Personal styling concierge site Men’s Style Lab has expanded its tech know-how with an algorithm to create a user’s style profile.
The model, which began in 2013 and competes with sites such as Trunk Club, charges a $20 styling fee for the creation of a customized box sent to one’s home for approval before an actual purchase. The company completed a Series A round in November, raising nearly $1.9 million. Current investors and advisors include Rick Leto, former chief executive officer of Mervyns; Jeff Rusinow, former executive vice president of Macy’s, and Susan Healy, former chief financial officer of Lands’ End.
Following the raise, the company developed its proprietary algorithm, along with an updated Web site.
The algorithm includes typical data such as height and weight, but also includes inquiries such as lifestyle questions. One’s ideal place to work, as well as what music one listens to or what is one’s dream house, are all designed to help a stylist cull together a profile that can be used for determining what clothes to send in the boxes for purchase.
Derian Baugh, ceo of the styling firm, said, “We score the products and align them with what customers say when they sign up. It’s not about sending clothes that will fit them, but also about sending clothes that will fit for their everyday lifestyle and with things they will like.”
Unlike Frank & Oak, which targets the aspirational, creative entrepreneur, Men’s Style Lab targets the younger consumer working his way up the corporate ladder with an annual household income of $75,000 to $200,000.
Baugh explained that stylists use a blended approach in reaching a style profile. One part uses the technology to score items in inventory, which is then integrated with user traits from the profile questionnaire. The questionnaire also includes questions on preferences, such as patterns, fit and color. The second component has the stylists interpreting the profile to figure out how to narrow the inventory down to the five items that are shipped in the boxes. There’s still a $20 styling charge and if customers keep all five items, they get a 25 percent discount of the total price. Options include shipments every 30, 60 or 90 days, or a one-time box to try out the service.
The ceo said most customers ask for a full outfit to be sent in the boxes. The company works with 100 brands. Those brands include established and emerging names, such as Ben Sherman; Gant Rugger; Civil Society; Halsey; Schott NYC, and Scotch & Soda.
Shirts range from $75 to $135; sweaters from $80 to $140; pants from $90 to $170, and blazers and outerwear from $280 to $600.