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Berluti affirms apparel expertise with bespoke tailoring video series

French apparel and accessories brand Berluti is allowing consumers to watch the bespoke tailoring process before ordering a custom suit themselves with a social video series.

Berluti’s “Grande Mesure Fully Bespoke Tailoring” videos show the making of a suit, from measuring and cutting to the fabric to the point where the consumer gets to try on his one-of-a-kind creation. For consumers who might not be convinced of the merits of custom tailoring, these six videos may sway them to book an appointment.

“In recent years the men’s suiting market has seen a proliferation of companies trying to improve the general product,” said Nicholas Perold, vice president of strategic development at Carrot Creative, New York. “Suit Supply, MySuit, and Blank Label all offer ‘custom’ services, but in fact their suits are not bespoke – they are customized versions of pre-designed patterns.

“Berluti’s videos, which seem oriented towards the same customer as is being targeted by the likes of Suit Supply and MySuit, namely a stylish, savvy, younger man, though not necessarily always at the same price point, appear designed to clarify that ‘bespoke’ means a suit made as a wholly original creation, not merely a customized general design,” he said.

“The fact that this offering comes through a brand with multiple retail locations such as Berluti, as opposed to a private tailor’s shop, is novel and means the offering is attractive to a broader swatch of customers in the general retail suiting market.”

Mr. Perold is not affiliated with Berluti but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Berluti did not respond by press deadline.

Breaking it down
Berluti released the videos both on its Web site and its social media accounts.

On the Web site, the videos are featured on the home page, with a call to action telling consumers to watch the films.

The link on the home page takes consumers to an article on the brand’s Web site.

At the top of the page is an animation that plays automatically, showing a man in a suit standing while phantom hands move measuring tape around him. The animation asks consumers “Do you speak bespoke?”

Text tells the consumer that a bespoke suit moves with the consumer, since it was made for his measurements specifically. The appointment begins with a blank sheet of paper and a meeting with a House of Arnys tailor.

Berluti, which began as a footwear label, had already been offering bespoke shoes before apparel.

The first video, “Taking the Measurements,” follows that text, showing the consumer a first appointment. The client is greeted at the door of the store and taken to a salon where the tailor shows him fabric options and they talk about design.

Text following the video gives more details about the first meeting and how the design will come about, alleviating any nerves about making the wrong decision or being overwhelmed.

“The Cut” shows the pattern making process and the cutting of a muslin mock up of the jacket being tried on the client for fit. It ends with the actual cloth being sectioned and then packaged.

“A Suit is Born” traces the many hands that sew the suit together.

Further in the series, the model playing the consumer gets to try on his suit before it is completed, the tailors do finishing touches and the suit is shown in its completed form.

The notes accompanying the videos give a better sense of time frame for appointments.

Berluti’s videos were also posted to the brand’s YouTube channel and on its social media pages.

On both Facebook and Twitter, Berluti does not include any text with the video, allowing the video to speak for itself. However, if a consumer clicks through to watch the video on YouTube rather than embedded in their social media feed, they will be given links to the article and the Berluti Web site.

“Unfortunately these videos don’t work well without text support,” Mr. Perold said. “I would have liked to see the videos done with a voice over that lends context to the premium visuals on display.

“Certainly Berluti missed an opportunity on social by keeping their post copy so short,” he said. “Contrary to popular belief, longer post copy can sometimes actually improve engagement rates in social media, provided the media assets do their part to stimulate fan interest up front.”

Footwear to fashion
This video series furthers Berluti’s positioning as an entire lifestyle brand, rather than a footwear label.

The brand continued its move toward a full-service lifestyle brand with the opening of a new boutique on New York’s Madison Avenue.

Berluti’s bricks-and-mortar location opened Feb. 6 only blocks away from its prior location on the high-end retail stretch. The move will help the brand house a wider range of products, including apparel and accessories with bespoke options available, to highlight its shift toward lifestyle (see story).

Leather goods maker Salvatore Ferragamo has similarly expanded its customized product range with the relaunch of Su Misura Made-To-Measure to include tailored men’s shirts.

The Italian brand, known for its footwear and large and small leather goods, offers custom suiting, jackets, pants and now dress shirts for men at select flagship stores and through at-home appointments. Ferragamo pushed the addition to its made-to-measure service at its New York flagship store – the only U.S. location where custom shirts are offered – with in-store activities to draw attention to the program (see story).

As Berluti continues to expand its offerings, these videos help the brand show that it does more than just shoes well.

“I think the videos do a nice job of [supporting Berluti as a leader in tailoring], though the actual product on offer is probably more novel and appealing within this section of the market than the videos themselves,” Mr. Perold said.

Final Take
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York