the shirt dandy: Revolutionizing Custom Shirt Excellence

the shirt dandy: Revolutionizing Custom Shirt Excellence
the shirt dandy Success Story

The revenue in India's apparel market is expected to reach $105.50 billion by 2024, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 3.81% from 2024 to 2028. Among the many apparel brands, the shirt dandy is gaining attention with its unique custom-made shirts, blending modern technology with classic style to attract customers.

Headquartered in Vienna and New Delhi, the shirt dandy's strong commitment to quality and innovation is what sets it apart in a crowded market, resonating with customers seeking personalized and sophisticated shirt options.

In this article, explore more about the shirt dandy, its founders, how it started, strategies, business and revenue model, challenges faced, and more.

the shirt dandy - Company Highlights

Company Name the shirt dandy
Headquarters Vienna and New Delhi
Sector Apparel and Textile
Founder Thomas Hebenstreit and Aayush Sharma
Founded 2022

the shirt dandy - About
the shirt dandy - Industry
the shirt dandy - Founders and Team
the shirt dandy - Startup Story
the shirt dandy - Vision and Mission
the shirt dandy - Name and Logo
the shirt dandy - Product/Services
the shirt dandy - Business and Revenue Model
the shirt dandy - Launching Company Strategies
the shirt dandy - Customer Growth and Retention Strategies
the shirt dandy - Challenges Faced
the shirt dandy - Growth
the shirt dandy - Partnerships
the shirt dandy - Marketing Strategy
the shirt dandy - Advisors & Mentors
the shirt dandy - Funding
the shirt dandy - Key Tools and Software
the shirt dandy - Competitors

the shirt dandy - About

The Shirt Dandy Website
the shirt dandy Website

Founded in Vienna in 2022, the shirt dandy is an innovative and customer-centric venture set to revolutionize the Indian apparel industry. The custom-made shirt business offers a unique combination of key differentiators, setting them apart from traditional competitors in India and Europe.

TSD's Unique Selling Proposition (USP) lies in four core pillars: affordability, rapid lead times, sustainability, and an exceptional omnichannel experience. TSD operates on the core values of empowerment, customer centricity, employees first, and sustainability. By staying true to these values, TSD envisions a future where the brand becomes synonymous with excellence, affordability, sustainability, and personalized fashion, contributing positively to both the fashion landscape and society as a whole.

Renowned for its premium custom-made shirts, the shirt dandy has a variety of premium products, including custom-made shirts crafted from 100% cotton, linen, bamboo, tencel, and zero-iron fabrics. Further, it aims to make custom-made apparel more accessible and affordable, expanding into additional categories such as suits, chinos, polos, and more.

the shirt dandy - Industry

Being an Indian-European collaboration, the shirt dandy capitalizes on its dual market access, expanding its Total Addressable Market (TAM) beyond local Indian competitors. While custom-made apparel is a niche in India, the potential for mass market growth exists due to robust economic development, a burgeoning middle class, enhanced earning capacity, and advancing technologies like AI.

By amalgamating the strengths of both regions, the company aims to establish new benchmarks in the Indian market. Within the next years, the shirt dandy wants to establish itself as the go-to brand for custom-made men’s fashion in India.

the shirt dandy - Founders and Team

Initially co-founded by Thomas and Paul Verschragen, a 3rd generation master tailor from the Netherlands, the shirt dandy took a new trajectory when disagreements arose. Aayush, then 25, joined as a co-founder after Thomas presented his vision. They crossed paths in Gurgaon during Thomas's professional stint in India.

Aayush Sharma and Thomas Hebenstreit - Co-Founders, The Shirt Dandy
Aayush Sharma and Thomas Hebenstreit - Co-Founders, the shirt dandy

Thomas Hebenstreit

Thomas holds a Master of Science in Finance and Accounting from the Vienna University of Economics and Business. As CEO of the shirt dandy, Thomas oversees E-commerce Strategy, Technology & IP, Business Development, and investor relations.

Aayush Sharma

Aayush, an NMIMS alumni, gained experience in Investment Banking at Bank of America. Now, as the COO of the shirt dandy, he manages finances, HR, and operations in India.

With a current team of 7 in India, the shirt dandy aims to expand to 20 employees by the end of 2024 in Austria, primarily hiring sales executives.

the shirt dandy - Advisors & Mentors

Here are the esteemed advisors and mentors who have provided invaluable guidance and support to the shirt dandy:

  • Mr. Naveen Pishe – Partner at PN RAO
  • Mr. Michael Klemen – Senior Expert at the Austrian Senior Expert Pool (ASEP)
  • Mr. Stefan Kern – CEO of smart.MOM, a Vienna-based digital marketing agency
  • Mr. Sudhanshu Sharma – Entrepreneur and Indian Military Veteran

the shirt dandy - Startup Story

Aayush Sharma (COO & Co-Founder) and Thomas Hebenstreit (CEO & Co-Founder) started the shirt dandy after careers in finance, where the constant need for well-fitted shirts and suits sparked their quest for a brand meeting
all criteria: fit, style, quality, and reasonable pricing with diverse fabrics and colors. Their professional demands made shirt shopping a time-consuming challenge, often involving compromises on fit or style. Recognizing the value of time, they aimed to address these issues with the shirt dandy.

