The cool, mid-market suit comes to Vancouver
Swiss retailer Strellson sets up shop on Vancouver's hottest high street
April 21, 2016
If there were a Venn diagram for “men” and “like wearing suits” in Vancouver, it’s fair to assume that the overlap between the two circles would be pretty small. But Strellson, a Swiss brand with locations in more than 40 countries, is betting they can find a way to grow that demographic—or, at the very least, make sure they attract their business. Their new standalone store on Alberni Street near Thurlow opened in December, and so far business has been brisk.
The reason for that might be Strellson’s ability to balance affordability and quality. No, its shirts, suits, jackets, and outerwear aren’t as inexpensive as the stuff you might find at Top Man, Zara, or H&M, but neither are they priced in a way that would require most Vancouverites to dedicate an entire paycheque (or two) to the experience. “There’s not a lot of good stuff in the middle,” says Mark Altow, the president of Strellson North America. “We’re one of the few.” That middle should appeal to Millennials, who are more interested in wearing suits than their Gen-X peers might have been at their age but just as unwilling to pay the sticker price on a major-label brand.
And as for Vancouver’s reputation as an aggressively—and maybe even obnoxiously—casual place? Well, Altow thinks there are still plenty of people who care about putting together an outfit. “The new suits are cool. They’re trim, they’re short, and they’re not your dad’s suit. We’re seeing a resurgence of interest in that—even in Vancouver.”
Morfil Waterproof Jacket ($398)
Strellson’s Mark Altow says that multi-functional outerwear (like this jacket) will be a big part of the spring/summer 2016 catalogue