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Custom Clothing Brand Gets New Funding to Go Global

Custom men’s wear label Knot Standard will soon break ground in new markets.

The bespoke brand, which was founded in 2012, has received fresh funding from Decathlon Capital Partners, a growth equity investor providing revenue-based business loans to growth-stage companies and startups. The undisclosed seven-figure sum represents a “major” investment that will allow Knot Standard to expand its geographic footprint, open new showrooms and continue to deliver a “high-touch customer experience,” the made-to-measure brand said in a statement.

Companies like Knot Standard, Bonobos, Proper Cloth, Trumaker, Indochino and others have helped usher in retail’s new wave of tailor-made options. Consumers are increasingly looking for personalized shopping experiences and products that speak to their individual tastes and fit preferences.

Knot Standard’s team of stylists and tailors work with clients to build out made-to-measure wardrobes of suits, button-down shirts and travel wear, operating out of 10 showrooms across major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and its headquarters in New York City.

“We built our reputation on luxury, custom menswear that is uniquely designed for each client by professional stylists,” CEO and co-founder John Ballay said. “The service delivers a modern, seamless experience online, on the phone and in our nationwide showrooms.”

Like many of the modern era’s direct-to-consumer brands, the company relies heavily on machine learning to inform its decision making around trends and consumer appetite. With its latest windfall, Knot Standard will look to refine the data science that has helped the brand grow, and use those learnings to scale.

“Our proprietary and third-party data helps us understand and anticipate demand, both from our existing customers and prospects, who we can market to with great precision,” said co-founder and president Matt Mueller, who added that the investment will help the brand to “reap the benefits of those insights.”

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From an investment standpoint, an established brand with a unique business model like Knot Standard represents an attractive prospect, according to Decathlon Capital Partners’ John Borchers. The brand operates within a high-margin industry without inventory risk, as every product is made to order.

“Unlike retail fashion, Knot Standard clothing is custom made,” he said. “There is no unsold clothing hanging on racks, waiting to go out of season.”

Waste has become the bane of the industry, with sustainability advocates railing against apparel companies’ penchant for overproduction. And as brands and retailers head into the holidays with recessionary threats still hanging overhead, preserving margins has become imperative to surviving the season.

While Knot Standard has not publicly released details about its prospective new showroom locations, Borchers said the brand is on a trajectory for expansion into entirely new regions. “We are pleased to provide the fuel for that growth,” he said.