The vision? Empower individuals to create the perfect garment, reorder effortlessly, and be their own designers, all with swift deliveries. Inspired by experiences with custom-made shirts, they set out on a journey that, within 9 months, reached a point comparable to a decade of progress for Bombay Shirt Company. the shirt dandy, having strategic partnerships and embracing cutting-edge tech, introduced the first AI-powered 3D configurator for custom-made shirts in India.

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the shirt dandy - Vision and Mission

the shirt dandy's mission is to revolutionize the Indian apparel industry, transforming the way men engage with fashion. Through the fusion of cutting-edge technology, impeccable craftsmanship, and an unwavering dedication to superior service, it aims to simplify the shirt shopping experience like never before.

By consistently broadening its product range, it aspires to be the ultimate destination for sartorial clothing. The company is committed to making high-quality garments accessible and affordable for the aspirational individual who appreciates life's finer things.

Looking ahead, the shirt dandy's vision includes establishing a successful franchise system, with its digital signage stores proliferating across the nation in the long run.

The Shirt Dandy Logo
the shirt dandy Logo

In the company name 'the shirt dandy,' the term 'dandy' means a man, especially in the past, who dressed in expensive, fashionable clothes and was very interested in his own appearance. Its goal was to revive this dandy spirit with a modern twist, and the inclusion of the term 'shirt' unmistakably communicates its core offering.

The logo features the silhouette of a Siberian husky, a breed known for its striking appearance and strong character. This choice holds personal significance for co-founder Thomas, who owns a Siberian Husky named Sky. The logo is derived from one of Sky's pictures.

Beyond symbolizing the emotional connection, the logo conveys the sustainable relationship between an individual and a garment that is uniquely theirs. Similar to the distinctive bond with a dog, it represents a one-of-a-kind connection that cannot be replicated by anyone else.

the shirt dandy - Product/Services

The Shirt Dandy Models Showcasing Its Shirts
the shirt dandy Models Showcasing Its Shirts

Austrian brand, the shirt dandy (TSD), is making waves in the Indian market with its revolutionary AI-powered 3D configurator. This cutting-edge Italian technology enables customers to design shirts online, offering curated experiences with diverse styles, fabric choices, and detailing options. TSD introduces an exclusive pre-booking opportunity with limited slots, turning inaugural customers into brand ambassadors through a unique referral system. This strategic move aims to build a community of fashion enthusiasts excited about TSD's debut in India.

Beyond transforming the shopping experience, TSD prioritizes reduced lead times and offers lifelong free alterations, a future buy-back program, and the exclusive Dandy Club, connecting members with industry leaders. With an international presence, TSD plans to open its flagship Digital Signage store in Gurgaon, accompanied by pop-up stores across the city. For Delhi NCR customers, home appointments and AI-powered self-measurements are available.

The brand's custom-made shirt business stands out with key differentiators: affordability, rapid lead times, sustainability, and an exceptional omnichannel experience, setting it apart from traditional competitors in India and Europe.

the shirt dandy - Business and Revenue Model

Currently running a D2C E-commerce venture, the shirt dandy's ultimate goal is to deliver an integrated omni-channel experience to customers. This involves managing its own digital signage stores and providing the convenience of home appointments. the shirt dandy caters to aspirational individuals valuing life's finer aspects, and aspire to stand out both personally and professionally.

the shirt dandy shirt collection spans a price range from just below INR 3,000 to INR 12,000, reflecting the fabric quality. Emphasizing transparency, it adheres to an all-in-one-price policy. Customers won't incur additional charges for shipping, alteration services, or the inclusion of their monogram on shirts.

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the shirt dandy - Launching Company Strategies

When launching their company with zero users, the shirt dandy implemented a multifaceted approach that leveraged various strategies to acquire its first 100 customers. While collaborating with real achievers—entrepreneurs and industry leaders—served as a cornerstone of their launch strategy, the company also focused on other key initiatives. Their holistic approach included visually stunning and appealing creatives to captivate their audience’s attention. Additionally, the establishment of the Dandy Club—an exclusive community of support—further bolstered their brand presence and attracted early adopters.

By intertwining these strategies, They crafted a compelling narrative that resonated with its target audience. Real people with authentic stories helped position their brand in the perfect way, reinforcing the core message of TSD: “You are the brand.” These achievers, with their bravery and unique journeys, became the embodiment of their brand ethos.

