M.J. Bale: The random coincidence that inspired an innovation platform

Paul Bradbury

The background and brief

M.J. Bale is an independently owned Australian men's fashion label that launched in 2011.

M.J. Bale picked a tough time to launch a new retail concept, given the triple threat of a slowing Australian economy, low consumer confidence and a shift to offshore online shopping given the peaking Australian dollar.

'These are the toughest retail trading conditions in over twenty years'

Bernie Brooks CEO, Myer

The brand was entering a crowded, undifferentiated and often-discounted men's suiting category, dominated by established European and Australian fashion labels.

Matt Jensen, the founder of M.J. Bale, had a clear vision of building a differentiated provenance story around the brand. Sourcing the finest Merino wool from New South Wales, milling the wool in northern Italy and then crafting the cut of the suits in Japan. Ambitiously, M.J. Bale wanted to educate the consumer to care about provenance in their purchasing decision making process.