Montreal-Based AI-Powered Custom Suit Company ‘SUITABLEE’ Discusses Expansion Plans [Interview]

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SUITABLEE, an AI-powered custom suit company in Montreal, is looking to be the leader in custom suiting in North America within the next ten years by expanding across Canada, into the US market, and by continuously advancing with AI.

Jean-Sebastien Siow

“SUITABLEE is the world’s first AI-powered custom suit company. Our operations are quite complex, so this is where we have a competitive advantage over competitors. We are very smart in the way we do things and we have customers across North America. We allow our customers to design their suits, choose the fabrics, and have everything custom fit to their size which is dependent either online or here locally in Montreal,” says Jean-Sebastien Siow, the Co-Founder and CEO of SUITABLEE. 

New Location in Montreal 

Image: Suitablee

SUITABLEE has recently opened its largest headquarters in the Old Port of Montreal, spanning across 4,000 square feet. The new space opened a few months ago and acts as both a showroom and the company’s administrative centre. Operations at this location include cutting, assembly of garments, seamstresses, and a photo studio. 

The second location is at Quartier DIX30 and the boutique is about 1,500 square feet of showroom space.

The brand started in 2015 when Siow and Jean-Jeremie Siow, both engineers, wanted to “combine old-school tailoring with technology.” The co-founders did not start off in a store, but in a car. 

“It really started in the trunk of a car, where we would go to people’s homes or offices and show them the fabrics and use the old traditional ways of measuring. We learned a tremendous amount over the years to be able to create what SUITABLEE is today. We sort of used Montreal as our base to do all our data analysis over the last few years, but SUITABLEE was not always where we are today.” 

Siow says the brand places a strong emphasis on making sure its custom suits are accessible to a range of customers.

Currently, getting a custom suit comes with high price tags, but SUITABLEE has made it accessible by offering a range of prices. Looking at its standard fabrics, customers are looking at spending around $900, making it accessible to students, for prom suits, and to those new to tailoring.

Looking at the deeper end, premium fabrics are available starting at $1,100  and ultra-premium options ranging from $1,400 to $1,700. This approach allows suits to be more accessible to everyone and customers “can enjoy the benefits of a custom tailoring, without breaking the bank.” 

AI Suits – How it Works 

Image: Suitablee

Customers can either design a suit in-store or online. For those visiting locations, SUITABLEE uses a state-of-the-art infrared  scanner to measure all the subtle slopes and angles of the body, ensuring a precise fit. 

Online, customers use its automatic sizing technology by answering a series of questions about their height, weight, preferences, and body shape. Based on these responses, SUITABLEE is able to leverage its database and AI algorithms to generate custom suit patterns. This process eliminates the need for traditional manual measurements, making it not only comfortable and convenient, but also accurate. 

Either online or in-store, both measurement techniques eliminate the need for using tape measure tools which could be uncomfortable. Now, consumers can enjoy a relaxed and comfortable environment as they go through this non-invasive measurement process. 

As the brand makes it accessible for customers to order suits online, Siow says orders come in from across Canada, the US, and also Europe.

“People don’t want to have to spend a lot of time taking out a measuring tape and having somebody measure them: it’s not error proof and there is a lot of interpretation required. In our case, people want to be able to answer those 14 questions and have their measurements generated automatically. It lowers the barrier.” 

Both locations have physical samples of suits for customers to try on, but SUITABLEE also has a digital screen where customers can see how the suit will look on them. They will also be able to look at different colour options, styles, and fit – helping the customer get a clear view of the design elements before making the purchase. 

“Unlike our competitors, our service is very interactive. Our online platform allows not only for customers to purchase online, but for them to have a preview of what their suit will look like due to our design tools on our website. So you are able to completely configure and design a custom suit on our website and these large screens in our showrooms. That way, our customers know exactly what they are getting before making the dive to purchase their outfit.” 

AI’s Future at SUITABLEE 

Image: Suitablee

Siow said the brand will continue to advance its AI technology and already has a few ideas on where they can use it to make custom suits even easier. 

“The next step in our journey with AI is the styling part of suiting. So what we have realised in custom suiting is that despite the fact we make custom things and people have choices, customers like to be told what the best options are in terms of colours, styling, and fit based on their life circumstances such as age, career, and where they live. Rather than having to decide, we can generate the most ideal recommendation from a styling perspective. So that is our next step.” 

Augmented reality is also something Siow is interested in adding to the brand, such as Apple’s headset, Meta’s headsets, and Facebook’s progress on glasses. 

“Augmented reality is making a big move and that is something we would like to dig into and how we can include that for people who want to have a visual of what a suit looks like on them. We are very much a technology driven company, beyond being a fashion company and that comes with the fact that my partner and I are trained as engineers.” 

Siow said this technology will allow people to have an idea of what a shirt, colour, and fit will look on them: “One thing we can’t currently do, is you can see the suit on the screen but you don’t know what it looks like on you, you don’t know what it looks like on your skin tone.” 

Siow says the brand is trying to push this technology to be ready for locations in the next few years. 

Product and Location Expansions 

Image: Suitablee

SUITABLEE is now going to be expanding into women’s tailoring, aiming to offer the same level of precision and customization for female clients. Currently it is at the early stages of development as they need manual measurements to build an AI database, but Siow says the AI women’s suits should be ready within the next year or two. This expansion takes a major step towards inclusivity. 

The company is currently rooted in Montreal; however Siow says they have plans to extend its physical presence beyond its home base within the next 18 months, targeting key Canadian cities such as Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver.. Beyond Canada, SUITABLEE has its sights set on the US market, with particular interest in Boston, New York, and Texas where they currently have a strong customer base. 

Inside Quebec, SUITABLEE is also looking at adding an additional location somewhere North of Montreal but is unsure when. 

“Once we feel that we have really reached the heights and potential in Montreal, then we will start looking outside of the area, but we don’t want to expand and have a bunch of average stores. We want to be able to have a good hold on what is at home and then move everywhere from Ottawa to Toronto, to Calgary to Vancouver. Our goal over the next ten years is to have a very strong presence and to be the leader when it comes to custom suiting in North America.” 

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

1 COMMENT

  1. Love your story, In the early 60’s, while at Ryerson, I did made to-measure suits, jackets, and ski apparel,, with samples in my trunk. Wish AI had been arond then.I took a real job with Van Heusen, Montreal and unfortunately, let my made-to-measure suitings, go by the wayside. Great memories, though. Go guys go!

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