SAN FRANCISCO — Suitsupply customers and fans on Thursday toasted the men’s wear brand’s new 5,000-square-foot store at 175 Maiden Lane here near the city’s tony Union Square shopping district.
Chief executive officer Fokke de Jong said the market is a good fit for the Dutch brand. “It is a more pioneering kind of city, and we are a brand that brings a new energy to tailoring,” de Jong said before the opening. “San Francisco has always cherished the people who don’t really fit in the system — it’s in the genes of the city.”
Men’s wear bloggers who attended the opening party applauded the brand’s ethos of stylish suits at price points that were more accessible than the average department store. Ian Anderson, an engineer and blogger at From Squalor to Baller, showed the details on his Suitsupply blazer, remarking on the $500-or-so price points of many of the suits. Gus Walbolt, a lifestyle consultant and blogger at A Bit of Color, concurred that the ratio of quality to pricing made Suitsupply stand out.
Men’s wear aficionados aside, will there be an audience in the land that has become famous for dress-down uniforms and an eschewal of formality, sartorial and otherwise?
De Jong said “yes.” In addition to the city’s considerable gay community, which he said had always made up an important group of brand ambassadors, de Jong emphasized that “casual” and “tailoring” don’t have to be mutually exclusive, adding that the casual reputation here was quite cultivated.
“At the end of the day,” he said, “we don’t only do suits, we do tailoring, and basically everything that has a jacket.” For example, he suggested that a customer might combine a jacket with a T-shirt and denim. “All the materials are a high-quality, and it still is a very elegant look.”
The store is made up of different “rooms” that are evocative of a department store, and will soon boast a downstairs café for patrons waiting for the on-site tailoring for which the brand is known. De Jong said that it was important to enhance the customer experience with technology, including RFID tags that improve stock accuracy and making deliveries through Uber Rush when a customer has alterations.
Suitsupply began in 2000 and currently has more than 60 stores in Europe, the United States and Asia. This is the first full California store. Other California locations are a pop-up store on Abbot Kinney in Venice and a shops-in-shop in Bloomingdale’s in Beverly Hills. The privately held company also has a significant e-commerce business.
“We wanted to have this store open for some while,” de Jong said. “We have a great following here in our online business, and Maiden Lane is a nice, historic street off the beaten path.”