The Tailory New York, which was established last year to create custom clothing for Manhattan professionals and skews mostly toward men’s wear, wants a bigger piece of the women’s business.
The company has a multiprong strategy to aggressively pursue a female clientele: referrals from current customers; social media (collaborating with female style bloggers and influencers); trunk shows; hosting female-focused events on a quarterly basis, and even doing office visits. Its business is 70 percent men’s wear and 30 percent women’s wear, but founder Shao Yang hopes to even that out by attracting female lawyers, financiers, real estate agents and media entrepreneurs.
Located at 9 East 53rd Street, 5th floor, The Tailory New York makes custom apparel in two to four weeks’ time using high-quality fabrics such as Loro Piana and Scabal. It designs shirts for men and women, suits for men and women (skirt suits, dress suits, pantsuits), overcoats, blazers, chinos, shorts, tailored dresses and jumpsuits. Appointments are taken at thetailorynyc.com.
Yang, who earned a B.F.A. at the The New School’s Parsons School of Design, has worked in custom for more than 10 years, having started her career at Kay Unger designing mother-of-the-bride suits and eveningwear. She then designed for Linea O and My.Suit Made to Measure, and was lead style adviser for A Suit That Fits. She ultimately fell into custom tailoring because she was obsessed with men’s suiting and always loved the “gentlemen” era.
When it comes to custom design, fit is paramount — especially for women, Yang said. “Female clients are always struggling with fit. It’s perfectly fitted to their body. It’s the number-one thing they want,” she noted.
The process begins with Yang inviting clients to establish their preferred styles by pinning looks to their own Pinterest board. Then she discusses with them the fit and style they’re looking for and sketches out the items before taking measurements. Next, she and the client pick out fabrics and trims together. Yang works entirely in wovens, using wools, silks, linens and cottons from Asia, Italy and the U.K. Everything is made in Chinese factories. Men’s is produced in Qingdao, and women’s in Shanghai.
Prices depend on fabric quality. Women’s and men’s custom shirts start at $150 for house cottons and can go as high as $300 to $700 for Thomas Mason and Albini cotton. Custom suits begin at $895 for Asian wool and top out at $1,900 to $4,000 for suits made of Loro Piana (wools, wool/silk and cashmere), Dormeuil (wools and wool/silk) and Scabal wools.
The Tailory New York, which looks to do $500,000 in sales in 2015, also offers a Wardrobe Solution Program for women, where Yang will design a jacket, a skirt or pants, and a dress each season for a client, changing the weight of the fabrics. Prices range from $1,790 to $6,000. As Garrett Wexler, vice president of sales, noted: “A perfectly tailored suit is a strong message.”