Boy do I enjoy energetic people! Lately we have been getting people in the shop that are just infatuated with clothing and custom designs. I think I have spent more time in the last two weeks talking designers and fashion than I have in the last two years of working at the tailor shop. I really enjoy when "we" get a client that comes in and starts throwing around names like Brioni, Tom Ford, and Canali. How they talk about their expensive lifestyle and that no matter how much they spend on luxury labels they are not really satisfied with the product, purchasing labels just for the label.
Having worked in a custom shop for over four years, and luxury retail for over ten, it boggles my mind how much people will spend only to realize that what they bought may not have been the best purchase for them. Take for example Tom Ford, I myself am a very big fan of the man as well as the brand. However, and this is a very large however, you have to have a very specific body shape to be able to pull off any of his garments. For the money that is spent on a Tom Ford suit you sure as hell better be 6'2 stick thin and have a perfect "V" shape body type.
That's why I feel it is important not just to be a tailor in town but also to build a brand. A local label in town that is well recognized and coveted. Not supplying off the rack but making custom clothing that fits the customer. Making a product that justifies the dollar amount where the customer is happy and will continue to come back, a product where you feel great wearing the label.
I enjoy when these people come in, pumped up with knowledge (right or wrong) and start talking suits. Now I know enough to get someone excited about purchasing a suit, I think its my tone and passion I put into explaining the process and the fabrics. I get very excited when other people get excited. Even if the customer doesn't purchase right away I know that the conversation that we have had was full of information. I have a hard time simplifying the suit making process for people, taking the technical part out for them. Most people will not understand the in's and out's of suit making. It is a fine balance to talk to someone and inform him or her without overwhelming that person. It is an art to not come off as a snob or insulting because they may not know as much about the topic.
We usually get the odd customer that wants to really understand what is happening with a suit they are having altered. Wanting to know why the suit looks "off" or like a sack. My usual response to them is "we’ll handle it" mainly because the energy required to explain why their $200 suit does not fit like a custom suit is a conversation better discussed over a LONG coffee. It is like asking a computer technician to explain what all of his coding means..... It doesn't really matter to you, just as long as the end result is clean and functional. Let the expert do what he has to do and call it a day. On the other hand, if you are having a custom suit made I am happy to explain the why's and how's. This is because you pay for that service and you do not have to justify the work or construction of other designers. All you have to do is explain your process of suit making which should be easy because "you" know exactly how it is put together.
I hope that I get a lot of customers like this over my lifetime of tailoring. It brings such a fusion of energy and excitement to the day. Life becomes boring and redundant when all you do throughout the day is take in jackets and shorten pants. .... I mean how many pants can a person shorten before they jump off of a bridge? Lucky for me the bridges I live around are not high enough to do any damage, just enough to slap you across the face, call you an idiot and send you back on my merry way.
But I do look forward to getting creative and having thought provoking conversations for the next several decades.