On April 3rd, the College of Fashion and Design hosted Mr. Samrat Amarnani, the Managing Director of Collars & Cuffs, who gave a very enlightening presentation about starting a bespoke tailoring business in Dubai.
Mr. Samrat studied at Indiana University in the Kelley School of Business and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurial Studies before starting Collars & Cuffs, a Dubai-based company specializing in high-quality, contemporary tailoring for professional men.
He explained the difference between Ready to Wear, Made to Measure and Bespoke in the tailoring of men’s suits. He noted that the “Bespoke” market focuses on unique designs made especially for each customer, luxurious service, pattern-making to fit exact measurements, unlimited options of fabric, buttons, and design details.
Mr. Samrat talked about the challenges of starting a business and provided some tips to maximize success. He noted that due to the potential for high overheads, entrepreneurs need to know their numbers. Drafting a comprehensive business plan, conducting extensive research and ensuring efficient processes will help to avoid wasting money. Business owners need to be ready to wear multiple hats and be humble enough to learn from their mistakes. He also emphasized how networking can help to gain new knowledge and the benefits of using a mentor for support and guidance.
CFD students asked why they have chosen to move their location from Sunset Mall to DIFC to which Mr. Samrat replied by saying that the new location will provide greater footfall, be closer to the target market and aid in providing more luxurious service.
When asked about trends, Mr. Samrat noted that the current style includes narrow trousers, shorter jackets, with three-button versions coming back. A lot of men like to wear chinos (available in many colors) worn with a tailored jacket. In Dubai, vests are reserved for formal wear only due to the climate.
Zeina, CFD Student, asked about the best way to extend market share, Mr. Samrat commented that in addition to social media, a strong website, and good PR; word of mouth is the most important way to attract future customers.
Mr. Samrat encouraged students to take internships at Collar and Cuffs where they would learn all the steps and options in the process of making a suit, which fabrics work well for different styles and seasons, and most importantly, understand how to provide excellent service to customers in a luxury brand.
The CFD students appreciated the advice given by Mr. Samrat. “The idea to under-promise and over-deliver was an excellent success strategy to follow” said Sabrina. Jesse appreciated the emphasis on the importance of customer service and experience; ensuring that no matter the status of the person, everyone gets VIP treatment.