Interview – Sumissura
Sumissura is a women’s made-to-measure brand from Switserland. They offer their customers the experience of complete freedom to personalize their clothing. From styles to fabrics.
Sumissura’s approach is to bring together the convenience of online shopping and the experience of having clothes custom made.
To get to know more about Sumissura, we talked with founder Alberto Gil. We talked about how the journey of Sumissura started, how it’s going and what is planned for the future.
How came the idea of starting a fashion brand and why particularly a fashion brand specialized in workwear?
Back in 2008, my colleagues and I were running an agency specialized in eCommerce. We provided technological & marketing solutions that enabled brands of many kinds to sell online. By then we always repeated to ourselves that we would love to have our own eCommerce brand, selling our own products. One day, one of our partners had to travel to Asia. There he realized that there were some tailors that could make a good quality suit for you in just one or two days. Scratching a little bit more, we realized that in fact there was a long tradition in tailoring. It was not just some tailors, there was an interesting industry there. He came back from Asia and suggested to me and our third partner to make an online platform where customers could design their own suits, and we would make them to their exact measurements. Back in the day, it was somewhat a crazy idea. But it worked. In 2 months we had our store selling suits & shirts.
Can you tell me something more about the founders?
My two main partners are Andreu Fernandez and Humbert Codina. We met at the same university in Barcelona. And while we were still studying we founded our first business. We have an engineering background, but each one of us has a different profile: tech-oriented, marketing-oriented and strategical-oriented. So what about fashion? Well, in that area we had to learn everything. On the other hand, we are quite practical and analytical, so we started this business with zero bias. And in the fashion industry, there is a lot of subjectivity or bias that could drive you in the opposite direction where business is.
How did Sumissura start?
Sumissura as a brand started in 2015. Before that date, we were already making women’s clothes under our brand Hockerty. But we decided we wanted to create a new customer experience more focused on our feminine audience and concentrate on specific teams to think and develop our women’s offer.
What kind of difficulties did Sumissura face while building the fashion brand?
It’s difficult to choose just a few. Let me try. One of the most difficult parts is to explain to our customers that we are going to make something from scratch for them, that it is really made to measure. Also, for some customers, it’s not easy to understand that 15 days delivery is a really short time. It’s really fast for made-to-order fashion. So for people used to same-day delivery, 15 days may sound like too long. Third, our measurements estimator. We have a proprietary technology that estimates body measurements based on height, weight, age, and certain body parameters. When sumissura started, our technology had no “training” for women. So it took us some months/years to perfect our body estimation tool for women.
What was till now the best accomplishments?
The best accomplishment is to have been successful in building an economically sustainable brand that offers ecologically sustainable fashion solutions for women all around the world. And at the same time, we are very proud to have accomplished this with a responsible production which allows us to offer fair wages to our tailors and at the same time attractive prices for our customers.
What makes Sumissura unique in comparison to other workwear brands?
I think I can name a combination of facts that makes Sumissura unique. First, our products are really made to measure. We don’t make any garment that is not going to be worn by someone. Moreover, the production is really fast. Our amount of style and fabric combinations are also huge. Last, we have fair prices. And let me dig on a fact: you will never see a direct discount on Sumissura. Yes, we do offer promotions and product bundles every now and then, but you will never see a single product with a big discount. Because we don’t have seasonal collections, because our prices are already attractive and fair all year long.
What is the message behind the brand?
We do clothes for every-body. We bring together technology & craftsmanship to offer you the possibility to design your own clothes, make them to your own measurements, and at a price that won’t empty your wallet. Our customers can forget about 2 things. On one hand, they can stop scrolling for hours to find the style or color you are looking for because you just design it. On the other, they can forget about sizes. No more hesitation, no more sizes out of stock.
What is the ultimate goal and are the next steps for Sumissura?
We want to offer a wide collection of products, beyond businesswear, that either can be made to measure, either customizable. Our most recent launch was evening dresses, and soon we will see other interesting new product categories more related to casualwear. We must stay loyal to our core values, keep building a sustainable brand, and offer more and more categories so, in the end, a customer could get all items of their wardrobe designed by herself and made to her measurements
Thank you Albert for the inspiring interview!