Through a combination of influencer collaborations, visually appealing creatives, and the establishment of an exclusive community, they successfully acquired their first 100 customers. This holistic approach not only drove user engagement but also laid the foundation for sustainable growth and brand affinity in the market.

the shirt dandy - Customer Growth and Retention Strategies

Since its launch, a combination of organic press coverage and a robust influencer approach has been instrumental in attracting and retaining customers. The social validation received from prominent publications, both locally and globally, has provided credibility and visibility for the brand. Additionally, the strategic
partnerships with real achievers and industry leaders have helped them make a lasting impact in the minds of their initial customer base.

Moreover, engaging with the Dandy Club community has proven highly beneficial for customer retention. By fostering connections within this exclusive network, they’ve not only strengthened brand loyalty but also unlocked potential B2B opportunities and various collaborative ventures. This approach has allowed them to cultivate a community-driven ecosystem where customers feel valued and connected to the brand beyond just their individual purchases.

the shirt dandy - Challenges Faced

Embarking on a venture with a predominantly remote collaboration spanning two continents and limited resources posed initial challenges. However, what initially seemed like a hurdle evolved into their greatest strength. Operating efficiently within a diverse, multi-cultural team equipped with profound market insights into both Europe and India, coupled with robust local networks, are now their fundamental asset.

They firmly believe that they represent a new breed of founders: multicultural, daring, deeply rooted in local contexts, yet with a global mindset. While many startups naturally expand across borders over time, their unique approach involves launching internationally with a non-digital product in a dual-market strategy from the outset.

the shirt dandy - Growth

To propel the company's growth from 100 to 10,000 users, they adopted a multifaceted strategy that leverages strategic partnerships and targeted marketing initiatives. While they are still in the exploration phase with potential partners like Amex and Cred, these collaborations hold the promise of expanding their reach to affluent clientele and enhancing their brand's prestige and exclusivity.

Furthermore, their strategy involves a dual approach aimed at acquiring both B2B and B2C clientele. Through partnerships with prestigious service industries such as luxury hotels and airports, they aim to provide custom apparel solutions for their service staff, showcasing the quality and sophistication of their offerings. Additionally, discussions are underway to introduce exclusive TSD lounges at select airports and luxury hotels, offering customers a firsthand experience of their personalized tailoring services combined with cutting-edge AI technology.

To expand its reach and immerse TSD in culture, the founder is actively participating in industry-specific events such as textile exhibitions and lifestyle weeks. These engagements not only enhance brand visibility but also position TSD as a key player in the fashion and luxury segments. Overall, their approach combines strategic partnerships, targeted marketing campaigns, and immersive cultural engagements to drive exponential growth and solidify their position as a leader in luxury custom apparel.

the shirt dandy - Partnerships

the shirt dandy has made a strategic partnership with Successori Reda S.p.A., an esteemed Italian company with 150 years of heritage in the textile industry. Since 1865, Reda has been a model of style and elegance, a leader in the production of fine pure wool fabrics intended for the making of classic men's suits. This groundbreaking collaboration will witness the shirt dandy joining forces with Tailoor, the software arm of REDA, renowned for its cutting-edge innovations.

By aligning with Tailoor, TSD aims to accelerate the introduction of pioneering AI features into the Indian market, marking a significant advancement in the realm of custom shirt craftsmanship. This collaboration also marks a pivotal moment in the fashion industry, leading to a new era of innovation and personalized experiences for customers in the Indian market.

the shirt dandy - Marketing Strategy

the shirt dandy's most successful marketing strategy thus far has been its influencer activation, where they strategically collaborate with real-life heroes rather than traditional influencers. While it's still early to declare definitive results, all their strategies are currently exceeding expectations.

However, they anticipate that their influencer activation, with its emphasis on authentic storytelling and genuine connections, will emerge as a standout performer in boosting sales and scaling their brand.

the shirt dandy - Funding

They are presently seeking to secure INR 1.5 crore in funding to fuel their expansion initiatives. The funds will be allocated towards establishing their inaugural store, comprehensive marketing efforts, and strategically expanding their team.

the shirt dandy - Key Tools and Software

The essential tools and software driving the shirt dandy include a pivotal technology partnership with the esteemed Italian Reda Group. This collaboration serves as the backbone for their customization platform, ensuring cutting-edge solutions that elevate the personalized experience for their customers.

the shirt dandy - Competitors

the shirt dandy competes with Bombay Shirt Company, Raymond Made-to-Measure, and Tailorman.

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Who is the founder of the shirt dandy?

Thomas Hebenstreit and Aayush Sharma are the co-founders of the shirt dandy.

When was the shirt dandy founded?

the shirt dandy was founded in 2022.

What is the price range of the shirt dandy's shirt collection?

the shirt dandy shirt collection spans a price range from just below INR 3,000 to INR 12,000, reflecting the fabric quality.

What sets the shirt dandy apart from its competitors?

The utilization of cutting-edge AI-powered 3D configurator technology sets the shirt dandy apart from traditional competitors in India and Europe, offering a unique combination of key differentiators in the custom-made shirt business.

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