Tailoring in the UAE with the Parmar family
THE PARMAR FAMILY PROVE THAT AFTER SIX DECADES THEY ARE STILL LEADING THE WAY WHEN IT COMES TO TAILORING IN THE UAE
IT WAS BACK IN 1956 that PN Parmar arrived in Dubai armed with a handheld sewing machine and the determination to continue his career as a tailor. With no electricity, he was forced to work by lantern as he created shirts and suits for British and Iranian businessman.
Now the Parmar family have four stores across Dubai, 145 employees, their own fabric and grand plans to introduce their own line of patina leather goods.
Having seen fashion trends come and go, and tailoring techniques evolve over the last 60 years, the Parmar family have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to selecting the right suit. That’s why we headed to their branch in DIFC – called Bespoke - to learn more about the art of tailoring.
“During the late 1980s right the way through to 2000 bespoke tailoring started to sizzle out and the shift was towards
ready-mades,” explains Prakash Parmar who has has spent three decades helping expand the company in his role as Chief Operations Officer.
“By 2000 nearly all tailoring houses stopped making bespoke suits and switched to semi-industralised. But then trends shifted around 2006 and that is when we opened Bespoke in DIFC. Here we measure the client, draft a template completely from scratch and the skeleton is made from scratch. The fabric is draped on and then reshaped. The moulding is all done properly and the suit will settle to your build.
“Once again clients are moving away from brand names, because of Instagram and Facebook they want to have something unique in order to be seen. They are willing to spend more time creating something just for them.”
Such has been the rise of social media and fashion influencers that now there is an ever-growing demand for one-off pieces. Bespoke allows a client to take charge of every aspect of their suit, but Prakash Parmar has some advice for those wishing
“Once again clients are moving away from brand names, they want to have something unique in order to be seen.”
to make a statement.
“There are two ways of looking at suits. You can choose one that makes you stick out in a crowd or one that makes you stand out,” says Prakash. “If all you want is attention then stick out by wearing a red suit jacket and yellow trousers. But to really stand out you need to wear a suit that makes you look your very best.
“We have managers from top companies as well as royalty coming in for fittings, and they invest in a suit that makes them look impeccable. That is what we would always advise.”
With between 6,000-8,000 hand stitches needed to create a jacket, the process of
“To really stand out you need to wear a suit that makes you look your very best. You should look impeccable.”
“We will build an entire wardrobe for a season or the next six months. Whatever the budget we will work with it.”
having a bespoke suit made can be time consuming. And in Dubai, where people expect the best quality at the drop of a hat, the Parmar family have had to create a solution for their demanding clients.
Their Express branch in JBR offers a tailoring service that delivers to the customer in five days. The suits are made to measure and Parmar guarantee they will deliver quality even in a short space of time.
“There are a lot of events and people want something special but they don’t have time. They are very demanding,” continues Prakash. “We have a number of templates with different permutations and you can select the fabric, design, personalisation and in five days it will be delivered to you.
“We are targeting having 185 different jacket permutations and by March we will be able to deliver in three days.”
The Parmar family have also stuck to the methods that served them so well when they first arrived in the UAE. They believe a body scanner is nothing more than a gimmick and instead make sure that each client tries on a garment in order to get the exact measurements.
They also plan to offer a new service in which a consultant will assess a customer’s wardrobe and then advice on which suits are needed in order to compliment their skin tone or the shape of the face and body.
“We want to see what is flattering and what is redundant in your wardrobe,” says Prakash. “We will build an entire wardrobe for a season or the next six months. Whatever the budget we will work with it so whether it is through Parmar, Suit Express or Bespoke.”
To finish off your collection, Parmar are also set to offer a wide range of two-tone leather goods.
“We are working on it as we speak - wallets, shoes, belts, cigar holders – all in patina which is a used leather look. It is all in one colour combination so you can be completely coordinated.
“It is a full 360 solution. We will consult you on the garments and we will pick the fabrics based on your requirements. Then we will provide you with the leather accessories to complete the look. It needs to be an extension of you.”