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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

The style list: Best bespoke options for men in the UAE

A pair of handmade, made-to-measure shoes or glasses is sure to outlast - both in quality and style - your run-of-the-mill alternatives. Whether you're looking for a customised jacket or a monogrammed bag, bespoke reigns supreme among those who know a thing or two about sartorial excellence.
Berluti's made-to-measure service for men's shoes allows you to choose the colour, material and even the tattooing of the leather. Courtesy: Berluti
Berluti's made-to-measure service for men's shoes allows you to choose the colour, material and even the tattooing of the leather. Courtesy: Berluti

Shoes

A good suit might make the man, but it’s the shoes that pull the look together. And while style is, of course, important, even more so is how they feel – walking a mile in one’s shoes should not be uncomfortable. Made-to-measure shoes allow for both to be attained. Salvatore Ferragamo, for example, provides the Made-To-Order Driver shoes, handcrafted and available in crocodile, ostrich and suede mink in an array of colours. Meanwhile, menswear brand Berluti offers a made-to-measure service that allows you to choose everything from the colour to the material and even the tattooing of the leather. Though the precision that goes into these creations is, within itself, impressive, perhaps even more astounding are the artisans themselves. Anthony Delo, one of Berluti’s head shoemakers, has 22 years of experience and a Meilleur Ouvrier de France – an award given to a select few individuals, from numerous trades, in France each year – to show for it. Delo travels to various countries around the world, including the UAE, to personally create shoes for clients. The service can take up to six months to complete – from the first consultation to the day they are delivered in a personalised box – and has a starting price of Dh30,000.

Glasses

Glasses have become a fully fledged part of mainstream male attire. But for a more personalised pair of specs, look to the Hong Kong-based Smith & Norbu, which offers bespoke options. Everything from the shape of the frames to the type of finish can be personalised according to the customer’s preference. The entire process – from the first consultation to carrying them out of the shop – can take up to seven weeks, and includes several fittings. Those who have opted for the service are also invited to use the brand’s complimentary inspection, polishing and refitting services every two years. UAE residents are able to take advantage of the brand’s bespoke services through Smith & Norbu trunk shows, which take place throughout the year. Prices start from Dh2,755.

Bow ties and neckties

There’s something to be said for the bow tie. While it implies that the wearer has a certain appreciation for the finer things in life, it also offers a touch of individualism to an ensemble. Velsvoir, a charming brand launched in 2012 out of Dubai and London, offers a variety of accessories, including bow ties, cummerbunds, neckties and pocket squares. Bespoke versions of these four accessories are available through the Velsvoir Noir service. Customers can personalise each piece, from the colour and fabric to the prints and patterns, and even the dimensions. The Noir service is available by appointment only and starts from Dh1,430.

Clothing

A tailored, well-fitting suit will separate the men from the boys. There are numerous companies that offer made-to-measure suit services, from big brands such as Giorgio Armani to more independent labels such as Logsdail London in Dubai. But for the man who wants to personalise the rest of his wardrobe – from knitwear to informal wear – there are labels that can help. Italian luxury brand Prada offers bespoke services for suits, coats, shirts and trousers. Pieces can be tailored according to cut, fabric and styles, and can take up to five weeks to create. French luxury brand Hermès also provides a variety of made-to-measure services, not only focusing on suits, but also on sweaters, leather garments and informal wear. Each item can be customised specifically to the customer’s liking, from the fabric – including cotton, silk and cashmere – to the colours and even the buttons used. The time it takes to create each piece depends on the garment and services required. Prices for a customised shirt start from Dh3,600.

Timepieces

Men have more options than ever when it comes to what they wear on their wrists — from the new slew of smart watches to more classic mechanical timepieces. But Swiss watchmaker Parmigiani Fleurier can craft a piece that’s just for you. Because all components of the brand’s watches are made in-house, the services it can offer are numerous, ranging from simple engraving to custom-made dials and a choice of case materials. Completion time can take anywhere from a few days to a full year, depending on what you need. The Toric Tecnica Carpe, for example, is fully customisable and it can take up to 600 hours to assemble the 586 components. Prices can range from Dh735, for something as simple as engraving, to Dh3.67 million for a completely unique piece.

Games

In this day and age, the possibilities of what can be personalised are limitless – you simply need pockets deep enough to fund your whims. From jewel-encrusted iPhone covers to an alligator-skin safe, the sky is truly the limit. Bespoke British leathersmith brand Pemberton & Milner offers a personalised, handmade service that focuses on a variety of products, including wallets, iPad covers, yacht accessories and board games. Customers can customise these pieces in numerous ways, from the materials to the design. The games compendium – a collection of board games in one box – can be tailored to your tastes, including the games incorporated into the set, colours of the leather and game pieces, and even the addition of diamonds and precious metals. The compendium starts from Dh37,196, and takes up to three months to create.

BAGS

A bag, be it a carryall, briefcase or suitcase, is something that should be both practical and stylish, particularly if you’re using it on a day-to-day basis. Brands such as Anya Hindmarch, which is based out of London and ships worldwide, not only designs trendy bags, wallets and even cufflink boxes, but will monogram each piece for a more personalised touch. If, however, you’re looking for something a bit more classic, consider the Mon Damier Graphite service from Louis Vuitton. Taking the brand’s timeless leather pieces, the Mon Damier Graphite personalisation tool will monogram the owner’s initials or LV’s classic stripes onto any item. Customers can now even apply this service to the soft cases, as well as bags and small leather goods such as wallets. The Mon Damier Graphite service is available in stores across the UAE. Prices start from Dh1,860, and are available upon request.

alane@thenational.ae