Samuelsohn has spent nearly 100 years creating tailored clothing. Now the Montreal-based company is branching out into an elevated sportswear/clothing hybrid with a new collection named Vue.
The offering has been created to answer the need for sophisticated style for customers “whose new rhythm of life calls for less structure and broader adaptability,” Samuelsohn said.
In addition to the more-casual aesthetic, the collection is also being offered in a showroom-style model, pioneered by brands such as Bonobos, Knot Standard and Indochino. While the latter two offer custom garments, Vue is more of a hybrid between custom and off-the-rack.
Vue’s model, which Samuelsohn is calling a “zero-inventory retail strategy,” is being targeted to upscale men’s specialty stores, the primary customers for the company’s suit collection. Retailers will only need to stock try-on models as well as an assortment of swatches, so customers can select the proper fit along with their fabric choice. When completed — orders received by 2 p.m. are sent out the next day — the product is then shipped directly from Samuelsohn’s Montreal distribution center to the customer.
“This seasonal buy requires a minimal wholesale investment by our retail partners who have faced their most challenging year in business these last nine months,” said Stephen Granovsky, chief executive officer of Luxury Men’s Apparel Group, parent company of Samuelsohn. “We’ll assume the bulk of the risk and hang stock in our facility in Montreal.”
The core of the collection centers around knit separates including a sartorial-style jogger as well as fully deconstructed jackets in high-end wool and blends, along with hybrid pieces that incorporate sportswear details such as ribbed collars and gathered sleeves. Pant offerings include a five-pocket silhouette as well as a stretch golf pant designed to complement knit and poplin performance shirts. The shirts too are a hybrid between sport and dress with details such as hidden button-down collars but in comfort fabrics.
“We feel it will be compelling to a broad audience, but the Vue is designed primarily with the tailored clothing customer in mind,” said Aliya Morehead, creative director for Samuelsohn. “Customers can buy sportswear or tailored clothing. We wanted them to have a bridge. The Vue is that bridge. It’s a foundational collection, but each item has been elevated to an investment piece.”
She added: “We wanted to address what our customer is wearing now but it was important to us to maintain a certain precision of tailoring. We wanted everything to be light, and comfort was key. Tailoring won’t go away, but even as people go back to work, we can’t deny that they’ve been comfortable for months. So we know his look will be different for a while and we’re all trying to figure out that balance.”
To ensure its existing customers are comfortable with their selections, the company is using numerical tailored sizing, such as a 42 regular, etc.
Jeffery Diduch, senior vice president of technical design at Samuelsohn, added: “The luxury tailored customer is accustomed to a perfect fit and to perfect construction. They truly understand and appreciate the rigor of our process so we made sure not to abandon those values in this collection.”
Prices are slightly lower than that of traditional Samuelsohn suits. Jackets will retail for $795 and up, about $200 less than the opening price for a Samuelsohn jacket; pants are $295, lower than the $325 to $350 average in the core line, and a utility jacket, a new offering for the brand, is $495. A merino shirt is $275.
Vue will have a soft launch in February and be expanded into a fuller presentation for fall.
Samuelsohn was founded in 1923 by Lesser Samuelsohn. It was acquired by Luxury Men’s Apparel Group (LMAG) in 2010 and is currently sold in more than 250 high-end specialty stores in the U.S. and Canada. LMAG is a Toronto-based investment company whose brands also include Hickey Freeman Tailored Clothing, and Lipson Shirtmakers.