Michael Strahan wants to offer “a VIP experience for the masses.” That’s the reason the NFL Hall of Famer, TV personality and entrepreneur is launching a made-to-measure tailored clothing collection with Men’s Wearhouse that will retail beginning at under $400.
“The way I look at it,” Strahan told WWD, “fashion is a very personal expression. So we wanted to allow a way for the customer to get the linings and all the details they wanted and become almost like designers so they can individually express themselves.”
The Michael Strahan Custom Made to Measure Suiting Program will utilize Men’s Wearhouse’s team of tailors and a co-created Custom Builder App that will guide customers through fittings and personalization of their garments.
The Strahan collection will retail at a price below that of the other made-to-measure offerings at the retailer. Men’s Wearhouse already sells made-to-measure in both its Joe as well as Joseph Abboud brands. The Joe collection is made in China and retails starting at $479 while the Joseph Abboud collection is manufactured in the company’s factory in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and opens at $799 for suits and $559 for sport coats. The Strahan collection is being made in India and can be picked up in stores in about three weeks.
John Tighe, president of Tailored Brands, Men’s Wearhouse’s parent, said the addition of the Michael Strahan collection fills a void in the company’s good-better-best matrix. “Michael’s line sells for a little less than Joe, so that’s ‘good,’ Joe is ‘better‘ and Joseph Abboud is ‘best,’” he said.
Tighe described the Strahan collection as “a little more fashion and all about stretch. There’s a real comfort and style story.”
Strahan agreed. “What we’re trying to focus on is performance fabrics and fit,” he said. “We’re also giving everybody a lot of versatile styles and high quality for a great price. If you want to be able to wear a suit day and night and not feel like you’re stuck in this body armor, you want something versatile — something where you can take off your tie and blend in at night or keep it on and blend in at a meeting during the day. And they can make it exactly how they want it, starting at $399, which is a hell of a deal.”
Fits will range from slim to modern to executive and will be offered in sizes ranging from 32 to 62, and all garments will feature the proprietary Michael Strahan stretch waistband. There are 18 different swatches in a variety of colors, patterns and textures, Tighe said. Options include stripes, houndstooths and plaids in colors ranging from black and navy to gray and wine. Linings feature Michael Strahan branding.
The collection will only be available at Men’s Wearhouse for now, although it is expected to be added to the company’s Moore’s division in Canada in the future.
It is not being sold online however. Although other menswear brands have had success selling direct-to-consumer on the web, Strahan believes buying a made-to-measure garment that way is tough. “The Men’s Wearhouse stores all have expert tailors. With online, you often have to get it altered but you don’t have to worry about that at Men’s Wearhouse because the custom tailors will fit you perfectly and you know exactly what you’re walking out the door with.”
Strahan said that’s especially important for a man as big as he is. “For a guy my size, I can’t tell you how many things I’ve bought online where I can’t even get the waistband over my calf muscles. So when I buy something, I want to make sure it’s exactly what I’m looking for. I wish this was around when I was playing football.”
Strahan launched his tailored clothing and furnishings brand in 2015, initially with JCPenney, but added Men’s Wearhouse in 2020. He said it is performing above expectations at its new home and he’s proud of “what we’ve been able to accomplish there in a relatively short time.” He said the retailer has “trusted us and expanded us to show that they believe in the brand — and it’s been performing extremely well.”
Tighe said Strahan’s off-the-rack tailored clothing is carried at both Men’s Wearhouse and Moores with suit separates the “core of the business.” The stores also do well with the dress shirts and sportswear, the latter of which offers a “polished casual” aesthetic perfect for the office or a date night. “That’s in keeping with our DNA,” Tighe said.
Top sellers are four-way stretch patterned shirts and the Hybrid Performance Chino pant, as well as knit sport coats.
The made-to-measure collection is the latest launch for the Strahan brand, which offers everything from jeans and athleisurewear to grooming products. Strahan’s Daily Defense skin and shave line launched in September at CVS, Rite Aid, Amazon and other retailers and is performing well, he said. The debut collection featured five products and Strahan believes there are “so many opportunities” to expand the line.
In the apparel sector, there are no specific product categories in the near term, but he’s still expecting to expand in areas “that really work. The biggest thing for me is about being authentic with it,” he said. “I don’t want to just throw things out there that don’t work for me or the person buying it because at the end of the day, my name is on it.”
His name will also be on a very special sidewalk starting Monday when he will be presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — the first of the 2,744 honorees from the sports entertainment category.
“I guess they’re giving these things away now,” he said with a laugh. “But seriously, I have mixed feelings about it. Obviously, I’m excited and completely honored, but part of me is going: ‘How the heck did this happen?’ It just seems surreal. Do I deserve a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame? It’s very hard for me to wrap my head around it.”
What is more in his comfort zone is his association with football. The former defensive end for the New York Giants revealed that he’ll partner again this year with his old teammate Carl Banks on an exclusive Super Bowl collection that brings together their two apparel brands: his MSX by Michael Strahan athleisure line and Banks’ Starter brand.
“I always love doing those things because they take me back to my roots,” Strahan said. “I just saw the samples and they look great. Last year’s collection sold out and hopefully this year will do the same.”