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Japan bespoke for around $1000? - Page 2

post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
All of vot he said above...

Amen, enough said and very well said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn View Post
...Why it is so hard for a tailoring company to produce basic, full-canvassed bespoke suits for around a $1000 is incomprehensible to me, there's like 5 people that do that in Hong Kong!!! ...

Suggest you read some of the threads on here and indeed if you wish to play devils advocate ask the same inquiry re: $1000 suits in HK.
post #17 of 53
Someone recently said that the HK tailors are also creeping towards retirement age. It would surprise me not one bit if their children have done the maths, and have decided to go into IT or finance like everyone else. Or have become a plumber.
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn View Post
Ah, nantucket red, I just red your FNB review of the samurai line at ginza tailor. One fitting?

I've had as many as three fittings, but each time there's a genuine issue with the fit. I don't waste their time over trivialities. Compared to the majority of people they deal with, I've got an oddly shaped body too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn View Post
sorry, that's not gonna cut it for me or my oddly shaped body for a $1500 price tag (apparently most of that goes to some fanciful kimono lining to the interior pockets, doesn't it?), hmmm, dubious indeed.

The brocade pocket lining is a standard detail included in the quoted price for the Samurai line. The cost of the fabric, however, has a significant bearing on the price of the suit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn View Post
Why it is so hard for a tailoring company to produce basic, full-canvassed bespoke suits for around a $1000 is incomprehensible to me, there's like 5 people that do that in Hong Kong!!! but no where else in Asia apparently. Anyway, I'll probably just have to spend the money on a side trip to HK from tokyo Not pleased. Thanks for your input anyway.

I'd be very surprised if any Hong Kong tailor could beat Ginza Tailor by so much in terms of price-to-quality ratio that it would make sense to take side trips there just to have suits made. I make fairly regular (but not nearly frequent enough) trips to Hong Kong, but don't have the time to check on the tailoring quality or prices. If you're going there anyway, getting your suits made there might make sense.
post #19 of 53
Thread Starter 
^So ginza tailor allowed you to have 3 fittings at no extra charge? Is it a fairly good fit now? Also, is it full-canvassing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
You know, I was just remembering that I chatted to some tradesmen while renovating my home over the last few weeks. My painter said that he was taught that $55 USD/hr is minimum wage for his trade. My plumber said that they do a six year apprenticeship, which is about the same time required to become a cutter and tailor. So if the tailoring business were to try to attract kids willing to do a six year apprenticeship, then it would also have to guarantee about a $100/hr income at the end of that. Yet you guys complain when a tailor charges you less than a quarter of that.

My 'complaint' didn't mean to imply that the tailors outside Hong Kong were greedy or something, I just find it odd that basically this one little city on the coast of China is the only place in the world that has figured out how to make full-canvassed, all handmade suits for less than a third of the price elsewhere in the world. If it's because they're undercharging, and the practice will die once these old guys retire, then so be it... but so long as there is a cheaper alternative for frugal folk like ourselves we might as well take it.... I don't think it's our responsibility to pay thrice the amount for a locally made suit just because it's fairer to them.

On top of that, I don't necessarily agree that so-many year apprenticeships (in fields besides tailoring) automatically deserve wages above $100 an hour... that's actually quite unreasonable I think and once we get enough hispanic immigrants here in the U.S., the overcharging will die out too. Tradesfolk make money during their apprenticeships... do you know what happens with law students like ourselves? We have 7 years of education, exams and tuition that leave us with a debt of about $130,000 (that's just for the 3 years of law school) all to have a final bar exam at the end, after all that investment, that only 70% of the students pass... and most young lawyers would kill to make $100 an hour. Yet some plumber kid who followed his uncle around for his first few years thinks he automatically deserves that much.

Anyway, I realize all this talk about 'deserve' 'rights' 'fair' etc is meaningless in the market economy- people pay what they're gonna pay, and sell for what they can. From what little knowledge I have, I actually very much respect what you tailors do (not sure I can say the same about shady plumbers though ), and when I'm not poor anymore I'll gladly prefer you local guys over someone half way across the world.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn View Post
\\do you know what happens with law students like ourselves? We have 7 years of education, exams and tuition that leave us with a debt of about $130,000 (that's just for the 3 years of law school) all to have a final bar exam at the end, after all that investment, that only 70% of the students pass... and most young lawyers would kill to make $100 an hour.

