If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that embracing technology will help businesses survive the ‘new normal’ and continue to flourish. During the lockdown, everything moved online and those businesses who didn’t have a website, social media platform, or presence on the web, suffered. SUITABLEE is a clothing company based in Canada that is unusual in that they embrace a winning combination of both the old and the new to blaze a trail into a brave new world. SUITABLEE founders, the Siow brothers, believe that only by embracing technology can businesses have a future.
“As a leading provider of custom suits, the COVID-19 pandemic could have finished us, but instead we’ve come out the other side with triple-digit online sales growth,” explains SUITABLEE co-founder and CEO Jean-Sebastien Siow. “As old-school tailors, we’re a very hands-on business and need to interact with our clients via physical meetings to create a product tailored to their unique specifications. Yet, thanks to artificial intelligence algorithms we were able to simplify the process and take measurements from customers in their own home to create the world’s first AI-enabled custom suits.”
Suits made via a computer sound like something straight out of a science-fiction movie. However, as SUITABLEE will testify, it works and works well. Using automatic sizing technology, the process works by matching customers’ measurement profiles to the scans of previous actual clients’ bodies to generate custom garment patterns. Via a Zoom consultation, clients go through the made-to-measure process. Different fabrics are available for shipment via post for those who want to feel the material of their new custom-made suit before making the choice. SUITABLEE also offers clients a design platform where they can design and style their suits.
SUITABLEE co-founder and COO, Jean-Jeremie Siow says, “Pretty much all a client now has to do is answer 12 simple questions and we can create an exquisitely tailored suit for them without ever meeting them in the flesh. Our business model is almost tailor-made for the lockdowns we’ve all been experiencing. For years, we’ve been noticing a growing trend from brick-and-mortar to online in all aspects of the retail industry. The pandemic has just accelerated that process. Obviously, this was always going to be tricky in the world of tailored suits, but as you can see, we’ve adapted and now there’s no going back.”
Jean-Sebastien Siow agrees with his brother. “It doesn’t matter if you want to embrace technology as a business or not. You simply have no choice in the matter anymore,” he says. “Even as the retail sector slowly recovers, many businesses and brands will concentrate less on the bricks-and-mortar side of their operations, in favor of focusing more time and attention online. That is certainly the case with us. Customers’ shopping habits are changing. We need to change with them. We have the technology. We have the skill set. It’s simply a case of doing what we’ve always done, and that is delivering the goods.”