Originally featured in the Evansville Business Magazine
In 2015, Michael Armanno expanded his horizons into the world of design and created Kalypso Couture. Utilizing the traditional of handcrafting custom clothing from the Tien Son Family of Tailors, Kalypso Couture covers all of the bases, from custom fittings and suit audits to recreating personal wardrobes and recommending accessories. Michael Armanno lives and breathes suits, working as a living model in his 21st century suits of armor.
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"Since 1891, Tien Son Custom Tailored Suits has handcrafted quality apparel in Vietnam. With 70 custom tailors who each have completed a rigorous five-year training process (from buttons to sport coats), this company takes its clients stitch by stitch through the custom tailoring process. When Lan Do, a Vietnamese native representing the eighth generation of Tien Son, enrolled as an accounting major at the University of Evansville (she graduates next May), her plan was to learn how to expand the family business in Asia. With the help of UE graduate Cody Land, Do changed her focus to the U.S.
This spring, Land and Do showcased purple and orange, UE-colored ties, cuff links, and suits for their business entrepreneurial project, which took a year of preparation. “We had a lot of positive responses from UE and the community,” Land says, so the pair took their project a step further and incorporated the Americas Division in March.
As a fully-apprenticed tailor herself, Do has brought Tien Son’s quality products to the American market. “Our manufacturers in Vietnam control every variable,” Land says. “They cut and construct the entire suit from start to finish.”
According to Land, the director of the Tien Son Americas Division, most full-custom suits cost about $1,200, and come “made to measure,” which means tailoring is necessary to make final adjustments to fit your size. Luckily for customers, Tien Son’s traveling tailor is a direct link to the talent. “Lan meets with our clients and learns a little about them — what kind of job they have, how often they wear suits, where they live, and their personality,” says Land. Tien Son offers free, full-service consultations to clients in the Tri-State. Home or office, Do helps clients find fabrics, colors, and styles that fit them best.
After meeting with Do, a customer’s measurements and preferences are entered into a profile at TSCustomSuits.com, where that client can order or gift suits using actual measurements. Also innovative are the self-measurement tutorials on the website, with video instructions on how to take 32 different measurements.
Even more unique is the virtual tailor, an online suit-designer. “The virtual tailor lets you see a suit before purchasing one,” Land says, and adds that from checkout to inspection to your doorstep is a 21-day process.
Customization is as important as ever with the virtual tailor. “We’ve had clients switch their inner-pocket just so it could fit their cell-phone,” Land says, and everything from jacket cuts, lapels, vents, collars, cuffs, pleats, and 40-character inner-suit monograms are made to fit the wearer’s needs.
“We opened a pop-up retail store at the Evansville Regional Airport during a weekend in August,” Land says, and they plan on doing one in Nashville, Tenn., as well. This allows the company to model full-constructed mannequins and lets potential customers see and touch the suits.
Enlisting three current UE students, Tien Son spreads the word through social media and word-of-mouth advertising. Michael Armanno, a UE senior communications and media production major, is the director of communications for the business. “I have a lot of faith in the company,” Armanno says. “And with the website, it really stands out.” Updating more than eight different social media outlets at a time is just one way these vibrant and energetic entrepreneurs work.
Students Samantha Miller and Alison Petrash are the website’s fashion bloggers. As one of the most visited pages on the website, this blog is kept up-to-date with fashion tips, resources, information, and styles.
Tien Son covers all of the bases, from custom fittings and suit audits to recreating personal wardrobes and recommending pocket squares. The Americas Division of Tien Son lives and breathes suits, working as living models in their 21st century suits of armor.
“Personal image and communication create first impressions,” Land says. “Tien Son wants to inspire confidence in our clients.”'
Schedule a complimentary consultation with Kalypso Couture by calling 904-330-4622, or check out our website at www.KalypsoCouture.com.