A Collaboration Series with Local Singapore Brands
For every successful brand, there is certainly a compelling story behind it. Walking through the journey of building the brand from nothing to something is challenging yet heartening when one bears the fruits of a timeless brand.
Started in 1935, CYC Tailor is Singapore’s first made-to-measure tailor and now a 3rd generation business managed by Ms Chiang Loo Fern. The company is a popular choice among political and business leaders in Singapore. CYC Tailor is known for its excellent craftsmanship and detailed oriented service. Alongside, they provide a range of fine fabrics and brilliant patterns for their customers.
Today, we have the opportunity to interview the founding team of CYC Tailor on their journey as one of Singapore’s longest-standing made to measure tailor.
Here are 4 questions asked and answered by Cara, Marketing Manager from CYC Tailor.
What does CYC stand for and what do you do to keep your customers returning ?
At CYC, we stand for heritage, quality and excellence. Customers return for new launches, the heritage aspect of our brand, and affordable luxury.
CYC has a rich history as a tailor in Singapore since 1935. How do you see the tailoring industry modernising to compete with fast fashion retailers?
Tailoring is the ultimate in slow fashion. Tailoring requires many different steps, and can take a few weeks to complete. However, the end result is almost always a work of wearable art that the client can wear over and over for years to come.
We will be launching our online tailoring services at CYCtailor.com. It will feature an app that will enable others to take their measurements on their own, via the smartphone. We plan to launch this in mid September.
Having served some of the most important change-makers in Singapore, can you briefly share with us if you had any interesting encounters or requests with them?
In 2001, Fong Loo Fern (managing director of CYC) ran a promotion with The Business Times to encourage customers to bring in their CYC shirts, with the view of building a collection of vintage shirts to exhibit. “We had many customers at that time who told us, ‘I’ve been a customer for 20 years’, ‘I’ve been a customer for 30 years’”.
As an incentive, CYC gave a 20% discount to those who had shirts that were more than 10 years old, and a 50% discount for those who brought in shirts which were more than 20 years old. They gave a free shirt to customers who brought in shirts which were more than 30 years old. Mrs Lee Kuan Yew brought in three shirts that belonged to her husband, Singapore’s founding Prime Minister.
They had been our customers for a long, long time. Mrs Lee would come to our shops to place the orders for her husband. She was very simple, never asking for much. She told me that one of those shirts was sentimental to her and Mr Lee because he had worn that shirt during one of the rallies in 1965, 36 years ago. I thought it sounded like an amazing story that someone would keep a shirt for so long, especially Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I asked if I could share that story with the media. Mrs Lee said, ‘Write something and I will ask Mr Lee for his permission’
“So I sent in a short story to her. And, to my surprise, Mr Lee said that we could go ahead. So I sent the story to the press, thinking that no one would be interested. But everyone got so excited, and I got so much publicity from The Straits Times, The Business Times, even TV and the Chinese newspapers. That was really a God moment because no one could have engineered a PR story like that. That God moment “brought a lot more awareness about what we are and the work we do. And that helped create more awareness with the younger customers at that time”.
As a Singapore tailor, is there a CYC specialised style which we can see across your creations? Having worked with so many different types of fabric from around the world, which fabric type is your personal favourite and recommendation for styling and maintenance?
We are known for our collars, which stay smart throughout many wears. We believe in a classic and timeless style, with unique colour matching. Our customers have been favouring Liberty print shirts recently. Liberty fabrics are great because they are super soft and comfortable, and the print helps to hide any wrinkles in the fabric.
At CYC, we also recommend Egyptian cotton. Our Egyptian cottons last through many washes, and some people even say that it gets better with age, as it softens with every wear.
Garment Care Tips by Presto
Many of CYC’s tailored pieces are handcrafted from luxury fabric sources. Materials like Eygptian cotton can last for a long time with adequate and appropriate garment care.
Here are 3 simple tips on how to better care for your cotton shirts
- Pre-treat the stains on your shirt prior to laundering
- If your buttons are made of delicate materials such as mother of pearl, you can wrap them up before putting them into the washing machine to prevent them from cracking or chipping
- Iron your shirt when it is not completely dry to get a nice finish to it.
In collaboration with CYC tailor, we are offering a 10% off dry cleaning, laundry & alteration services for all your CYC Labeled garments. Please quote the promo code CYCXPRESTO when dropping off your garments at our Outlets or Home Pickup service.
Promotion is valid from 1 Sep 2020 – 30 Sep 2020. Find our promotion details here.