Supply and Demand
The economics of Suitsupply’s Canadian roots
Suitsupply Spring/Summer 2014 campaign (Photo courtesy of Suitsupply)
TORONTO - A breath of fresh Holland air rolled into Toronto this past month and the neighbourhood and fashion crowd are elated. New York Magazine, GQ, and the Wall Street Journal are positively smitten and a long list of other accolades precede this menswear brand. Those roars of success can be heard from the heart of Yorkville where their electric, vibrant and energetic store resides.
On February 20th, before the mania of their official store opening, Suitsupply invited the media to preview their upcoming collection. The up close and personal walk through by Vice President Nish de Gruiter was a great introduction to the brand and the clothes and, more importantly, the attitude and people behind it all.
Yorkville store (Photo by Lynda Castonguay)
This isn’t your typical suit store - unless your typical suit store is loud with colour, drenched with masculinity, dapper with male elegance, while simultaneously modern, polished, laid back and retro - retro as in the 70‘s inspired yet modish sit down area where I shared in conversation with Mr. de Gruiter. It is, by my definition, the luxe man cave.
Suitsupply has an in house tailor who can meet most of your tailoring needs on the spot. They have knowledgeable staff who have gone though suit school to learn the fundamentals of fit and fabric. They reap the benefits, as does the customer, of a vertically integrated company - great price points but never wavering on quality using fabrics from renowned Italian mills and classic methods of craftsmanship. And they have genuine intentions to provide their customers with something that fits their person - body, mind and personality.
From the mouth of founder and CEO Fokke de Jong “We are there for people who want to create their own space - not just to fit in, but to find their own fit”. That philosophy does not fall too far from the proverbial tree as Nish expressed to me that they aren’t about forcing a man into clothing. They are about offering the many variables to a man’s wardrobe and seeing that transform the man into his own man.
Photo by Lynda Castonguay
Their design process starts with a jacket and does not end with suits. They offer a range of ready to wear items - knits, jeans, shoes and accessories all immaculately displayed in easy order. They are a commixture of suits and every day wear to push the idea that jackets and suiting up are not only for what we consider special occasions. Life itself is an occasion and it should be dressed up.
It took an idea, some business acumen and dedicated follow through for then 27 year old Fokke de Jong, a law student at the time, to start this clothing business essentially out of his car and it is his gumption and the brand’s genuineness that have moved it into the upper echelons of men's fashion as an internationally recognized and respected menswear brand. How do you say bravo in Dutch?
Suitsupply Spring/Summer 2014 campaign (Click to enlarge)
Photos courtesy of Suitsupply
9 Hazelton Ave
Toronto, ON M5R 2E1