Look inside the new Black Lapel suit showroom with co-founder Derek Tian

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Black Lapel is fast becoming one of the deans of online custom suiting for men.  Modern Fellows caught up with co-founder Derek Tian in the company’s brand new showroom in New York recently to discuss Black Lapel’s new fall collection and upcoming plans.   


Derek was focused on readying Black Lapel’s fall custom suiting collection, which is now available online.  The collection is heavy on rich browns and reds, including a daring maroon tuxedo and red windowpane offering.


The jewel of the collection is two Rivington offerings. Derek noted high demand for last year’s Rivington — a micro-herringbone pattern that gives subtle texture — in dusk blue. The new collection features Rivingtons (pictured above and below) in grey and brown.


Beyond the suits, Black Lapel is also refreshing its topcoats for winter. Topcoat fabrics will include improved fabric performance this year, as the company tinkered with the flannel finish and added new colors and design features.


Derek and co-founder Warren Liao are also in the middle of tricking out their new showroom and office space at 10 East 38th Street in midtown Manhattan (pictured above).  The showroom portion is already up and running and looks sharp, as is the glass conference room where we met.


Black Lapel appears laser-focused on the basics — regularly refreshing and improving fabric offerings, building out a welcoming in-person option for potential customers to get to know their brand, and online user acquisition.


They also continue to look for opportunities to partner with complementary, like-minded and cool brands to expand their attractiveness and reach — building on past experiences like the innovative Dapper Man popup. During my visit, they were hosting Stuart and Lau — a New York and Hong Kong-based company that makes exquisite umbrellas and unique bags and briefcases for men — for a pop-up (pictured below) at their showroom.


Black Lapel’s new suiting collection and topcoats provide a reason to look forward to winter.


Photo credits: Photos of the Black Lapel FW16 collection are courtesy of Black Lapel

About Jake

Jake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age.  Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.

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