Sene Studio Takes Custom-Made Suits in a New Direction
Athleisure apparel has been at the forefront of a trend that has swept across the country for the past several years.
People have long been talking about the goal of wearing clothing that transitions from work to workout and vice versa.
Now a Los Angeles company is making that more of a reality. Sene Studio, founded three years ago by Ray Li, has come out with custom-made suits for men and women made entirely of a performance fabric that comes from the same Japanese mill used by Lululemon.
The FlexTech suit is made of a synthetic fabric composed of recycled polyester and polyester that has four-way stretch and is machine washable. Recently introduced as a limited collection, Sene Studio is launching a Kickstarter campaign on May 1 to raise more money to buy a larger quantity of fabric to lower the cost of the suit.
Currently, the FlexTech suit sells for $695, but the company would like to lower that price by at least $100. “The mill we are using has minimum fabric buys of 50 yards per color. So, with economies of scale, we can purchase more at a lower cost and pass on that savings to the customer,” said Mark Zheng, who is Ray Li’s cousin and a partner in the company.
The price of the suit includes a custom fit as well as alterations once the suit is delivered in one to three weeks.
During the two-week-long Kickstarter campaign, a suit bought in the first 24 hours can be acquired for $415. During the second day of the campaign, the price goes up to $425 and then up to $475.
“The core idea of the company is that clothing should be made for every individual person,” Zheng said, noting the design comes from Los Angeles while 80 percent of the company’s products are made in China and another 20 percent in the United States. “Everything is custom made from scratch. We don’t produce inventory unless we have an order.”
The company has been making a number of custom-made items since it launched. Products include men’s shirts, men’s and women’s suits, blazers, outerwear jackets, coats, pants, jogger pants, tuxedos, and dresses. The FlexTech suit is the latest addition to the company’s lineup.
Li decided to start a custom-apparel company because he had a hard time finding clothes that fit his 5-foot, 10-inch frame but proportionately short arms. Two years ago, he opened a 1,700-square-foot store on La Brea Avenue where customers could walk in and get fitted or have alterations done by a tailor.
But that is closing as the company sets up new fitting outposts at the Pacific Design Center and OneCulver via WeWork.
But customers don’t have to drop by a physical location to be custom fitted. The company has a smart-fit algorithm on its website that extrapolates body data based on a few questions, such as what is your dress size for women and what is your shirt size for men.
Customers can input their body measurements, but Zheng said men tend to shy away from doing this while women understand that exact body measurements mean a better-fitting garment. “Women understand the process and why it is needed,” Zheng said.
Most of the company’s customers tend to range in age from the mid-30s to mid-50s, and the company’s bestselling category is men’s shirts, which go for $125 to $145. For more information, go to www.senestudio.com.