Founded in 2012, Combatant Gentlemen (also called “Combat Gent”), is part of the technological tailor age. Their combination of modern technology and the personalized shopping experience makes them one of the first to offer design services and tailor-made suits online. From their headquarters in Irvine, California, they’ve created an easily accessible, high-end shopping experience that takes advantage of what some might consider to be a threat to the traditional tailoring industry. Forbes and Inc. Magazine described Combat Gent as one of “America’s Most Promising Companies” and “the Warby Parker of Suits,” respectively. Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, and Greycroft Partners have invested, among others, and revenues have grown to $10 million in 2017 from $673,000 in 2012.
The Origin Story
Vishaal Melwani, a University of California graduate, grew up under fashion’s influence. On the West Coast, his parents were owners and operators of Versace Boutiques, while his grandfather was a Master Tailor. After visiting friends in New York City and seeing them borrow clothes from one another to dress up for outings, he realized that most of them could not easily afford costly clothes required, and the idea for Combatant Gentlemen was born. With his cousin Mo and his friend Scott Raio, Melwani created a new specialization for his company by providing a technological and affordable luxury suit-buying experience.
Combatant Gentleman’s pricing strategy and manufacturing methods match its origins and commitments to quality and value. This harmony is achieved through involvement in the entire lifecycle of suit manufacturing, by sourcing raw materials from a company-owned sheep farm in Italy and cotton fields in India. This innovation allows the company to avoid retail markups and extravagant prices typical of high-end fashion houses. With an average production cost of $24 to $37 per suit, Combat Gent can pass these savings on. Prices begin at $160, while custom-made suits start at $240.
Tailor Made Innovation
The quality-at-sensible-cost approach appeals to millennial males focused on success, Combat Gent’s target demographic. These buyers might be new to the workforce and not be able to afford luxury brands, but they know the worth of a well-made suit. Combat Gent’s approach expands the formerly minimal options for affordable suits available to them.
There is a high level of personalization and a large set of options available to customers online, such as fit, size, and 18 different fabric choices. Made-to-order suit customers can also schedule an in-person appointment to determine everything from fabrics and linings to pockets, buttons, and pocket squares. Combatant Gentlemen’s proprietary method of finding the right fit uses a customer’s neck size and waist measurement, in addition to height and weight, an approach with a 96% perfect fit success rate. Most buyers require only minimal additional tailoring.
Further expansion into new markets includes Combatant Gentleman’s partnership on The Summit Collection with Alberto Caruso, a world-renowned Italian tailor. The collection offers Italian-made suits at a reasonable price, crafted with fabric from one of the country’s oldest mills.
The slim and modern style of Combat Gent suits appeal to a younger demographic and compete with designers like Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, and Hugo Boss. Recently, Combat Gent partnered with video chat service LiveNinja to offer online stylist consultations in real-time. Visit www.combatgent.com for more information.