New Expression of Heritage

Special feature by Edrington — The Macallan
11 Jul 2018

Tailor Ryan Tay and shoemaker Josh Leong of Seamless Bespoke are two young gentlemen who are redefining heritage craftsmanship for a new era of customers

In this age of instant gratification, where online shopping and fast fashion are the new normal, heritage craft and values are becoming largely overlooked. But for tailor Mr. Ryan Tay, 27, and shoemaker Mr. Joshua Leong, 32, who collectively make up Seamless Bespoke, they are on a mission to reintroduce the bespoke menswear trade to a younger generation of customers who place importance on heritage and quality.

Given that it’s not a common career path to take for gentlemen their age, Mr. Tay reveals, “My age, together with my passion, gave me an advantage in terms of time and opportunities to grow through making mistakes and learning from them.” As for Mr. Leong, it was about being at the right place at the right time. “I always knew that I wanted to start a business that involved the production of a physical product. When I discovered shoemaking, I knew that I had found the product that I enjoyed making so much, that it would be worth the risk and uncertainty involved.”


Reviving Traditions in the 21st Century

The gentlemen of Seamless Bespoke believe that despite the competition that boasts convenience and ease of availability, bespoke tailoring and shoemaking still has a part to play today.

“I would say the role we have is the same as it has ever been, but has become even more important in this time where trends come and go at the snap of a finger. With every customer we have, it is always about providing advice and growing together in order to achieve a proper fit. It is also about getting to know our customers better and understanding requirements to provide a suitable solution,” shares Mr. Tay. Mr. Leong adds, “Clothing and footwear are deliberately selected by wearers to create a statement, and how well these outfits fit on the wearer is of paramount importance. Hence, we have seen a growing demand – both locally and overseas – for our bespoke products.”

Seamless Bespoke also shares that a lot of their customers place a high priority on dressing well. Majority of their clients are in their 20’s to late 40’s and are mostly made up of professionals, managers, executives, and business-owners (PMEBs). The fact that Seamless Bespoke boasts high-level technical expertise and quality, as well as an in-house bespoke atelier located above the boutique, clients are confident that the finished product will be of superior quality that matches their personalities and modern needs.


The New Definition of Luxury

“The discerning gentleman is no longer about wearing certain brands or labels. It is now about appreciating the art and construction of a quality garment,” emphasizes Mr. Tay.

Meanwhile, Mr. Leong believes that “bespoke is the new luxury” because of the handiwork, know-how, and uniqueness that goes into each product. “What a bespoke product brings to the table is that for the same price as ‘luxury goods’, they allow a customer to own a product that he or she can confidently declare is ‘one of a kind’. Every aspect of a bespoke item – whether it’s a suit or a pair of shoes – fulfills the true definition of a luxury good: Exclusivity, unique design, perfect fit, quality materials, and superior construction.”

At the end of the day, the know-how that goes into bespoke products, which is built on heritage, teaches people about appreciation. One would agree that in this trade, the process and journey that the customer takes with their tailor or shoemaker is more important, even beyond the final measurements. A bespoke product takes into account qualitative aspects about the customer, whether it’s personal dressing preferences, the type of climate they live in, and even down to how much physical activity is required when wearing the item.

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