Astor & Black has been producing custom suits and style consultation for the past seven years, and has some big plans lined up for 2011. In addition to growing their market all over the globe, they’re also working on expanding their home base this summer with a new retail showroom coming to their headquarters at 81 South Fifth Street.
We recently spoke to David Schottenstein, Founder and CEO of Astor & Black to find out more.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the founding of Astor & Black and the history of the company?
A: I founded Astor & Black in 2004 when I was 21 years old. While in school in Italy, I was fascinated by the old world tailors and the art of crafting a beautiful bespoke suit from scratch. I wanted to bring the European elegance I saw in the gentlemen there to the states, but at a reasonable price. The demand for custom clothing is increasing — since 2004, we have doubled our profits every year. 2010 was a year of landmarks for the company as whole, with our partnership with Bentley Motors, being named on INC’s 30 under 30 List, and bringing in new high profile talent such as Angel Ramos, Esquire’s Best Dressed Man 2010, in Miami. 2011 is shaping up to be a monumental year, especially with our recent support from Castanea Partners and expanded markets in the US and UK.
Q: Do you see Columbus as a good place for retail/fashion small business development? Are there opportunities or disadvantages to operating your business here?
A: We are very proud of our Columbus roots and our new corporate location in the heart of Downtown. Columbus is actually home to five of the top fifty most valuable retail brands in the US and someday soon, we hope to make that list. We are especially excited to get our high-end showroom open in our new location. We hope for it to be a high-end destination for people from all over to visit, right here in Columbus.
Q: Tell us a bit more about the Downtown showroom. What should customers expect if interested in visiting?
A: The downtown show room is still in progress, but we hope to have it opened by late summer. We’re aiming for it to be a high-end “man cave”, if you will. Customers can expect to see gorgeous samplings of our suits, new collections, and some surprising touches, like Scotch tastings and regular visits from a traditional gentlemen’s barber for an old school cut and shave.
Q: Who is your target customer on a local level, and how much of your business is focused on the Columbus shopper?
A: Our target customers in Columbus range from freshly graduated law students to business executives, CEO’s and athletes. The Columbus client base is a microcosm of our international clientele. We are looking to expand our company equally in every single one of our markets right now. Columbus continues to be one of our best markets, along with New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: We are excited about the future of Astor & Black and what we can do for the growth of Downtown Columbus. We would also like to point out that we are always looking for qualified sales representatives to increase the expansion of our brand all over the world. If you or anyone you know has a keen eye for fashion and an intense desire to help build this remarkable business, we would love to hear from you.
More information can be found online at www.astorandblack.com.