IRVINE, CALIF. — Combatant Gentlemen has big plans to dress the Millennial male with Hugo Boss quality at H&M prices.
The three-year-old company’s growth has it set to quadruple headquarters space to about 10,000 square feet here, once a move is completed early next month. The new offices also include a showroom — the company’s first permanent foray into the brick-and-mortar world.
Combatant Gentlemen has dabbled in pop-up shops, with one in Los Angeles about a year ago and another in New York in December.
The showroom will operate Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and by appointment only on the weekends.
“It’s definitely a test and we do want to make that foray into brick and mortar, but it’s all about finding a perfect model,” said Hafez Adel, Combatant Gentlemen’s director of marketing. “At the end of the day, you can have the most amazing digital experience in the world but with a suit, there’s no substitute for trying it on, feeling it [and] seeing the fabric especially because with our price point there’s a lot of skepticism we have to deal with. [People say] ‘Well, how can you do a 100 percent wool suit for $160?’ People assume it’s a poly blend. People assume the stitching is not up to par so, in a way, we wanted this foray into brick and mortar to say ‘See for yourself.’”
The vertical e-tailer sources its wool from a sheep farm it owns in Italy and makes its suits in northern China.
Next month will also see the launch of its custom suit line called Haberdash, with prices starting at $300.
The company’s capitalizing on growth of its wedding business — which accounts for about 20 percent of overall revenue — with a dashboard set to go live in early April. The portal aims to help groomsmen make suit selections and stay organized.
The company has five full-time wedding stylists, but it’s an area of the business Adel said the firm is hiring the most actively in.
Combatant Gentlemen rounded out last year with sales of between $15 million and $20 million and became profitable in its second year of business. The company has raised $2.2 million to date in seed funding, but is cautious about growth.
“We’ve had an opportunity to take a lot more money and we’ve made a conscious effort not to because we want to grow organically and sustainably and we’ve seen too many e-commerce brands take on too much funding, grow inorganically — basically purchase all of their revenue — and then collapse a few years down the road or have to take massive layoffs. By not taking the money, it enforced a certain discipline in us,” Adel said.
The company ships throughout North America. Up next is the U.K. and Australia, delivery of which will be added by the end of the year.
“Right now we’re really happy with the Millennial male and we’re excited about potentially opening up verticals within the space,” said founder and chief executive officer Vishaal Melwani. “We’re talking about shoes, outerwear [and] a lot of other things.”