Many athletes and celebrities wear custom tailored suits and entrepreneur Joseph Chay has one of each in his corner when he pitches Bello Verde to the Sharks in episode 619. UFC fighter Uriah Faber and Actor Dean Cain, presumably dressed in one of Bello Verde's custom tailored suits, will join Mr. Chay when he faces the Sharks. They're two of the many celebrities and sports personalities Bello Verde counts as customers.
Mr. Chay is a master tailor who believes relationships are the most important part of his business. He spent years cultivating his celebrity clientelle. Bello Verde has no storefront and doesn't sell “off the rack.” Chay or one of his “custom clothiers,” travels to the customer where they measure them for whatever kind of custom tailored suits they want. Each customer gets a “30 point fit profile” which Bello Verde stores for future orders. The customer then chooses the fabric, color, and style of their suit which is sent along when it's finished.
Chay broke into the “big time” in custom tailored suits back in 2003 when he went to work for Astor and Black, then a custom suit maker too. He went on to be COO of the company and helped build it to a point where it sold for $42 million in 2012. Chay left the company and took his clients to form Bello Verde. By the summer of 2013, the new owners of Astor and Black had wrecked the business and they filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. In a Shark-like move, Chay bought their assets and name for $405,000 – less than ten percent of what the company sold for a little more than a year earlier!
My Take on Custom Tailored Suits
I have a custom tailored suit and a custom tailored tuxedo. I never wear the tux, and I only wear the suit for weddings and funerals. It's a sharp-looking suit, but I'm more of a shorts, tee-shirt and flip-flops guy!
Custom tailored suits cost more than something off the rack, but if you have the cash, they really can't be beat. The fit and the ability to customize truly make such a suit a one of a kind outfit. Celebrities like and need to look good and they usually have the money to pay, so developing that kind of customer is a smart move on Chay's part.
I wouldn't be a customer, but if I ever needed a new suit, I'd likely go custom again.
Do Sharks Suit Up and Invest?
All the Sharks are snappy dressers and I am willing to bet all of them, with the possible exception of Mark Cuban, have custom tailored suits (or in Barbara's case a dress). They'll understand what Chay is trying to accomplish with his business and they'll probably like his clothing. Weather a former UFC Champ and “Superman” can help Chay to get the Sharks to part with their money is another story.
The obvious target is Daymond, but he may already have his hands in such a business. If he doesn't, and he likes both Chay and the numbers, he'd be a good Shark to have on board. I can't see Mark going for this, his taste in clothes is closer to mine! I don't think Barbara will go for it either. Kevin and Robert may take a flyer, if they like the numbers.
I think Chay's “sharkiness” could help him in the Tank. If he tells the Astor and Black story, he'll gain Mr. Wonderful's respect. It could hurt him too, especially if he gets combative. Two days before the show airs, there's no mention of his appearance on any of his social media. If he's not screaming about being on Shark Tank from the rooftops, there's probably no deal.