Altering a designer dress can lead to lawsuits. At Tinker Tailor, it generates sales. The midtown-based company, launched in May by fashion veteran Aslaug Magnusdottir, allows shoppers to customize designer wares or create their own apparel from scratch using 3-D renderings. Changes made with a designer’s approval give consumers the choice of shortening a hem here, adding an embellishment there, or changing a shade. So far, 80 fashion houses—including well-known labels Marchesa, Preen and Rodarte—are onboard.
“You see a big trend in our society toward customization—that need and desire to have something a little bit more personalized and suited toward them,” Ms. Magnusdottir said. “There are apparel customization sites for the mass market, but nobody had built a platform within luxury.”
The 46-year-old knows her audience. After studying law in Iceland, where she was born, Ms. Magnusdottir, who holds degrees from Harvard Business School and Duke University School of Law, took her talents to the U.S. She learned the fashion business from stints at McKinsey & Co., retail consulting firm Marvin Traub & Associates and e-commerce site Gilt Groupe. She co-founded Moda Operandi, a site for preordering luxury goods, four years ago. Tinker Tailor, which operates out of a 1,200-square-foot office and atelier on West 44th Street, takes the concept of high-end buying online one step further.
She declined to disclose how much Tinker Tailor received in seed funding, but expects to start a Series A round soon. The company will expand into accessories by the end of the year.
“This is for the woman who loves luxury but wants to tweak it to make it more personal and more relevant,” she said.
A version of this article appears in the August 4, 2014, print issue of Crain’s New York Business.