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Any good tailors in France or passing through France?


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#19 greger

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 01:37 PM

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!


Supply and Demand! Nishijin, you need to raise your prices and, take a day off work every week.

Edited by greger, 10 June 2011 - 01:40 PM.


#20 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 04:36 PM

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.


One of the posts in the whole Forum, I will print that and hang it on the wall in Houston.
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#21 Nishijin

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 06:28 PM

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.


This is expensive, even for a plumber.

Problem is you can't outsourcing plumbing in China or other low-wage countries. It has to be local. And you need your plumber, there is no alternative. So he sets the price.


To come back to our line of work, I know many tailors who do only alterations, no bespoke. This is because they earn more from alterations : people need them, and want them in their vicinity. And they don't make difficult and time-consuming alterations, just hems and this kind of thing. Making hems all day, you can earn 50€ per hour, sometimes more. And of course, they don't make hems in a time consuming way, they keep them simple, quick done. Some even just fuse the hem, no sewing. And they charge more if you want a heel stay. It is impossible to earn 60€ per hour if you make coats. Actually, it is at least twice what you earn making coats.
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#22 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 09:20 PM

This is expensive, even for a plumber.

Problem is you can't outsourcing plumbing in China or other low-wage countries. It has to be local. And you need your plumber, there is no alternative. So he sets the price.


To come back to our line of work, I know many tailors who do only alterations, no bespoke. This is because they earn more from alterations : people need them, and want them in their vicinity. And they don't make difficult and time-consuming alterations, just hems and this kind of thing. Making hems all day, you can earn 50€ per hour, sometimes more. And of course, they don't make hems in a time consuming way, they keep them simple, quick done. Some even just fuse the hem, no sewing. And they charge more if you want a heel stay. It is impossible to earn 60€ per hour if you make coats. Actually, it is at least twice what you earn making coats.


Haven't thought about that yet. In Berlin where people earn 6.5Euro/h or getting welfare we have many alteration stores around like Dφnerbuden. Here they wouldn't get 60/h but in other countries it will work. We also need to know there are not too many tailors which are good enough to sell a suit for 4000Euro.
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#23 Nishijin

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 10:01 PM

You're right, to sell a suit at 4000€, you have to be good. Good tailor, good cutter/fitter, good designer, good salesman. Or at least, have good tailors amongst your employees.

That's a problem of this job : if you're good, then you can earn a living. You won't get rich, but you can earn a reasonnable income. If you're less good, it's damn hard to earn enough to live.
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#24 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 11:25 PM

You're right, to sell a suit at 4000€, you have to be good. Good tailor, good cutter/fitter, good designer, good salesman. Or at least, have good tailors amongst your employees.

That's a problem of this job : if you're good, then you can earn a living. You won't get rich, but you can earn a reasonnable income. If you're less good, it's damn hard to earn enough to live.


That is exactly the point! That's way you need fool proof cutting books to weed out failing from this site and concentrating on making. German cutting books are full proof! I bought modern inside material for suits in Germany which you need today with those feather light fabric. It is possible with perfect cutting to produce a suit with very little to none alteration, on this level you are capable for the 4000 suit sale. It might take some time. My next suit is a modern one without flaws like the first one. Then I will see.
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#25 Nishijin

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 12:11 AM

German books are better than many, but certainly not fool proof.

And to sell 4000€ suits, it's not a book you need, but experience. No book teaches you how to assess a customer's posture. No books teaches you how to adapt your cut to what the cloth let you do with it (you don't cut a tweed as a worsted as a mohair as a linen).

Cifonelli sells 4000€ suits because they have 120 years of experience. Their tailors are old and each have 40 years of experience or more.

A well-used brain is required, but experience is needed too. No book can replace it.


That's why I don't sell at 4000€. I don't have the experience. There are many postures I've never cut for, and have only theoretical idea of how to cut for them. Sometimes, while I'm fitting a customer, I discover that the theory doesn't work for him at all. I think it is because I misunderstood the problem before cutting, and therefore made the wrong choice.

