Articles of Style thinks it’s answered the chicken or the egg question when it comes to content and commerce.
It was the content that came first before e-tailing for this company, which tonight marks its official dive into e-commerce.
Articles of Style sells custom men’s apparel and is based out of the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. It was begun five years ago as a blog called The Style Blogger, by Dan Trepanier.
“The blog has been around for a while,” said Will Howe, one of the cofounders. “It’s only in the last year-and-a-half that we decided to go down this route of launching a full line and opening the e-shop we have now.”
The third partner in the company is Alex Crawford and he, along with Trepanier and Howe, remain majority owners following a recent seed round of $200,000.
The young company still has some refining to do, “finding the secret sauce on the mixing of content and commerce,” said Howe, who is signed to Ford Models and is featured in some of the campaign imagery.
“Some people don’t even understand when they get to the site that they’re looking at a personally fit garment,” he said in pointing out one of the challenges.
Still, initial responses have been positive, Howe said, since the site quietly launched a few weeks ago.
Articles of Style is part of a new crop of cut-to-order digital businesses popping up, where it holds no inventory and doesn’t make anything until an order is placed. These companies bill themselves as offering premium, bespoke product to a new-generation of suit wearers.
“Our core customer is the Millennial man who has some discretionary spending ability, and we’re finding that we’re getting everything from hedge fund guys [and] guys who work at banks,” Howe said. “We’re getting style-conscious customers also, in that 20 to 40 age range who are just looking to kick their style up a notch.”
Customers can currently choose from a dozen suit and shirt offerings along with outerwear and formal attire. A two-piece suit starts at $995 with a more expensive three-piece priced at about $2,500.
The fabrics are sourced from Italy and England primarily, with everything made in Massachusetts, an intentional move that’s part of the company’s branding.
“We have a pretty strong Made in America identity,” Howe said.
That could lead to Articles of Style eventually partnering with other brands to sell their products in its online shop and it’s something being considered, according to Howe.
The company ships domestically and to Canada and is planning a broader international rollout soon.