Thursday, October 29, 2009

Alan Chan of Arbitrage

Just wrapped up our meeting for the Menswear Club.  I'm VERY happy with how it went.  Everything came together very well.  No projector problems, no one was late really, it lasted long enough to have substance but not so long as to drag on...  Among several things we went over with our members, I think the most valuable was having Alan Chan, the CEO of Arbitrage Clothing, come and share his thoughts and experiences.

I met Alan and his assistant Rory outside FIT and took them up to our studio.  At first, I thought Alan was wearing the same shirt I tried on when I first met him in their office around Grand Central last month.  After a little while though, I realized it was just the same purple plaid fabric that was used as an accent on a different shirt.  Still looked dope!  Here's the pattern I'm talking about:

He talked about how they got started and what kind of brand they have built.  Their core demographic is roughly aged 25-40, a working professional (NO TRUST FUND BABIES! haha jk... I'm sure he'd still take their business) and making $75,000+ a year.  Shirts retail for $100-$150, but he was nice enough to offer our program 40% off.

One thing that stuck out was him commenting on being worried about people stealing your designs.  His advice: if you have a great product, it'll be knocked off, as their hooded dress shirt has been.  See...  You have to just be more creative, stronger and run a better company.  Also, as a young designer, don't be afraid to seek feedback from people to see if they think it's a viable garment and something they could see themselves buying.

I feel like a lot of people got value out of it.  One of my classmates, Luis, has a family business in South America that manufactures suits and he and Alan were talking and exchanged info after the meeting.  Hopefully, they'll be able to give each other business.

If you want to check out some of their pieces, head over to  I've tried on a few of their shirts and I really like them.  Great fabric, nice fit and really cool details only the person wearing it would notice like the American cuff.


  1. omg...i love Arbitrage shirts

  2. me too. the designs are very unique and fashionable!