The opening of the first Knot Standard in-store shop at Bloomingdale’s last week indicates a new avenue for growth for the men’s custom-apparel brand.
The 125-square-foot shop at the department store’s 59th Street flagship in Manhattan allows customers to digitally design their own suits on a large, in-store touch screen or iPad. As a result, the shop carries no inventory but instead relies on stylists and a 54-inch touchscreen to complete the orders.
Dan Leppo, Bloomingdale’s executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s and home, said the concept is a welcome addition to the store’s men’s offering. “Knot Standard brings excellent custom product and a unique, best-in-class customer experience to our men’s floor,” he said.
John Ballay, chief executive officer and cofounder of Knot Standard, said the shop represents “a fusion of the two business channels that already exist.” Knot Standard operates seven showrooms around the country where customers can create their own garments. It also operates a virtual studio online where shoppers can browse the brand’s 1,000-plus fabrics and digitally apply them to a 3-D model to create their own look.
Ballay said that if the shop in Bloomingdale’s is successful it will spark “a very ambitious rollout” in the future.
“We’ve been talking about this concept for the better part of four years,” he said, “and we’re kicking it off with Bloomingdale’s.”
Since the shop opened on Nov. 3, Ballay said it has garnered interest from both customers and the Bloomingdale’s associates. “We’ve seen an incredible level of interest from the staff that we may not have had with an off-the-rack brand,” he said.
Although the deal is not exclusive to the department store, Ballay said Knot Standard feels a certain “loyalty” to Bloomingdale’s for being the first retailer to get behind the brand.
Beyond that, Ballay said Knot Standard hopes to add showrooms to its fleet next year. “We’re overdue in Los Angeles,” he said. “And then everything else will be on a market-by-market basis.”
Knot Standard was founded in 2010 and counts Traub Capital and Under Armour ceo Kevin Plank as investors.