Elite AgentFEATURE INTERVIEWS

A stitch in time: How THEODORE is transforming suits for real estate agents

When Luke Wilson is in need of a new custom-fitted suit he doesn’t walk into a store, he picks up his phone instead.

But, rather than scrolling through online menswear stores and taking a bit of pot luck that the suit he orders will fit, he jumps on THEODORE’S Pocket Tailor App.

Founded a little over three years ago, THEODORE, or THDR as it’s affectionately called, is an Australian owned menswear brand that aims to simplify the process for men to buy high-quality clothes that fit right.

It’s the brainchild of childhood friends Sean Fagan and Tim Aquino, who joined their experience in the men’s fashion industry and technology sectors to reshape the way consumers, particularly real estate agents, buy suits.

That means agents no longer have to walk the streets trying on suits that don’t fit, they get one that fits perfectly delivered to their door.

“We service everyone around Australia and around the world,” Tim says.

“We have clients from Alaska to Darwin, to the UK.

“The bridge that we’ve built is the AI-powered app that enables anyone around the world to take their contactless body measurements.

“It takes about 83 unique data points for us to review and then create a custom suit.”

Agents us the pocket tailor app to take their suit measurements. Photo: THEODORE

Luke’s custom suit solution

For Ray White Diamantidis Group Sales Executive, Luke Wilson, using THDR has been a game-changer.

“In this day and age speed is the new currency, so even instant coffee is too slow,” he says.

“I think it’s really good for people who are not confined to the city limits.

“I think it’s genius that they’re able to combine technology and AI for you to send them your measurements, so you don’t have to drive 45 minutes to an hour to get measured up.”

Tim says the technology behind the suit creation makes taking the custom measurements easy.

It can be done anytime and anywhere.

Once an agent launches the camera function in the Pocket Tailor app, their phone will start capturing data to isolate their body outline.

Using multiple sensors, such as a gyroscope and AR features, the app will continue to prompt users until their measurements are accurately captured.

Then, the information is uploaded to THDR’s cloud-based data processing system, which then runs further image processing and data analytics.

That step is continually improved through THDR’s machine learning algorithm.

When the capture is fully processed, a mesh model of the user is created with all of the measurements the team needs to create the suit.

AI-powered tailoring revolution

Tim says when THDR was founded, clients were a little “hesitant” about the product.

To help overcome this, as well as using the technology to create the suits, the THDR team has travelled across Australia, New Zealand and the US to build stronger relationships with their clients in person.

“It’s been fascinating because, over the past two-and-a-half years, we’ve seen a shift in confidence from it being a super new thing where they’re trusting technology to create something hugely personal to them to tech being embedded in every part of our lives,” Tim explains.

“So that comfort level is now increasing and people want to be frictionless when buying things.”

Agent Michael Coombs tries on his suit with THEODORE Co-Founder Tim Aquino. Photo: THEODORE

But while the technology helps make the process simpler, Tim stresses that the quality of the garments are never compromised.

He says only high quality fabrics, that are functional for the specific, fast-paced nature of real estate, are used.

“Because of the years of experience I’ve had suiting up agents, there’s a lot more specificity when it comes to the type of fabric that’s going to be functional for them,” Tim notes.

“So that’s why opting for a custom made product specific to that industry is crucial for the durability and longevity of the garment, on top of the design elements that are unique to them.

“For agents, a lot of their success is predicated on how they look, and that’s just the bottom line of it.

“We see ourselves as the vehicle to make that happen.”

And, rather than being another piece of fast fashion, Tim says THDR’s suits are designed to become “legacy pieces”.

Tim says part of this ethos is why they embed NFC chips into the garments.

“By embedding these NFC chips in our suits it enables digital ownership,” he says.

“It’s a history log of where the suit was made, what fabric it’s cut from, but also it’s an opportunity for the suit to tell its story.

“If you were to go to an op shop, you’d see this suit on the rack with a name in it and you’d wonder what life that suit had lived.

“Now we have the ability to document that.” 

The suits can be customised to meet individual needs. Photo: THEODORE

Meeting the customer’s needs

Luke says he still has the first suit he ordered through THDR, has ordered several over the years and loves that they can be customised to suit his needs.

He prefers side tabs over belt loops, his initials are monogrammed on the pieces, and he sometimes opts to wear a ‘shacket’, which is worn over a shirt like a jacket but which is made from material lighter than a jacket.

“One other thing I do, which maybe a lot of people don’t do, is I don’t line my jackets,” Luke says. 

“So you can see the inner works of the stitching and the material inside the jacket.

“That allows me to be able to wear it in the warmer months.”

In a less obvious way, the suits can also help agents before better.

“It imbues confidence in some agents,” Tim says.

“We see it on a weekly basis, where a new associate has saved up the money to get a custom suit and then seeing themselves in something they’d never seen themselves in before, just brings them to a new posture of confidence.

“It goes back to that old rule that you’re judged within the first seven seconds you’re in front of a person.”

As well as business suits, THDR also does wedding attire, casual garments and shirts.

At the moment a women’s line is also in the pipeline.

“It really is a lucrative market and we only have one chance to get it right,” Tim says.

“So there’s a lot of weight behind it and it’s a problem that exists that needs a solution, especially for agents who are women. 

“They have a common pain point across the board with finding the right fit.”

Where to now for THDR

THEODORE was named as part of 2024 REACH Australia and New Zealand program and also recently won the 2024 Commbank Award for Start-up of the Year.

Tim says being part of the REACH cohort, and working with Peter and Ebonnie Schravemade as well as Tom Ellis, would help them achieve their goals for the next 12 months.

“With our expansion to the US specifically, we see that as a pivotal partnership, and really crucial for what we want to achieve over the next 12 months,” he says.

As well as the US expansion, THDR plans to continue international pop-up ‘trunk shows’.

“We’ll be servicing different clientele in Dubai, Singapore, the US and New Zealand,” Tim says.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.

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