It didn’t take long for Tinker Tailor founder and chief executive officer Aslaug Magnusdottir to realize she needed a solid off-line presence to help build the luxe start-up’s business online.
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Now, she’s teamed with Claire Distenfeld’s Fivestory for a made-to-order collection that will bow Wednesday at the Upper East Side store.
“There are just certain details that people can’t see online. People love being able to touch and feel the fabric,” Magnusdottir said. “When you have a new business, it’s important for people to be able to get in contact with the product as well. Pop-ups are a new test for us.”
Magnusdottir, who cofounded Moda Operandi with Lauren Santo Domingo nearly four years ago and departed the company in 2013, launched tinkertailor.com in May. She has spent the past month dabbling with the notion of pop-up locations for her brand, a hybrid of personalized ready-to-wear and made-to-order apparel and accessories.
The company hosted a pop-up at Soho House in Miami during Art Basel with Osman and John Brevard and held similar events in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. The Fivestory New York for Tinker Tailor collaboration is the first pop-up to focus on the made-to-order portion of the business.
The site has worked with about 100 brands and designers, with looks from five to 10 partners on sale at any given time. Brands from Rodarte to fine jeweler Andrea Fohrman give the Tinker Tailor customer the option to customize items, for instance, by adding sleeves to a gown or creating a pair of shoes. While this portion of Tinker Tailor makes up the majority of its business for the moment, a growing made-to-order category might be catching up.
At Fivestory, consumers will see five core pieces of Tinker Tailor’s, retailing from $650 to $2,260.
There are a multitude of options. Each piece in the tightly conceived collection — a cocktail dress, an off-the-shoulder sweater dress, a ball skirt, a shawl-collar jumpsuit and an opera coat — will be available in varying shades of red, green and blue and in a variety of fabrics from silk faille to taffeta, cashmere and wool.
Everything is made-to-order, with samples of each item at the store, as well as an associate who will take measurements and have color and fabric swatches on hand.
The offering will be at Fivestory for one week and then at tinkertailor.com until midMarch.
The collaboration came about after Distenfeld bought a Tinker Tailor polka-dot skirt and posted a photo to Instagram. Magnusdottir said that post led to a flurry of sales of that style on the site.
“Aslaug e-mailed me saying they’d love to do a collection, and I was like, ‘I already have one ready,’” said Distenfeld, who was reexamining Lauren Bacall’s style after the leading lady’s death in August.
Distenfeld started with a skirt Bacall wore, and adapted her own version in emerald green silk faille. But the show-stopper is a ruby red, “Grecian, one-shoulder, shawled, caped cocktail dress” (in the shop owner’s own words). A blue opera coat has a lining that’s stamped with a reimagined version of the Beverly Hills Hotel banana leaf print.
Each piece in the collection is named after characters from Bacall’s movies like “Carlotta” and “Marilla” and customers can order the styles at whichever price point they’d like. For instance, the “Marilla” skirt in silk faille retails for $1,930, but the taffeta version costs $1,320.
Distenfeld said the made-to-order concept offers fresh take on fashion for her customers.
“I’m so fed up with the idea of collections being tired by the time they get to the retail store,” Distenfeld said. “Brands lend the clothing and you see celebs wearing it, and while it’s still exciting, it’s not as exciting.”