Custom Value at Astor & Black

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It fits in a way that no mass-produced garment ever could, even one with the most exact post-production alterations. The custom suit lets others know that you are a man who not only has the means to be doted upon, but also invests time in looking his best, which are important factors both personally and professionally. A custom suit is a power suit, and men and women alike respond to that power.

At Astor & Black, which I founded in 2004 when I was 21, we strive to take the custom suit experience to the next level. My family has been in the clothing industry for generations; my grandfather was one of the founders of a retail shop that has since grown into an empire that includes Value City Department Stores, DSW, and American Eagle. While I may be young, when you combine my family’s background with the experiences I garnered while attending school in Italy, I have the foundation necessary to embark on a successful venture. Thus, Astor & Black’s first-class business model is changing the custom suit industry by providing an incredible value for suits that rival those of the world’s top brands.

Astor & Black prides itself on its attention to details. We use the finest silk linings available, from the Bemberg Lining Company. Suits are built strictly by hand using the finest full-basted canvassing from Italy. All jacket sleeves come with working buttonholes (“surgeon cuffs”), and, if so desired, detailing on pockets and lapels can be handpicked and hand finished. Additionally, our shirts are constructed of the finest Egyptian, Sea Island, Italian, and Swiss cottons, and you can choose between 31 different collar styles, 14 different cuffs, and eight different shirt pockets. Monogramming can be done from a choice of 24 different styles in any color you see fit.

While this may sound like a pricey process, we do not transfer that cost onto our clientele. Our model allows us to keep our overhead extremely low, resulting in low prices. Astor & Black does not try to “get rich” from one customer. Instead, we opt for the volume approach and a reasonable margin. We employ more than 100 tailors overseas, with 50 sales representatives in the U.S. and Canada, and offices opening soon in Dubai, Sydney, Melbourne, and Toronto. A quick call or email and our tailors will come to your home or place of work for the measurement session. After choosing the fabrics and details for the suit and shirts (we will help you through this process to ensure you make the most appropriate choices), the clothing will be delivered in four to five weeks for the initial fitting. Once your sizes have been recorded, ordering new suits is as simple as placing a phone call or clicking on the website. With no pricey “storefronts,” we are able to create these perfectly tailored, fine suits with the same fabrics and quality you will find in the suits at Bergdorf, Neiman Marcus, Saks, or Wilkes Bashford, yet for around 80 percent less.

With the current economic situation that the country faces, value is of the utmost importance. Our custom suits, which start in the $500 range (this includes all features), provide a little bit of relief for any frazzled bank account. Our overwhelming value has garnered us a following of top-end clientele, including many professional athletes that must adhere to the various pro-leagues’ off-court buisiness casual policies. Our suits help them achieve their signature looks, and some have been known to buy from Astor & Black in bulk. Top executives also rely on our suits to help them stand out in the business world, so our growth rate has been tremendous, with no end in sight.

Over the course of the next year, I will use this column to explore the trends in the custom suit industry and to discuss various “in-style” fashions. Thanks to our reasonable prices, it is easier than ever to achieve the latest styles and keep your look up to date. Although when you look good, it shows in your walk, in your attitude, and in your self-confidence. And it is hard to put a price tag on that.

Astor & Black
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