Plus, at 4000€, you have to give luxury service to your customer. You can't work at home. You need to travel, to know what happens in the luxury world. It is a whole different job.

I don't know any independant tailor, making everything himself (selling, measuring, cutting, fitting and sewing) that charges 4000€ (as base price, of course, not for special όber-expensive cloth). Working alone, you just can't deliver the experience the customer is waiting for.
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#26 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 04:44 AM

Some day you will sell at 3000Euro at least, keep looking in the cutting books it will come.
You get more customer at 3000 than with 4000 and when you are fast you make even more money.
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#27 greger

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 07:21 AM

That's why I don't sell at 4000€. I don't have the experience. There are many postures I've never cut for, and have only theoretical idea of how to cut for them. Sometimes, while I'm fitting a customer, I discover that the theory doesn't work for him at all. I think it is because I misunderstood the problem before cutting, and therefore made the wrong choice.


Don't sell yourself short. While 4000€ maybe to much for you to charge the fact still remains that customers are coming to you because you are meeting their needs they can not find elsewhere. When you are working to many days and to many hours then you know you are worth more than you are charging, which means you need to up your prices. You must remember that the places that charge 4000€ have beginners learning and they are still charging 4000€ for those beginners learning. So, don't devalue yourself to much. The amount of work can determine your value and being over worked means you are not charging enough. The rules of supply and demand is the way to find the correct prices to charge.

#28 Nishijin

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 09:03 AM

OK, please let's stop this about my prices. I know what I'm doing.
I have no shop, and I pay very little tax.

If I had a shop and paid normal taxes, I would have to charge 3000€.

So if I can't do it with my current prices, it means I won't be able to do it either with a shop and normal business conditions.

I don't plan to keep this price forever. I'm confortable with it now, I may increase it a little in a few months, but that's all.

I think I am good at what I'm doing. But I also know I lack experience and there are many things I need to learn. I want to be able to look at me in the mirror and see an honnest man. Today, my customers pay for my training. I try not to rob them, but I do think that charging 3000€ for my work would not be honnest.


Supply and demand can be a very tricky law. I am very new in the trade, and it takes 5 years at least to know you have a successfull business. Thinking I've made it too soon, and increasing my prices too fast is a very good way to fail. My customers today are very nice to me, and tolerate many things that they would not if I charged 50% higher.


Please understand that I am new at tailoring, but not at managing a business. I really know what I'm doing. This is a long-time project, the goal is 10 or 20 years from now, not next semester. Things have to grow steady and reliably, not too fast. Speed is attractive, but it is also a very quick way to fail.
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#29 Virtus

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 11:44 PM

To those still contacting me per Private Message please don't, I already commissioned Paul to make me a beautiful semi-bespoke Chesterfield Coat. :)

Edited by Virtus, 12 June 2011 - 11:46 PM.


#30 Nishijin

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:40 AM

SShhh ! Now, they'll all want pictures of what we'll do... :Big Grin:
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#31 Virtus

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:47 AM

SShhh ! Now, they'll all want pictures of what we'll do... :Big Grin:


Ah well, I don't mind that if you want as long as my name isn't revealed and you don't post pictures of my face or anything like that. ^_^

#32 Virtus

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 09:28 PM

Paul, if you see this please get in touch!

#33 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 06:56 AM

yeah and post pics of this coat!
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#34 Virtus

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 12:05 PM

I can't seem to get in touch with Paul, I've been trying for over two weeks now... :ermm:

His voicemail is full and he isn't responding to either forum PMs or e-mails. I hope nothing happened to him? We were supposed to be in touch for another fitting and we agreed that I'd contact him around September 1st and so I did over a week in advance but nothing. I have been trying to call him at different times in the last few days but the phone is always off! :no:

#35 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 03:27 PM

That's not good Paul is usually very good about staying in touch.
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#36 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 03:27 PM

oops double post

Edited by J. Maclochlainn, 07 September 2011 - 03:28 PM.

Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!




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