> Connecting Pointe
blazes a trail in the custom clothing market
By Kim Gallaspy
Trinity Apparel Group is a Jackson-based cus- “Another one of the technical achievements is that all
tom clothier marketing men’s clothing under the of this lives on a server in Mississippi,” said Nance.
Latham-Thomas label. Thanks to an innovative “One of the things we are asked by customers, is ‘how
soon will they start on my order?’ Because of the time
business model and a cutting-edge internet- difference, it is possible to start orders in real time.”
based ordering system, Trinity offers custom
suits, jackets, pants and shirts at prices that Nance worked with NTandem, of Jackson, to develop
make custom clothing accessible to a wider the ordering system concept, and Infocus, LLC, of
audience than ever before. Ridgeland, managed the technical development of the
Trinity Apparel President Wen Nance sold custom
men’s apparel for other companies for seven years “After an enormous amount of research, it became
before launching his own line. He markets the clothing obvious to me that there is no one who does custom
from a retail location in Jackson’s Highland Village shop- clothing with a production model offshore like we do.
ping center, and through retailers across the country that There are some niches that are similar, but they do not
place orders with an Internet-based ordering system embrace the technology that is out there,” said Nance.
made specifically for Trinity.
Many clothing manufacturers still process orders man-
On the retailer’s end, the web interface allows employ- ually. Nance says using the Internet and the Trinity
ees to enter orders using wizards that prompt the sales- Apparel web interface is bringing efficiencies that allow
person to select various style options, eliminating the his company to stand out from the competition. Test
need to flip through a catalog full of code numbers to marketing proved that there was a demand, and Trinity
record the order. If any information is missing, the sys- signed up 17 dealers in its first three days.
tem prompts the user to include the information before
sending, eliminating delays that can result from incom- “Retailers responded well to the system because we
plete information. are providing more in terms of efficiencies and stream-
lining the order process,” said Nance. In addition, retail-
Once the order is placed on the website, the system ers can easily check the status of an order and track its
converts the data for the manufacturing facility, which is progress to completion.
located just outside Shanghai, China. The measure-
ments are converted to the metric system, and the writ- For customers, the benefits are clear. Technology has
ten data is converted from English to Chinese. It takes enabled a more efficient operation that lowers costs.
about 30-minutes from the time the order is entered for Trinity in turn passes those savings on to its customers.
the data to be swept into the manufacturer’s schedule of
new and pending orders. With approximately 600 to 800 custom clothiers in the
United States, it is noteworthy that a Mississippi company
Once the order is received, the fabric is pulled, either is leading the way in bringing technology to the industry.
from an in-house stock or an outside supplier, and the “It shows the innovation and good business happening
factory begins fulfilling the order. It usually takes four to right here in Jackson, Mississippi” said Nance.
six weeks to complete the order, which is the industry
You may contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org