A unique bespoke tailor has opened a retail space in Toronto’s affluent Yorkville area. Called Brenton & Co., the company recently launched a storefront that acts as a showroom for the brand that custom-creates clothing for a growing clientele that includes notable celebrities. Brenton & Co. also quietly does tailoring and alterations for some of Toronto’s top luxury boutiques.
Founders Ira Brenton and Tony Tran opened the retail space in the fall after founding Brenton & Co. about seven months ago. The duo has a long history in the industry and have extensive training experience in creating bespoke clothing. While client names are kept confidential, Brenton & Co. creates bespoke suits and other fashions for sports stars and celebrities, and also creates custom wardrobes for television and movie productions. Notable luxury retailers in Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville area, including mono-brand and multi-brand players, utilize Brenton & Co. for tailoring and alterations, and it’s all done ‘under the radar’.
The new Brenton & Co. retail space is located at 126 Cumberland Avenue, which was formerly occupied by footwear brand Tanya Heath Paris and prior to that, Austrian hosiery brand Wolford. City Commercial Realty Group negotiated the lease deal — the brokerage has been instrumental in placing retailers in the Bloor-Yorkville area, and has done so for more than 20 years.
In an interview in November, founders Ira Brenton and Tony Tran discussed the new concept space and how it is already seeing remarkable success. That success is due in part to pre-existing relationships that stem from the duo’s prior experience in bespoke tailoring — Mr. Brenton was formerly with another notable bespoke suit maker and Mr. Tran’s background includes a stint with Italian luxury brand Gucci.
While one might not immediately think of bespoke fashion as being ‘eco-friendly’, Mr. Brenton noted that there’s very little waste produced in Brenton & Co.’s custom designs. Product is made locally at a manufacturing facility nearby at 1240 Bay Street and every garment is hand-stitched by experienced and passionate artisans. And while natural fabrics will decompose in a landfill (unlike that of many fast-fashion retailers), Brenton & Co.’s suits will last a lifetime in one’s closet, according to Mr. Brenton.
A range of fabrics available are from the world’s finest suppliers. Mr. Tran noted that the finest materials come from the UK and Italy, and an expansive assortment of swatches are available for customers to choose from. A variety of natural fibres are available in patterns and textures, and prices vary depending on what the client chooses.
The entry price for a man’s suit at Brenton & Co. is about $1,600, though the price goes up depending on fabric, buttons and other additions. Some fabrics such as vicuna are used in costlier designs — a custom-made jacket from the world’s finest vicuna at Brenton & Co. could cost as much as $70,000. Besides suits and jackets, Mr. Brenton said that Brenton & Co. can custom design a variety of garments ranging from dress shirts to even street-wear designs.
The bright Cumberland Street retail space is simple in design and welcoming. Displays at the front of the store showcase several custom designs including partially made garments that showcase craftsmanship. Towards the back of the main showroom are paper cuts from clients that are displayed to again showcase the craft — one of the goals of the showroom is to create an experience for the customer according to the duo. That experience is further enhanced by one-on-one consultations that may also include alcohol — spirits are served to clients if they so desire, and the overall atmosphere is friendly and professional.
While pricier than some fashion offerings, Mr. Brenton said that the company’s profit margins are considerably less than that of major luxury brands. Brenton & Co.’s designs are hand-made in Toronto and the time and effort that goes into each creation is costly. The end result is a garment that fits the client like a glove, which is seeing a growing client base that is seeking out craftsmanship as well as a perfect fit.
The fit of garments is meant to flatter the body, while at the same time minimizing any idiosyncrasies that one might have. While many men buy suits off the rack, Brenton & Co. notes that many of these are ill-fitting. Mr. Brenton said that once a customer wears one of Brenton & Co.’s suits, he is likely to return for more, recognizing the quality and fit not found at traditional retailers.
Concepts like Brenton & Co. are expected to thrive at a time of competition in the industry. The opportunity to customize garments is indeed an attraction and may also attract a younger demographic which is coming to expect personalization. Prices for bespoke suits at Brenton & Co. are comparable to off-the-rack luxury brands and as the market becomes saturated, bespoke offerings could be the next big thing.