The first in a series on buying custom suits, I settled on Hong Kong known for its quick turnaround.  I flew on American Airlines with the routing DCA-DFW-HKG  777 flight AA137 out and turnaround on AA138.  A Harbour View room at the Sheraton in Kowloon was a quick and reasonable pick I was familiar with from my days at Mattel.

Of course, I came to Hong Kong to research the custom tailor market.  Now only to find a tailor. Just walk down Nathan Road and they will find you. Apparently I had neon lights across my forehead, because I couldn’t walk 20 steps without some industrious business development guy putting his card in my face, offering to make me a suit.  On my first pass, I took many of their cards, and tried to make mental notes on the approach and presentation of the sales person. If they were too pushy, forget about it.  If they were not at least dressed neatly, no need to talk further.

So I settled on one and I take the walk down a side street in the wake of this excited salesman, into a nondescript building.  I met the tailor exchange pleasantries and get to business.  I was drawn to this beautiful cashmere fabric — an iridescent blue/green with pattern. I was excited, but I notice that there is not enough fabric on the bolt to make a suit as it take 3 1/2 to 4 yards to make a man’s suit.  But the tailor assured me that he has more at another locale.

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I got into the details that I want in the suit: hand stitched canvas, functioning button holes on sleeves, buttonhole on my slightly peaked lapel, details on the width of my pant leg, size of cuff, etc.

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Everything was good and no problems.  We plan to do a fitting at my hotel later that evening.  So I pay my 50% deposit and off I go.

Just before the scheduled fitting I get a WhatsApp saying that there is not enough fabric to make a suit. I needed to come in to choose another.  My initial reaction was to cancel, but how can I go to Hong Kong and not get a suit made, right. So I went in and chose another fabric.  A glen plaid with an interesting color combo. Also cashmere. We set another fitting time for late that night.

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They came to my hotel for the fitting.  I finally met the real tailor, the first guy just took my measurements.  He made a few minor modifications and off they go with the promise, “the suit will be ready tomorrow at 11:00 am,” just in time for me to take a car to the airport for my 1:40 pm flight home.

11:00 am comes and goes, so I called to confirm.  They made it by 11:20 am and I try the suit on.  The jacket fit well, but the pants were too short, so I left the pant, took the jacket and rushed down to take my waiting car to HKG.

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It wasn’t until I returned home that I really took a look at the details on the suit.  For example, no button holes on the sleeves, which aren’t functional.

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Other than fitting well, none of the details that I requested were included.  The moment I noticed, I called the shop to alert them. Not much in the way of a response, other than to request the balance before the pant is shipped. Unacceptable, so as of this posting I only have jacket with no details.

Stay tuned to see how this gets resolved.  Hopefully this helps a few of you in the future.

Sitting on the Front Row with my friend in the business Jamal Abdourahman, the guy that has made Vancouver Fashion Week one of the largest and most significant events in North America.  We initially met at the PeruModa event in Lima, Peru in 2014.

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When I got the invite to Serbia, I put him in touch with Svetlana and Marcellous of Serbia Fashion Week and knew it would a great connection.  We have all benefited from the business relationships.

Scenes in the Novi Sad Town Square.

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A quaint city in Serbia, but as an African American, I stuck out a bit.  Not a problem for me, as I’ve been in this situation many times before.

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Shen Yao Huang, set out in the Fall of 2015 to deliberately mix up the gender norms in the realm of fashion.  Based in Taipei, he believes that the body, male or female, is just a vehicle and he strives to break the boundaries confining menswear.  Clearly he has done just that with this collection.

While in town for Vancouver Fashion Week, someone suggested that I go down to Old Town to take in a meal and get a sense of the city.  Cruising around Old Town, Vancouver, also known as Gastown, you can immediately recognize why it is considered the heartbeat of the city.  Filled with mid to upscale boutiques and a wonderful selection of restaurants, it is easy to get into something fun.

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Ritz-Bazaar held its opening event at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the ritzy Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. Ritz-Bazaar is a luxury rental platform for men, founded by Irina Mologoko.

