Sydney fashion startup InStitchu has opened a physical store in the heart of New York City as its first presence outside of Australia and New Zealand.
InStitchu is a five-year-old online business that allows customers to send in their measurements to have custom-made suits and shirts delivered in 3 to 4 weeks. The success of the venture had seen it open showrooms in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Auckland.
Co-founder Robin McGowan said that the startup already had a “significant number” of US customers but a physical presence was the “logical next step” for a fashion business.
“We have had US customers ordering online for years, but some shoppers — predominantly wedding groups — have the desire to feel the fabric and talk to a real person before purchasing,” he said.
“We have enjoyed a warm welcome from locals and the extremely supportive Australian community in NYC.”
InStitchu was turning over $10 million by last year and claims its average customer re-orders every 120 days and that such repeat business accounts for the majority of its orders.
Co-founder James Wakefield said that his company’s ability to tailor and adapt to different styles around the world has attracted a loyal international following.
“Fashion differs around the world, and this is something that we cannot control,” he said. “Our customers want flexibility and convenience, and that is something we have always kept at the heart of our business.”
The company said that the opening of the store on 24th street in downtown Manhattan comes just in time, citing an IBIS World figure that the menswear sector in the USA would grow 16.2% per year over the ten years to 2021.
Further expansion was also forecast, with more physical showrooms in other US and global locations to follow.
University friends McGowan and Wakefield established InStitchu in late 2011, when they were both aged just 23, after they encountered difficulty finding satisfactory attire for their new corporate careers. Ordering their own suits soon turned into a business for other people and they ended up quitting their day jobs at CBRE and Macquarie.