Tom Dwyer cut his teeth in the least-sexy sector of the fashion business: logistics.
Now, he’s launching an online men’s fashion brand called Taylrd, cribbing what he learned as a supply-chain executive filling orders for major international e-tailers including Asos, Boohoo and Victoria’s Secret.
Taylrd is priced to undercut rival men’s retailers like Bonobos, charging $44 for a short-sleeved shirt and $78 for a pair of chinos. A similar shirt at Bonobos goes for $88, while Bonobos chinos range between $98 and $168.
“We are not approaching this as a startup,” said Dwyer, a former owner of New York-based WN Shipping, a firm his father founded more than 25 years ago that handles customs clearance, warehousing, shipping and other delivery services.
Most apparel startups struggle to find a factory and delivery service, industry experts say.
“Factories won’t get back to you because you are a nobody,” says Untuckit co-founder and chief executive Aaron Sanandres, who hired a logistics firm after two years of operating the upstart clothier.
Taylrd will launch on Aug. 1, offering free, three-day delivery for orders over $75 and international deliveries within a month. By October, Taylrd plans to have same-day delivery in five cities, including the Big Apple.
Dwyer, 27, is targeting 20-somethings who are joining the workforce for the first time and need to build an affordable wardrobe.
“We are coming in at 35 percent less expensive than our competitors,” Dwyer said, pointing out that the British conglomerate Asos started three-day delivery just 18 months ago.
“I’m doing that right away,” he added.
Still, industry veterans warn that creating a successful clothing label requires not just an efficient supply chain, but also strong designs and savvy marketing.
“If you are starting with a logistics company that does apparel, you know the drill and you have one leg up from a customer fulfillment and service perspective,” says Sanandres, who just raised $30 million for his 6-year-old men’s apparel business, which operates 12 stores and will add another 7 by the end of this year.
“The advantage begins when the order is placed, but the customer still has to buy the product first.”