvas Dormeuil fabric suit that I sell for $949 for the $1,799 Armani?