Well, this year has flown by in the blink of an eye, hasn't it?
2022 has, to say the least, been a significant year for us. As we continue combining our passion, expertise, and vision in sustainability and craftsmanship; we have taken the adventurous step of offering our very own pieces.
To us, this felt like the natural and right progression of what 'The Suitstainable Man' should represent. Sustainability, as we see it, has always consisted of more than just environmental considerations. What's also important is whether the craftsmanship techniques we get to enjoy and fantasize over can be passed on for generations to come (cultural sustainability); and whether the artisans themselves can financially afford to pursue their craft (social sustainability).
Hence, we asked ourselves, 'what can we do on top of covering artisan's work and giving them a spotlight?' Our answer is to work together with these phenomenally talented craftspeople and create something that pushes the boundaries on what they can achieve with their techniques, all the while bringing that adds interest and value to the sartorial community.
To this, we are immensely grateful for everyone's support.
Right, back to what I was supposed to be talking about, our recent Black Tie event in Hong Kong.
When I first planned for this event, I had hoped it to be as much of an enthusiasts-get-together occasion, alongside a product showcase and trunk show for folks to learn about brands that are not usually available for purchase locally.
The effects of Covid are certainly more noticeable in Hong Kong, with restrictions still being in place on the maximum number of attendees that can gather inside a venue at a time; not to mention the fact that masks are still required to be worn in public spaces.
Altogether contributing to a very different setting than what we usually have in London.
Regardless, it was lovely meeting new and catching up with old faces, alongside (over)hearing great conversations that were made in the room.
I got to converse with Prashant, owner of a local tailoring house, who expressed he actually has the occasion to wear black tie almost every evening.
I also met Di, who perhaps held the largest collection of hand welted shoes amongst all the guests, on the occasion to wear opera pumps outside black tie settings. We established that pairing the pumps with khaki chinos, such as the Arkhé Chino - Type 1 we offer at our shop, and ivory white socks would be quite cool.
And, of course, it was quite touching to hear from other attendees how The Suitstainable Man has shaped their thinking on wardrobe planning and helped elevate their style over the years.
Perhaps the most useful takeaway from the night for me was learning which aspect(s) of the products showcased are guests most captivated by.
For example, it was reassuring to know how appreciated handwork is in tailoring by the local community. Readers were in awe after realizing how time-intensive it is to produce our Plexippus Cape simply because all the seams are hand-bounded by a single Savile Row-trained master cutter.
It was also nice to see attendees wanting to learn more about the functionality and placement of the left in-breast pocket in our Silk Dupion Jackets, which was designed to align harmoniously with the angle of the chest canvas, such that any bulky items can be hidden.
I am not sure if we would repeat the black tie-themed product showcase ever so often in Hong Kong. The idea is that our garments — the Silk Dupion Jackets and the Plexippus Cape — are designed with several levels of formality in mind. They can be worn both inside and outside of Black Tie occasions.
It is quite possible for us to do an entirely different themed event with a different roster of products in a different city, given sufficient interest. Do comment down below if there is something specific you have in mind.
For the time being, we should be doing something similar in Florence nevertheless, albeit on a much smaller scale and by appointment only, during the upcoming Pitti Uomo (10-12/1). So watch this space for further updates in the next couple of days.
Have a great year ahead everyone.
Photography: Ron Lee