When it comes to bespoke and tailored suits, most Singaporeans would opt to go either to Hong Kong or Thailand to get them done. However with this option, potential doubts may arise such as the quality of the material which can affect the shape or outline of the suit.
In today’s collaboration series, we overcome these doubts and look into a father and daughter duo that has been providing bespoke tailoring services to Singaporeans and foreigners that come to visit Singapore. Meiko Tailor was founded by Master Tailor Chung and his wife in the 1970s. This homegrown bespoke tailor has over 50 years of experience of developing suits-crafting, pants and shirt-making. Started in his own home with his wife, he now owns his own store located at Pan Pacific Singapore with his daughter, Adele focusing on styling and marketing.
Today, we have the opportunity to interview the founder of Meiko Tailor, Mr Chung, as we get to know the inspiration behind his business and understanding the process of getting a bespoke suit with him.
Here are 4 questions asked and answered by the founder of Meiko Tailor, Mr Chung.
- What is the inspiration behind your brand name – Meiko Tailor?
Many are curious about the name behind Meiko Tailor. Japanese sounding, Meiko Tailor is a true blue Singapore tailor brand. Meiko bears the name of my wife, “Mei” (美) that denotes beauty too. “Ko” (可) is the value we give to our customers as a trustworthy (可靠) and reliable (可信赖) tailor whom they can come to get their custom shirts or suits made.
This was how Meiko Tailor found its name. We started our first shop at Geylang Lorong 3 in the late 1970’s. But, when a fire arson broke out we had to move to the heartlands, now Kovan in 1983. Three years later, we were invited by one of our customers to consider setting up a boutique at Pan Pacific Singapore when the hotel first opened. And ever since 1986,we have been an anchor tenant at the Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel.
- Like us, as a family owned Singaporean brand, what do you think we should do to put Singapore on the global map?
This is a great question! Being a pioneer generation in Singapore, I grew up here and have been through many significant milestones throughout the 56 years of national building. I am proud to be a Singaporean, and certainly proud that Meiko Tailor is recognised as a respectable local tailoring establishment in Singapore by locals, expats and even international business travellers.
As a homegrown Singapore brand, we feel a lot more can be done to give recognition to local SME’s, talents, crafters, and businesses on international media. With social media being used now, there are hardly any boundaries.
I applaud the initiative from our government in creating a space on Social Media where local brands are able to connect with the public using specific hashtags such as, #supportlocalbrands, #supportlocalbusiness, #madeinsingapore and #designsingapore.
Today, we have customers from all over the world who wear our bespoke suits and shirts. We aim to put Singapore on the global map by making bespoke tailoring accessible to Singaporeans living abroad, representing us as our ambassadors.
- Holding the position as one of Singaporean’s pioneer tailoring brands for over 6 decades, what is the process of creating a bespoke suit with Meiko and which aspect of the process differentiates your brand?
Having been in the trade for more than 50 years, we are perhaps one of the experienced masters tailors around who can put together an entire suit from start to finish, hand crafted. We make our suits fully-canvassed- the classical traditional Saville Row way infused with Meiko’s house cuts. Another key difference is I take the extra time and effort to understand each client on a personal level to craft a personable bespoke suit for him.
Every suit or blazer is a piece of art crafted from heart and hand. This can include little things such as, observing the body silhouette or the tiny asymmetry differences in the body. This is why a basted fitting which adjusts the fit and drape of the jacket to individual physique is always an essential part as it creates a unique bond between my customers and I.
In other words, anyone who makes a bespoke suit with us, will be assured that throughout the whole process from drafting and cutting your garments to the needlework, it will be done in-house through us.
Such levels of personalisation hold significant meaning for our customers as they come to appreciate that every piece of garment is individually tailored and not mass produced. At the end of the day, we want to put a smile on our customers’ faces knowing that their money and time is well invested.
- As a Master of Tailoring, which fabric type would you recommend Singaporeans to make their first bespoke suit with and why?
At a certain point in life, every man will want to have a suit individually tailored for them.
As a bespoke clothier, one of our mission is to help/ advise our customers with selection of design, fabric, style and ensure that they have options and a variety of ensembles that can be put together according to their personality, lifestyle and budget.
When making your first bespoke suit, we would usually take you through your first bespoke tailoring journey by first understanding your needs, style preference and desire for your first suit before any recommendation.
Other than workmanship, the choice of fabric certainly plays a very important part in how your first bespoke suit will fit and flow. Just like how fresh ingredients play a factor in the taste of food; the yarn, the fabric structure, the weight and type of fabric does have an effect on the drape of the suit.
If you are going to invest in one bespoke suit in your lifetime, we would usually recommend a lightweight worsted wool. In Singapore, our tropical climate daters men from suiting up for work. Many have a misconception that dressing up in a suit is cumbersome and warm. On the contrary, wool is a natural fibre, and is highly breathable for most three-seasons. Go for a classic navy or ash grey suit for the versatility to wear for most occasions.
Garment Care Tips by Presto
Tailoring a bespoke suit can be costly but can also last you for years. Just like every other costly investment, you are required to care for it to allow it to last you well. Now the question is, how do you exactly care for your suit besides sending it to the dry cleaners for cleaning?
Here are 3 simple tips on how you can care for your suits, ensuring that you are able to wear and enjoy your suit for as long as possible.
- As much as your bespoke suits give you all the confidence, never wear it twice in a row. Doing this can stress the fabric which causes the suit to lose its shape. Hence, always rotate your wardrobe to give your suit enough time to rest and regain back its shape.
- Another tip to remember is to always avoid using the pockets. Suits are usually tailored to be slim fit and thus, shouldn’t be stretched with items such as your keys and card holder. Hence, opt to use a bag to keep those necessities with you.
- As suits are made out of natural fabrics, it is important to store them properly to keep them away from moths and silverfishes. After wearing your suit, air it out for at least 24 hours before hanging it back onto a wooden hanger and into a breathable garment bag. This allows the fabric to have sufficient time to dry and breathe.
In collaboration with Meiko Tailor, we are offering a 10% off dry cleaning, laundry and alterations services for all your Meiko Tailor suits and garments. Please quote the promotion code, “MEIKOXPRESTO” when dropping off your garments at our outlets or home pick up service.
Promotion is valid from 1st July 2021 – 31st July 2021. Find out the promotion details at presto.sg/promo.