Combat Gent, like trés-cool fashion startups Bonobos and 20Jeans, is looking to slip into young professional’s wardrobe via Internet marketing and strategic pricing. The company just raised $1.84 million from Tony Hsieh’s Vegas TechFund, MHS Capital, Naxuri Capital, Blazer Ventures and others, according to TechCrunch, and Gucci alum Enrico Beltrami will become chairman of the board — so what makes their suits so special?
Fashion runs in the founder’s blood, for one thing. Cousins Vishaal and Mo Melwani are the sons of Versace boutique owners, and they previously ran a garment manufacturing company, Melwanis FG, from 2009 to 2011. Combat Gent’s “Suit That’s Got Your Back” costs $160, and is aimed at young, aspirational men trying to avoid breaking the bank on their first work wardrobe. I was also impressed with the company’s fairly extensive collection of ties, starting at $16, although the designs are a bit more “H&M” then “Ralph Lauren,” if you know what I mean.
Vishaal and Mo are also partners at FT Accelerator, devoted to fashion and technology startups. Combat Gent currently has 72,000 monthly members; like many pure-commodity startups, the challenge was not in generating revenue (unlike they’re more tech-focused brethren), but in breaking through the clutter of competitors. To this end, the company’s ‘super 140’s wool’ from Italy appears to be the rare value-add amidst the ambiguously-sourced panoply of men’s fashion fabrics.
I’m a picky man when it comes to suits — particularly considering the Men’s Warehouse dude just got fired, and with Bangladesh fabric factories collapsing, you don’t know what kind of quality you’re getting anymore. Anybody have any suggestions or anecdotes about their Combat Gent clothes? Let us know in the comments.