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'Tailor Truck' Serves Bespoke Suits from Parking Spots Across Manhattan

By Alan Neuhauser | November 6, 2013 12:31pm
 The Arden Reed tailor truck is using 3D scans, conducted in its cargo bay, to sell custom suits across Manhattan.
Arden Reed Tailor Truck
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MIDTOWN — These bespoke suits literally come off the back of a truck.

Arden Reed, the so-called custom-suit "Tailor Truck" launched by a pair of former investment bankers, has hit the streets of Manhattan, joining the technicolor food-trucks parked each day outside high-end office buildings in Midtown, Union Square, the Financial District and, occasionally, Morningside Heights.

"It's super-convenient," said Carlos Solorio, 25, who founded the truck with former co-worker Mike Abadi, 27.

The concept allows shoppers to step from the street into the truck's cargo bay, ducking through a metal roll-down door leftover from the vehicle's days as a delivery van for FedEx. Inside, wood panels, soft track lighting, and layered suit jackets cover the truck's metal walls and ceiling, turning the space into a warm, miniature fitting room, complete with a curtained dressing area up front.

In a technological twist, the fitting is done by computer, with each shopper stripping to his skivvies to be scanned three times into a 3D modeling program, which spits out his suit and pants measurements. Once dressed again, a fourth measurement is then taken by hand to confirm the data.

"It's an algorithm that does the work," Solorio explained. "We do that last measurement by hand because each body is different."

In all, the measurements take just five minutes. Shoppers then simply pick from the 200-plus fabrics on offer, add finishing touches such as peak lapels, then step back onto the sidewalk. Their custom suits, made from Australian wool, designed in Italy and manufactured in China, arrive four to six weeks later.

The cost is about $500 to $1,100, depending on style and fabric quality.

"It's nice and easy," Solorio said. "Someone on Wall Street, he's not going to take lunch to come up, head to Midtown, get measured, and then come all the way back down. But we just park outside the building."

The truck, which hit the road in Solorio's home state of Arizona earlier this year and arrived in New York City this summer, spends most Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays in Midtown, Tuesdays in the Financial District and Thursdays in Union Square. It is also scheduled to make stops at Columbia and Fordham universities.

For the truck's schedule, check out the Arden Reed website or follow the truck on Twitter or Facebook.