They say, If you wear a suit, you can talk to anybody and I believe this statement.
Tailored to the Core- Ashok Sunny on building a Fashion empire, Dressing Selina & other celebrities
Ashok Sunny on building a Fashion empire & suiting celebrities
Pulse Live Kenya
This week in #VoicesOf OurTime we talk to Ashok Sunny, the Creative Director and Master Tailor at Ashok Sunny Sartorial, an entity that has specialized in making men and women Bespoke suits.
Having a bespoke garment means that everything is 100% customized to fit you as an individual. Here you get a one-of-a-kind garment that takes into consideration your individual body shape, wear preference, and overall sense of style.
From dressing the likes of; Former Mr Kenya Khula Budi, Comedian Njugush, Celestine Gachuhi (Celina), Jamal Gaddafi, Pascal Tokodi, Daddie Marto and Phillip Karanja; Ashok Sunny has created name for himself that can't go unnoticed in the fashion industry.
I first met Ashok Sunny in 2015/16 during a modeling training at the mighty Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, where he was coaching models for their Culture Week.
At that particular time, I had promised myself to join the modeling industry, Lakini wapi, my height could not allow me to be seen. Nevertheless, I showed up to all the training sessions, thinking they would notice my dedication and usher me to the line up. All was in vain.
Fast forward, I searched his name on Facebook and started following his steps because I was impressed with what he was doing. Anything fashionable and looking good, please count me twice.
I have followed Ashok's Journey of making Bespoke suits and when I heard, Pulse was bringing him in for our Influencer Series, I said let me handle that.
So here is how our chat with Ashok Sunny went down;
“Fashion is like eating, you shouldn't stick to the same menu” random quotes.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m Ashok Sunny, Creative Director and master Tailor at Ashok Sunny Tailored Limited where we do high and Bespoke mens and women suits.
What do you like most about your Job?
Coming up with new things, being creative and being authentic and seeing a client wearing our garments and being 100% satisfied.
Who is that one celebrity or client who rocked your suits and you were really impressed?
Actually, I can name a few but the first that comes to mind is Celestine Gachuhi. She is the first lady I did a bespoke suit for and she rocked it very, very well.
What skills do you think are the most crucial or a must have in your line of work?
The most important skill you need to have is creativity. This is because day to day you need to come up with new ideas, new things because people are looking for new, fresher trends. People are looking for something they can wear that is different and unique.
So I think creativity and authenticity are the best skills you can have in this field.
Please, describe to us your customer care skills in three words?
Are you detail oriented even in life, off work?
Yes! because at the end of the day, if it’s not detailed, then it’s not quality and doesn’t come out the way you want it. I’m a perfectionist and if it doesn’t come out the way I want it then it’s not worth it, at any point in my life.
Of course, but most of the time is when it only comes to grooming, I don’t have an OCD where everything in the house has to be detailed that much. I’m always more detailed when it comes to grooming.
What’s the most rewarding part of your Job?
Seeing a client satisfied and smiling and coming back. That is the best and most satisfying thing in our line of business.
There are some myths I want you to clarify about suits. Is it true that you are not supposed to mix colours when wearing a suit?
I think for Men that’s a problem, because most men don’t like playing around with colour. For men you can work with at least three colours, for women you can play around with many colours. For guys tone it down, work with at least two or three colours, for ladies you can do any colour you want depending on your skin tone.
You can’t wear suits when it’s Hot?
Yes, you can, it all depends on the quality of fabric, because we have light fabric from super 180-200, which is very light. So depending on the fabric you can still wear a suit when it’s hot”
A suit is not complete without a tie?
That’s a lie because you can still do a suit without a tie and still look dope. You can do a suit with a pull neck, a shirt, T-shirt. So, depending on your style you can still wear a suit without a tie.
Where do you see Ashok Sunny Tailored Limited in 5 years?
Worldwide! Because our plan is to become the best in East and Central Africa, then we go to other markets which are outside Africa. We want to be the biggest name in Africa when it comes to bespoke suits.
Are you efficient with your time, Juu tunajua mafundi na time sometimes ni tricky?
That’s what we are trying to work on because to move the level, you need to keep this business professional and to move away from the ‘Fundi’ stories and that's why we have the biggest staff, we have people working around the clock on every single client. So time efficiency is actually one of our best customer service tool.
What do you think an influencer Does?
An influencer is someone who is out to convince people about a certain product or service, they bring out everything in our society and give us more information about it with the aim of convincing us to buy or use the service.
Do you think you are an influencer?
No! I don’t think I am an influencer, my work is just to bring out a product and someone else can be able to market that product, that’s the best I can say.
What makes you stand out against your competitors?
Authenticity, high quality, and time effectiveness.
Do you have a piece you have designed out of your comfort zone?
We did a fashion show in May 2019, most of the pieces we did were outside of our comfort zone, 30% were suits and 70% we were coming up with new designs.
I can’t say for myself because I will be boasting, but I saw people re-do those designs after we did the show.
How would you handle a situation where you are not confident you can make a certain design but the customer is insisting?
The first thing we do is a mold of that design and see how it comes out before we finish it, to avoid the scenario where it’s not working for the customer. So, we usually do a mold before we do the final product.
What advice do you have for Bespoke dressing?
If you know Bespoke, look for Quality. Bespoke is all quality fabric and quality stitching, so if you want to wear bespoke, be unique and be authentic.
Thank you very much for having me!
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