In 2006, Indochino founders Heikal Gani and Kyle Vucko put their studies at the University of Victoria on hold to create a company that would craft stylish, affordable, custom made suits. Over the past five years, the Vancouver company has grown to more than 55 employees, while their responsive website and 10 minute measurement process has served more than 50,000 customers.
While business is thriving, the custom nature of the business model comes with its share of PR challenges. In addition to the standard menswear PR struggles (fewer publications to pitch, tons of competition, and broadcast media that often skews female), with long-lead publications there is simply no time for Indochino to create a custom suit. Site demos and samples are an alternative, but although Indochino's PR team still manages to secure national media (they have a great press center on site) like The Today Show and Forbes, they also need a high-touch way to build personal relationships with editors and potential customers.
The Traveling Tailor Visits Grand Central
To translate the online experience to offline, and to set market appointments and build customer interest, Indochino has been hosting pop-up shops in key markets, first in Canada and now in the US. "In Canada, the pop-up shop is a media-worthy event in and of itself," explains PR Manager Nathalie Rees, "but in the US we have learned to work directly with a PR agency or media specialist in each market to ensure editor attention."
Through October 29, those passing by Grand Central Station can stop by the Traveling Tailor, for personalized, one-on-one attention from an Indochino tailor who will not only take measurements, but provide assistance on fabric and all the appropriate accessories like ties and pocket squares. As an added incentive, those who purchase a suit receive a complimentary dress shirt suit. Already picked up by the T Magazine (the New York Times blog) and Details, Nathalie shares that two days in, Indochino has already booked close to 2000 appointments for the entire week.
Additional shops are planned for 2013, partly based on customer request.
Featured image: Brian Nichols/The New York Times