How Huntsman Tailors Uses Robotics To Serve Clients At Home

The heritage Savile Row tailoring business is using technology to bring luxury service.

By Adriana Lee 02/11/2020

Savile Row tailoring business Huntsman has launched a suite of technologies to navigate COVID-19 and bring luxury service to clients at home. Aptly named Huntsman at Home, the package of features brings bespoke, tailoring, fittings and delivery services together, thanks to a combination of digital and mechanised technology and people.

The services have been in the works since at least the start of fall and come from partnerships with conversational commerce company Hero, delivery business Toshi and robotics company OhmniLabs. These efforts factor into Huntsman’s new “Made to Order” and “Teleporting Bespoke Services,” the latter of which uses telepresence robots to aid in at-home fittings.

The goal is to maintain the attention and service Huntsman’s patrons expect through the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

“As lifestyle, travel and shopping habits drastically change in response to the coronavirus, Huntsman continues to ensure clients receive the same level of personalized engagement online that they would expect at Number 11 Savile Row or in the New York pied-a-terre,” Huntsman said in a statement.

Thanks to Hero’s communication platform, the tailor can offer messaging and direct video calls with client managers, so they can provide personalised service and recommendations through the order process.

The managers are able to help with customizing garments, showcasing samples from Huntsman’s broad range of cloths and house tweeds and, when applicable, arrange store visits.

Likewise, Hero’s chat capabilities enable Huntsman’s Made to Order service. The company describes it as a “sustainable approach to ready-to-wear” that produces garments upon request, eliminating the possibility of over-runs or other surplus garments. These highly customisable, made-to-measure collections can be created in as little as four weeks.

Ultimately, bespoke services and tailoring always hinge on fittings that are usually conducted in-person. For Huntsman at Home, they are as well — but with a robotic twist.

For the first time, the company is deploying a telepresence robot, courtesy of OhmniLabs, as part of the Teleporting Bespoke Services. The unit is named Mr Hammick, after Huntsman’s Seventies-era head cutter, and it can pipe in a live video conference with an expert cutter based in London or New York.

Patrons simply book an at-home appointment with Mr Hammick, and a local human assistant carries out the directions from the remote cutter.

This take on bespoke services replaces the tailor’s trunk shows, a tradition for more than 100 years traversing America, Asia and Europe before the pandemic stymied travel this year.

Finally, the company’s partnership with Toshi allows for home delivery of the garments. A Toshi assistant waits as customers try on items, and can offer advice or make adjustments if needed.

“The combination of the new services allow Huntsman at Home to provide a seamless luxury retail experience, all enjoyed from the comfort of one’s own home without the need for travel,” the company said.

This article was originally published by WWD.

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