Every year BC Business Magazine releases a list of top entrepreneurs under the age of 30. I had the pleasure of featuring six of them, but it was Vucko who’s daring story of developing a custom suit company from Shanghai to Vancouver stood above the rest for me.  View published version here

BC Business Magazine | Top 30 Under 30

Indochino’s CEO Kyle Vucko

Like a lot of successful entrepreneurs, Kyle Vucko faced a problem, a friction point in his personal life that he figured others were probably facing, too. As a UVic business student nearing graduation, he found that well-made custom suits were too pricey for young men like himself, and buying a cheap suit cost the same after tailoring. So he dropped out of business school with one semester left and headed to Shanghai in search of tailors specializing in custom clothing. What was supposed to be a two-week trip turned into three years.

“It was very real. These guys were showing up on tricycles with garments hanging on the back of their bikes,” Vucko recalls.

He set about creating Indochino, an online retailer that sells customized men’s suits for a fraction of the cost traditionally associated with custom-tailored suits. The problem was that no factories were doing custom clothing on a large scale, so Vucko had to raise millions through investors to support the idea of building what he calls the supply chain of the future for custom clothing.

Despite his local fame, Vucko credits his success with teamwork and a lot of hard work. “There’s the myth of the kid that drops out of college and becomes Mark Zuckerberg and starts Facebook or Apple, and people will connect you with those dots whether it’s true or not,” he says.

Vucko says that while the parents of his generation worked hard to get out of a suit, now, thanks to shows such as Mad Men and James Bond, there’s a trend to get back into one, but the key to a good suit is a good fit.

“All we’re trying to do is make it easy for guys to get dressed,” says Vucko, while sipping tea at a Yaletown café. “Men are allowed to be more three-dimensional and there’s kind of a redefined masculinity. I think caring about how you look is starting to come into that.”

Vucko has come a long way from negotiating contracts with body language and a calculator. Since its conception in 2007 Indochino has enabled more than 120,000 men worldwide to look dapper on a budget, and today he’s talking to some of the biggest garment factories in the world. “We have a shot to change the way guys dress, and we have a shot to change an industry,” he says.

Originally published here.