For most men, the idea of buying a custom-made suit or shirt may not seem feasible – the cost and hassle are just not worth the effort. But, one clothing startup is trying to change that way of thinking for Raleigh-area men with its new showroom in Village District.
Alton Lane bills itself as the “smartest option for custom-made menswear.” The company, which has been around for about eight years, prides itself on offering bespoke menswear at prices comparable to what you may find off the rack at department stores. The brand promises to deliver a premium one-on-one shopping experience, unlike anything you might find at the local mall. A visit to a showroom is by appointment only and usually must be booked well in advance.
“We know that men want to look good, but they dont always have the time or the patience to go through the hassle of buying clothes,” said Alton Lane CEO Colin Hunter. “The same holds true for men here in Raleigh. Our approach to shopping and fit always resonates well regardless of where people are from.”
The one-on-one, hour-long session with an Alton Lane stylist begins with a drink at the showroom’s design bar and a brief discussion about fabric and personal style. After clothing is selected, the customer then steps into the company’s 3D body scanner. A first for premium menswear brands, the scanner takes up to 300 measurements of a person’s body in just under 30 seconds, allowing for a precise technical custom fit.
Garments usually arrive in a matter of weeks, shirts tend to be much sooner, and Alton Lane keeps customer measurements on file. By creating a style profile for each customer, future items can be ordered from the web or the showroom without the need for another fitting session.
Alton Lane custom-made garments start at $595 for suits, $475 for blazers, $150 for trousers, and $99 for dress shirts. The company offers more than 3000 styles of fabrics from well-known mills like Dormeuil, Thomas Mason, Zegna, and Scabal. The opening of the Raleigh showroom marks the 13th store for the brand.
Launched in June 2009, Alton Lane began as a disruptive answer to the traditional brick-and-mortar business of retail menswear. Today, the company has showroom locations in cities across America, including San Francisco, Chicago, Charlotte, and New York City, and has more than 50 full-time employees.