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spoon tailor -hong kong bespoke operation in San Francisco

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Gong Tao, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. barrelntrigger

    barrelntrigger Senior member

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    I think their mast tailor make the cuts at the shop in SF and send it over to Hong Kong/China to get it sewn. I think they send their shirt orders straight to Hong Kong.
     
  2. tombking

    tombking Member

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    Shirt orders go straight to HK, master tailor does not touch the shirt.

    Master Tailor makes cuts in U.S. then send the suit to HK, and also in charge of making minor changes in between suit fittings.

     
  3. barrelntrigger

    barrelntrigger Senior member

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    Was this their entry $799 suit? Did you use your own fabric? How much do they charge if you provide your own cloth. Thanks a bunch.
     
  4. otheme

    otheme Well-Known Member

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    This was their fabric, some Italian light weight worsted wool with a fine herring bone pattern. It was on sale, I think I paid $950 for everything. Last time I brought my own fabric was more than half a year ago, I paid around 600. I assume their price would vary depending what fabric you bring -- more expensive fabric would be pricier I suppose, since they have a higher risk working on a high-end fabric.
     
  5. otheme

    otheme Well-Known Member

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    You are right about the shoulders -- my first two suits with them both needed tweaking on the shoulders, so I was not pushing for a particularly thin padding for this suit, since I know their tailor is more comfortable with the English type of structured construction than the soft, natural Italian look. However, this third suit came back with perfect-fitting shoulders without needing any alteration, which indicates that the pattern has converged pretty nicely. For the next suit I will push for much less padding.

    My left sleeve seems better than the right one, partly due to pressing, and partly due to my right triceps being bigger. I'll bring it up next time I go see them to see what can be done. About the mid-section, I think it could be because the inside button was hanging too loose. I'll talk to them about it too.

    And thanks for all the great input.

     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  6. barrelntrigger

    barrelntrigger Senior member

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    Makes sense.
     
  7. otheme

    otheme Well-Known Member

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    I saw your post in the other thread. If I may give some unsolicited advice, I wouldn't bother with the "high-end" fabric, most of it is just a label anyway. Look at Cary Grant's suits in the 40's and 50's, none of them was made with "Loro Piana super 160's", and they still look awesome more than 60 years later. (Plus, most of these name brand fabric are labeled OEM fabrics milled somewhere in England anyway.) Just go with the basic 799 fabric and pick a color and pattern you like. For the money you saved you can get a nice pair of AE shoes.



     
  8. barrelntrigger

    barrelntrigger Senior member

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    Hey thanks for the info. Well, I figured all the hype with Italian designer fabric it's just hype. You are paying extra for the brand name mark up and the import tax. However, I do want to tell people, "Oh yeah, I owe a bespoke suit made with Zegna fabric!" lol

    Seriously though, I've found a tailor in the bay area goes by the name Jay Hampton. He had a shop in SF since the 60s and recently, he just relocated to Walnut Creek. He told me all of his suits and made with English or Italian fabric and they are cut and the suits made in the U.S. He told me he carries a full line of Zegna fabric. He also told me they don't source their suits to Hong Kong or China. His suits start at $799 and shirts start at $65. He's been in the business for over 40 years. I'm interested in finding out more about his and his shop. I'll make a separate thread since I've found nothing on his shop. Thanks.
     
  9. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    It might make sense, but it's wrong.
     
  10. otheme

    otheme Well-Known Member

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    One thing I have learned over the years is that one needs to sell himself to the tailor as well. A good tailor will always be overbooked and never be short of business. I am essentially competing with other customers for his attention. Two things help me sell myself. First, be shrewd, but not stingy. I will happily pay for a tailor's good service and work, but not for some hyped up fabrics. Second, one has to convince the tailor that he understands all the subtleties, does not pretend he knows all, and shows his appreciation for extraordinary work. A tailor is a human being and needs appreciation and encouragement like everyone else. Some verbal praise goes a long way.

    As to the pricing strcture, there is no right or wrong. It's the market the determines the price. The more people willing to buy custom suits, the more tailors will go into the business, and the cheaper things will get.
     
  11. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    This makes me thank my lucky stars that I am not a tailor.

    lefty
     
  12. barrelntrigger

    barrelntrigger Senior member

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    Care to elaborate?
     
  13. barrelntrigger

    barrelntrigger Senior member

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    I've always thought the more people are buying custom suits, the price will go up. I tend to go middle of the road fabric. I want something durable and will last for many years to come.
     
  14. Pharaoh34

    Pharaoh34 Well-Known Member

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    Nice suit.Just curious, you mentioned that you used to buy fabric. What places do you recommend to buy fabric at?
     
  15. ultramantaro

    ultramantaro Senior member

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    Think before you type. Apparently you don't care for the labor cost of where a particular item is made, but it's well known if you are familiar with the garment industry in HK that most of the operations has now been relocated to Shenzhen's outskirts with cost savings well in the double digits. The labor cost between a worker in a HK factory vs one in the mainland is close to a factor 1 to 2.5. This is why many of those operations shut down in the mid 90s.

    If what you care more is the personalized service rather than the cost of labor, than more power to you and as long as you are happy that's all that matters. Sure you talk to the master tailor who ultimately does the fitting and correction, and the original cuts, but he didn't make the entire garment from start to finish. For some of us who do take that into consideration we don't just exactly wear BR factory outlet suits [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  16. chocsosa

    chocsosa Senior member

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    Hey otheme.. love the double breasted.. looks very sleek.. I live in the central valley after relocating from the east coast and have been looking for a decent made to measure close enough where Walnut Creek is only 2 hours away. My question is do they expect full payment up front or is it half upfront and the rest at the end? Is there a contact number where I can ask more specific questions as well?
     
  17. otheme

    otheme Well-Known Member

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    Hey Ultramantaro,

    I apologize if my post offended you. I was trying to make a point that getting a tailored suit is very different from purchasing a RTW suit, in terms of the underlying business model. When one buys a RTW suit, he's buying a product, the price of which largely depends on the material and labor cost. When one gets a tailored suit, he's buying a service, and the price would depend on the service quality. What difference does that make, you may ask. Well, the difference is in the way I pay for them. If I'm buying a product, I want absolutely the cheapest price for the same quality. But when I'm buying a service that I like, I will not nickle and dime, and sometimes even pay more than the typical customers -- this way, they give me their attention, and that little extra $$ goes a long, long way. (Esquire has a great story on this: http://www.esquire.com/features/ESQ0303-MAR_20DOLLARS)

    And as many of us already know, the quality of needle work coming out of Asia is not necessarily worse than that out of Europe or US, while its cost is much lower. So, yes, when a tailor uses the cheap labor from China, he has a higher profit margin. But that is a good thing -- the tailor would have more profit head room to spend time fitting me and do more rounds of alterations without having to worry losing money on me. So, for guys like you and me, the cheaper the labor they can find (assuming the same quality), the better service we will get.

     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  18. otheme

    otheme Well-Known Member

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    You pay half when you place the order, and other half when you take it home. Their number is (415) 398-0788



     
  19. k4lnamja

    k4lnamja Senior member

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    Does anyone have prices? Do they do alterations on OTR suits and so forth? I'd like to know how much they charge without asking them b/c most tailors always say, "it depends on the fabric...cut..etc etc


    Cheers
     
  20. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    Prices have been covered earlier in the thread, and of course it depends on the fabric. They do not perform alterations on OTR suits.
     

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