Market has become price-sensitive due to online impact
With a legacy of over five decades, Bagir has made its mark as a full-service vendor with end-to-end capabilities in apparel. The innovative tailoring provider based in Kiryat Gat, Israel, develops, manufactures and markets tailored fashion for men and women. In conversation with Fibre2Fashion, Eran Itzhak, the CEO of Bagir talks about the company's growth, services and inventive technologies.
It's been a long journey since 1961. It would be great to know from you how it all started, the five turning points in this category, and of course how Bagir has evolved.
Bagir's business was founded in 1961 and is managed from its headquarters in Kiryat Gat, Israel, where the group's innovation and core product design and development centre is also located. The group's products are sourced from Vietnam, Egypt (JV) and Ethiopia (own factory). In addition, Bagir has sales and customer service offices in New York and London, and has a design hub at its London office.
Always known for its innovation in tailoring, in the 1970s the business became the first non-British based supplier to M&S. Later on, the company developed and launched the machine washable suit which sold successfully in the UK and US, and in 2003 Bagir won the Queen's Award for enterprise in innovation.
The 1990s saw the business move to expand its client base internationally, entering the US market and in doing so, exploring sourcing and production opportunities in China, Egypt and Jordan. This allowed the business to capitalise on factors such as the attractive tax relief on goods made in Egypt or Jordan and sold in the US. In 1999, Bagir established a joint venture in Egypt, located in the duty-free zone of Port Said, focusing on the US market and in 2003, the business established a joint venture in China to manufacture tailored formalwear.
Bagir's eye for innovation continued, with the introduction of the iPod suit in 2006, as well as receiving 2009's Eco Innovation Award from the Israeli ministry of industry, trade and labour for this carbon-friendly suit. In April 2014, the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange (AIM) raising $34 million. Today, Bagir's operations are focused on three production sites with duty-free routes to our target markets and competitive labour costs - Egypt, Vietnam and our future flagship factory in Ethiopia (soon to be wholly owned by Bagir).
What does the term Bagir mean?
In Hebrew, 'Bgadim' means 'garments' and the idea was to create a name that combines 'Bgadim' and 'Israel' - Bagir.
What kind of services does Bagir offer to its clients?
Bagir is a full-service vendor (FSV) with a complete end-to-end range of design, sourcing, manufacturing and delivery capabilities. The production of suits is more complex than many other tailored garments and, as a consequence, retailers often require a wider range of services, such as those from FSVs. Furthermore, the group has a specific quality assurance team which provides a monthly report on the quality level (collated from the feedback of customers) and analyses the cost attributable to maintaining quality at each production site. In recent years, we have leveraged our new production capabilities to significantly develop two additional segments-workwear and ladieswear. In the field of workwear, it is both 'tailored workwear' (supplying airlines and hotels) and 'basic workwear' (supplying scrubs, aprons, etc.). The core of the group's product development and sampling functions are predominantly based in Israel where its pattern-makers and digital grading are also located.
Please tell us in detail about the technologies and innovations developed by Bagir.
We have six concepts which are now 'ready-to-market'.
- City Traveler: The City Traveler suit combines classic tailoring with innovative reflective fabric-weaving. A classic suit during the day is transformed in the evening by its unique ability to reflect the city night light. The suit has been designed with added safety elements to help city men who cycle to keep safe and stay fresh.
- Climate Suit: The Climate Suit was designed for the colder months to keep you warm. The fabric used improves transmitted solar rays through a techno backing layer weaved in the fabric keeping you warmer by 3 degrees. The suit is also lined with a warming lining that traps 20 per cent more heat than standard linings.
- Transit Suit: This suit was designed for the man on the move; therefore, we have designed and developed elements that give comfort and function like smart pockets for phone charger, safety pockets for money, passport pockets, flexible materials, key pockets are lined with RFID blocking material to keep your data secure while in transit.
- 0.755 Suit: Engineered with light fabric and internal components, the 0.755 Suit is named after the total weight of the suit in grams and is significantly lighter compared to a standard suit.
- The Pack Away: Bagir's pattern-cutting techniques and high level of functionality allows the Pack Away to be the leader in functional athleisure tailoring. The combination of a unique folding system and fabric from Solotex allows the entire jacket and trousers to be packed in a convenient travel case or backpack, ready to take anywhere.
- The Shaper Pant: The Shaper Pant visually slims your figure and makes you feel great with smart pattern attributes; the Shaper Pant is constructed to feel and perform like a sports pant but looks tailored.