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Irina is one of the super stylists in the Washington, DC area. I attended along with many local fashion professionals and fashionnistas in the DC scene. The event was covered in the press by Biznow. I wore a light grey knit sweater jacket by Giorgio Armani, combined with a horizontal striped T-shirt with a custom pin-striped pant.

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I have a saying, “it is the details that set the men apart from the boys.”  Thomas Pink is known for the details they incorporate in every shirt.  This sets them apart from the other shirt makers in their strata. I enjoyed their presentation as usual.

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From my first encounter with Diego Vanassibara, I have been an enormous fan of his shoes.  Originally from the countryside of South Brazil, he relocated to London as a young man.  His eye and processes have been impacted by his early training as an Architect.  The form and function in his design evoke true feelings.  With this latest collection he stays consistent.

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While waiting for my LIN to LHR flight, I noticed Vivienne Westwood sitting at  Linate airport.  I had just taken in her show at Moda Uomo in Milan the day before, and thought I’d let her know how much I enjoyed it.  You know, you always wonder if a well-known person is okay with an admiring fan approaching, but as homo sapiens go I’m fairly confident.  Also I figured I’d heighten my senses and look for immediate signs to indicate if she was interested to chat or not.

Clearly I was thinking about it too much, as she gave me a wonderful smile and hello as I sat down beside her.  Once through the introductory formalities, I shared with her that I really enjoyed certain aspects of her show, like her use of big plaid, suit cuts and very lightweight sweaters.  I also mentioned that I liked the berets that some of the models were wearing, and gave her the term “berets for Bradley” that I thought of the previous day, while watching the show.   She smiled.

We then segued into more about BDMOTP, she really focused in and wanted to understand the concept.  She mentioned that she was getting more into social media, and that she wrote a blog longhand that someone posted for her.  Longhand, classic….contemporary, either way is hot!  We went on to discuss the possibilities of the internet vis-a-vis empowering the masses.  Real global democracy, ideal.  We bounced ideas off of each other with regards to wealth distribution, health of the people and health of the planet.  I noticed she was reading “Broken Republic” by Arundhati Roy.  I hadn’t read the book, but had heard about it and that gave me further insight into Vivenne’s thoughts on active resistance.  It also gave me an appreciation of her relationship with India.

Thoroughly stimulated, I bid her adieu and headed to B Gates to catch my flight.  Still today, I continue to contemplate our conversation during my altruistic moments, in hopes of finding that solution.

No picture today….would not have been cool to snap her at that moment….so you’ll have to imagine….and I’ll have my memory!

Outside of the Vivenne Westwood Show in Milan, I was approached to do an interview with Fashion TV Germany.  They initially, just wanted to snap my photo but inquired about who I represented.  Once they appreciated what BDMOTP is about, they quickly changed to wanting my opinion about the show and trends.  Then asked is they could interview me on camera…and what did I say…of course, it would be my pleasure.

Interview with Fashion TV Germany

They wanted to know my thoughts about guys in printed pants, shorts over tights, and skirts, three trends that were apparent during this European tour.  In my opinion it can be a challenge for men to add color to their outfits.  Printed pants are a good way, provided that the print design is apropos, to add color and a bit of flair.  For example, I saw a nice paisley print design that was great.  We have a few pics of printed pants up on out street style section, check a few of our favorites here and here.

As for the shorts over tights and skirts, I’m not a big fan.  I am a proponent of men being confident and owning their look.  I would say, that it takes a lot confidence, or the total opposite being a seeker of attention, to pull off tights and/or a skirt.  As you get to know me, you’ll find that I’m into nuance, so when I say I want men to display confidence in their dress, I really mean a subtle rock solid confidence.  I learned something about myself today.  Other than ethnic dress, I’m not sure how you pull off a skirt subtly, just my humble opinion, but please allow me space to evolve.  And because BDMOTP is such a cool site that’s bigger than me with room for everyone, we have a few pics of guys in tights and skirts as well, that our team thinks pulls the look off.

Thanks Fashion TV Germany….look forward to seeing you in Germany in a couple months.

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