A New York-based pair of entrepreneurs have built a business model structured to resolve issues of waste within fashion production while simultaneously allowing consumers a platform to express themselves through their own designs. Jumping off with offerings in men’s denim, Creature Of is a modular fashion platform that reimagines staple items with accessible, customizable apparel.
“But we're not necessarily a bespoke platform,” co-founder Sumeet Singh told Fashion United. Along with individualization and sustainability, Singh and his co-founder Cedric Lewis value accessibility in pricing. “At the moment, we're not taking custom sizing, so that allows us to offer products that are a pretty good price point compared to other product,” Lewis explained. “So if you go to any other self tailored or bespoke line, a pair of denim could cost you five or six hundred dollars.”
Creature Of’s doesn’t have a standard product offering as other denim brands would. “Right now our core product is basically a platform that allows you to visualize a sample room where they go in and build on our canvas, which is men’s denim, and and pick your fit, pick your wash, pick your sizes and pick your length for example,” Singh explained.
Depending on which elements a shopper chooses to add to a pair, Creature Of styles cost between 175 to 195 dollars. The brand owns its entire supply chain and manufacturing, and has made a conscious effort to not hold inventory, as a means to keep prices accessible and be sustainably conscious. Inventory is typically a factor that can drive pricing up for most fashion brands, as part of the retail cost of a product would go towards paying for a place for the brand to store excess items.
“We want to bridge the gap between the customer’s desire for self-expression and the logistical and financial loops that currently exist to do that,” said Lewis. “There are similar services that exist to have custom fashion or bespoke services. However, at a very high price point, will require you to be in a specific location and be face to face with a tailor or something like that. So that's where we come in, trying to make that aspect of the fashion, that self-expression more accessible to everyday customers.”
Creature Of does not begin production until an order is placed; every item is made to order. The turnaround time between a consumer placing an order and receiving that order is between one and a half to two weeks on average, Lewis explained.
The Creature Of consumer base is men between the ages of 18 and 35 in metropolitan areas. Singh credits the growing influence of streetwear in denim trends to the desire of the millennial demographic for self expression and customization in their clothing. “We like streetwear brands, but it's just getting to a point where the market is so oversaturated that if you are someone that has your own sense of style and you're just wearing logos, you start to wonder who is actually bringing the stylin decisions,” Singh said. “So based off that idea, one of our pillars is anonymity, really just providing a platform without excess branding.”
“Denim is definitely a very universal piece of apparel. And there is, for whatever reason, a sense of attachment people can get with their jeans,” Lewis said. Creature Of capitalizes on the attachment consumers feel with their jeans by allowing them to add their own creativity and personality into the product.
Consumers care about sustainable denim
Singh and Lewis see that as consumers value sustainability more and more, platforms such as theirs become more of a necessity in the market. “Most brands these days have to have some recognition with the customer beyond the product and sustainability has been one of those,” Singh said.
Creature Of creates as minimal waste as possible through only creating made-to-order items and holding zero inventory. However, consumers do change their minds about clothing items, especially when shopping online. If a shopper isn’t satisfied with the end product, the brand will accommodate with a free return and exchange. The returned pair is typically then used for marketing purposes, however Singh shared plans of online sample sales in the future for any returned pair.
The brand is developing more ideas to combat online customization issues while keeping their sustainable, modular fashion values as a top priority. For example, the co-founders have discussed pop up stores where shoppers can try on fits and feel the fabric before customizing on a digital screen, or a method to send consumers example pairs to familiarize the fit before customizing their own style.
“We see men’s denim as the intro to this modular fashion space,” said Lewis. “We're going to continue to develop men's denim, perfect our infrastructure and then that opens the floodgates to all different types of apparel, especially women’s denim. We will potentially even move beyond that into something larger, not just denim, but modular fashion as a wider concept.”Images: courtesy of the brand