J. Hilburn is taking its show on the road — literally.
The custom men’s wear brand, founded in Dallas nine years ago as a direct seller, will unveil a Mobile Studio during New York Fashion Week: Men’s.
The studio, which is housed in a small tractor-trailer, will be parked at the UPS Customer Center across from Skylight Clarkson Sq from July 12 to 14.
Over a four-month period, the truck will cross the U.S. and visit more than 30 cities, including Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, Tex.; Baton Rouge, La.; Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta; Nashville; Chicago; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; Boston; Los Angeles and Denver.
“This is a bigger initiative for the brand,” said Veeral Rathod, president and cofounder. He said that since it was founded in 2007, J. Hilburn has created a business based on stylists who visit customers homes or offices to sell custom shirts, trousers, sport coats, suits and accessories.
It has a small showroom at its headquarters and has done pop-ups in the past, and Rathod said, “Anytime we had a physical event, it drew new customers and the spending was higher on suits and sport coats.” He said a man will often be willing to take a chance on a $150 dress shirt, but is less likely to do so on a $1,000 suit. “But if he can touch and feel it, he’s more willing to spend the money.”
Rather than investing in more pop-ups, which he said are “very time-consuming and expensive,” J. Hilburn opted for a Mobile Studio that can move around. “It’s well branded and drives curiosity,” he said.
The truck will be parked at 320 West Houston Street, and editors, buyers, influencers and celebrities are all invited to visit the space to recharge their electronics, grab a bite to eat or have a drink. They will also be fitted for a custom shirt using the company’s new online fitting technology, called TAPE, which uses proprietary algorithms based on customer input to create measurements.
Rathod said that while dress apparel is still its main business, J. Hilburn has seen more interest recently in its less-formal offerings such as post-construction garment-dyed shirts and pants with more technical attributes to enhance ease of movement and comfort.