For specialty men’s apparel retailer Knot Standard Inc., custom fit is everything.
The New York-based omnichannel retailer, with seven showroom stores in the U.S. and Dubai, as well as a global e-commerce business, tailors clothing to its customers’ dimensions. This customized approach also fits its IT strategy.
“We built all our systems from scratch using PhP [development language],” explained Matthew Mueller, CEO and co-founder of Knot Standard. “There is no off-the-shelf technology.”
Knot Standard’s only bow to standardized systems is its use of services, such as PayPal and Square as payment gateways for a proprietary mobile POS solutions used in its stores. Launching as an online-only business in 2010, following Mueller’s experiences buying customized suits in Dubai as an IT consultant, Knot Standard has since grown into a thriving omnichannel operation.
Knot Standard’s customized back end allows the retailer to offer omnichannel services such as fitting and ordering online or at any store, with delivery to any global location. However, one of its most unique customized solutions is its online fitting application.
“We had to figure out how to digitize a traditional tailor’s brain,” said Mueller. “We use an algorithm that takes into account personal aspects such as your body, style, purchase history and where you live.”
Customers who choose to be fitted online have a few options. They can enter 17 separate measurements into the Knot Standard site, which allows the retailer to create a 3-D model of their body, which is used on the backend to create the garment. Even in-store measurements are applied to develop a 3-D model on which the retailer bases apparel design.
“We only need four to five measurements to know the customer’s dimensions with 98% accuracy,” said Mueller. “We take 17 so we can detect any mistakes the customer may have made and account for body quirks.”
Knot Standard also allows online customers to submit videos of themselves created with a laptop webcam, or create models based on their measurements in one of 1,800 standard suits. The retailer is developing an application that will let shoppers take measurements with a smartphone camera in time for the holidays.
Other custom technologies in development include a “Magic Mirror” that will create perfect photorealistic images of how a suit would look on a customer’s body. Knot Standard X-rayed thousands of fabric samples and worked with a Hollywood special effects company so it can eventually show customers exactly how a suit will look on their body, before it is made.
According to Mueller, the end result of all this technology and fashion customization makes the effort and expense worth it.
“We make a really great garment that fits,” he said.