Thank You 2018.

Updated: Jan 13, 2019

New Year's Eve always holds a special place in my heart. For sure, because it is the final day of the year, it is the perfect occasion to look back to our achievements of that year and to set goals for the next.

My greatest achievement this year is nonetheless launching this little blog of IAMShufaja. I have to admit, it is through this blog that I have been able to meet all sorts of wonderful and fascinating personalities out there.

As a matter fact, I want to appreciate all of you readers for supporting this blog as well. I can't express more how your continuation support and kind words have provided me with enormous encouragement to keep IAMShufaja running. Thank you.

Hence, in today's article, I want to do something rather special for this particular occasion. I would start off by rewinding some of the highlights of this year, followed by hinting some of the plans I have for the coming year. Please enjoy.

Having learnt so much more about classic menswear over the past year, I returned to bespoke tailoring with plenty more ideas on the style and the aesthetic I would like my garments to have.

Thus, to really try my hands on designing my own garments, I decided to spend a great amount of time to on getting this 'ideal' suit right. I went on for an extensive search for the right fabrics as well as tailors to execute exactly what I envisioned. (Learn more about the creative process here.)

Having planned to explore different Hongkongese tailors, I approached Tai Pan Row for this project at the end of the day. The end result was satisfying, as indicated in my review for the suit.

Believe it or not, one of the greatest moments I've had this year was actually attending the opening party of the Permanent Style Pop-up store at Fortum and Mason back in July.

Having gone to quite a few of these events throughout the year, I would still say this is the most memorable one after all. The reason being I was given the opportunity to meet quite an array of personalities that are working in the industry, as well as other classic menswear enthusiasts for the first time.

This would forge many interesting paths, including writing a tie review for one of James' product, as well as being introduced to Whitcomb & Shaftesbury ultimately; where I not only had a lovely pair of trousers tailored but also have been working on an overcoat with at the time of writing.

Anyway, learn more about my coverage of the event here.

When it comes to the most interesting experience, however, it has to be my shoemaking experience with Artisan M Workshop during one of my trips back to Hong Kong.

There I would spend 5 consecutive days hand-making a pair of Oxfords from scratch. I must admit that the process of turning something from 2D into 3D is certainly not easy, especially during the welting process.

However, the end result was surely rewarding enough, as I am not only more familiar with the process of leather shoemaking in general, but also more appreciative to the level of craftsmanship artisans have committed themselves to behind the scene, something which I considered to be overlooked by many.

Click here to learn about the shoemaking experience with Artisan M Workshop.

Last but not least is my trip to Isle of Skye.

For those of you who have also been keeping track of the 'Travel' section of this blog, you would know that I had a wonderful time visiting Scotland earlier this year visiting different whisky distilleries for tasting. My tasting experience at Talisker, for example, is one of the most satisfying adventures I've ever had.

I have also put together a handful collection of photographs which I personally took and edited myself throughout the journey. You can learn more about that here.

I have to admit that I didn't necessarily travel much this year compared to the previous years. Thusly I truly look forward to visiting more interesting places which I could share with you pictures of them as well as artisans from different corners of the world in 2019.

So what can you expect from IAMShufaja in 2019?

Well to start off in the short-term, I would be posting the final review of the trousers made for me by Whitcomb and Shaftesbury as well as the rest of the series on the overcoat which I had commissioned there soon.

I would also be going to Pitti Uomo next week. For the rest of January, I am expecting the blog to be featuring a decent amount of content related to Pitti so it would be very exciting. For all of you who are also going, I look forward to seeing you all there.

As for long-term plans, I am putting together two three-piece suits which I am designing at the moment, with one in blue and the other in brown. The details of the suits have yet to materialize, but this should serve as a great start for now.

In any case, I wish you all have a wonderful New Years Eve regardless of whether you would be attending a black-tie event wearing your stunning tuxedo or having a relaxing evening at home.

Let me know how you are celebrating tonight! What would you be wearing for this special night? Let me know in the comments below!

For me, I am inclined to wear this midnight-blue DB tuxedo which I also wore to the Turnbull & Asser x The Rake A Night of Black Tie event last month. However, I might be pairing it with a black turtleneck instead -- it is always a good alternative if you want to be more casual with the outfit.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment down below if you have anything particular which you would like to have it featured here in 2019. I will get back to as many of those as possible.

#travel #shoemaking #bespoke #tailoring #bespoketailoring #craft #Taipanrow #WhitcombandShaftesbury #SuitSupply #MTM

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