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Any good tailors in France or passing through France?


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#1 Virtus

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:14 AM

Good Evening Gentlemen!

I'm a student in Fashion and Beauty Photography and I have always had a certain vision of style; it is a bit ironic considering that I want to work in the fashion industry but to me garments should be made to last and not necessarily replaced anew every season (for men that is!). As a student I don't have a big budget but I always bought the best quality in all things when I could afford it because I believe that 'He who buys cheap buys several times'.

Right now I need a coat and I'm on what might be considered a low budget, but who knows perhaps someone on this forum will be able to point me into the right direction; my budget is 1000 Euros maximum for a bespoke coat. Now I know this isn't a lot but then I am not one to even consider the more eccentric cloths containing cashmere in such; in fact I want to avoid such cloth, I would like my coat to be tough and hard wearing. As military coats did in the old days it should withstand rain and snow and the wear of many years.

The coat I have in mind would be double breasted, probably black, a very dark grey or a dark blue. I am no expert in cloth but I would think one doesn't need a lot of cloth as I am only 1m74 tall and usually wear size 37 jackets. For the length I would have it as long as is possible without having it touch the ground when I sit on a chair. Lapel holes of course, horn buttons and working cuffs obviously. A breast pocket as well and the two regular pockets on each side. Inside of the coat just one pocket big enough to fit a passport and / or a wallet, I don't need any more pockets. As far as lining goes probably blue or red, I am pretty conservative when it comes to coats.

Retail neither offers a size that is convenient nor a style which I like; plus what greater feeling is there than to have a unique garment crafted?

I am located in Paris and would like to find a tailor who could start to work on it as soon as possible, it would be nice to have it by coming winter! :yes:

I know, 1000 Euros isn't a lot when it comes to bespoke coats but perhaps someone on here knows someone who'd be willing to work with me!

Thanks for reading this, thank you for your time!

#2 Nishijin

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:29 AM

1000 euros for a bespoke coat in Paris is impossible to find. When you take in consideration taxes, cloth and trimmings, there is not a lot left to pay for the many hours of work.

You can try to find some tailors who work mainly as alteration tailor and also do some bespoke work on the side, but I know no one who makes for this price.
http://www.paulgrassart.com

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#3 Virtus

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:53 AM

1000 euros for a bespoke coat in Paris is impossible to find. When you take in consideration taxes, cloth and trimmings, there is not a lot left to pay for the many hours of work.

You can try to find some tailors who work mainly as alteration tailor and also do some bespoke work on the side, but I know no one who makes for this price.


When I came to Paris I heard of three tailors, Cifonelli, Charvet and you (I didn't know you were a member on here!). I first went to Charvet and then asked some people I know about the other two, when I saw prices of 4000 Euros and up for a coat I nearly fainted! I know of a tailor in Cleveland Street London, who'd probably do it for £800 but I can't go to London and I'd prefer building up a relationship with a tailor who frequently travels to France. Unfortunately my family is no longer as wealthy as it was a hundred years ago when my ancestors could afford having an entire wardrobe of red hunting coats, whips, bespoke gloves, hats and other marvels!

Another reason why I can not wear RTW jackets and coats by the way is the fact that one of my legs is slightly shorter and this creates a 'sausage' or 'crease' or what ever you'd call it in the cloth when wearing a suit (neck area).

I am sure there is a way to find some good hard wearing non luxurious cloth that doesn't cost a limb. I don't mind if the coat is a bit stiff, I am quite a formal person and to me it is more important for a garment to be impeccable than comfortable. When I went to school in the UK and was a CCF NCO I sometimes had to wear No 2 Dress Suit, a very uncomfortable and stiff garment some say - I didn't really mind, it was all about the look.

In the old days some people (especially women) would wear the most uncomfortable garments as long as these made them look stunning! People were willing to suffer for good looks.

Edited by Virtus, 09 June 2011 - 04:29 AM.


#4 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:13 AM

4000 Euro for a coat is tough. But those tailors have high costs in renting the shop probably.

With 1000Euro you get nothing. Buy a RTM coat and bring it to an alterator. But I doubt it that the alterator will bring your hanging site into the sack. He will shorten your touser leg only.

