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post #35491 of 55025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhound View Post

Hey guys, I remember a week back there was a discussion on slippers, what's the recommendation. I wouldn't mind custom embroidory too. Need to be able to walk outside, get the mail etc too.

Rubannaci slippers to hit those Oprah Heights...

 

 

Jase - how are those shoes going? They look a bit clunky top down but you may just have big feet hehe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Carter View Post





Shoes: Meermin (Boxfresh) Austerity brogue
post #35492 of 55025
Hello Romp (or anyone else with a AFR online subscription)

Are you able to post a copy of the article on P Johnson/Suit Shop in this weekend's AFR? I did not get around to buying or reading it but am interested.
post #35493 of 55025
SUE MITCHELL

A respectable made-to-measure suit for less than $1000? It can still be done, say former Macquarie Bank analyst Rob Blythe and London-trained tailor Patrick Johnson.

Mr Blythe and Mr Johnson are turning the rarefied world of bespoke suiting on its head by cherry-picking the strategies of power brands such as Apple and Nike and introducing technology such as computer-assisted design, cloud computing and wireless payments to make custom-made suits that cost less than some bought off the rack.

Less than a year after launching their mobile made-to-measure suit business, Suit Shop, the entrepreneurial pair are finalising plans for an online store that will allow men to design their own suits – the cut, colour and fabric – once their vital statistics have been taken by a team of fitters and tailors trained in Mr Johnson’s apprentice program.

The measurements and specifications are sent to Suit Shop’s new workshop in China and the suits, which typically cost between $750 and $1000, are delivered four weeks later.

“We are taking a very old industry and bringing it a bit more up to date,” said Mr Johnson, who runs P. Johnson Tailors of Sydney and Melbourne. “Even the big players in the business like Zegna are still to a large extent very behind on (using technology) compared to other industries,” he said.

WITHOUT PROFESSIONAL MEASUREMENTS, ORDERING CAN BE HIT AND MISS
“There needs to be less focus on big marketing campaigns and more focus on making it convenient and value for money.

“Some say the tailoring industry in Australia is dying – I say it’s almost dead because there aren’t many guys doing this any more and the ones who are doing it generally aren’t using technology to help them.”

Mr Johnson, 32, has been selling made-to-measure suits from his atelier in Sydney’s Paddington since 2007 after an apprenticeship in suit-making near London’s famed Savile Row.

Mr Blythe, 29, who started selling clothing online at university and owns successful e-commerce store Owen & James, quit as a retail analyst at Macquarie Bank last month to indulge his passion for fashion full-time.

He says demand for made-to-measure suits is growing but a bespoke suit remains out of reach for most Australian men and ordering online without proper measurements can be hit and miss. “So many times when I was at Macquarie, guys were ordering things from Mr Porter or other retailers online, only having to send this massive box back to America or the UK because it didn’t fit,” Mr Blythe said.

“I’ve observed a lot of retailers during my six years at Macquarie and you do see a lot of best practice and some not-so-best practice, so you can see where some benefits and early wins can be had and a better way of doing things.”

Mr Blythe and Mr Johnson have slashed Suit Shop’s costs by eschewing retail stores, sending their travelling tailors to clients and reducing administration costs. Measurements and patterns are stored on iPads, invoices are paperless, payments are wireless and accounting systems are cloud-based .

“The administration side of a tailor’s job used to be 30 per cent and we are trying to cut this down to about 2 per cent,” Mr Johnson said. “It’s not because we want to make more suits, the issue is spending our time effectively with someone.”

“People want suits that are customised for their personality, their body shape and their lifestyle. All we want to do it make it more convenient and accessible for them,” he said.

The Australian Financial Review

post #35494 of 55025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romp View Post

Rubannaci slippers to hit those Oprah Heights...


