DALLAS — Q Custom Clothier, a men’s clothing shop based in Dallas with salespeople nationwide, is adding a third store and launching a casual concept.

This story first appeared in the July 28, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The company plans to open a 2,700-square-foot store Aug. 1 in Houston that will house Q Custom Clothier in one half and Rye 51, a new contemporary men’s store, in the other, said Raja Ratan, owner, founder and chief executive officer.

“We plan to roll out the dual concept to as many markets as we can,” he said. “Our three-year plan would be eight stores.” He’s looking at major cities with reasonable rent, such as Chicago and Atlanta.

In business since 2003, Q Custom Clothier has two stores in Dallas at Highland Park Village and West Village and a shop-in-shop at Q Saxon Judd in Tulsa, Okla. It offers made-to-measure suits starting at $1,000 and shirts from $120 that are manufactured at Ratan’s family’s factory in Hong Kong and delivered within a month.

Company sales grew 20 percent last year to $3.6 million and are expected to reach $5.5 million this year, Ratan said. He started the business with his brother, Ravi, who now owns and manages Cufflinks.com.

“We have a huge clientele of professional athletes — Ben Roethlisberger, LaDainian Tomlinson, pretty much every Texas Ranger and a ton of Major League Baseball and NFL clients,” Ratan claimed. “We do all their suits.”

In addition to the stores, Ratan employs a national team of salespeople who call on men in their homes and offices.

The decision to move into contemporary sportswear was based on customer requests. “Our customers ask us where to go to get denim and contemporary [merchandise] and we have to lead them to the mall. Today there is a strong lack of cool higher-end men’s wear, and that’s where Rye 51 comes in.”

In contrast to Q’s clubby polished wood decor, Rye 51 will have an industrial look with concrete floors, oversize screw-pipe fixtures and reclaimed, distressed wood accents. A complementary full bar will sit behind the cash wrap. The retail duo is situated in West Ave, a new development in the affluent River Oaks neighborhood.

Ratan plans to introduce his own line of casual pants, jackets and shirts this fall at Rye 51, along with Gimo’s leather jackets, sportswear by John Varvatos, Wings + Horns and Rag & Bone plus denim from Earnest Sewn and Levi’s Made & Crafted.

“We’re not crazy edgy because a guy who’s wearing $2,000 suits is toned down but still wants luxury goods in one place,” Ratan said.

Houston was a natural because of its proximity to Dallas, its huge energy and medical industries, and its scarcity of custom clothiers.
“The target demographic is the affluent male between 30 and 55,” Ratan noted. “Guys are getting on board with custom and learning about it. They are getting over the misconception that it’s only for guys who can buy a $3,000 suit.”

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