Setting foot into a company becomes an increasingly hospitable experience. The solemn receptionist disappears and will be replaced by smiling hostesses welcoming visitors with fresh coffee. What completes this service? A perfectly fitting business-like outfit. Exclusive Business Wear translates corporate stories and the look & feel of a company to high-end hospitality clothing.
Exclusive Business Wear is the first company in the Netherlands to visualise the story of the company through digital printing techniques and convert it to workwear. The brand, thus, designed a dress for KLM with a beautiful print of a Boeing. Moreover, for yet another client the brand fashioned a subtle dark blue costume, tailored to every wearer.
The initiators behind this innovative company are the three entrepreneurs Lisette Blijleven (responsible for operations), Noha Cok (responsible for commerce) and Suzan Meijer (responsible for design). All three women have their background in fashion and, a little more than a year ago, developed the idea for designing high-end business attire, targeting the story behind a company.
Exclusive Business Wear translates corporate stories and the look & feel of a company to high-end hospitality clothing.
We meet the three ladies in Suzan Meijer’s store, at the front of the beautiful showroom filled with colourful dresses and tops. Almost all of these are provided with prints of beautiful pictures made by Suzan during her travels. It is this special technique which enabled Exclusive Business Wear to add that unique personal touch.
On top of the split-level we find the workshop/atelier and a cosy seating area where the three businesswomen are sitting together. They are chatting and there is a clear chemistry between them.
Lisette is still conducting some business behind her laptop, while Suzan arranges a few bottles of water and Noha launches into an explanation: “We established that, in the higher segment enterprises, there is an increasing demand for exclusive and personalized business attire, in order to create an instant recognizability for the client. This is, however, barely available in small orders. If a company wants to acquire personalized clothing, it can be ordered, solely, in high amounts. In addition, there are only the standard sizes. Our aim was to change exactly that.”
Co-creation with the customer
Lisette: “We would like to enter into a state of co-creation with the client. Therefore, we start out with a session to ascertain the clients wishes. Some already have an entire picture in mind of what it is supposed to look like, others come to us with the question: I want something different, can you help me? We enter into the world of our clients. We ascertain the story behind the corporation and transform this into the perfect design.
Then we discuss Suzan’s creativity. “Anything is possible. One client may prefer a subtler outfit with just the scarf displaying the logo, but we have also provided the clothes for the hostesses of the Luxury Fair. In that case we designed a real eye catcher for the mistress of the house and a more moderate outfit for the ladies surrounding her.”
‘How great would it be if the host(ess)’ outfit matches the style of the surroundings?’
Noha joins in: “Businesses in the higher segment sometimes hold events in extraordinary locations for their customers. How special would it be if the host(ess)’s attire fits in with the surroundings? There are, for example, firms that, occasionally, wine and dine right underneath The Night Watch in the Rijksmuseum. We could, then, design the hostess’s outfit with a print of Rembrandt’s work”
“Or when banks organize events for their international clients, welcomed by ladies in dresses decorated with beautiful tulip fields or a nice Van Gogh. During these events we could even prepare ‘give-aways’, in the shape of a beautiful scarf for example.”
The print won’t be pressed on a fabric ‘just like that’. “The clothes will be designed in 3D, so we can judge the outfit as a whole before going into production. Apart from that, of course the fabrics are of outstanding quality. That makes it exclusive as well as comfortable to wear. That is of great importance to us: the wearer must feel amazing in it, and make you radiate,” adds Lisette.
All outfits go into production and are tailored in The Netherlands. “Every woman has a different body, so, for every single dress, the print will be adjusted to fit the right size. Thus, every client feels comfortable in their workwear,” Suzan explains.
Only in this short year of existence, Exclusive Business Wear can count many a high segmented firm to its clientele like KLM, Sanoma, Luxury Fair and Cushman & Wakefield. “The possibilities are endless. When a car brand launches a new model, we can create exclusive outfits with a beautiful print of the car. Or when an estate agent organises an event or a fair, we can create a suit with one of the objects printed on it,” Noha enthusiastically explains.
To keep a finger on the pulse
A bit more subtlety is also an option. “For your daily workwear, you could also consider a contemporary design just in one colour. The clothing sizes can be ordered both entirely or partly tailored. We even offer firms a subscription. And don’t deliver our clothes so after going into production our job is done but we do however like to keep our finger on the pulse and come back every X months to see if the clothes are still worn the way it was intended.”
“We also check whether or not the quality is sufficient and make adjustments wherever that deems necessary. Think of, for example, a pregnant staff member or someone who has lost a lot of weight. That way we can easily order extra outfits for new employees as well,” says Lisette.
According to Noha Exclusive Business Wear is disruptive: the brand will upend the workwear branch. “we are introducing something completely new, distinctive for high-end businesses. We assure you these coming years, outfits will be designed, so every visitor to an enterprise or event will remember…!”