After 17 years of focusing on just men, Suitsupply is setting its sights on women.
The Dutch retailer, known for its youthful tailored clothing, is creating a new chain for women called Suistudio. The company quietly opened its first stores in Amsterdam and Shanghai this month and will move into the U.S. in November with two stores at Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan and SoHo.
Suitsupply has 84 stores around the world including 32 in North America, a market it entered in 2011.
Like the men’s stores, the women’s boutiques focus primarily on the “power suit” at affordable prices. The average price ranges from $399 to $699, with jackets selling for $299 to $699, trousers for $199 to $299. The offering spans from classic to more-modern silhouettes and the collection includes shirts, knitwear, skirts, dresses, jumpsuits and eveningwear as well.
The suits, which represent some 60-70 percent of the mix, are made from Italian fabrics such as Vitale Barberis Canonico and Ferla and are hand-finished. And as the case with the men’s stores, each store will offer while-you-wait tailoring.
To introduce the concept, Suistudio has created a racy advertising campaign for fall featuring model Rianne ten Haken dressed in a suit and flanked by a naked man. The tag line is #notdressingmen.
Fokke de Jong, founder and chief executive officer of Suitsupply, said, “We’ve been asked consistently for a long time to make a women’s collection. Our brand is about bringing high-quality product for attainable price points. We don’t thimk there is anything out there that combines quality high-end fabrics at an attainable price point with the specialization of tailoring. We really have to fulfill the promise of providing a perfect fit for women. It’s actually even harder to do for woman than it is for men.”
De Jong said the two stores that are already open as well as the online store have been “very successful,” giving the company the confidence to continue the rollout into the U.S.
“We’ve been very surprised by the level of interest from varying consumer segments,” he added. “Women are enthusiastically responding to fashion items. For instance, the Cameron checked double-breasted suit and the straight-fit navy striped Joss jacket paired with pleated high-rise trousers are the most popular. The feedback from customers praise how well the suits fit. That has been the most impressive and rewarding factor.”
He said that it has not yet been determined how many adfitional stores will be added and where. “As with our men’s business, our growth is directly related to our ability to maintain quality. We are scaling up our teams and getting more talent in to suport this very exciting new venture.”