Originally Posted by joshuadowen
After speaking with a number of friends in the industry, I've started putting together the beginnings of a plan.
- Private label suiting/jacketing/shirting, a handful of RTW designs per season, limited MTM options available.
- Stock accessories (ties/belts/bags/sweaters/socks/grooming/etc.) from quality American brands.
I think PiCcolocV's comment about a B&M Kent Wang (or Howard Yount) is actually spot on, except that I wouldn't be looking to do all of the accessories under a house label. I believe there's a niche in the market for something more modern than Brooks Brothers but a little more grown up than J.Crew.
My list, in ROUGH priority, of what I would be looking for/whats important:
1. Beyond reproach customer service - Not pushy, believes the products sell themselves, is appreciative of your budget/price point and what you are trying to accomplish, available if needed but does not harass. Staff must have thorough knowledge of not only the products being sold, but mens style in general, with the emphasis on and passion for the above mentioned "well curated and relatively affordable classic" looks/outfits. Fair return policy (not necessarily Nordstrom level perhaps), no questions asked if any defects. Picture Spoo's persona, but in person (I am sure he is like that offline too, to be clear).
2. Hit that magic price to quality ratio - to further the KW example, or other vendors on here like Luxire, I would not call the products they sell cheap by any means. $850 for a suit is still a decent chunk of change, online stores sell ties for $15 a pop elsewhere, staple brown captoes run for $350, etc. However, the quality and "stapleness" of the items are so high for their price that it is the single greatest reason why I would rather spend $75 on a single navy grenadine than get 5 ties from thetiebar.com. $850 suddenly becomes a fantastic deal when it is completely customizeable in every way, MTM, and fully canvassed, and knowing I could rely on the top notch customer service in the event the measurements/customization gets botched. I would guess that the target demographic in terms of age these price points would appeal to start in the upper 20's versus people just out of college or just starting their career. The great thing is the age ceiling can extend fairly high, because the entire point is not to be trendy but "classic" in the offerings.
3. Don't offer too much, but don't offer too little - when I go into the store, I should feel like I could only shop from this one store and still have everything I need to fully stock my wardrobe. On the flip side, this needs to remain boutiquey enough where I don't feel overwhelmed and get that "where do I even start" in the off chance an associate is not immediately available. Keep the layout organized and intuitive.