Be­spoke tailors Ashish and Pawan Ish­war on how to be well dressed, mak­ing a red tar­tan two-piece and cre­at­ing a suit for a king

Friday - - My Working Life -

How did you be­come be­spoke tailors? Our dad and grand­dad were tailors with their own com­pany, Al Sharif, in Abu Dhabi. They set up more than 40 years ago and spe­cialised in cre­at­ing uni­forms for the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try. The early out­fits of the Jumeirah Group ho­tels were made by them.

Watch­ing them at work right from be­ing chil­dren and see­ing fab­ric and can­vas turned into these amaz­ing clothes was fas­ci­nat­ing to us. So af­ter we both stud­ied at univer­sity [Pawan did busi­ness man­age­ment and Ashish eco­nom­ics] we moved to Lon­don to learn the art of tai­lor­ing in Sav­ile Row.

We started off from scratch. But we worked hard to learn, spoke to the best tailors in the city, stud­ied the work of leg­endary crafts­men like Fred­er­ick Scholte, and took tips on ev­ery­thing from cut­ting tech­niques to cre­at­ing but­ton­holes. It was only af­ter we’d im­mersed our­selves in this world for more than five years that we felt the time was right to come back to the UAE and open our own tai­lor­ing house. Why Dubai? We felt no one in the city was of­fer­ing the kind of be­spoke tai­lor­ing we could bring from Sav­ile Row. Be­spoke means the hands that mea­sure you are also the hands that cut the fab­ric. That’s what we do. We take a client from his first con­sul­ta­tion to the mo­ment his suit is ready to wear. We have a team of 15 sew­ers but the en­tire cut­ting process is done by us. A great suit will take us more than 70 hours of hand­work to cre­ate, and we never rush any­thing. What skills are needed when you’re cre­at­ing new suits ev­ery day? First is the abil­ity to un­der­stand the per­son­al­ity and lifestyle of our clients. This is so im­por­tant be­cause, be­lieve it or not, the cus­tomers them­selves rarely know what they are look­ing for in a suit. So, it’s our job to help them make the right de­ci­sion ac­cord­ing to their needs and wants, which will not just be some­thing to wear, but an ex­ten­sion of their very per­son­al­ity. We en­sure they pick the right fab­ric and get the best in terms of pocket styles, lapels, lin­ing colour, but­tons and but­ton­holes; ev­ery­thing, in short.

Then we start cut­ting the fab­ric, al­ways keep­ing the im­age of the client in our mind and en­vi­sion­ing him in the suit we’re mak­ing. Af­ter the suit is cut, we su­per­vise the sewing from start to fin­ish to en­sure all sep­a­rate parts are put to­gether in a way that will re­sult is a suit that will prove to be that gen­tle­man’s sec­ond skin. Who are some of your most fa­mous clients? Among the CEOs, top ex­ec­u­tives, heads of state and roy­alty, we be­lieve the most

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