The fabric alone cost 300$ and for 700$ you get nothing.
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#5 Nishijin

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:42 AM

When I came to Paris I heard of only three tailors, Cifonelli, Charvet and you


I don't feel I play in the same category... Cifonelli is one of the best in the world. Charvet are more shirtmakers, but they also have a tailor who is pretty good I think. I'm just a young tailor who started on his own last year. How comes you heard about me ?


There are many tailors in Paris.

Normal price for a bespoke suit is between 3000 and 4000€. The most expensive ones would ask more than 5000€. It is difficult, though possible, to find someone around 2000€. With luck and knowing the right people, you may find someone willing to work on the black market for 1500 or 1600€. It is impossible to work for less (or it is slavery, not work).

Minimum wage is 1365€ per month, to which you have to add salary taxes. This is minimum wage for unskilled labor. Tailoring has been said to be more difficult than surgery (and it was a surgeon saying it).

Cutting and making a suit is 80 hours of work, and legislation says that a month is 151,5 hours.

Agreeing to cut and make a bespoke coat for 1000€, cloth included (even cheap cloth) is self-slavery. Tailors are known to work a lot, usually much more than legal hours (I myself usually end the legal week by wednesday, and I work 7/7), but still...


1000€ is the price usually considered "fair" by cutters to pay for independant tailors to make a coat. So it does not include cloth, trimmings, cutting/fittind, rent and taxes.


I think the definition of bespoke is much more restricted in Paris than in London. In Paris, a bespoke coat is mainly hand-made, and there is a tradition to put a lot of work in details and finishing. This takes a lot of time (this last suit took me around 150 hours). In London, many cheap tailors work a lot more with the machine (well, in Paris too, but more in London than Paris), and finishing is simpler.
This is what I call half-bespoke : the coat is cut as a bespoke one, and sewn nearly entirely on the machine, the front is fused, the lining is bagged...

It is possible then to make a coat for 1000€, though the best-known tailoring houses don't have such an offer.


The prices I give you here are not with "fancy luxury cloth". Luxury cloth is much more expensive... It is the time to make the coat that costs a lot. Living in Paris is expensive.


Another reason why I can not wear RTW jackets and coats by the way is the fact that one of my legs is slightly shorter and this creates a 'sausage' or 'crease' or what ever you'd call it in the cloth when wearing a suit (neck area).


This can be managed by a good alteration tailor... though I must say they are as hard to find as cheap bespoke tailors :Big Grin:
In Paris, you can try Styl'Up rue Pasquier, near Madeleine. I've had many good words about them.
http://www.paulgrassart.com

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
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#6 Nishijin

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:51 AM

4000 Euro for a coat is tough. But those tailors have high costs in renting the shop probably.


I've made the sum many times, trying to find a way to get a cheaper price. 4000€ is a normal price when you have a shop with a setting that customer expect from a bespoke tailor, employees (salaries + taxes), and pay normal business taxes. Actually, price of the cloth becomes nearly irrelevant (provided you don't choose high-luxury cloth such as cashmere, vicuρa...).

Every tailor asking less than 4000€ for a suit has a special case that allows him to have less to pay (tax exemption, no employees, no shop...).

Working in Paris is expensive.
http://www.paulgrassart.com

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Mark Twain

#7 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:55 AM

In Germany 4000Euro for a suit is common in high end with normal fabric.
A tailor could produce cheaper but then he has more customer with waiting line.
So why he should be cheaper in order to work more? Nope!
www.berlinbespokesuits.com

#8 Nishijin

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:13 AM

A tailor could produce cheaper but then he has more customer with waiting line.
So why he should be cheaper in order to work more? Nope!


This is a lesson I'm beginning to understand... :Big Grin:
http://www.paulgrassart.com

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Mark Twain

#9 Virtus

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:16 AM

Hm, perhaps it is cost of living and rent that make prices in Europe a lot more expensive than in the UK? Or perhaps is it the fact that there are a lot less tailors than there used to be?

