Many professional men don’t like to shop. They’re not good at it. They feel inadequate, overwhelmed, frustrated by surplus choices and a lack of knowledge about the best designers for their body type and lifestyle. Often they don’t have time to spend in stores. That’s the premise behind Trunk Club, the latest menswear fashion innovation of entrepreneur Brian Spaly, a former private equity analyst at Wind Point Partners, Parthenon Capital and Bain & Co., and co-founder of the online apparel company Bonobos, known for its great-fitting men’s pants.
Trunk Club takes the hassle out of dressing with flare. The majority of its customers purchase their clothes remotely, working with one of more than 150 personal stylists. The stylists pay close attention to each man’s individual characteristics and fashion preferences to develop customized wardrobe selections.
Then they hand-select items, pack them up with personalized notes and instructions, and ship them directly in a cardboard box—the “trunk”—to the client’s home or office. The recipient keeps what he likes and sends the rest back using prepaid postage.
“We’re primarily a service company,” Spaly, 37, said during a recent interview at Trunk Club’s Chicago showroom. “The fact that you can get a trunk from us sent anywhere in the U.S. makes it really easy to get new clothes.”