OK, it does exist, but not in a traditional brick and mortar location. It may seem strange to buy your next Brioni suit over the internet but in this digital age why can’t your trusted haberdasher actually be online? Frieschskys has built a reputation, and a devout following on eBay, by offering guys the best of both worlds: great selection and prices they can stomach.
Think of it as T.J. Maxx’s cooler, older brother; the one in the leather jacket who looks like he could kick your ass. They do virtually the same thing as sites like Gilt or Yoox, they buy last season’s fashions or even entire stores that are closing down, but the difference is the selection. You don’t have to wade through a sea Greg Norman polos to find the good stuff, “we buy value” says owner Tim Friesch. A quick glance shows it’s true… and brands like Brioni, Ferragamo, Belvest, Canali, Zegna and Borrelli.
One of the great things about them is their constantly changing inventory. When they first started out, Friesch says he had to travel 3 days a week just to keep stock up but now he only has to travel once or twice a month, “word gets out, the clothing industry is pretty tight-knit.” Most items displayed for sale are in very limited quantity, giving you a constantly changing rotation of options. Don’t see exactly what you want today? Come back in a week or two and check again.
You can expect to pay between 25-50% of MSRP for brand new items, usually with the original tags still attached. For tailored items like suits and sport coats they do something you’ll really love: they actually post real measurements. There’s no more guessing if you’re a 40 or 42 in a certain brand. You can compare your own measurements against the ones posted online to get the right fit and, trust me, it works. If by chance you don’t know what to measure take a look here.
This author has purchased a few items from them and it has been seamless (I have my eye on another new Belvest suit at the moment) but don’t just take my word; at the time of writing, they have received 22,565 seller feedback scores on eBay, 100% of which are positive; how’s that for trustworthy?
And where’s the brand headed? They’ve recently moved to a full stand alone website and would one day like to take on the likes of Yoox but Friesch says he wants to grow slowly. He doesn’t want to risk changing what has made Frieschskys successful and, for that, my wallet is grateful.
A Little Background
Frieschskys was first started as a side project in 1998 by Tim Friesch (how else would you get a store name like that?) and his brother. Back then, they had no aspirations to grow a part time side business into what it is today. As Tim says, they just started “selling sh*t online” as a way to make a few extra bucks, looking for diamonds in the rough. Pretty quickly they found that the men’s clothing they found in local Thrift stores was selling the better than the rest of the sh*t.
With a little tutelage, the brothers found out which brands sold and which didn’t and saw the potential of an undeserved market. “There wasn’t much competition online, most of the [other] sellers were posting pictures of stuff laying on their beds” which Tim says helped allow Frieschkys to differentiate itself by doing things better, “we went out and bought a mannequin and made sure we had bright, clear pictures.”
It wasn’t until 2007 that the modern inception was born with Tim Friesch, his brother Steve, and Dan Stecker. Shortly after, in 2008, they had their first a big break; a Chicago-based menswear store was shuttering it’s doors due to the economy and had a liquidation. “We bought their entire mens stock for pennies on the dollar” explains Tim, “and we sold it for a huge profit.” That’s when the light bulb went on, they brought on an equity investor, and the modern Frieschskys was born.
Photo Credits: Frieschskys