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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Dubai gets its first tailor-made bespoke suits truck

There’s a new truck in town to give savvy dressers a place to get suited up on the move in Dubai. We climb on board

Jamie Stone, Director of Business Development, The Custom Shop pose during the interview inside the customer Shop NYC truck in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National 
Jamie Stone, Director of Business Development, The Custom Shop pose during the interview inside the customer Shop NYC truck in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National 

We live in an age where we have access to a lot. We choose who we want to follow online. We cherry-pick our meal choices, or we can stream music from different online services. As publishers, consumers and producers alike, there’s enough going for everyone to stay informed, and also to be unique. Another sector that encourages such thinking is clothing.

For many years, the tailoring of suits or customising dress shirts was viewed as a service for the wealthy. Getting kitted out for an exclusive event or soiree required time and money; something many of us simply didn’t (and still don’t) have a lot of.

We all know that tailoring in the UAE is big business. Residents take the way they look very seriously, and rightfully so. The saying “dress for the job you want”, might resonate. The way you look is a representation of who you are.

So, these days getting something cut and customised to your size, your taste and your style isn’t off the cards. The issue now is finding time to source a tailor who can do the job well and at a good price.

Custom Shop New York, a tailoring company, has been in the UAE market for several years. Their latest offering – a mobile tailoring service – is drawing in customers.

If you are at the beach, or taking a much-needed break from your desk and you see the truck, you can go inside for the “ultimate level of convenience”.

“It has been received well and people are intrigued,” says business development director Jamie Stone. “Some think it is a food truck because that’s a trend these days. This is something new and different and another first for Dubai.”

The Custom Shop NYC truck travels to famous landmarks around Dubai, where customers can hop on board to start the process of getting a tailored suit. Satish Kumar / The National 
The Custom Shop NYC truck travels to famous landmarks around Dubai, where customers can hop on board to start the process of getting a tailored suit. Satish Kumar / The National 

The truck drops by some of the city’s biggest landmarks, offices, parks, tournaments and festivals. “People can schedule a time or just walk onto the truck and get measured up by one of our style consultants and the master tailor.

Their business is to make their customers look good, so it’s a given that the truck should be “dressed up”, too. Wherever it is parked, a red carpet is rolled out and once you step up, you’ll walk into anything but a typical dirty, grimy commercial vehicle.

Upon entry, you can consult with the stylist and check the styles, fabrics and materials you might like. After the first consultation, you proceed into the next compartment, which is where your measurements are taken. This is also where you feel the Big Apple energy. It’s as if you’ve stepped into a store off Fifth Avenue. The wallpaper features some of the city’s best-known places, and the mirrors make it seem a lot more spacious. The measurements take all of 10 minutes, and once these are added to the iPad on site, the tailoring begins.

Dubai, April 23, 2018: The Custom Shop NYC truck in Dubai. Satish Kumar for the National
Dubai, April 23, 2018: The Custom Shop NYC truck in Dubai. Satish Kumar for the National

You’ll talk about the type of shirt style or suit you’re after. The consultant will take you through the trends, the colours, as well as the stitchings and linings that

are available.

If trends are what you’re after, loud and bright is the order of the day, says Stone. “It’s all about flashier fabrics, checked patterns, liners that are a little more unique. We’re also seeing a lot brighter colours, like orange and brown. The sort of colours you would never have seen on the streets a couple of years ago.

“We’re also seeing a lot of people going for the more casual suit look, jeans with blazers, or sports jackets.”

Those looks are hitting the right clientele too, as some of the names that associated with the brand have worn their suits to events such as the recent Dubai World Cup and 2018 Academy Awards.

“The important thing is that people are wanting to look like they’re wearing suits that we’ve made just for them, and not borrowed. It’s a way to express yourself and to express your character more.”

For now, the tailoring service is aimed mainly at men, but the brand is developing a service for women. “We are working with women in our DIFC branch. We have tailoring there for ladies who are perhaps after business suits.

With the mobile truck in operation and plans to expand, Stone says it is important for the brand to diversify. Next is 3D body-scanning technology, which will speed up the process. The Canadian native, who has been in the industry for more than 20 years, enjoys the hands-on approach, but don’t expect him to be weaving through Dubai’s busy traffic areas anytime soon. “I’m not licensed to drive the truck. So I’ll be part of the experience, but I do not drive it,” he says with a laugh.

You’ll pay Dh250 for a shirt and Dh1,995 for a tailored suit. Go to www.customshopny.com

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Men's tailoring: the art of bespoke couture in the UAE

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Tips for men on how to dress based on their body shape

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