02The Customers Appreciate Unique Design
Ever since its founding in 1992, the Blažek fashion house adresses men who seek out quality clothes and the best services. The customers appreciate unique design, the high-level of tailoring and top-class Italian materials. The men’s collections are produced in small series and sold exclusively in their own brand stores. Men came to understand how to express their personality and style by wearing trendy clothes. In today’s era of unprecedented conformity, it’s increasingly natural to seek out something unique and original. This led the fashion house to come up with a new VIP service Blažek Made to Measure.
In 2013, the Blažek brand came up with a new VIP service of tailoring suits and shirts to measure. What led you to this step? Who is the typical customer for the Made to Measure service?
When creating new collections, we constantly ask ourselves, ‚Why do people need this? Who is interested in this?‘ Our customer club has over 120,000 members and we often ask them what they like and what we can do for them. In the last two years the frequency with which our clients asked for the possibility of a tailor-made suit significantly increased. We became interested in this and did several surveys, finding that in fact there is interest in such a service. It’s a gap in the market we decided to fill. The preparation took use two years. We had to learn many new things and had to conceive everything from scratch. A custom-tailored suit stands at the very peak of the tailoring craft. Everything must be perfect. The customers are successful men who want to contribute to the creation of their suit and create their own original. They all share one thought: owning fewer things, but excellent ones.
Can you tell our readers the process for measuring and the selection of a custom suit? What can a client decide in regard to their custom-tailored suit?
In order for us to better and more quickly provide our customers with an idea about how their new suit will fit, we use test sets of pre-made suits that are prepared in three cut lines – slim, regular and comfort. The initial procedure takes approximately thirty minutes, during which the tailor takes all the client’s necessary measurements, selects the best fitting test suit and, using pins, simulates the necessary cut adjustments. Subsequently, the clients selects the way the jacket closes, the shape of lapels, the number of pockets and slits, whether the pants will have hems or cuffs and, naturally, many other tailoring details. Popular and practical are two pairs of pants with one jacket, possibly accompanied by a vest. The last and very important step is the selection of the fabric from which the entire suit will be tailored.
You mentioned the importance of materials. What are the differences between suit materials and which options does the customer have when selecting them?
LB: The correct choice of material is absolutely essential. In our tailor shop Blažek at Wenceslas Square, we offer hundreds of types of luxurious fabrics in a wide selection of designs and colors. The selection is practically limitless. All fabrics come exclusively from Italy and we chose the best producers with long traditions and worldwide fame. The exclusive wool fabrics and blends of wool and cashmere, or possibly wool and silk, are supplied for our suits from Loro Piana and Vitale Barberis Canonico.
The quality and weight of a suit fabric is mainly determined by the fineness of the yarn. Our customers can select materials from Super 110´s up to luxurious Super 170´s. The higher the number, the thinner the fiber and smoother fabric.
Our luxurious cotton, usually double-weave shirt fabrics, are supplied by the Albini Group and their brands Thomas Mason and D&J Anderson, founded in England over 180 years ago.
Men seeking such special services tend to be very busy and usually don’t have much time. Is it time-demanding to get a custom-made suit or shirt?
LB: We try to reduce the amount of time our customers spend in our tailor’s shop to a minimum and in an absolute majority of cases, two visits are sufficient. During the first one, they get measured, select the material and all other destails. The second one is a fitting of the finished suit and if everything fits as it should, they can take their new suit home that day. The process is very similar in the case of shirts, only the time for measurements is shorter. If the customer wishes, we can visit them in their office or home, so they can save time, which tends to be very precious for them, so we do our best to save it.
The actual tailoring takes five weeks and all customer measurements remain stored in our database, so during the next order they only select materials.