Paul Jheeta – Savile Row bespoke tailor: A perfect suit is not unlike a wonderful dish
Recognised as one of the world’s leading bespoke tailors, Paul Jheeta has come a long way in the highly competitive world of menswear, overcoming barriers of a close knit establishment to succeed as the youngest and the best true bespoke tailor of Savile Row. In the past two decades, he has devoted a large portion of his life learning and perfecting the craft of becoming a master of his art. Paul’s discreet yet impressive clientele come from all walks of life embracing the luxury lifestyle. Personalised service, stylised cuts, shape and silhouettes make the Paul Jheeta brand unique bringing in some of the worlds most recognisable gentlemen including Sachin Tendulkar, to name one of Paul’s regular clients.
MM: S0 Paul tell me, what is the main difference between a made-to-measure and a bespoke suit?
PJ: Creating a bespoke suit is a long and artistic process, a new pattern is created for each individual wearer. They can take up to 10 – 12 weeks to produce and around 90 hours of craftsmanship is put into a fine bespoke suit. There are no modifications or use of base patterns, as that could lead the tailor to miss some of the small nuances of the wearer’s body. More than just measurements are needed to achieve this e.g. the slope of the shoulder, the arch of the back etc. Achieving a bespoke fit requires multiple fittings during creation of the garment, normally around three. These fittings do more than just verify the original measurements – talented tailors build on top each fitting, achieving a more precise fit along the way.
With made-to-measure there generally no fittings during the creation process. An initial fitting to take measurements and draft a design, then a final fitting after it’s fully created. Depending on measurement accuracy and the preferences of the customer, there will be alterations to the final product, adding one last fitting at the end.
We cater for people coming from all walks of life but naturally they are gentlemen
MM: It’s no secret that Sachin Tendulkar is a big fan of your work. Have you seen a rise in clientele since the escalation of social media and praise from such high profile customers?
PJ: I don’t advertise in the mainstream, I like to think my work speaks for itself in its unique quality. Obviously some of my high profile clients have a very large following on social media and get a lot of attention from the press when seen out at public events. I do think social media has had a positive effect on my business as it is a great platform to allow people from around the world to recognise your work. When happy customers like Sachin tweet to their millions of followers pictures 0f themselves wearing one of my suits at a large public event like Wimbledon, it can obviously have a very positive effect on business and only increases the brands reputation for producing the finest suits for very well respected gentlemen. This becomes like an advert from me.
MM: With Savile row being such a classic British institution, do you think it can be daunting for first time customers?
PJ: I suppose it can be. Savile row has a very niche reputation and I think people can assume it caters to a certain type of person. This isn’t true however as times are changing. We cater for people coming from all walks of life but naturally they are gentlemen embracing the luxury lifestyle with a taste for fine clothing and a wish to create their own image with a personalised touch. It took me some time to work my way into a very close knit community when I first started out, but through very hard work and creativity in my art I have established myself and my clients see that reflected in my clothing.
Suits created on Savile row can be sold from anything from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of pounds
MM: Speaking of new and old customers since your entry to the industry, have you noticed a change in your client profile over the years?
PJ: Certainly there has been a change over the years in the type of person that spends money on Savile row. There is a lot of new money coming in from customers from foreign lands. I think Savile row can be synonymous with old British families with money. Some days there are lots of young professional men with more disposable money, businessmen, athletes and musicians for example. There is also a strong Arabic and Russian presence in London nowadays and these men like to dress in fine clothing – naturally they come to the home of the finest suits available to have them made!
MM: Obviously a bespoke suit from Savile row does not come cheap, What is the most money someone has put down on a single order?
PJ: The suits produced here are of the finest quality the world has to offer and people pay for what they get. The suits created on Savile row can be sold from anything from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of pounds, depending on the quantity and specifics of the order.
Savile row is more about perfecting the styling and fitting of each suit, the design aspect isn’t as strong
MM: Can you tell us a little more about the ‘Savile row experience’ that a first time client could expect from your service?
PJ: You don’t just have to understand exactly what the client is looking for in an outfit you need to understand them as a person. Our work here is very personal and one-to-one, unique to each person that comes in. It is a relaxed environment in my shop and the first meeting is just about discovering what the client has in mind for their perfect suit. When seeking to acquire a bespoke suit you should be meeting directly with the person constructing the garment. Some bespoke clothiers cut this corner. At the end of the day, the person cutting the garment and doing the needlework will always have more context and greater ability to meet the specific needs and varying body shapes of the wearer.
There is no rush in this process and the time is taken to ensure we have all the information needed from the customer. If after the first meeting you decide that bespoke is not the way to go, there is no obligation to return, we maintain a very open atmosphere.
MM: Paul if I were you I would just design all my own outfits and wear them everyday. But which other designers do you admire and dress in?
PJ: I do tend to just dress myself only in all my own clothing! I stay away from high street brand names and designers now apart from shoes, which I don’t do but are of course an integral part of an outfit! When it comes to footwear I adore Gaziano and Girling who are also based in Savile row. We have a great relationship and their bespoke shoes and my hand made suits compliment each other very well.
I admire great chefs for their individual art, like great designers and tailors
MM: Fashion aside, what are you passion about?
PJ: I love to cook. I find it very therapeutic and after a long day in the shop it’s a great way for me to unwind. I feel creating a perfect suit is not unlike creating a wonderful dish, it takes time and there are many factors to consider along he way. I admire great chefs for their individual art, like great designers and tailors. I also have always been a keen sketcher, since a child I have loved to draw and be creative. I suppose that translates into my adult life now and has always been a part of who I am. Creativity comes in many forms throughout life.
MM: When did you first realise your passion and aptitude for fashion?
PJ: As a child my mother was always creative and I may have got that flair from her. It sounds weird now, but I always enjoyed knitting and generally working with materials. My mum even said it was always difficult to get me into my school uniform because I was always too fussy and finicky! My dad was in submarines in the navy, so I would have that precision side of things come from him – my school uniforms were tailored by his tailor! I suppose it was always destined I would end up making my living from fashion.
MM: What do you see in the future for your brand and for Savile row?
PJ: As far as I’m concerned, I am expanding in a way. I will be working together with a few other designers to create new ideas. Savile row, I think is going towards smaller artists like myself. Whats happening is the bigger brands are getting into corporate money with more clothes being made in foreign countries like China. A lot of younger people are coming through now with fresh ideas and they will take things forward. Having said that in Savile row is more about perfecting the styling and fitting of each suit, the design aspect isn’t as strong. The cut and fitting of each piece is about what makes us unique and that perfection is what we strive to maintain.
Paul Jheeta is located at No.12 Savile Row, since 2000.
For other interviews with on stylish Asian men take a read of these:
– KISHStyle: My style took decades to evolve
– Jay Sean Interview
– Singh Street Style: Pardeep Singh Bahra Interview
– Anish Bhatt of WatchAnish: I see my watch as art
– Anil Arjandas – Instagram celebrity and men’s jewellery designer