For the moment when a made-to-measure suit isn’t enough to cut bespoke muster, three new services let men start the made-to-order process from the fabric itself. Notably, two of these three businesses were founded by the dissatisfied financiers and bankers themselves.
Michael Alden, a financier based in Paris, started Cloth Club as an online forum to discuss bespoke tailoring, and now uses it to propose limited runs of fabric, which he designs himself. When sufficient forum members commit to subscribing for enough cloth to make a suit, Alden has it produced at a mill in Scotland. The process takes about six months.
Operating on a slightly shorter timeline (three months) is Anderson & Sheppard, a Savile Row tailor which works with customers to design their own fabric and subsequently has it made at a British mill. (And then, of course, the tailor creates the suit, which winds up costing about $10,000).
The most unique, however, is a collaboration between Cad and the Dandy, a tailoring house founded by former bankers, and DNA Art, which makes, well DNA art. Using a swab of a customer’s skin cells, the firm creates a visual representation of a customer’s genetic pattern. After the client picks a color scheme, Cad and the Dandy prints the image on the fabric lining the customer’s suit jacket. With the possible exception of putting the pattern on the outside of the jacket, this might be the most truly bespoke example of tailoring we’ve ever come across.