SHIRT MAKER

Ig­natius Joseph fash­ion en­tre­pre­neur

Plaza Magazine UK & Europe - - MANUAL -

”Ev­ery man needs a nice shirt”

”I gew up in Sri Lanka. Ev­ery Sun­day we went to church. I was fas­ci­nated by how my dad and the men in my sur­round­ings so care­fully dressed them­selves in wellironed and starched white shirts. Just like a re­li­gious ex­pe­ri­ence. Later I be­gan work­ing in the ho­tel in­dus­try. I met many busi­ness­men and was fas­ci­nated by the im­por­tant place the shirt held in the male wardrobe. We put in­cred­i­ble de­mands on a shirt. It must stay un­wrin­kled dur­ing long jour­neys and give a fresh im­pres­sion. I soon no­ticed how uni­formly dull the se­lec­tion was. That inspired me to start my own shirt la­bel. Most of those around me laughed at the idea, but I was con­vinced that it was pos­si­ble. Ev­ery man needs a nice shirt. For me, be­ing born in a for­mer Bri­tish colony, Euro­pean style has al­ways has a fas­ci­na­tion. Coun­tries like Eng­land, France and Italy have an enor­mous shirt tra­di­tion. My­self, I chose Italy, which I con­sider world-lead­ers for shirts. They make a shirt look so sim­ple and si­mul­ta­ne­ously so rich in fea­tures. Yet they dress them­selves only in blue, blue, blue and some white. You can­not rein­vent the shirt. You can pos­si­bly give it a new iden­tity, but with­out com­pli­ca­tions. Many un­der­es­ti­mate the ex­pres­sive­ness of a plain coloured shirt. Such as wear­ing a white shirt with a pair of jeans. It can­not get more el­e­gant or more nat­u­ral than that. Ex­clu­siv­ity does not sit in a la­bel or eye-catch­ing de­tails. It sits in the shape of a hand-sewn col­lar or the shine in a re­ally fine-wo­ven fab­ric. It sadens me deeply to see a trend where skilled weavers and shirt mak­ers are be­com­ing re­dun­dant. We have cre­ated a cli­mate where qual­ity and in­di­vid­ual style are no longer en­cour­aged. When I stroll along the streets of Euro­pean cities, peo­ple look at me as if I am crazy. Maybe I am, but for me this is a nat­u­ral way of dress­ing. Just as nat­u­ral as the shirt will al­ways be, in the male wardrobe."

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