Walk the streets of Seattle, and you’ll quickly realize that it’s not a town known for fashion. Flannels, hoodies and rain parkas rule the day, and at most tech companies it seems T-shirts are the standard uniform.
But, despite those (very true) stereotypes, one upstart fashion company feels it can make its mark in the rainy city.
Indochino, which hails from the fashionistas up north in Vancouver, B.C., has picked Seattle for its latest “Made for You” retail shopping experience. The new 4,371 square-foot store will open at 1801 5th Avenue on November 10th in an old suit store and former dance studio, with the goal of helping the “next generation of Seattleites” find affordable and nice-fitting clothing.
Will grungy Seattleites welcome this fashion-forward transplant?
Indochino CEO Drew Green thinks so.
“From one rainy, parka-loving city to another, we know that there is a strong market for great fitting, affordable custom clothing in Seattle, whether it’s for business or a special occasion,” said Green in an email to GeekWire. “Our Vancouver store was so busy that we opened a second location and our showroom in San Francisco, which is known for having a casual dress code, is thriving, so we’re confident that Seattle will be a success.”
The Seattle store marks the eighth retail location to open for the company this year in North America.
Like many new retailers, Indochino blends the digital and physical retail experience, allowing customers to order made-to-measure shirts and suits online or via mobile devices. In that vein, the company often draws comparisons to companies such as eyeglass retailer Warby Parker and men’s apparel company Bonobos, which is now owned by Walmart.
Founded in 2007, Indochino has close Seattle ties. Madrona Venture Group, the Seattle venture capital firm that’s backed companies such as Amazon and Nordstrom.com, was among the Indochino’s earliest investors. The company has gone on to raise upwards of $60 million in venture funding, including a $30 million round last year. Indochino actually made its Seattle debut when it sent a pop-up store with traveling tailors and stylists to tour the West Coast back in 2013.
Indochino has been looking to expand in Seattle from the time it started its physical retail expansion, and Green said they “finally found the right location.”
“Indochino is a web-native brand that has leveraged the learnings from its e-commerce business to design a modern and truly omnichannel retail experience,” said Scott Jacobson, a partner at Madrona Venture Group and Indochino board member. “It is fitting that the company’s first Seattle store is just a few blocks from Amazon, a company that recognizes the importance of omnichannel and are doing much of their own reinvention of the offline retail experience.”
There are tens of thousands of new potential customers who’ve moved to the region in the past few years who work just a few blocks away. The question is: Will they buy on Indochino or just get a suit on Amazon?