Jase - how are those shoes going? They look a bit clunky top down but you may just have big feet hehe

I'm a big bastard, so yeah kind of. Def not clunky IRL. They are olfe last like my other captoes. Fit's me like a glove. First time wearing today though, so I can't comment much on comfort etc yet, so far so good though.
post #35495 of 55025
I'd totally go for tm lewin if I have the body for it. But with my squarer shoulders and chunkier upper arms I look absolutely ridiculous with padded and structured shoulder suits. I am pretty much restricted to either soft shoulders like mjbale and italian roped shoulders actually look surprisingly well on me.
post #35496 of 55025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post


Fixed that for you...

What do Asians do during erections?

 

They vote...

 

(I'm horrible I know)

post #35497 of 55025
Quote:
Originally Posted by coxaca View Post

If you're from the Aus-Chinese community and plan to vote Labor, does that make you a Luddite?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pink Socks View Post


Or a Ruddite?

 

^ This man needs more coffee.

post #35498 of 55025
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypee View Post

SUE MITCHELL Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
A respectable made-to-measure suit for less than $1000? It can still be done, say former Macquarie Bank analyst Rob Blythe and London-trained tailor Patrick Johnson.

Mr Blythe and Mr Johnson are turning the rarefied world of bespoke suiting on its head by cherry-picking the strategies of power brands such as Apple and Nike and introducing technology such as computer-assisted design, cloud computing and wireless payments to make custom-made suits that cost less than some bought off the rack.

Less than a year after launching their mobile made-to-measure suit business, Suit Shop, the entrepreneurial pair are finalising plans for an online store that will allow men to design their own suits – the cut, colour and fabric – once their vital statistics have been taken by a team of fitters and tailors trained in Mr Johnson’s apprentice program.

The measurements and specifications are sent to Suit Shop’s new workshop in China and the suits, which typically cost between $750 and $1000, are delivered four weeks later.

“We are taking a very old industry and bringing it a bit more up to date,” said Mr Johnson, who runs P. Johnson Tailors of Sydney and Melbourne. “Even the big players in the business like Zegna are still to a large extent very behind on (using technology) compared to other industries,” he said.

WITHOUT PROFESSIONAL MEASUREMENTS, ORDERING CAN BE HIT AND MISS
“There needs to be less focus on big marketing campaigns and more focus on making it convenient and value for money.

“Some say the tailoring industry in Australia is dying – I say it’s almost dead because there aren’t many guys doing this any more and the ones who are doing it generally aren’t using technology to help them.”

Mr Johnson, 32, has been selling made-to-measure suits from his atelier in Sydney’s Paddington since 2007 after an apprenticeship in suit-making near London’s famed Savile Row.

Mr Blythe, 29, who started selling clothing online at university and owns successful e-commerce store Owen & James, quit as a retail analyst at Macquarie Bank last month to indulge his passion for fashion full-time.

He says demand for made-to-measure suits is growing but a bespoke suit remains out of reach for most Australian men and ordering online without proper measurements can be hit and miss. “So many times when I was at Macquarie, guys were ordering things from Mr Porter or other retailers online, only having to send this massive box back to America or the UK because it didn’t fit,” Mr Blythe said.

“I’ve observed a lot of retailers during my six years at Macquarie and you do see a lot of best practice and some not-so-best practice, so you can see where some benefits and early wins can be had and a better way of doing things.”

Mr Blythe and Mr Johnson have slashed Suit Shop’s costs by eschewing retail stores, sending their travelling tailors to clients and reducing administration costs. Measurements and patterns are stored on iPads, invoices are paperless, payments are wireless and accounting systems are cloud-based .

“The administration side of a tailor’s job used to be 30 per cent and we are trying to cut this down to about 2 per cent,” Mr Johnson said. “It’s not because we want to make more suits, the issue is spending our time effectively with someone.”

“People want suits that are customised for their personality, their body shape and their lifestyle. All we want to do it make it more convenient and accessible for them,” he said.

The Australian Financial Review

]

Thanks Jaypee. Appreciate your help, but I was actually looking for another article from the Weekend AFR entitled "Everyone’s crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man".
post #35499 of 55025

Sure the weekend one is a bit more colourful

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pink Socks View Post

Hello Romp (or anyone else with a AFR online subscription)

Are you able to post a copy of the article on P Johnson/Suit Shop in this weekend's AFR? I did not get around to buying or reading it but am interested.