$130,000 in debt!? My law school tuition with books will be around $115,000 after three years. Hard to live on 5K a year in Chicago
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
Why don't you try making a coat for yourself? It would take you at least 40 hours just to sew it even if you were an expert at it after your four year apprenticeship. A decent but still very economical cloth would cost you $250. That leaves you $750 dollars pay for 40 hours work. That's $18.75/hr. If you managed it in 30 hours that's still $25/hr. If you strove for a particularly high end job and took 60 hours to do it, with plenty of handwork you would earn $12.50/hr. Do you really think that is a fair wage to pay someone who has done a four year apprenticeship? We haven't even factored in the trousers yet, the cost of the canvas, and linings, nor the time taken to cut, or fit, let alone overheads or taxes. Can you imagine the sort of condition the person who makes your clothes lives in earning this sort of money? You can earn similar money working at McDonald's - no four year hamburger making apprenticeship required.

My plumber me charges me more than $25/hr - much, much more in fact. More like $100/hr. I got an electrician to change one light fitting yesterday and he charged me about $80 USD for about half an hour's work. No wonder tailoring is a dying trade.

Throughout Italy, all bespoke manufacturing (including bespoke footwear manufacturing) is the exact opposite of a dying trade for too many reasons to mention (demand being, by a very large amount, the biggest and only reason worth mentioning).

David Reeves has confirmed everything the first paragraph of this reply message with all bespoke manufacturing throughout Italy several times.

Throughout the rest of the world, yes, all bespoke manufacturing (especially bespoke footwear making) is, in fact, dying (unfortunately ).
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn View Post
^So ginza tailor allowed you to have 3 fittings at no extra charge? Is it a fairly good fit now? Also, is it full-canvassing?

My 'complaint' didn't mean to imply that the tailors outside Hong Kong were greedy or something, I just find it odd that basically this one little city on the coast of China is the only place in the world that has figured out how to make full-canvassed, all handmade suits for less than a third of the price elsewhere in the world. If it's because they're undercharging, and the practice will die once these old guys retire, then so be it... but so long as there is a cheaper alternative for frugal folk like ourselves we might as well take it.... I don't think it's our responsibility to pay thrice the amount for a locally made suit just because it's fairer to them.

On top of that, I don't necessarily agree that so-many year apprenticeships (in fields besides tailoring) automatically deserve wages above $100 an hour... that's actually quite unreasonable I think and once we get enough hispanic immigrants here in the U.S., the overcharging will die out too. Tradesfolk make money during their apprenticeships... do you know what happens with law students like ourselves? We have 7 years of education, exams and tuition that leave us with a debt of about $130,000 (that's just for the 3 years of law school) all to have a final bar exam at the end, after all that investment, that only 70% of the students pass... and most young lawyers would kill to make $100 an hour. Yet some plumber kid who followed his uncle around for his first few years thinks he automatically deserves that much.

Anyway, I realize all this talk about 'deserve' 'rights' 'fair' etc is meaningless in the market economy- people pay what they're gonna pay, and sell for what they can. From what little knowledge I have, I actually very much respect what you tailors do (not sure I can say the same about shady plumbers though ), and when I'm not poor anymore I'll gladly prefer you local guys over someone half way across the world.

I haven't been to Hong Kong, and I have never been a tailor's apprentice in Japan. I don't think that tailor's apprentices make much beyond room and board during their apprenticeship in Japan.

Guild of Crafts in Tokyo offers a 2 year shoemaking course, which is essentially based on a teaching/exam/tuition paying/final certification model. For younger tailors and cordwainers in Japan, the path seems to be to go into a very reasonably priced made to measure or "pattern oder" business (I would wager that per capita, there are more made to measure options in Japan than in many other coutries), or to get into full blown bespoke, with entry level starting at around Y200,000. Some of the made to measure suit shops did offer a la carte upcharge for things like hand canvasing or hand stiched button holes, but I never saw full bespoke in Japan for $1,000.

Bic
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bic Pentameter View Post
I haven't been to Hong Kong, and I have never been a tailor's apprentice in Japan. I don't think that tailor's apprentices make much beyond room and board during their apprenticeship in Japan.

Guild of Crafts in Tokyo offers a 2 year shoemaking course, which is essentially based on a teaching/exam/tuition paying/final certification model. For younger tailors and cordwainers in Japan, the path seems to be to go into a very reasonably priced made to measure or "pattern oder" business (I would wager that per capita, there are more made to measure options in Japan than in many other coutries), or to get into full blown bespoke, with entry level starting at around Y200,000. Some of the made to measure suit shops did offer a la carte upcharge for things like hand canvasing or hand stiched button holes, but I never saw full bespoke in Japan for $1,000.

