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BIZ trip burns

Sharp Dressed Man // by Genevieve Legacy


years. During that time, he had an epiphany: “One day, while looking at a really beautiful shirt from a Asian supplier, a question came to mind,” he says. “I wondered why no one was using offshore production to make custom suits.” At the time, offshore firms produced the company’s stock clothing, but most of its custom clothing came from North American manufacturers. Nance wondered if it was possible to leverage cost and production offshore but keep the business about service, not just factory operation. “My thinking was a little radical for the time,” Nance admits. “I knew of one company that manufactured custom shirts in Hong Kong—I wanted to make custom suits, jackets and trousers—(but) if it worked for shirts, it might work for other apparel as well.” Gifted with what he calls “an ability to predict future trends,” Nance did extensive research and started traveling to China. “Doing business in China is very challenging, primarily because of the language difference. You have to think very creatively to communicate efficiently and effectively,” he says. Trinity’s corpoClothier Wen Nance founded Trinity Apparel rate offices may be in Group in 2002. It opened Mozingo Clothiers. Ridgeland, but it now has a vast footprint: textile factodivision called Latham-Thomas (now Mozingo Clothiers, 4500 ries in China, pattern-making in Toronto, software development Interstate 55 N., 601.713.7848, in Costa Rica, retail clothiers in in 2003. the United Kingdom, France, AmNance managed the store for five

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en Nance is always impeccably pulled together, even when he’s dressed casually—or after long days of White House Business Council meetings in Washington. And he’s used that lifelong affinity for fine apparel to start an extremely successful clothing line. Starting out as a custom clothier with Tom James Company (1775 Leila Drive, 601.713.2034,, the Tulsa, Okla., native turned his eye for fine clothing into a career and vocation. As a clothier, a hybrid salesperson-tailor-stylist, Nance met with clients to look at fabric samples, make styling recommendations and take measurements for custom orders. After leaving Tom James in 2000, Nance continued to work in a similar business model, founding Trinity Apparel Group in 2002. Trinity opened a retail


March - April 2013 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

Entrepreneur Wen Nance runs a high-tech, worldwide clothing manufacturing operation from his corporate offices in Ridgeland. sterdam and Dubai. But iDesign Studio, Nance’s custom clothing platform, resides the farthest from the metro, functioning in a computer-generated cloudscape. Trinity has invested a significant amount of money into the development of its Web-based software platform. The custom manufacturing the company provides is extremely complex. For a jacket alone, about 1,600 different options must be meticulously translated into software code. “Our solution was to develop software that initially seemed like a slick marketing gimmick but has proven to be enormously important to communication with a factory,” Nance explains. Investment in perfecting its

software has made Trinity Apparel Group a leader in the custom-clothing industry and worthy of replication. Now, with an eye to the consumer of the future, Nance and partners are poised to take custom clothing to the next level through texture-mapping software that allows fabric samples to be viewed in three dimensions. “Virtual clothing, creating garment outfits that look as real as if you’re seeing them on a model, could allow us to market directly to the consumer,” he says. For the everyday shopper, this means custom-apparel apps for cell phones, tablets and computers, of course. Though still in the development phase, a gamechanger is on the event horizon.

BOOM Jackson v5n4 - Startup City  
BOOM Jackson v5n4 - Startup City  

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