 

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

SUE MITCHELL


During an eight-year apprenticeship under renowned London tailor Robert Emmett in Mayfair, Johnson learned the 35 body measurements critical for a perfectly fitting made-to-measure suit, including the curve of the “seat” and the circumference of the thighs.

Suit maker Patrick Johnson knows more about men’s body shapes than the average 32-year-old married male. It comes with the job.

Johnson can now pick a yoga fan as soon as he walks through the door of his Paddington studio. His shoulders are balanced and his stomach flat.

In the six years since Johnson returned to Sydney and set up a bespoke suit business, ­P Johnson Tailors, he has also learned other factors that influence how men look and feel in their corporate armour.

“There are so many variables when you are cutting a suit; you can’t look at it in a robotic way,” Johnson tells AFR Weekend.

“You have to really understand their lifestyle, the way they wear a suit during the day and their idealised version of themselves – the little movie they have in their heads,” he says. “It’s a bit creepy but we write down all kinds of details about their lives – their wives, where they work, what kind of sports they play.”

Johnson’s timing was perfect. Less than two years after he set up shop, films such as fashion designer Tom Ford’s A Single Man and the Mad Men TV series, both set in the 1960s, triggered a surge in demand for stylish suits. Not the oversized polyester atrocities pulled out of closets for weddings, funerals and job interviews, but slim-fitting designs with classic or retro styling in natural fabrics such as wool, linen and silk.

Johnson’s suits looks like they have come straight off the set of Mad Men or a James Bond movie, but there’s a critical difference. He and his Melbourne-based business partner, Tom Riley, specialise in lightweight suits designed for the Australian climate. With minimal padding, the design, cut and make become even more important – especially for the eight in 10 men who have, for example, one shoulder higher than the other.

“We make jackets [to fit] like a shirt, so you have to get them fitting perfectly. There’s no room for error, and we use a slimmer cut because that’s what our customers want,” Johnson says.

Men are usually averse to shopping. But over the past few years, menswear sales have grown at a faster rate than womenswear, although women still spend almost twice as much as men on their wardrobe: dresses, pants, skirts, underwear . . . the list goes on.

MENSWEAR DEFYING TRENDS

 

While clothing sales overall have fallen 2.2 per cent a year since 2008, according to market researcher IBISWorld, menswear sales have defied the trend and the Australian market is now worth about $2.5 billion a year, 20 per cent of the total $12.2 billion clothing retail market.

IBISWorld senior analyst Craig Shulman says Australian men are becoming more fashion conscious and are willing to spend more on clothing and accessories for the sake of fashion, rather than function.

Shulman attributes this trend to rising discretionary income, particularly among younger men, the strong Australian dollar, and deflation, which has exposed men to more fashionable and higher quality clothing at a lower cost.

“Men are quite value conscious and when there are periods of economic uncertainty, men cut down their spending on clothing accordingly,” says Shulman. “However, as men have become more fashion conscious over the last five years, these changes are less dramatic – their spending is no longer directly linked to economic activity.”

This explains why global brands such as Topman, M. J. Bale, and T. M. Lewin have thrived since setting up shop in Australia.

It also explains why Australia is the third largest market outside the United States and Britain for upmarket online menswear retailer Mr Porter, an offshoot of the hugely successful site, Net-a-Porter.

“The apparel market is a tricky old market and historically, the first thing that stops is menswear, then kidswear, then womenswear,” says Steve Kulmar of consultancy RetailOasis. “A lot of retailers abandoned menswear 15 years ago and only left the discounters and department stores. But in the past three or four years, men are shopping for themselves.”

Younger men have more interest and exposure to fashion than their fathers and grandfathers, thanks to online shopping and social media sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest. As a result, men’s apparel is gradually becoming less casual.

“As we abandon the overarching sense of casualisation we will embark on a better dressed male consumer,” says Kulmar, “but at the end of the day, climate has a lot to do with it.”

