George Zimmer and his beard got famous selling suits on TV when he was CEO of Men's Wearhouse.
You remember George, we all remember George.
Well, George was ousted over at the wearhouse about two years ago in the aftermath of a bitter power struggle that left the 66-year-old with a lot of time on his hands.
But this is 2015. For a man with a business past and the inkling of a business plan, the future is wide open.
The retail icon’s new startup, zTailors, is a nationwide network of on-demand tailoring professionals. Launched on Monday, the business allows customers to book a tailor to come to their home or office to handle alterations on garments—both men’s and women’s wear. After measurements are taken, the clothes are whisked away for tailoring. The process should take a week or less, before the items are returned to customers. If the fit’s wonky, additional changes are free. The service is available only through a website for now, but an app is planned for the near future.
Wait, a man with a beard using the internet to help users find a tailor that they can order on-demand? A la Uber? And he's building an App?
Is George Zimmer a hipster now?
Although the startup world of 2015 is foreign to Zimmer, he says he’s learning as fast as he can. His new digs are quite different from the shop he opened more than 40 years ago in Houston, hawking polyester sport coats for the everyman. ZTailors’ office, in downtown Oakland, has high ceilings and a communal bullpen. “It looks like a startup,” says Zimmer, contemplating what that actually means. “Not that I know what that looks like.”
Zimmer's transformation to Oakland startup bro is so complete that he's not even going to let his old catch phrase be commoditized by those lameasses on Wall Street anymore.
But will Zimmer guarantee that customers will like the way they look if they use his service? “I’m very careful not to use that word,” he says. “I’m fine using it in jest or for charity, but I’m not using it commercially.”
So, if you want a guarantee from George Zimmer these days, bring a B Round and some celebratory Soylent.