The year under review

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

So, 2010 is almost over and I thought it's the time to sum up a bit what happened so far. Don't worry, it won't be too long a read ;)

I started this blog 8 months ago, in April. Back then I had just ordered my first Indochino suit - a basic Navy Blue Suit. I can get a bit obsessed with googling stuff and I literally had spent hours educating myself about the company. There were (and still are) Dennis Cahlo's reviews and style advice, a couple of outdated reviews and a thread on Style Forum (still very much active!). I thought it would be nice to have one central portal for Indochino reviews, tips and coupons and decided to start my own blog. I didn't know if would work out, but after 8 months and increasing visitor numbers, I am rather sure it did actually work. In a way, I feel like every comment I get, every visitor who stays on the website for more than some seconds was worth spending time every day to make the website happen. 

Of course there are still many things I would like to do better. A nicer looking website, more reviews, especially from other customers (check the competition!), a separate section to rate fabrics and much more. I'm also hoping to do another interview with Kyle Vucko at some point and talk a bit about what to expect in 2011. 

The Linen Collection, The Blueprint Collection, The Hedonist Gentlemen Collection - those are just some of the names of the collections that Indochino introduced every month, quite amazing how often they manage to churn out their new fashion items. Below you can see a slideshow of some of their 2010 collections  (I probably missed some). Some were better than others, but overall I am personally very impressed with their releases. Overall the brand appears more mature now, but they are still trying something new with every collection (be it golden watches, gloves, different models, different settings, etc.).

Not only did we get a new collection every month, Indochino also proved to be very responsive to criticism and suggestions. We got natural shoulders, higher armholes, boot cut trousers, updated construction and many more improvements, some of them mentioned in the interview I did earlier this year.

Of course, not everything was perfect. Still there are discussions about the construction (fully canvassed vs. fused), there are occasionally troubles with the measurements shown in the user accounts or simply ill-fitting suits that must have escaped the quality control. Furthermore, prices went up quite a bit, certainly not a fact that pleases everyone. Another complaint I keep hearing about is the fact that you cannot combine gift vouchers with coupons and that there are no benefits for repeat customers.

I'm curious what they new year will bring - in terms of new products cardigans (confirmed in an interview a while ago) and shoes (asked about in their survey) are definitely a possibility. It will also be interesting to see if we see a further increase in average prices. Last but not least, will there be new competitors for Indochino? I know Moderntailor (only tried their shirts) and some smaller, local online mtm business but I believe Indochino is the biggest player so far.

So what do you think? Is Indochino on a good way? What do you expect for 2011?