I recently completed a 8-day trip (from 28 March to 6 April 2014) to HK, mainly for the purpose of refreshing my wardrobe with some new custom made ("bare essentials" only) garments following a period of sustained weight loss.
My sartorial shopping list included: (1) a small set of 2-button SB English cut blazers/trousers for my frequent smart casual/non-CBD business use, (2) a couple of 2-button SB English cut suits for my infrequent CBD use, and (3) a small set of dress and sports shirts.
My budget for the above items was ~HKD $40K (~USD $5K) however, I ended up spending nearly twice that. Alas, I couldn't resist the temptation to make the most of my sartorial sojourn in HK by commissioning more mix and match trousers and shirts, plus a couple for car coats made from a rather expensive Italian wool/cashmere blend fabric.
I intend to publish the results of my sartorial sojourn in HK in periodic instalments over the coming weeks/months, starting with the garments delivered while still in HK and finishing later on with the garments shipped to my home in Auckland, New Zealand.
I did study SF's "The Hong Kong Tailors Thread" and other related threads in detail and duly noted the criticisms about "Indian-HK" tailors and the top-tier HK tailor recommendations. However, I decided to stick with my existing Indian-HK tailor of nearly 30 years (i.e. Ash Samtani), owing to my hitherto long association as a satisfied client of the firm.
Hopefully, my loyalty to the Ash Samtani firm will not have been in vain. So far, so good.
However, in hindsight, I wish I had commissioned at least one of my new garments at one of the tier one HK tailors recommended by SF, as a basis for direct first hand comparison. I will certainly do so on my next trip to HK, which will be of a similar duration or even longer ideally. You see, despite being in HK for 8-days, the Ash Samtani firm was unable to complete my above initial commissions on time. However, I let it slide as I didn't want to pressure them unduly, as my commissions contained many bespoke details and I wanted to give them the time they needed to do their best work.
When I first became a client of Ash Samtani in 1987, the firm was very much a mid range HK tailor offering good quality garments at affordable prices. In short, a "good value" tailor from my then young military officer perspective. Fast forward to 2014, Ash Samtani has now repositioned itself "price wise" as a top-tier HK tailor -- albeit on the low end of the price ranges for tier one HK tailors that are already well known to readers of this thread -- and their prices nowadays reflect the firm's growing self confidence.
Presently, I do not have direct experience with the likes of WW Chan, A Man, Gordon Yao, H Baroman, Simpson Sin and other top-tier HK tailors favoured by this thread; so I will defer to the expert opinions of SF's seasoned members, regarding the success or otherwise of the Ash Samtani firm's efforts to reposition itself upmarket in terms of a quality garments and quality fit.
For the benefit of SF mail order buyers, I should mention that I did commission a bespoke/MTM sports jacket (i.e. 2-Button SB Navy Blue Neapolitan cut) from Ash Samtani six months earlier via mail order, with mixed results. While I was very happy with the quality of the jacket's fabric and custom workmanship on display, "the fit" and subsequent adjustments were proving problematic despite the firm's very best efforts via mail order. So, after the third unsuccessful attempt to achieve a good fit remotely via email photos and parcel post ping pong; I decided to travel to HK to allow Ash Samtani to do proper first-hand measurements and multiple fittings to ensure a good fit and to nail down my pattern.
More to follow...
Edited by BespokeKiwi - 4/20/14 at 4:48am