If I could I would spend more but on a student budget I don't have a lot of options. Perhaps I should look into MTM?

#10 Virtus

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:26 AM

Virtus, check your private messages.


I just sent you an e-mail!

#11 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:59 AM

I'm just a young tailor who started on his own last year. How comes you heard about me ?


You're famous the world over mate! :D
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#12 Virtus

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 04:07 AM

You're famous the world over mate! :D


I knew his name because an elderly gentleman wrote a couple of tailor's names on a piece of paper for me. His last name was also on it! While reading his answer I thought, the name in the signature sounds familiar! :yes:

#13 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:59 AM

There are so less tailors nowadays that everybody can become famous if he is good enough.
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#14 Virtus

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 06:34 AM

There are so less tailors nowadays that everybody can become famous if he is good enough.


There's few of them. Most people, wealthy or not don't even know tailors still exist. I hope they will always be around though, I can't imagine a world where everything is mass produced and it is no longer possible to have garments or objects made by a skilled artisan.

#15 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 04:45 PM

It will become even worst in 10 years, old school taiors will almost disapear cause of the lack of apprenticeships. Only individualist will remain teaching themself with old books by trail and error.
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#16 Virtus

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 07:29 PM

It will become even worst in 10 years, old school taiors will almost disapear cause of the lack of apprenticeships. Only individualist will remain teaching themself with old books by trail and error.


When Valentino decided to retire many women thought it would be the death of traditional couture (Of course there is still Lagerfeld and a few others but Valentino was special in that his dresses never were vulgar, he never made a dress in poor taste or which would be so shocking to an adept of dressing etiquette, his style was elegant and perhaps old fashioned in a way but always with a touch of modernity), yet Haute Couture lives on and while we have many 'artists' with very poor taste and no talent at all to make a wearable garment there are new people coming in with new ideas, some of them self taught. I will have to look up her name but there is a young self taught japanese woman who makes the most beautiful Classical and Neo Classical dresses I'd ever want to see on a sister or girlfriend. Hopefully in tailoring the same thing will happen, some clever self taught people will come in and save the industry.

But like many fine crafts tailoring is at peril, bespoke tie making, bespoke spectacle making, glovemaking, bespoke gunmaking etc... Even for bespoke jewellery it is hard to find someone experienced. Most big Houses send the work to an outside artisan, who is often quite old and there does not seem to be many young people to take over; however in the case of jewellery I am sure the demand is there, people probably order bespoke engagement rings and such all the time.

#17 Virtus

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 07:29 PM

Oops! Sorry, please delete, double post!

Edited by Virtus, 09 June 2011 - 08:03 PM.


#18 Sator

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 11:06 AM

As already mentioned, 1000 Euros hardly covers the cost of the cloth and trimming eg

3.5m of cloth: 200 Euros
Canvas/lining/buttons: 50 Euros

250 Euros for cloth and trimming is extremely cheap, usually it costs double that amount. That leaves 750 Euros for labour, overheads (electricity/rent/taxes etc). If it takes 100 hours to make a coat and trousers then you are working for 7.5 Euros per hour, which is less than the legal minimum wage in France (9 Euros/hour). If you speed things up to 50 hours of labour, you are still only earning 15 Euros per hour, and you would have to finish the garment in 25 hours if you want to earn 30 Euros per hour. It takes between 6-10 years to become a bespoke tailor and cutter. You are better off working at MacDonalds or at the check out counter of the supermarket.

The next thing is that if you do have disproportions that make it hard for you to wear RTW garments, then this makes it even more difficult to fit you. This sort of orthopaedic tailoring demands extra time and skill.

So you have to ask yourself if you would agree to work for 7.5-15 Euros per hour to perform an extremely technically demanding skill that is rare and dying out. My plumber charges me about 90 Euros per hour. He told me that this was because the apprenticeship to become a plumber was much longer at around 6 years. At my plumber's hourly rate the cost of a lounge suit that takes 100 hours labour to complete should be 9000 Euros plus cost of cloth/trimming.

This is to say that unless people are willing to value the Art of Tailoring (in a financial sense rather than just an emotional one), then it will die out without any question.




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