It’s 2017, I’m sitting in my office at 6:30 pm finalising a bunch of new designs for an upcoming launch and I get a call from an unknown number. Damn private numbers. Probably a telemarketer. I hit decline, put the phone on my desk and attempt to get back to work. I’m in the second year of running Emperor Apparel and the brand is starting to gain serious momentum.
The phone rings again, you guessed it. A private number. I pick it up the phone and answer the call and I’m greeted by an aggressive man who introduces himself and the company he is from and proceeds to ask me “Who the f&ck do you think you are you f&cking smart ass mug?” Unfortunately, this is not the first time I’ve been greeted on phone calls like this.
To cut a long story short, he was another director of another “upmarket” retail chain who was pissed at me for selling custom weave high-quality fabric t-shirts for $59 and $69. According to him we were undercutting the market and should have been charging $300 - $450 for a t-shirt like he was at his stores.
He was angry because his store managers had reported that disgruntled customers were walking into their stores and demanding refunds on their products because they felt ripped off and could get better quality products from us for a fraction of the price.
He insisted that this was the way the industry was, this is what works and we should fall in line and follow suit or they would push us out of the industry. A year later he went out of business. What he didn’t realise was, it was because of stores like his that I started Emperor Apparel. I was sick of being ripped off by brands and paying a fortune for poor quality t-shirts that didn’t last more than two washes. I work hard for my money and I refuse to allow brands to rip me off.
The model for Emperor Apparel is simple. Provide our customers with sustainable designer products for achievable prices all while maintaining superior quality in every product. You work hard, you deserve quality! This model is the sole reason we have been able to grow so rapidly and serve so many customers. People want high quality but they are sick of being ripped off.
We’ve had countless threats and complaints from our competitors but we refuse to give up or change our model. What matters to us is the joy and satisfaction of our customers, not the satisfaction of the industry. Our primary focus is to continually grow and help people get access to high-quality clothing items at achievable price points. I want our customers to not only look great wearing our products but also feel like their money has been spent wisely.
Emperor Apparel Founder