How Vertical Integration Has Kept The Black Tux On Top
Elisabeth Brier and Andrew Blackmon

For anyone who’s ever had to succumb to wearing an ill fitting, tired and overall just tragic suit, the inherent value of The Black Tux should be evident.

In disrupting the men’s formalwear industry, The Black Tux is aiming to vindicate those who have ever been victimized by a bad suit.

With unrivaled quality, and a seamless rental process, the company has been able to scale swiftly and substantially since its inception.

The Black Tux co-founder, Andrew Blackmon, sat down with TechDay to divulge his secrets to success, particularly how vertical integration has helped the business thrive.

How has vertical integration contributed to The Black Tux' relatively quick success and steady growth?

Vertical integration has allowed us to stand out from our competitors by offering the highest quality suits and tuxedos for rent that exist.

Has this level of control existed since The Black Tux' inception or did it change overtime? What was the thinking behind not having The Black Tux heavily rely on partners?

From the very start we built this company so we could control the process. The Black Tux was founded to disrupt the antiquated men’s formalwear industry known for ill-fitting, poor-quality suits. We are continuing to refine the process, so we can better serve our customers. We have intentionally stayed clear of relying heavily on partners, so we don't have to succumb to the pressure of compromising our core values.

A primary value proposition for The Black Tux is inevitably how seamless the process is. How is this ensured and also perpetuated via branding?

We continue to ensure a seamless process by constantly refining our online UI and more importantly, listening to what our customers are saying. We understand that it takes time to change user behavior, and renting your tux online for the most important day of your life seems risky. We invest in a lot of on brand, educational content that addresses people's concerns and allows them to ease into an excited customer.

Another prominent selling point for The Black Tux is how shockingly inexpensive it is. How are you able to keep prices so low and competitive?

One way we are able to keep prices so low is through our Fashion Director, Brice Pattison, who has a background at J.Crew and Todd Snyder. Brice designs our whole collection in house, which means we do not have to pay fashion houses to license their brand in order to rent out suits. Furthermore, we weave our own fabric and produce our own garments with excellent factories all around the world.

What would you advise startup founders keen on vertically integrating?

Make sure your product is solving a problem that makes people’s lives easier, and you have the infrastructure to maintain vertical integration that provides a seamless process from start to finish. Also, it’s very important you’re surrounding yourself with thought leaders who have experience in the different verticals you are trying to build.

What's coming up next for The Black Tux?

We’re excited to continue our steady growth, add more unique suits and accessory options for our more fashion-forward customers, and test out additional brick and mortar showrooms in key markets which are proving to enhance our customer’s overall experience with us.