What Faiyaz Amlani, of ‘Sartor London’ doesn’t know about tailoring isn’t worth knowing. Recently voted Best Luxury Bespoke Tailor in the Middle East by Debonair Magazine, Sartor London’s elite clientele includes royalty, and spans multiple continents, from the UK, to America, Asia and the Middle East.
All of Sartor’s clients return for the same reason: Faiyaz and partner James Armstrong provide a service that goes beyond simply measuring, cutting and delivering an impeccably hand-crafted, customised suit. They strive to create a full experience for their customers, and cultivate a relationship that allows them to truly understand their tastes, their lifestyle, and who they are. The result is magnificent suiting, constructed from only the very highest quality materials, that perfectly conveys the personality and the style of each individual wearer. In Faiyaz’s words, ‘it is as bespoke as you can get.’
We grabbed a few minutes with Faiyaz when he stopped by our London store to pick up some new cloth, and here’s what he had to say about suit fits, the joys of bespoke tailoring, and our latest delivery from Zegna, the 'Traveller' range.
Faiyaz, what’s the first piece of advice you give clients regarding fit when you begin the process of designing a suit?
One thing I stand firmly on is that trousers should be worn on the natural waistline. Look at the style icons of the 30s and 40s. Cary Grant, Steve McQueen, they all wore suits how a suit should be worn. I see a lot of trousers sitting lower these days. Yes, styles change, but I don’t think that current trends should necessarily be applied to everything, and the suit trouser is a classic item that should always sit as it was originally intended.
So, do you think that suits in general should remain purely classic in fit and construction?
Look, we’re always playing around to create new aspects and slight twists on traditional elements, like our original Milanese Lapel Buttonhole, which takes around 3 hours of meticulous, continuous sewing (you can’t stop once you’ve started) to produce. We want to make something unique for our clients, things you would never find off the peg. But our suits are still always built classically, paying homage to the traditions of Savile Row tailoring. There’s such an art to suit-making and we adhere to that time-honoured quality in every way.
What parts of your job really make your day? Your favourite moments?
I enjoy all of it. Our Private Client Events, where we host clients from all over the world and provide detailed, private one-on-one consultations in luxury settings, are great. It’s as bespoke a tailoring service as you could find. We also love building relationships with our customers to the point where we become, effectively, a wardrobe consultant. One of my favourite things is when a customer has trusted me enough to be taken out of their comfort zone, and ultimately, has ended up with something that they really love, despite being nervous to begin with. That’s very rewarding.
Quite a shift from your earlier life as a pro golfer on the world circuit, isn’t it! People are always so intrigued when they find out about that – it’s not exactly an obvious trajectory..
Yes they are! I was golfing on the pro circuit for many years, alongside people like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. I was groomed for it from an early age, and I was fortunate enough to succeed, but my mother had been sensible enough to encourage me to study menswear design as well, in case the golf didn’t work out – so, when injury forced me into retirement, I was lucky enough to have it to fall back on. I went back to working on the Row, and really finessed my skills before I decided to create something new of my own. And though my two careers are obviously very different, many of the things I learned as a professional sportsman can be applied daily to what I do now, such as patience and discipline. Every fine tailor needs a great deal of those!
Definitely. Alright, one more question: we’ve just received our latest Zegna delivery, from their ‘Traveller’ collection. Which of these fabrics will you be looking to use for your clients requesting suiting for Spring/Summer 2019? Let’s pick a couple...
Hmm – everyone should ideally have a black, a navy and a grey suit. The Zegna ‘Traveller’ collection is beautiful, it’s perfect for summer suiting. It’s lightweight, and the structure and weave of the fabric allows it to hold its shape all day long, as well as to avoid creasing! I really like these ones – I like the tone on tone stripe with a printed pattern within the stripes. It’s got texture and originality, which is what my customers want.
Grey 'Traveller' Wool Suiting By Ermenegildo Zegna
Black Wool 'Traveller' Zegna Suiting
Right. I’ll put in my order now then…! Thanks for talking to us Faiyaz, we love your work. See you in the store soon!