Indochino, an online menswear company that specializes in made-to-measure shirts and suits, today announced a $30 million strategic investment by Dayang Group, a Chinese global apparel manufacturer.
The Vancouver, B.C.-based fashion company says the partnership with Dayang will allow it to add more retail showrooms, boost product selection, and improve operational efficiencies by reducing costs. Dayang already manufactures suits for a range of global brands like Ralph Lauren, BCBG, J-Crew and Banana Republic. As part of the deal, a representative of Dayang also will join Indochino’s board.
“My objective as incoming CEO of Indochino was to create a five-year business plan and associated investment strategy that would position the company to become an undisputed global market leader in made to measure apparel,” said CEO Drew Green, who was appointed to the position in December, in a news release. “This alliance is the first phase of our investment strategy, and we will continue to explore strategic opportunities that further accelerate demand and distribution for our brand and products.”
Indochino will use its new funds to open new stores in North America in addition to its existing 7 showrooms; to increase its product selection by introducing three new suit silhouettes and expanding its fabric and personalization options; to make its business operations more efficient by reducing fixed costs and variable production costs; and to enhance its virtual inventory model.
Indochino made its Seattle debut when it sent a pop-up store with traveling tailors and stylists to tour the West Coast back in 2013. But its Seattle ties stretch back to 2011, when it closed its first $4 million round of funding, led by Madrona Venture Group, which was followed two years later with another $13 million investment by Madrona, Highland Consumer Fund, and others.
The custom menswear site was founded in 2007 with the goal of providing reasonably priced custom suits to men. Most of the suits on Indochino range from $400 to $800 in contrast to other custom suits that can cost more than double. The company guides men on how to measure themselves, then takes those measurements and sends them to manufacturers in Shanghai to get hand-tailored clothing. Since its inception, the e-commerce site has grown by more than 100 percent annually, Indochino said, and it now has customers in more than than 130 countries worldwide, though the bulk of its sales remain in North America.
“Both Dayang and Indochino share the belief that made to measure is the future of apparel, so this strategic partnership came about quite naturally,” said Li Guilian, founder and chairwoman of Dayang Group, in a news release. “We were looking to increase our operations in this rapidly growing category, and Indochino had the expertise, along with a strong focus on growing its business into a global brand and leader in the made to measure category.”