If you’ve never heard of SuitSupply, the name will most likely conjure images of a stuffy suit shop with generic styles and grumpy old tailors. However, walk into the brand’s recently opened flagship on Maiden Lane and you’re in for a shock. The stairway to the second story shop is lined with graphic black-and-white wallpaper. Photographs of sophisticatedly suited men are super imposed on giant images of sexy woman in bathing suits. A smiling smartly dressed young man asks if you’d like water, coffee, or a Heineken. From the second you set foot on the dark wooden floor, it’s clear that SuitSupply is changing the way suits are sold. There is nothing boring, typical, or dated about their experience.
Founded by Fokke de Jong 16 years ago in Amsterdam, the menswear company has only recently established a presence in California. “We had the San Francisco property on the market for two years, but we ran into some issues with the bones of the building,” Nish De Gruiter, the company’s Vice President, explained at the opening of the store. “The main reason why we went to San Francisco in the first place was the huge web store business that went to the Bay Area. There are a lot of people traveling from San Francisco to New York or London or Europe and they saw our product overseas.” Local fans can look forward to finding elegant and handsome styles with plenty of variety. Everything in the store is arranged intelligently—a jacket hangs next to a shirt that matches, which hangs next to pants that complete the outfit, making it easy for a shopper to put together an entire look. The fabrics are sourced from Italian luxury mill brands like Barberis, Barba, and Loro Piana. All designs are produced in house, so there is no middleman.
One of the best things about the shop is the in-house tailor who is ready to perform custom changes at a moment’s notice. A sewing machine and all of the necessary tools to alter a suit are visible to the shopper. “You see all the craftsmanship that goes into the product and the tailors—we don’t put them in the back and hide them,” De Gruiter said. “Basically we put them in the middle of the store, like an open kitchen format. You see the craftsmanship that goes in the product. We put a lot of energy into the tailoring world, which is normally known as a very stuffy world. We try to put a smile on people’s faces when you think about suit shopping. The minute they walk in they think, ‘oh this is cool.’ What you see is what you get.” What you get is a perfectly tailored suit the same day you purchase it. Any basic alterations, such as shortening pants or letting in or taking out the waist, are made while you wait, in 30 minutes or less. Bigger alterations are completed within three days and the company has partnered with Uber to complimentary deliver the suit to the location of your choice within the city. Stylish suits at the snap of a finger? San Francisco’s most fashionable men could get used to this.