Bangladesh is known around the world for its ready-made clothes. The custom tailoring business is only run by a few. In a short time, Dapper Bespoke, a company focused on establishing custom-made formal men’s wear with precise tailoring has made its name in the segment. That success is fuelled by years of experience and a passion for perfection.
Bangladesh is a hotspot for ready-made clothing. What is the size/condition of the custom-made clothing market?
Before ready-made garments became available in the market, the only way to get a shirt, pant, or jacket was to visit a tailor. After the selection of desired fabric, the tailor would take necessary measurements and craft the desired garment and deliver. This mode of production is still common in Bangladesh but gradually losing ground to ready-made garments. This is, of course, custom tailoring.
Bespoke tailoring is also custom tailoring but with some major differences in the areas of construction, styling, and details.
The size of the custom tailoring market in Bangladesh will be substantial as there are thousands of tailoring houses spread all across the country, The exact size of this market is not known.
Bespoke tailoring is a new concept in Bangladesh and it is a niche market and it will remain so in the foreseeable future. The market will scale slowly as more and more people become quality sensitive and acquire the taste for quality bespoke tailoring.
What is the importance of good fabrics in your business?
The cornerstone of a good ensemble is fabric so it is definitely very important. Unfortunately, very high-quality fabrics are not available in Dhaka, at least not that I am aware of. We always prefer pure wool for suiting because of its breath-ability and its ability to best hold the shape of the garments. Most of the wool fabrics in our stores are middleweight so it can be worn all season long. We also offer synthetic or blended fabric to make our garments more affordable to our clients; however, we don’t consider them ideal for suiting.
Where are your fabrics from? What percentages of them are imported?
Majority of the suiting fabric that we offer are from China and they are mostly sourced locally. Aside from China, it also comes from Spain, the UK, Australia, and Korea. Shirt fabrics are primarily from India followed by China and Korea.
We also have plans to bring in high-quality fabrics from world-renowned mills ourselves in the future for our ready-made and bespoke lines.
How do you plan on attracting customers and expanding the business?
When Dapper started out in 2014, we were not at all active on social media. Almost all of our clients knew about us mostly through word-of-mouth. Mr. Mozumder’s blog, kingofdhaka.com definitely helped in attracting a lot of customers as well.
Though word of mouth advertising is still the most effective strategy in our business, lately, we have been much more active on social media where most of our content is focused on making our followers more aware of all the features of our garments like cuts, fittings, designs and styles and also the process of making suits with us.
As for expanding our business, we have plans to introduce our own line of RTW or Ready-to-Wear line in the near future.
How do you train your tailors and cutters?
Most of our cutters already had years of experience in traditional suit-making when we recruited them. But we are always trying to help them learn and be aware of the techniques used by well-recognized tailors from around the world; and we do that mostly through books on tailoring, pattern-making, etc., internet blogs and forums and a lot through just trial and error. These subtle details and nuances are what make all the differences in the world.
Do you think you will see bespoke clothing as a large part of Bangladeshi fashion of the future?
Not really. Like everywhere else, Bespoke clothing will always remain a very niche market. Although with the rise of style bloggers and influencers highlighting the importance and advantages of owning a well-made suit, the demand is definitely increasing especially among the younger generation.
What according to you are essential sartorial sutras every fashion maverick should know?
Know the basics of color and proportion – dressing well rests on these two pillars. Once you learn which colors enhance your complexion and why specific proportions flatter your physique you are halfway there.
Remember, not everything is for everybody. A garment may look fantastic on a model but may not suit you. There is no such thing as one size fits all. Know basic rules for pattern mixing.
Dress appropriately for the occasion.
Be yourself and develop your own style. Try not to blindly follow anything or anybody you see on the internet.
Remember, a bespoke customer is always a rebel and not afraid to break conventional barriers.
And most importantly, relax and have fun with your clothes.