I’m proud to say I’m partnering with Combatant Gentlemen, a men’s clothing brand located in Irvine, CA.
As many of you know, my day job is at UC Irvine. I first found out about Combatant Gentlemen through the campus’ daily “UCI in the News” newsletter. The founder of the company is a UCI grad, and had just been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine.
I checked them out, and their story — and business model — is pretty cool. They own their entire supply chain — all the way from their own sheep in Italy to the point of shipping out their finished product, including designing their own supply chain software. By controlling the entire supply chain, reducing their margins and selling online, they are able to offer great quality clothing at fantastic prices. Their suits start at $140. Dress shirts start at $30. Dress slacks $25. Ties $16. They also sell chinos, shorts, coats and accessories, all at similar outstanding value — everything from tuxedos to travel bags.
They also offer fully custom, made-to-measure suits. You go to their headquarters in Irvine (conveniently, just a couple miles from my office), and get to choose among a couple dozen features — the fabric (from at least 50 choices), cut, buttons, pockets, etc., etc. They spend about an hour measuring you up and working through all the options, and then send everything off. About five or six weeks later, your custom suit arrives. At that point you come in for a second fitting, and they’ll change anything that needs to be adjusted. In my case, everything was perfect. Prices for these fully custom suits start at $350. Compare anything they offer to what Nordstrom’s would set you back for similar or lower quality items.
So how did I get mixed up with these guys?
I started out as a customer. I bought some stuff from their web site, liked it a lot, and reached out. As it turns out, they’re NBA fans, knew who I was, and were interested in increasing their awareness and working on new content. They know their typical customer is a huge sports and NBA fan — and I happen to know something about the NBA.
They publish a magazine — both print and online — called Unhemmed, and are featuring me in their Fall edition. I went in for a long interview with Scott Wicken, their Head of Creative Content, and then did a photo shoot in their studio — it was a really cool experience, although repeated attempts at spinning a basketball on my fingertip were met with nothing but dismal failure. In addition to the magazine feature, I’ll be using my own visibility to help spread the word, and we’ll be doing more stuff together in the future.
I’m really excited to be working with Combatant Gentlemen — I was already a customer, I totally believe in what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, and I’m really impressed with everyone I met there. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.