Bespoke Tailor - Suit Yourself

The beauty of bespoke tailoring and the details that it requires are what makes intricate Mac Ho from Raffles Tailor the master of it all. BY SHARON TAN.

The truest form of master tailoring is known as "bespoke". To earn the title of a bespoke tailored suit, the tailoring would have to be a top-notch custom-made suit. A true bespoke suit is only made by a master tailor with years of experience and could cost up to a hefty sum of $40,000. An entire new pattern has to be drawn and cut for each individual customer in accordance to his build and shape.

Raffles Tailor is Singapore's highly acclaimed bespoke tailor where many of the suits have been made by master tailor Mac Ho, whose meticulousness ensures that every bespoke suit is tailored to fit every individual customer, factoring personality, skin tome and body silhouette.

Being in the industry since 1978, the many years of experience has equipped Mac with the ultimate skills to whip up faultless bespoke suits for his clients. Many of Mac's clientele are made up of top executives from multinational corporations and tycoons both local and from overseas.

We spoke to Mac Ho recently to find out how the master tailor has been so successful in this highly niched market of bespoke tailoring,the make/ break factors that apply to his industry, and how his sartorial knowledge all fell into place.

At Raffles Tailor, what are the specialties that you can provide for your clients?
Raffles Tailor specialises in hand-made bespoke suits. Bespoke suits are made from scratch, from measurements of the customers as opposed to most other sits that were made based on some kind of standard-size templates such as Small, Medium and Large to cut their suits. All suits made in Raffles Tailor are hand-made suits, not "glued suits". So they will never 'bubble' which can happen to glued seams.

Currently, who make up your main clientele?
Our clientele are mainly top executives of multinational corporations, and tycoons. Among them are locals, and there are also some from around the region.

Having been trained in both traditional tailoring and modern tailoring, what are the major differences between the both of these tailoring techniques?
Traditional tailoring focuses entirely on techniques to make a suit with good workmanship. In comparison, modern tailoring does much more than that. Modern tailoring not only emphasises high quality workmanship, it is also focused on the contemporary styling and the suitability of the styling for each customer, based on their skin tone, body structure, etc. Fashion sense is another focus of modern tailoring that should not be understated.

Does traditional tailoring still have a place in today's modern society?
Traditional tailoring can't be a standalone element in today's modern society. Tailoring is now a whole package for the image-conscious individual of today. That encompasses tailoring technical skills, fashion sense and image consulting.

Being in the industry for such a long time, what does it take to succeed in this business?
Passion, passion and passion. Anybody can pick up tailoring technical skills with some effort. However, it takes tonnes of passion to craft a distinguished suit for a customer. Continuously upgrading relevant skills such as image consultancy skills, i.e. skin tones, body structure and body line, etc.. this is a must to sustain in this industry.