By Mario Toneguzzi
Montreal-based tailoring company Suitablee has launched a unique and innovative service using technology to create custom-tailored suits that are available online.
“We wanted to make the traditional art of tailoring smarter,” said co-founder and CEO Jean-Sebastien Siow. “We thought, ‘How do we operationalize, make this efficient, and eliminate the errors and guesswork?’”
AI Eliminates the Need for Guesswork
Using Artificial Intelligence, the company, owned by two engineer brothers Jean-Sebastien and Jean-Jeremie, who is COO, used infrared body scanners and data from thousands of body measurements to create an online tool that eliminates the need for store visits, guesswork, and corrections. The sizing questionnaire includes 12 straightforward inquiries to generate custom garment measurements, patterns, cuts, and fit preferences, all on their online platform.
With its combined design tool and online fitting technology, the company is now able to deliver a perfectly-tailored suit, tuxedo or dress shirt 95 per cent of the time, explained Jean-Sebastien Siow.
The company’s roots began in October 2015.
“We started brainstorming probably a year before that. Just putting ideas together. Finding what the issues were with the menswear industry and just sort of mapping out a vision for it,” said Siow.
The automation part of the company using AI to automate sizing was launched just recently.
“We started off working in rain and snow going to people’s homes, measuring them, learning everything we needed to do to be successful clothiers and we said look we need to make this easy. It needs to be affordable. It needs to be accessible,” he explained.
“Data is key in today’s world and we’ve measured thousands of people over the last five years and we’ve become very good at it – understanding things such as measurements but not only measurements but how do body measurements translate into actual garment measurements.
“We would take about 20 to 25 measurements. We would take images. So we had an infrared scanner that we developed and we were basically taking body scans of all of our customers to sort of understand how do measurements translate into actual body shapes, into shoulder curves, are you hunched, are you not hunched. How does that impact actual garment and patterns? We’ve been able to collect all that data through not only manual measurements but through qualitative sort of answers.”
Bespoke is now Remote
The Suitablee website offers customers the option to click on the “Create Your Own Size” button and answer 12 questions, ranging from height measurements to the client’s typical posture. They can then use the state-of-the-art design tool, which includes hundreds of fabrics and designs, to further customize their suit. When complete, the order is placed, and the data is used to tailor the garment according to the precise specifications. The suit is then shipped and delivered within four weeks.
“We wanted to simplify it,” said Siow. “We can serve someone in Miami just as well as we can serve someone in L.A., without having to send a professional to take measurements.
“The vision for the company was to make custom suits accessible online for anybody in North America at a price that was affordable. We now have a wealth of knowledge and data with respect to serving our customers.”
Siow said the company’s services are available to anyone in North America.
“Customers who purchase custom suits online I think have been used to in the last five to 10 years entering their own measurements. That option exists but we definitely recommend going with our automatic sizing,” he said.
“For the customer who likes the true bespoke experience, going into a store, getting sized up, five six times, that’s not our customer. Those customers like to pay $2,3, $4,000 and get the full six-week experience of having to go back and forth. We’re sort of like the middle of the 20 year old all the way up to 50 year old guys that don’t like shopping, guys that don’t like to leave their homes. They want to pretty much be able to click . . . they just want the process to be easy and seamless and it needs to be affordable.
“It’s the typical average guy who buys clothes online but is willing to make a step further beyond buying off the rack ready to order sizes.”
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.
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