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I would like to change the way people buy and wear clothes. I’m not a fashion designer who believes the world needs more clothes. In fact, I think the word needs less clothes. I am passionate about it because grew up watching my mother make clothes for other women. Through the years, she and I often talked about how her job was so different from fast fashion that was perpetuating excessive consumption by teaching people to choose quantity over quality. Tailoring, on the other hand, and by definition, is different – making one’s clothes to measure means making really good quality clothes which, as a result, brings people to have fewer garments in their wardrobe. Yet only a small portion of people prefer bespoke to the convenience of shops.

My mother and I spent many hours wrecking our brains as to why people aren’t that keen on tailoring. To cut a long story short, I believe that tailoring must become more convenient and customer-friendly, like Uber or AirBnB, which is a paradox as tailoring is a pretty customer driven service in itself. What I think it lacks is a systemic approach to customers, to the industry, and the environment. What customers need is someone to teach them about clothes – about what colours, styles, and cuts suit their bodies and their occasion, what fabrics are good and worth the money and how to care for them, what is an appropriate dress or suit for work and what is an appropriate dress for an evening occasion; and how every garment they make works with everything else they have in their wardrobe. My mother’s clients do not know this, and they come to her for help. It’s astonishing that people put so much money, time and effort into clothes and still feel frustrated in the mornings when they have to put something on.

There are also issues with how the service is provided. It’s difficult to tell the price of making any new garment because it is almost always a different garment, a unique piece. The need to come to fittings is a thing that some customers are fine and even enjoy with while others absolutely loath. How can we provide a service for such different needs and characters? – I ask myself.

I don’t know the answers to all of these questions just yet but what I envisage is not only working on the customer experience as to make it quick, smooth, and pleasant in the atelier but also a smart experience in the atelier but also outside, even when they are shopping for clothes or shoes. I envisage a digital diagnostic tool/educational and communication platform that will allow my mother’s customers to tell her everything they want to be helped with. It can perhaps have elements of AI  (maybe like a virtual wardrobe) that is going to help them make smarter choices when ordering bespoke clothes or shopping for them (as we can’t expect people to abandon shopping altogether). I imagine this platform being able to learn and suggest educational content for customers and helping my mother to have a better communication with her clients – book fittings, choose fabric and styles, track how the garment is being made, and pay for her services, etc.

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