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J. Hilburn, a company that sells custom men’s clothing, today launched an e-commerce platform where it will now begin offering all its high-end custom dress shirts and luxury menswear online.
Although consumers could previously buy some products directly from the company’s website, beginning today they’ll be able to see all of the company’s clothing line online. The Dallas, Texas-based startup’s full product line had previously been available only through the company’s more than 800 personal “style advisors” nationwide.
J. Hilburn targets men in their 20s to 60s who do not like shopping in stores and instead enlist the company to send an advisor to their home or office to take measurements and help select custom-fit clothing.
But now JHilburn.com will allow new visitors and more than 30,000 existing clients to design custom shirts online. Customers will be able to choose from more than 300 upscale Italian fabrics and matching details like fit, collar, cuff, buttons and more.
Visitors can also build customizable trousers and purchase ready-to-wear items including cashmere sweaters, polos, belts, cufflinks and other accessories.
The startup says its business model is competitive with other high-end men’s retailers such as Savile Row, Burberry and Zegna because it buys the fabric directly from Italy, then sells directly to consumers, which means it can sell its products at a lower price.
For example, the company sells its custom shirts at $79, $99, and $149 — a much less painful price tag than the usual bespoke clothier, which would charge around $300 to $500 for the same item.
According to market research company NPD Group, the men’s apparel market was worth almost $53 billion in 2010.
“Guys like to learn about a product before they purchase, but they also like quick and easy transactions,” Hil Davis, co-founder and CEO of J. Hilburn, told VentureBeat.
He added that in addition to e-commerce, the iPhone app gives a customer the ability to browse new fall looks and learn more about product offerings.
“If they want something specific, they can quickly search for that item and then email to a style advisor to get it ordered,” said Davis.
“It will be a good combination of giving a customer lots of product information and configuration tools, like a car website, but also have the easy, quick [user interface] of e-commerce sites like Amazon,” added Veeral Rathod, co-founder and president of J. Hilburn.
Prior to launching its new platform, the three year-old brand saw a banner year in 2010, tripling its revenue, doubling its sales force and selling 60,000 custom-fit shirts in 2010.
Thus far, it has raised one round of outside funding of $4 million from Battery Ventures, in April of 2009.
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