The 4Ps of the ‘Art of Suit Making’
Suit Making or dignified ‘tailoring’ is more than just cloth, scissors, needles and threads. If you’ve ever had the privileged experience of getting a ‘bespoke’ suit made for yourself, then you’ll surely understand the subtlety of skill and knowledge needed to create a masterpiece. Not to mention the time invested by a master tailor to translate what you imagine in your head by looking at a swatch of cloth to be made into a garment that is made entirely for you, figuratively, from head to toe.
Tailoring as a profession has been around since man learnt to weave leaves into layers of protection from the cold and the heat and the harsh environment. Over centuries that learning evolved into the use of exquisite fibres, materials and skins which could be stitched together. The ages of kings, lords and rulers saw luxury steep into garments with silks, wool, gold, jewels and exquisite colouring being added to make designer items. With the industrial revolution, steam and electricity came the modern mills which could weave, cut and stitch fabrics at an incredible pace. And now we are entering the age of laser cutting, non-stitched welding, and even 3-D printed garments.
At Azrim, we have invested a lot of our earnings and savings into maintaining this level of quality and craftsmanship, and are happy to not serve a section of the market that is only interested in price. We believe in ‘value’ and ‘service’.
When we meet our customers, we follow our tried and tested 5-step Process which helps us effectively and efficiently determine what the client wants, why they want it, when they want it by, how much are they willing to spend for it, and any other considerations so we can deliver on our #bestfitguarantee.
Suits are speciality garments, made for a specific reason, be it work or leisure, and has been now limited to professionals to wear at work to meetings, or the odd occasions such as weddings and funerals, where a sense of formality has to prevail. On the same note, it has staged a comeback in the past decade, where many people mixing formal and casual to create ‘smart casual’ wear where a bit of this can be worn with a bit of that.
It is important to know, at the time of consulting, what is the garment being made for? how will it be worn? how many times will it be used in a week or a month? how will it work with other pieces in the wardrobe? is there need for extra fabric to allow for a size up or down?
This is a dual step system whereby it’s important to get the right measurements, and understand what type of fit (ultra slim, slim and regular) the client wants. It also includes the choice of design and how that needs to be accommodated to the shape of the person around the shoulder (sloping, square or hunched), the height, width and length of different body parts and the proportion to apply. As a standard, we take over 24 measurements for men and 30 measurements for women to ensure all options are covered.
Then comes the role of the pattern maker, who uses chalk to display his mastery putting lines and crosses and dots on the fabric, which is then cut into the desired shape, and then stitched in shape by the master tailor. At Azrim, we have two distinct staff handling this in unity, as it’s a highly skilled and laborious task. Any mistake here can ruin a garment, and we dedicate 1 – 3 days for this per suit, depending on the complexity.
Without a desire to create the best, and provide the highest level of craftsmanship at an affordable price, we wouldn’t have survived and succeeded in this business. The passion comes from seeing smiles on the faces of our customers, especially those who are about to get married and get lovely texts and messages of thanks from their brides, or wives, or parents saying you made HIM look the best.
We also share this passion by giving back to the community and designing our internal processes to show compassion for people, environment and the craft of tailoring. We have hired people from struggling backgrounds to give them a better life, and we support multiple charities in Thailand, India, Australia and New Zealand through our cash and product donations to help those in need.
We have yet to meet a body that we can’t fit and only say no when the client desires extremely complex designs with a shape that can’t be accommodated, as we don’t want to say yes and not deliver. Currently, our accuracy rate sits at 96% which means out of every 100 garments we make, only 4 need to be retouched. This is far higher than the industry standard of 50 – 55%.
We reward this strive for perfection by giving additional bonuses to our staff for doing their job right the first time. We have instilled in them a passion to create masterpieces and not just ordinary garments. We also want to give back to our customers more than they asked for and continue to grow with them.
Many of our clients started in junior roles and came to us for entry-level suits. We have seen them excel in their profession or business, and now they repay that back by investing in our high-end garments. And referring us new clients and referral partners.
As in seeking perfection, mistakes do happen. But we don’t run away from them, and own them and rectify them and improve on them. Which is why we have won awards at WSABE for Excellence in Innovation (2016), and Excellence in Customer Service (2017), along with many other recognition awards and certifications.
We would love to hear from you if you’ve ever purchased one of our garments, and share the feedback with others. If you haven’t yet experienced this, then book an obligation-free appointment and we would love to talk about how we can help you look sharp, and save time and money too. Don’t forget to ask us about our EOFY Offers which will help you claim back on your clothes for tax purposes.