Bespoke shirt firm Le Chemiseur raises fresh capital, targets €1m sales
French bespoke shirt website Le Chemiseur has raised €400,000 in fresh capital, a milestone for the company. The site was assisted by consulting agency Performancia, and half of the sum raised came from investments made by Le Chemiseur's clients and their relatives. Since the website's launch in 2014, it had managed to broaden its client base through self-financing.
Ordering a shirt from the website is easy. Customers can choose between about 40 different fabrics made in France (Emanuel Lang), Italy (Albini, Canclini), Germany (Wendler) and the UK (Thomas Mason), and from eight types of collar and other personalised details, such as embroidered initials. Once the measurements are in the system, the shirts ordered will reach customers within two to three weeks. Customers are assigned a 'cut code', noted on the collar, which allows them to order other models in their preferred fit.
On the website, customers don't need to measure their arm or chest size, but simply focus on their favourite shirt model, adding or taking away a few inches here and there to obtain the perfect fit. "We decided to start from the type of shirt customers prefer, rather than from their morphology," said Jan Schutte, founder of Le Chemiseur.
"Some love fitted cuts, other more classic ones. Sometimes, this is a subjective thing, and a predetermined cut may or may not attract. The fit is rarely perceived in the same way by [different] customers. Starting from a preferred shirt is more reliable in our opinion, and allows us to avoid the issue of subjective appreciation."
In 2016, the website's revenue was €150,000. Although still small it ships globally and according to its founder, it is expected to at least double this year.
Through the fresh capital, Schutte wants to hire a designer and invest in the e-store's optimisation. "Though we have been asked for more products, such as trousers, or to open a physical store, these aren't among our short-term priorities. We want to consolidate our operations and improve, among others, loyalty and packaging, and turn into true online bespoke-shirt specialists," said Schutte.
Le Chemiseur is assessing future partnership to boost its reputation, and its objective for next year is to reach the €1 million revenue mark.
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