Startup: Joe Button

- September 27, 2011 2 MIN READ

The luxury of a bespoke shirt has traditionally only been available to those who could afford its very luxurious price tag. Its exclusivity has led consumers to believe that mass-produced clothing in ‘standardized sizing’ is the only solution.  But what if there was a way this service could be offered to everyone at a much more affordable price?

Joe Button, a new Sydney-based fashion startup aims to revolutionize the custom clothing industry and make it accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Joe Button combines the time old traditions of shirt-making with the latest technological innovations to allow customers to design their own shirt or shirtdress and have it custom made and delivered to their door.

“There actually isn’t much on offer when it comes to quality dress shirts at the retail level, everyone just buys from the same few shops in the CBD. It’s well known that wearing the same outfit as someone else equates to a fashion disaster, so if you dig a bit deeper around the office, you’ll probably find a number of guys who co-ordinate the days on which they can wear a particular shirt just to avoid this situation.” says founder Modi Song.  “We always hear guys going on about how they’ve found the perfect shirt but the only problem is that Tom, Dick and Harry all have exactly the same one.”

The founders of Joe Button, Modi Song and Melissa Lee witnessed a gap in the market first hand when they were working together in Corporate Finance.

“Guys at work used to wait a whole year for designer sample sales and it wasn’t that they weren’t willing to pay for a quality shirt, it simply just wasn’t worth it at the retail price point.” says Modi.

It was out of this frustration that Joe Button was established with a goal of providing customers with a product that ticked all the boxes – a high quality custom fitted European cotton shirt for just $99.  The pair travelled around the world until they found a bespoke shirt tailor who would specially import premium cottons from France, Italy, Switzerland and the UK.

“Sometimes we’d see guys at work in a plain shirt but notice that their inner collar was lined in a bright contrasting fabric and we’d think: ‘Cool – this guy probably has a life outside of the office.’ ” says Melissa.

Traditionally, shirts were seen as business-hour garments worn only by men but today it has transgressed into a staple in every wardrobe regardless of sex.

“Shirts are one of the most versatile pieces of clothing and we want people to be able to express themselves, whether it be on a weekday or weekend.  The way a shirt fits can dramatically alter the way it looks.” says Melissa.  “We’re online shoppers ourselves so we know how hard it can be to figure out sizing so we decided to offer a few different ways to get a perfect fit.”

Male customers can choose from one of four sizing methods that range from selecting a standard size in the click of a mouse to measuring themselves in less than five minutes.  Joe Button are so confident of their custom sizing system that purchases are backed by a Perfect Fit Promise – if the shirt doesn’t fit for whatever reason, Joe Button will either remake the shirt or reimburse the customer for alterations at their local city tailor.

We really want our customers to be happy so our Perfect Fit Promise makes sure that we’re giving our customers something they love.” says Melissa.