Suitsupply Opens Second Location In Silicon Valley

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The new Suitsupply in San Jose
The new Suitsupply in San Jose

A year and a half ago, Suitsupply, the stylish Dutch menswear brand, opened its first Bay Area location on Maiden Lane in San Francisco. Last week it opened its second outpost at Santana Row in San Jose.  While the Silicon Valley is known more for tees and hoodies, hopefully the fun, entirely unstuffy attitude of Suitsupply will herald a change of heart in how the local men dress. The company’s mantra is “don’t fit in, find your own perfect fit” and it specializes in luxe separates custom suiting. To learn more about Suitsupply, we sat down with the vice president of the brand, Nish de Gruiter.

Why is it important for the brand to have a presence in Silicon Valley?

We’ve noticed an incremental interest from Bay Area consumers when tracking our online sales. Besides these statistics, we’ve received a large number of requests to open a store here. This serves as a solid indication there is a great business potential for us in the city of San Jose.

We pride ourselves in combining flair and creativity with craftsmanship and the latest technology to deliver outstanding results, which involves a balanced approach to online and in-store. Silicon Valley is ground zero for the latest in all things digital, which is a space we very much want to expand in. We thought it would make sense to not only bring our brand to the business and style-conscious locals, but to also bring a brick-and-mortar store & integrate ourselves into a tech-savvy community that was already shopping online.

Suitsupply on the evening of its opening party
Suitsupply on the evening of its opening party

What distinguishes the Bay Area market from other markets where Suitsupply is prevalent?

Suitsupply fits well with the West Coast consumer ethos. Much as within the brand itself, the Bay Area’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. Moreover, some of our most loyal customers are based here, so we are happy to finally offer an in-store experience.

We do find that Bay Area customers are more drawn to our brand than to the more systematic brands because they often need clothes to function in “the system” but don’t want to surrender to it. Maybe it has something to do with being on the cutting edge of Silicon Valley innovation, but they seem to have more of a pioneering spirit. This attitude is not connected to age. I think we will find a lot of those people in San Jose.

Stephan Rabimov, Claudia Ross, and Nish de Gruiter at the opening
Stephan Rabimov, Claudia Ross, and Nish de Gruiter at the opening

What makes the store unique?

Suitsupply is doing three things different:

We are a vertical integrated company meaning we control everything from design to selling the product in our own stores. This is not new as such; the Zara’s and H&M’s have been doing this for years for the mid-level of the clothing market. But it is new for the luxury level of the market.

We combine this with destination locations. Like our nearby San Francisco store on Maiden Lane, which has a small ground floor entrance but when you go up you find yourself in some big and comfortable surroundings. Being on the second floor obviously is a huge saving on the prime rents that are paid on ground floor level. Because we spend all are time and money on the quality of our products and services costumers will go out and find us and we therefore don’t need big prime location storefronts.

Finally, that ties in to our marketing; we don’t spend money on advertising, but are word-of-mouth based, which we try to amplify with social media. We are very dedicated to social responsibility and have been a long-standing member of the Fairwear Foundation. It is intertwined with all the decisions we make in our production process.

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What are three key pieces every modern man should have in their wardrobe?

Your first few suits should be versatile navy or gray basics. This’ll allow you to make a third outfit by matching up the gray pants with a navy jacket. Throw on a solid white or light blue shirt and you can practically triple your options. After those essentials, go for something sportier.

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