When word reached the GeekDad camp that online clothier Indochino had released a new menswear collection inspired by superheroes, I was simultaneously impressed and perplexed. The designs were striking, sure, but how exactly was the classic comic book aesthetic of the costumed crime fighter being channeled into these custom-fitted creations?
So I investigated.
Heikal Gani, Indochino co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, professed an unsurprising affection for the source material, specifically the Batman and Spider-Man stories he and CEO Kyle Vucko grew up reading and watching. He further elaborated saying:
One of the core inspirations behind the collection relates to the duality of the Superhero personality. By day they are curious journalists, reserved scientists, vengeful billionaire playboys or nerdy students who overcome their fears and limitations using superhuman powers, advanced technology, superior intellect and a fierce determination to fight for what’s right.
The Superhero Collection plays on the multifaceted nature of the superhero through its design details and features. On the outside you’ll find an every-day Indochino suit but on the inside the internal lining is home to the alter ego. There are four linings inspired by various Superheroes, each representing a particular characters using colours and patterns that are familiar to all of us with a Superhero inside.
A deeper look reveals that, in addition to the specialty liners that seem to give subtle nods to the heroes we all know and love, the Superhero Collection also employs the visual shorthand of the costumed vigilante in other interesting ways. The color choices, these rich blues and steely grays, are distinctly masculine, and they’re certainly within the standard superhero palette. Moreover, the contrast stitching on the buttonholes and magnetic lapel pins (which ape the designs of the liner material) provide for the same kind of visual pop as, say, a bold yellow bat insignia against a dark and somber suit of protective body armor.
While fashion isn’t always held in the highest regard in our community – and though these heroic designs alone might not be enough to entice some of our ilk to investigate further – there is a secondary geek angle to the way that Indochino does business; their online customization process is exquisite. From nuances like choosing lapel style or the number of jacket vents to a comprehensive system that explains, step-by-step, how to properly gauge your measurements from the comfort of your own home, Indochino simply understands e-commerce.
This blend of pop culture-friendly designs and tech-savvy shopping seems to be serving the company well, as two of their six original Superhero styles have completely sold out. The team was kind enough to set me up with a suit from one of the four remaining designs, which I’ll put under the microscope when it arrives in three weeks. In the meantime, I am content in the knowledge that, while I’ll never be Iron Man, I can at least attend my next business meeting in a Tony Stark-caliber suit.