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Made-to-measure provider expands offer to indies

US made-to-measure tailoring company Trinity Apparel Group is expanding its UK service to premium menswear independents.

Up to now, in the UK and Europe the business has worked almost solely with visiting tailors, but it believes its marriage of tailoring with technology will appeal to progressive retailers who wish to offer a personalised service.

It comes after Trinity launched the latest version of its iDesign Apparel system in August.

iDesign is an interactive tool that enables users to create 3D images of fabric swatches as finished garments. It covers sleeved garments, trousers and shirts. Jackets are made with either half-canvas or full-canvas construction.

Like similar online made-to-measure systems, it runs off an iPad or similar tablet. It offers a large selection of options, including 28 types of jacket pocket and 20 varieties of cuff for shirts.

Fabric selection for tailored garments includes ranges from Dugdale’s in Yorkshire, Anglo-French house Dormeuil and Barberis from Italy.

The system, which has been developed over 15 years, is similar to a made-to-measure service run by Belgian cloth supplier Scabal, which has its own factory in Germany, and The Measure Agency, a service run by German tailoring specialist Bernhardt, which uses a factory in Czechoslovakia.

Trinity was founded 15 years ago by Wen Nance and Bill Kneisel, who previously worked at Tom James, probably the best-known of the US visiting tailors services.

The UK and European operation is headed up by Simon Parton, whose long career in menswear has included stints at Simpson Piccadilly and Hilditch & Key.

Its Chinese factory produces up to 3,000 sleeved garments a month for the global market.

Starting prices for a two-piece suit in Super 110s cloth is £240 for a half-canvas version and £343 for a full-canvas option. Production time is about five to six weeks and progress can be monitored through the online system. Shirts, which start at £35, take about 21 days to arrive. Products are normally supplied with a retailer’s own label.

“Having our own factory in China, we can also put in a lot of hand work,” says Parton. “I’d describe our usual European fit as Italianesque more than German, but if required we can add more structure for a UK client.”

Made-to-measure is a growing market. In August A Suit That Fits, the tailoring service that uses its own factory in Nepal, raised more than £500,000 via crowdfunding to enable to extend its network of freelance suit fitters. This month Moss Bros announced it was upgrading its own made-to-measure offer and renaming it Tailor Me.

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