YOUNGER AND BETTER DRESSED

 

This trend away from casualisation is nowhere more apparent than in Sydney’s O’Connell Street – home to bankers, lawyers, politicians, and master tailor Bijan Sheikhlary, who dresses some of the most influential men in Australia.

Iranian-born Sheikhlary opened Bijan’s in 1983 and in the first few years was lucky to serve 20 to 30 clients a year. Now he sells at least 50 to 60 suits a year at an average price of $5500 and many clients are in their 30s and 40s rather than nearing retirement.

“Australian people are becoming more conscious about fashion. Men are seeking better fitting, more stylish suits,” says Sheikhlary, who started making suits at the age of 13 and trained on London’s Savile Row before coming to Australia 30 years ago.

“There’s now a younger generation, more educated and better positioned, so they’re seeking to be better dressed,” he says.

They appreciate the hand-stitched details of a bespoke suit and are prepared to pay for it. Encouraged by this trend, Johnson is now on a mission to make custom-made suits more accessible and take some of the mystery out of the process.

“I hate snobbery in suiting – there’s nothing worse than going to a store in London and they speak to you as if you shouldn’t be there. I hate turning customers away and if he has a budget I want to be able to fill that need for him.”

Johnson has teamed up with one of his clients, retail analyst and seasoned online clothing retailer Rob Blythe, to launch Suit Shop, a tailoring service that promises to reduce the cost of a made-to-measure suit to below $1000.

Blythe, 29 and a new father, quit his job at Macquarie Bank last month to devote his attention to the venture and is already planning an e-commerce option. Through ­suitshop.com.au, customers will be able to choose online the style, colour and fabric of their suits once they have been fitted by travelling tailors trained through P Johnson’s apprentice program.

“Until now, there really haven’t been any great suiting options for Australian men who want to dress better at the sub-$1000 price point,” says Blythe.

Blythe and Johnson are cherry-picking the strategies of brands such as Apple and Nike and introducing technology such as computer-assisted design, cloud computing and wireless payments to reduce costs.

TRAVELLING STYLE

 

Travelling tailors are not new to Australia. Suit makers from India and China on tourist visas regularly visit the capital cities, setting up temporary shops in hotel suites, fitting clients and sending their orders back to Asia to be made up.

But Blythe says the results can be hit and miss and clients have little recourse if the suit doesn’t fit. It’s a similar story with the new crop of online retailers promising perfectly fitted suits from a set of basic body measurements.

Shulman thinks Johnson and Blythe’s new travelling and online tailor shop model may have legs.

“Because suits in general are quite expensive men are seeking to minimise the cost without sacrificing quality,” Shulman says.

“A travelling tailor business is able to provide a stronger guarantee of a well-fitted suit, compared to an online option where the consumer either has to measure themselves or go to another tailor to get themselves measured,” he says.

Sheikhlary, who stills sews suits in his workroom (the average suit takes 70 to 80 hours) rather than sending them to China to be made up, welcomes the new competition.

“In a way I don’t mind it because it’s actually making everybody dress well,” he says. “Maybe it’s not handmade or a bespoke suit but it still makes people look good.”

The Australian Financial Review

 

 

 


Edited by Romp - 8/4/13 at 7:51pm
post #35500 of 55025
Romp - when will the fully-functioning suitshop site mentioned above be up and running?
post #35501 of 55025
I didnt catch that one, thanks for posting Romp
post #35502 of 55025
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanohare View Post

Romp - when will the fully-functioning suitshop site mentioned above be up and running?

 

First draft Im hoping September/October.. got a bunch of guys working on it behind the scenes

post #35503 of 55025
Quote:
Originally Posted by DartagnanRed View Post

What do Asians do during erections?

 

They vote...

 

(I'm horrible I know)

You mean "hollible"?

 

It's okay, I am also a plick.

post #35504 of 55025

Romp, I don't know what strings you'll have to pull, or what favours you'll have to do, but you gots to get suitshop on the SF "Suits and Jackets in Australia" wiki biggrin.gif (http://styleforumau.wikidot.com/wiki:suits-in-australia)

Great article BTW

post #35505 of 55025
Appreciate it Romp, looking forward to read this.
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