I met with Andreas the other day for a cup of coffee at Tous Les Jour, Bangsar (it’s quite a lovely cafe by the way). Mr Andreas Olsson is the co-founder of ShirtsCulture.com, and I was a little excited because we finally met in the flesh after a series of email exchange started in January.
Although also hails from Sweden, Mr Olsson doesn’t look quite close to my imaginative portrait of a Swedish after virtually knowing Elin Kling and Andreas Wijk (they’re both from Sweden) – Olsson is part Malaysian-Chinese. Other than the family tie, what brought Olsson all the way from Sweden, and subsequently became a reason for him to stay is a passion that has manifested into a very interesting online offering.
ShirtsCulture.com is a local online store that lets you buy and customise your own business and casual shirts online. The made-to-order online store was born in May 2012 as a result of a partnership between Olsson, a web development studio based in Stockholm, and a Singaporean friend with a family business in the textile industry.
Different from Dude and Duchess “Get Personal“, ShirtsCulture isn’t a digital extension of an existing brick-and-mortar homegrown label. ShirtsCulture is a pure online business walking a path similar to how Indochino started in 2007.
I love and have always wanted to try out Indochino because it is a beautiful evidence of how technology can merge with fashion, and then became a practical solution for men that later turned into a multibillion dollar business. Although still in its infancy, I believe the homegrown ShirtsCulture can share the similar potential, especially after the international success of Black lapel, Arden Reed and TailorStore.com.
“I’ve always wanted to start a business of my own, ” said Olsson. “When I was in Sweden, I always bought shirts and clothes from online store like Tailorstore.com.”
That’s 7 years before Olsson arrived in Malaysia and saw the opportunity of an online business. Together with his friend from a traditional textile family, the passion of wanting to build a business blossomed into the idea of selling made-to-order shirts that fits men better via an online store.
The degree of customisation of a shirt can be so great that it might be too overwhelming for the average male shoppers, and so the team simplified the idea by introducing “collections” that also allows a certain level of customisation.
I guess it’s has proven a great idea as the online store has expanded the shipment to Singapore. The goal in 2014 is to ship ShirtsCulture internationally.
In terms of quality, all shirts are made using high quality European fabric, and tailored by trained tailors with more than 20 years of experience. According to Olsson, the most popular one has been the Business Blue.
Question: Are the young millennials in Malaysia prepared for this idea of customising shirts online, since most are more commonly seen picking up shirts off-the-rack? Typically, it’s the older generations that know how to appreciate the art of shirt tailoring.
I think it’s a yes for me. A quality shirt with my own monogram that promises better fit in just a few clicks away – what’s not to love? (Well, you know I can’t resist anything that can be shipped to my doorstep BUAHA.) I love how the brand is focusing on creating great classic staple instead of joining the “trending” game. There are not many local online businesses quite like ShirtsCulture, and we’d definitely love to see them go a long way.
If you’re interested and would like to give them a try, drop by: