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Friday January 24, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday January 24, 2014 MYT 7:12:24 AM
by william k.c. kee
Manly muse: Celebrity Peter Davis modelling a grey number from Shirts Culture.
Men now have the option of purchasing customised shirts with a click of the mouse.
OUR brand is driven by one simple vision: we want men to dress better,” extols Andreas Olsson. The 33-year-old Swedish-Malaysian is the founder of www.shirtsculture.com, an online site that touts itself as “the perfect fit company.”
Offering men customised shirts based on their specific requirements, Olsson set up Shirts Culture last year. The boyish Olsson was born and brought up in Sweden and graduated with a master’s degree in business.
“I decided to come to Malaysia as my mum is from here, and I’ve always been curious about the country,” he explains. “I’ve now been in Malaysia for seven years working in the media industry and I still love it here, except for the occasional traffic jam.”
In an email interview, Olsson explains more about his fashion enterprise.
What made you decide to set up Shirts Culture?
It was always my dream to achieve entrepreneurship since I was a kid. When I was in middle school and we couldn’t get hold of a particular brand of trading card, my friend and I started to import the cards. Eventually, we sold them to our classmates in order to cover our costs and to earn a small profit. The transactions from this little enterprise got me excited on how fun business could be. Fast track to Malaysia and several years later, I was having a discussion with my good friend-turned-partner. He told me about his family’s textile and tailoring business and I saw an opportunity. Growing up in Sweden, I was exposed to the Internet from a very young age and I’ve seen how the online industry exploded. I knew it was just a matter of time that it would happen here too.
What are the challenges you face?
The main challenge is that e-commerce is still relatively new in Malaysia. People are used to buying in a shop where they can feel the material and pay in cash. But things are definitely changing and a lot of people are now comfortable using online banking or their credit cards online. There has also been a healthy development of the broadband infrastructure which definitely helps in the ease of purchasing online. Thirdly, as more e-commerce businesses are established here, people will be more exposed and realise the convenience and ease of online shopping.
Take us through a simple step- by-step process for a new customer to order his shirt.
The first step is to choose your shirt design. Once you have done that, you have the option of choosing your type of fit, collar, cuff and even add a monogram. Each one of our shirts is tailor-made specifically to the customer. All our shirts are tailored in Singapore to ensure the quality is top notch. The fabrics which we use are top grade, imported from various parts of the world. We use only the best and never compromise on the quality of your perfect fit. Once it’s tailored, we will send it right to your home. It’s all about convenience without compromising on quality.
What has been the feedback from customers thus far?
So far, it has been good. We started out by getting a few orders from Kuala Lumpur, and we are now getting a steady stream of new customers from other states in Malaysia, and also from Singapore. We also have repeat customers and are doing our best to keep our customers satisfied.
What are your goals regarding Shirts Culture?
Our short term goal is to build awareness of the brand and a healthy customer base. We are currently only shipping to Malaysia and Singapore but our goal this year is to do international shipping.
What is the most popular design and colour amongst men?
The most popular design is the Business Blue. Not surprising as it’s a versatile colour that works well professionally and also in a more casual setting. Nevertheless, we will be exploring more funky colours for a buzzy vibe to our collection, to appeal to more daring and adventurous customers.
What is your opinion on Malaysian men’s fashion sense?
Over the last couple of years, men’s fashion sense has definitely improved. There’s still quite a way to go before we reach European standards, but we’re definitely catching up. One important aspect of our site is our articles where we provide tips on everything from “How important the fit is” to “How to take care of your shirt”. We are continuously updating our site with inspiring and educational articles on men’s fashion.
Why did you choose Peter Davis as your campaign model?
I have met Peter on several occasions and also had the pleasure of working with him before. He makes work fun and as a client, is very easy to deal with. So once I was setting this up, he was at the top of my mind.
Who is your targeted clientele?
Our target audience would be men between 23 and 43. Mostly professional working men but really anyone who wants to dress well either for work, play or a romantic date.
> Shirts are priced at RM199. For more details, log on to www.shirtsculture.com.
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Lifestyle, Shirts Culture, men's fashion, Peter Davis, online site, Andreas Olsson
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