June 28, 2013 by Ville Raivio
‘I’m 36 years of age, born in India into a middle class family. My father was into steel trading. Have always been interested in doing business and thus joined my father while still in college. After graduation, though, got into financial technology and worked in New York for some of our largest banks and insurance companies for more than a decade. After temporarily getting into steel manufacturing, Luxire happened. It has been a joyride building the organization. The industry is completely people driven. We have been fortunate to find the right talent from time to time and we have been able to create an extremely happy and friendly environment where we work. I have an undergraduate in Accounting. Passed out in 1997.
Married to Shaila Arya and blessed with 2 daughters; Kartika is 9 years old, Vedika is a month old. Wife is involved in different aspects of design and technology at Luxire. She has an excellent sense of style. We discuss the fabrics that we decide to carry and the products we should focus on. My father and brother are into steel manufacturing. Luxire has thus been an alien concept but the acceptability has been growing gradually.
My sister tries to be more involved and has helped in getting our leather products made at the maker of $600 wallets. She is now helping us with getting socks made. My mother is very particular about quality and attention to details. I think that is where I got my mindset about aiming for the best. Love to spend time with my family. We are all passionate about food and are vegetarian. We like to travel together, peaceful holidays, closer to nature. We love pizza and used to drive to Burt’s in Chicago from Milwaukee regularly. In New York, we would go to Di Fara often. Both the men have passion for their pizza and choose to do things perfectly with their own hands while keeping the setting modest.
After starting a new steel making unit with my family a couple of years ago, I set my sight on creating an even bigger steel unit with a friend. While waiting for things to happen, stumbled upon the idea of a clothing e-commerce venture in the interim. Started as a RTW shirt brand but slowly moved to custom. The single goal we have had in mind has been to produce the best shirts in the world. We never do any calculations on cost or selling price. If it can be done better, do it. This has been the biggest contributor in our acceptance. Otherwise, there was no real need for another MTM shirtmaker. Though satisfied with the progress, we have not achieved our goal. Our clothes can still get better and will get better. In terms of products, we intend to become a one-place for every thing wearable a man may want, including custom prints and weaves.
A friend, who runs one the best fabric processing units in the world, suggested launching my own brand and guided me through the initial process. He still guides me in matters related to fabrics. He also helps make some of our exclusive fabrics, made better than what goes into the market. Was introduced to classic clothing by my father when I was in school. After college, my inclination changed to casual, comfortable clothes. It has been my preference for everyday wear but I tend to prefer classic clothing during business or on formal occasions. Seasonal, comfortable, skin-friendly and pleasing to the eye have been the driving forces.
Have been reading a lot, practicing the learnings with the team, experimenting on myself and then on willing customers. We have been blessed with some great talent who work at Luxire. As a team, we encourage each other to think. How a problem can be solved. It has helped us make our clothes better. Our customers have taught us a lot, too. A lot of our styling comes from them. One man deserves mention here: a professor in San Francisco. He is the first customer of Luxire Custom Clothes. Did not know him before. He guided us in making pants and then jackets. He has helped us improve every step. Luxire owes a lot to him and has been a godsend blessing.
[My style] is simple contemporary clothes. Unfused English or button-down shirts in solid, stripes or ginghams, chinos, jeans, linen pants. Polo shirts and shorts when I can wear them. Only Luxire. Have not been able to buy clothes since the last 15 months. Have not ben able to get my orders fulfilled at Luxire. This has left a gap in my wardrobe. But unable to bridge that as the difference in quality is striking. Now, I would probably only wear clothes made by people passionate about their work. Just the like the old men making pizza I mentioned above.
Our shirts are certainly amongst the best in the world. Pants are getting there. That is the target for every product we sell or will sell in the future, all will be made with that aim. Service has been very good. It is evolving, too. The philosophy is simple: “Every Customer, a happy customer”. There are limitations, but we try hard.
[Your readers should choose us for:]
1. Quality difference – this is primary.
2. Ability to design and customize to your heart’s content – this is unique to us.
We pride in having introduced a large number of people to custom clothing, something they always felt was beyond their means. I’m inspired by the thought of making something better than the best. It is the only driver in our manufacturing philosophy. Another huge inspiration are our customers. They are great. My definition of style? Seasonal, comfortable, skin-friendly and pleasing to the eye. Should compliment your body. Should not be distracting away from the moment.
[I wish more men would know:]
1. The importance of yoke. The shirt should always fit well in that area, no exceptions.
2. Keep shrinkage in mind. The look in the fitting room mirror is not the final one.
3. Wear few, but good clothes. The look of the moment leaves the impression, not the look over weeks. Seize the moment.’
Picture: © Ashish Arya