Just like every woman needs a little black dress in her closet, every business man needs a tailored suit. It’s a must.
Black Enterprise sat down with the founder of Eison Triple Thread, Julian Eison, and spoke about why this company is imperative in the market, especially for men of color.Image: Eison Triple Thread
Why did you create Eison Triple Thread?
I was in private equity for five years at Golden Gate Capital where I covered Retail and Technology. The business started in 2013 based on really understanding the market and understanding that there’s a huge hole when it comes to tailored men’s wear and the demographic that they were selling to. That, coupled with the technical component where traditionally, a traveling tailor, comes from abroad, sets up shop, and sends the customer the product 10 weeks later.
What was the solution to the problem that you were trying to solve?
In general, I figured out how to get in front of some of the best craftsmen in the industry by leveraging the relationships that I had and now we compete on three fronts: pricing, delivery, and quality. We are able to produce a three-piece suit in twelve working days and it takes seven days for the shirt. Essentially it’s a three-week promise, which is incrementally better than what I’m competing against.
We are also competing with your heritage luxury companies—Louis Vuitton, Armani, Gucci—in terms of the level of product. We are [also] competing online, so all the incumbents that are in the e-commerce space are merely fulfilling a guy’s need to wear clothes to work, yet we are competing at the fashion house level on the level of quality at a much better price point, so that’s another value add.
How much do you charge for your suits?
The entry-level price point for a two-piece suit is $749 and there’s a cotton suit that’s $649. In addition, you’ll pay $149 for a shirt. This is all made to measure.
If fashion houses are your direct competitors offline, who are your online competitors?
Indochino, Knot Standard, those are companies that popped up over the past six years that have taken the Men’s Wearhouse model and put it online, making it self-serving. They’ve proved that people are willing to go through that level of interaction with the business to get a product that fits them better. This is that process 2.0. where we are now thinking about the quality, putting a great brand around it and making it tech-enabled in terms of distribution and measuring in interpretation of the body.
What is the technology behind it that makes it unique?
Our “Fit Harmony Technology” pulls from over 15,000 (and constantly adding) unique body scans of people from all corners of the earth and enables us to build a sophisticated understanding of human body.
Why is this important?
We are able to scale our self-measurement platform and allow our customers to become the measuring expert. Within our customer workroom, we leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to predict over 25 body measurements and details. Armed with predictive and self- measurement data, we are able to produce a final set of measurements that give us a complete understanding of each customer, intimately. This process streamlines our manufacturing and efficiency, thus reducing error and returns while achieving harmonious fit.
As a black man, why do you think it’s important to build this company from your perspective?
Tailored menswear has been a guarded institution for over a century. As a consumer, I never understood how the most desirable “luxury” menswear brands garnered the wallet share of a diverse consumer base that subconsciously accepted marketing exclusion, pricing bias, and limited access practiced by some of the most notable luxury brands.
At a fundamental level, impeccable fit and garment quality shouldn’t be reserved for a select group, region, or demographic. My vision has always been one that sought to democratize honest luxury custom menswear and introduce refreshing concepts to a generation of consumers. It’s important that Eison Triple Thread exist because fashion, style, and technology know no boundary. Over the past decade there has been a strong integration of black culture in fashion and tech, and as a young black man, I think I can permeate the runway and Silicon Valley with authenticity, craft, and style, showcasing excellence.
You said you started in 2013, but you didn’t officially launch until Sept. 30 of this year?
We bootstrapped the company and I started doing offline product in 2013. In April, I closed a pre-seed round of $200,000, started building the team and turned the offline component into our flagship store that launched Sept. 30 in Union Square. Now it’s a combination of both offline and online distribution.
The company recently teamed up with Bevel to launch the first collection entitled, “Antithesis” in a fashion meets grooming event that was all parts dapper. Men came out, got measured, sipped spirits, and got shaved with a trimmer or Bevel blade, followed by a portrait of the finished look.
This month, Eison Triple Thread is doing a Fall/Winter and Holiday release, coined as the 1.5 version of the collection.