Nish de Gruiter, the Vice President of Suitsupply, made a recent visit to Kansas City for the grand opening of their newest store in Town Center Crossing. Prior to the event, he took time to tell Kansas City Spaces more about the brand and what to look forward to in menswear for 2018.
Kansas City Spaces: How did Suitsupply get started?
Nish de Gruiter: It all began in 2000 in Amsterdam, when our CEO Fokke de Jong noticed that his university colleagues were looking, let’s say, sub-professional, and saw an untapped market for well-fitting, high-quality suits at an attainable price. As interest grew, he began selling suits out of the trunk of his car, eventually opening the first store in Amsterdam. We continued to expand throughout Europe with stores in the UK and Italy, and eventually launched in the US in 2011 with a flagship store in New York City in the SoHo neighborhood. In only six years since opening in NYC, we have grown to over 90 stores worldwide.
KCS: What sets Suitsupply apart from other men’s retailers?
NdG: We cater to a clientele that wants high-quality garments, with a modern fit at a reasonable price point. At Suitsupply we control everything from the fabrics to the fit and production; this is all done in-house. This allows us to truly perfect the fit of our garments and to keep the prices affordable. We have worked tirelessly to create the best fit possible so that our clients need minimal tailoring. And if they do need tailoring, like a simple sleeve or pant hem, we can do it on the spot while the customer waits. We also offer online shopping (suitsupply.com) with in-store delivery; the client can purchase online, pick up in-store and have their tailoring done. It saves them that one extra step.
KCS: What can shoppers expect when they visit Suitsupply?
NdG: Men associate shopping for tailored clothing as a boring and “stuffy” experience. We are changing the way men shop for suits and clothing in general. The minute you walk into the store, you feel the energy and upbeat vibe. Suitsupply prides itself on beautiful merchandising and displays, as well as a modern and inviting atmosphere. Also, our team goes through “suit school”, so they are trained to know exactly how your suit should fit. We have clothing for all occasions to take men from the workweek into the weekend and even to black tie events. Our Suitsupply client never has to shop elsewhere if he doesn’t want to.
KCS: How did you choose Kansas City as a location?
NdG: Back in 2012, we collaborated with Baldwin Denim on an exclusive line for Suitsupply. Since then, Kansas City has always been on our radar. We found that many customers were shopping our Chicago store and online sales from Kansas City escalated. We recognize Kansas City as a town that is growing and evolving. So, after years of scouting out a location, we settled on Town Center Crossing. We are excited to be neighbors with the Baldwin store, which is right down the way.
KCS: What can we look forward to from Suitsupply in spring of 2018?
NdG: It is all about soft dressing; the unstructured sport coat, wearing a T-shirt or light sweater under your sport coat and tennis shoes with everything. We are excited to show our customer how they can dress down some of their classic tailored pieces. We will have linen in everything from jackets to shorts, and espadrilles will be the shoe of choice for spring and summer.