SHAHRIN BA­HAR

GREAT THINGS TAKE TIME

AugustMan (Malaysia) - - Inspiration -

FASH­ION AND GOES, BUT STYLE IS FOR­EVER – that, with a li le bit of hon­esty, a pinch of hum­ble­ness, and a whole lot of pa­tience, and one would ar­rive at the stren­u­ous mile­stone tai­lor­ing de­signer Shahrin Ba­har has reached so far.

Even though he has sta ed in the in­dus­try proper in 2007, only mak­ing made-to-mea­sure and be­spoke suits for friends, his rep­u­ta­tion pro­ceeded him ove ime, and through word of mouth, Shahrin was able to set up S Ba­har in Septem­ber 2016, a small ou it that car­ries a house­hold name in Malaysia for madeto-mea­sure and be­spoke tai­lor­ing; a li le gen­tle­man’s se­cret, if you may, which even­tu­ally grew with good trac­tions and feed­backs from his suppo ive clien­tele.

WHEN YOU ES­TAB­LISHED A SMALL-SCALED ATE­LIER LIKE S BA­HAR IN 2016, WHAT WAS IT THAT MADE YOU DE­CIDE THAT IT WAS THE RIGHT TIME TO DO IT?

I was aware that there was a li le gap in the mar­ket that I be­lieve I could fill in, that I could in­tro­duce to the mar­ket – six to seven years prior to sta ing up S Ba­har, when I was abroad in Am­s­ter­dam for two and a half years. The ob­sta­cle was to find a team that un­der­stood my vi­sion for S Ba­har.

Once that was done and dusted, and I re­turned from Am­s­ter­dam, ev­ery­thing just fell into place quite eas­ily, mainly be­cause we knew that ce ain flavour that we feel would ap­peal to the crowd, es­pe­cially in Malaysia. If I had es­tab­lished the brick and mo ar store some eight years ago, I don’t think things would’ve gone down as planned. It gave me the time I needed to get the right ex­pe­ri­ence, the right knowl­edge, the right men­tor­ship, and the right amount of, dare I say, pro­cras­ti­na­tion as well.

HOW DO YOU KEEP TRUE TO THIS COM­MIT­MENT IN THE LAST 12 YEARS?

When I de­cided to sta my own la­bel, I have to not com­pare my­self to other fash­ion houses, be­cause I pic­tured my­self and the whole brand as a tai­lor­ing ate­lier, so we would just fo­cus in­stead on hav­ing a dis­tinct house cut and a dis­tinct DNA for the brand. It should be a step­ping stone from then on that we could hold our ground, and be­lieve in what we are.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE HIGH­LIGHT OF THE YEAR FOR YOU?

Just meet­ing a lot of great in­di­vid­u­als through our by-ap­point­ments-only setup – from dif­fer­ent pa s of the coun­try, pa s of the re­gion even. Th­ese peo­ple used to be mere clients to me, but now, they are ac­quain­tances or even good friends. I’ve been in­spired by en­trepreneurs who share their tri­als and tribu­la­tions, and had the hon­our of be­ing cho­sen to dress them on one of their most mem­o­rable days in their lives… the wis­dom and strength ac­cu­mu­lates through time.

With what I do, I fi­nally get an emo­tional con­nec­tion that I needed for so long. If I were to be in a fash­ion house, it’s all about fore­see­ing what would be in trend six months down the line, have a mood board of what he might like based on say, what mu­sic he lis­tens to. Tai­lor­ing is more of giv­ing what peo­ple like or need, in­stead of di­rect­ing them in what they like or need. The hea elt oneon-one con­ver­sa­tions with cus­tomers, while I’m mak­ing a liv­ing out of some­thing I love – that’s sec­ond to none.

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