I wouldn't trust them with my time and money.
I communicated with Monalo Tang before my arrival in Hongkong looking to make a suit . The website states that the normal process 'from first visit to the final fitting should take 4-6 weeks' and that a faster delivery time was possible for an extra 800HK$. The gentleman I was conversing thru email said he could get me a suit with 2 fittings in the 12 days of my stay and was wiling to waive the faster delivery charge of 800$ so I confirmed an appointment for today at 14:00.
Throughout the email conversations, it was 'Victor' who signed off each email. So I did some detective work with the keywords "victor", "monalo tang" and LinkedIn shows Victor Lau as a Goldman Sachs analyst prior to starting Monalo Tang in 2012.
I examined the monalo-tang.com site and had already sensed something fishy as the photography style was incoherent, certain that they were ripping off photos from elsewhere posing as their own style. The most suspicious was pictures from their before and after page http://www.monalo-tang.com/before--after.html where the background of the pictures were clearly not Hongkong. Remember that the company started only in 2012, so how and why do their have before & after pictures from overseas? If they had a reputation, they may have clients from overseas, but being a new outfit, these pictures were implausible.
I have started my own business and was willing to give the newcomer a try plus when I asked, they responded that the suits were fully canvassed even at the Tier 1 rate of 3800$HK (compared to 4800$ at Lee Baron) so it was a deal.
I arrived for the fitting and to go over the fabrics at the appointed time and Monalo Tang is based in IFC Two, the most expensive office building in Hongkong, but when I arrived in 19th floor IFC Two, I realised it was a Servcorp virtual office, which I found odd but kept an open mind thinking that they wanted to be close to their financial professionals in the building. The receptionist didn't know of a Victor Lau (whom I thought I was conversing with) when I requested and only knew of Monalo Tang when I later suggested it.
I was first greeted by an overweight south Asian guy in the corridor to be led to a second 1.8 m tall south Asian guy into rented a 12m² virtual office and introduced to a 3rd south Asian guy who was the tailor. I didn't ask but none looked like a 'Victor Lau' to me so they were passing off themselves as somebody they are not. I requested to view a sample of their work and the only one available was a navy suit that was 'going to a customer for a fitting' which was canvassed plus the jacket one of them was wearing which he took off his jacket for me to inspect. I was shown several heavier fabrics as I had requested but they were of really poor quality, no brand and coarse but I get it because it was only 3800$. Talking of time, they said it would take 10 days for the 1st fitting and plus another 2-4 weeks to deliver the final product which contradicted what he said in the emails.
The impersonation of a Victor Lau when they were all southasians, the fishy website, the virtual office all made me very suspicious. It wouldn't be hard for them to take the money and close shop that day without ever delivering the product given they merely rented a virtual office. Even if they didn't have any bad intentions, I felt they were lazy to even bring samples of their work for new clients without resorting to taking off the jacket the owner himself was wearing which indicates lack of dedication. To me, they were the prime candidate of a fly-by-night shop, and I announced timing was too short and backed out at which time the face of the first guy who greeted me turned sour.
Monalo Tang is basically the high-end version of the southasian tailor from the streets of Tsimshatsui. They just went high-end by renting a virtual office at a fancy address. They are aware of the bad reputation southasians tailor shops have for scamming tourists that they even impersonated themselves as a chinese-owned business but lying is not assuring.
I went back to Lee Baron a.k.a. Peter Lee and ordered a 2nd suit.
Edited by addedfuel - 9/11/12 at 6:01am