New Kid on the Block: Alton Lane

As with so many new businesses, Alton Lane was created out of personal need. “I’m tall and gangly, so nothing off-the-rack fits me,” says Peyton Jenkins, who founded the company with Colin Hunter. “Colin has a different type of body, but the same problem. We thought if we could offer quality custom-made clothing at a good value, in an environment where guys are comfortable spending time, we’d be onto something.”

Jenkins and Hunter, who met on their first day of college in 2000, were working in real estate and management consulting, respectively, when they decided to launch Alton Lane. (It’s named after a street near Wimbledon.) They moved to Thailand for four months and slowly began piecing together a supply chain. By 2009, they were ready to open their first store, in the Flatiron District. There are now 13 stores across the country, with the newest one on Harrison Street, in the former Ten Thousand Things space.

“The experience is Old World and New World,” says Jenkins. The Old World part involves trying on fit samples, the way custom clothing has worked for centuries. But first, there’s the New World part: a 3-D body scanner, hidden behind a bookshelf, that uses infrared light to measure your body. (That’s me in the image below, but I didn’t strip down to my skivvies.) The scanner’s precision allows for a minimal number of fittings.

Alton Lane sells custom suits, shirts, pants, and overcoats at various price points. Around 80 percent of the fabric is from England and Italy, and by the end of this month, says Jenkins, the company will have tripled its offerings. Shirts, from $99, are made in Vietnam; suits, from $595, are made in Germany. The turnaround is two weeks for shirts and four to five weeks for suits, and once your measurements are set, of course, you can order online. There’s no lead time required to pop in and buy a tie—handmade in Italy—or an item from the Founders’ Table, stocked with other brands that Jenkins and Hunter like.

“Our M.O. is more residential than retail,” says Jenkins, pointing out the bar stools, television, and poker table in the back room. “We get a lot of wedding parties and group events, and we’ll let people use the room at no cost.” But if you prefer not to visit the store, Alton Lane now has a “concierge” program, which means they’ll come to you.

Alton Lane is at 7 Harrison (at Staple); altonlane.com. Appointments are recommended, but not required.

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2 Comments

  1. Alton Lane still not open !

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