Bic

According to http://www.xe.com (a currency conversion website), ¥1 is USA$0.01 (according to the most recent currency conversions). That makes a bespoke suit in Japan that is comparable (in every conceivable objective way, of course ) to all bespoke suits in Italy a minimum of USA$2,000 (which is what ¥200,000 is).

By comparison, a bespoke suit in Italy is a minimum of €3,600 (USA$4,968). In England, a bespoke suit is a minimum of £1,800 (USA$2,826) off Savile Row and a minimum of £2,700 (USA$4,239) on Savile Row.

Still, bespoke in Japan is significantly less expensive than comparable bespoke on Savile Row in England and in Italy.

And, bespoke in Japan is still a lot less expensive than comparable bespoke in England off Savile Row.
post #24 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OxxfordSJLINY View Post
By comparison, a bespoke suit in Italy is a minimum of €1,200 (USA$1,656) while a bespoke suit in England is a minimum of £900 (USA$1,413).
I've never seen figures this low, though I'm no expert. The figures I always seen thrown around in the US and UK, on and off SF are a minimum of 2k or 3k. Savile Row is like 4k minimum I believe. I thought the $1500 guys were always hit and miss, usually traveling, tailors with stubborn house styles, etc.
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by OxxfordSJLINY View Post
According to http://www.xe.com (a currency conversion website), ¥1 is USA$0.01 (according to the most recent currency conversions). That makes a bespoke suit in Japan that is comparable (in every conceivable objective way, of course ) to all bespoke suits in Italy a minimum of USA$2,000 (which is what ¥200,000 is).

By comparison, a bespoke suit in Italy is a minimum of €1,200 (USA$1,656) while a bespoke suit in England is a minimum of £900 (USA$1,413).

Basically, bespoke in Japan is now sometimes more expensive than comparable bespoke in Italy and England. Who would have thunk?!

I was throwing round numbers around from my recollection of the situation 3 years ago. Also, lotsa things are more expensive in Japan than anywhere else....
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svenn View Post
I've never seen figures this low, though I'm no expert. The figures I always seen thrown around in the US and UK, on and off SF are a minimum of 2k or 3k. Savile Row is like 4k minimum I believe. I thought the $1500 guys were always hit and miss, usually traveling, tailors with stubborn house styles, etc.

I stand corrected. That is why I edited my message six minutes ago.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bic Pentameter View Post
I was throwing round numbers around from my recollection of the situation 3 years ago. Also, lotsa things are more expensive in Japan than anywhere else....

Actually, I edited that message 2 hours and 42 minutes ago. But thank you anyway, Bic Pentameter.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
Someone recently said that the HK tailors are also creeping towards retirement age. It would surprise me not one bit if their children have done the maths, and have decided to go into IT or finance like everyone else. Or have become a plumber.

It is very much a dying trade. Chan is probably the youngest of the better tailors left.
post #29 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maomao1980 View Post
It is very much a dying trade. Chan is probably the youngest of the better tailors left.
I think Sator's main point was that the underpricing of the HK tailors is what's dying, though I'm sure this point is valid too. At least Chan is expanding though... I'm glad that forums like this recognize the quality and bargain of his, and similar tailor's, work.
post #30 of 53
I have looked in this price range, in Tokyo, for years and all I found is:

bite the bullet, burn some mileage, go to HK for a long weekend.

The all inclusive cost-benefit ratio is still better than buying in Tokyo AND it gets you out of the Matrix for a few days.

Chan, Ah man, Baroman, Gordon Yao, William Yu, et al. can all make a great, handmade, "true bespoke" suit. There is way too much terminology used with Japanese shops MTO, "pattern order", "half-handmade," whatever. With HK tailors, they have literally decades of experience tailoring for the expat community, there is no "menu" for tailoring, only for fabrics and the top shops have sterling reputations. e.g., just reading the reviews on this and other fora, you'll hear almost no complaints about Chan, who really sets the local standard. Also I heard Ah Man does CMT too which is great if you can source your own fabic to save some more $$.

Not saying that you can't get an amazing suit in Japan, but if you want "the suit" at a reasonable price then HK is the way to go. If you just need "a suit" stick with Azabu, I think they do a decent job at a good price point considering this is one of the most expensive cities in the world.

That said if I were ever to get full bespoke in Japan, I would get it from this guy:
http://blueshears.hp.infoseek.co.jp/index.html

Japanese dude who runs a quaint shop in the west side, apprenticed at Gieves and Hawkes since he was 18, and most importantly is a Chelsea fan!! (com'on you blues!)
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