Basics with Beau: How Sean Cassidy is Providing Longstanding Fashion For Millennials – Forbes
Twenty years ago, Sean Cassidy opened a three-unit mens specialty store after having met Parisian designer Emile Lafaurie. Inspired by Emile’s authentic menswear, which encapsulated Sean’s interest, the latter proposed that he should be the sole distributer of the heritage brand within the United States. This fall, Sean Cassidy in conjunction with Emile Lafaurie have decided to unite once again to deliver another wave of essential French fashion to be injected in lower Manhattan.
Despite the fact that Emile Lafaurie’s namesake label has remained faithful to itself, it has taken a new approach to the modern and young menswear consumer, and it plans to deliver on it’s promise. This promise is a capsule collection dubbed “Beau” which aims to provide a discerning customer who is inspired by the concept of a shared passion for new trends. Whether it is a choice of technical fabric or other distinguishing features, the reference is clear that young men are embracing heritage, honesty, and craftsmanship that inherent in the enigma of menswear. The updated designs appeal to a young man with a diverse range of environments. These environments throughout the week are ones that do not change on a daily basis, but rather an hourly one. In addition to putting a new spin on these traditional designs, Emile Lafaurie’s menswear has taken on a new marketing campaign with Sean Cassidy as their exclusive distributor in the US market. In collaboration through Beau, they have introduced a new capsule collection to appeal to a younger generation of menswear consumers. What is interesting about this line is that it consists of forty pieces of suit separates, shirts and sweaters (as well as assorted accessories) which can be worn interchangeably. The result of this line is a contemporary feel that is polished, professional, but not to0 pricey. It is apparent that conventional office attire is taking on different forms; As a result, this has enabled the youth market to overcome the triviality of uniformity. Due to the sudden and historically unrivaled plethora of options within the landscape of menswear apparel offerings, Beau sets out to create a collection that will assist a man in looking his most professional while developing his distinctive balance between traditional excellence, and modern savoir faire. We had the option to speak to Sean store owner and Beau partner, Sean Cassidy, about the significance of good relationships relative to garment manufacturing, the concept of labeling a mass-market in fashion consumers, and how to look into the optimistic future with a crystal ball.
We don’t like labels! Not on the outside of our clothing nor on people. Emile Lafaurie and SEAN were started when the designer, Pierre Emile Lafaurie and myself were both the age of what marketers target as “millennials.” We were young, had an idea and built a business around the philosophy of great clothes at a great price. Fast forward twenty years later (it’s hard to believe!), Pierre’s son is nearly the age we were when we embarked on this ride. His son got us thinking about his friends and all the young men starting their journey into the work force like we once did. It’s a great age, you really can dream! Whether they are taking their first step on the corporate ladder or working in a garage (perhaps to become the next tech billion!), we created BEAU for them.
What separates you from the other brands that make an attempt at targeting millennials? Provide examples in both the advertising marketing approach and the actual product.
We created a great curated line for them, allowing them to express who they are. We aren’t the only people on the planet trying to do this but we try to separate ourselves from the pack by our quality, price point and service. We don’t make disposal clothing under questionable labor and environmental conditions, nor is this expensive fleeting fashion.
This group is smart, savy and confident. They don’t want to be heavily marketed and manipulated—they see right through that. They create their own identity and style. They are less into labels and more into making their own statement. Of course, being a small “underdog” store, we don’t have deep pockets to advertise and market. Instead, we rely smart and focused social media campaigns, loyal clients who’s sons are this age and strong word of month. Add that all up and it’s pretty powerful for a small business like us.
How do you maintain a relatively affordable garment while manufacturing it outside of east Asia?
It’s hard! But Pierre has built great relationships in Europe and as a result, he has a great reputation. He’s on the manufacturing floor more than he’s in his own living room.
I have heard that you have a cult following of sorts; what do you attribute this to?
Perhaps it’s because of my “celebrity” name, Sean Cassidy! Although my name helps me book a table at a great restaurant, it takes more than that to stay current in this industry. Like in real estate, location location location, with men’s clothing, it’s “the right product at the right price” (and keep repeating that). The other key ingredient is SERVICE (yes in all caps). We know our clients, they come to us for advice—for style and often personal issues. They trust us. Many clients have become personal friends.
Where do you see fashion going? Will it continue to speed up or will it make a return to it’s slower roots?
My crystal ball isn’t working at the moment! Not long ago…fashion and retail have evolved and it was easier to plot and plan where it’s going. In the last few years we’ve experienced a revolution and we’re moving at the speed of light. I don’t think anyone truly has the answer to those questions. For us, I think you have to know your clients, know what they want and what they will want, be open to new ideas while being true to yourself, be curious of the world around you and stay young at heart, all the while putting your whole heart into what you do. It’s been a great ride and a wonderful dream!