Ozwald Boateng

“Ozwald Boateng has had a transformational impact on menswear fashion for almost three decades, with a design aesthetic rooted in savile row traditions but defined by international style, detail, and artistry.

His instinctive use of colour, cut and fabric fuses traditional classic British tailoring with a high end modern design focus on the refinement of a man’s silhouette, this has brought tailoring to a whole new generation of men.”

Recently I took a trip to Savile Row and had the pleasure of speaking to one of the tailoring assistants at Ozwald Boateng. Here is what he had to say:

You must have a style and you should celebrate your style. I don’t follow trends I just have my own style. Fashion changes but style is continuous.

How would you describe the house style at Ozwald Boateng?

“Revolutionary, always one step ahead according to the way Savile row works.”

How long would it take to make a bespoke suit?

“12 weeks.”

Are they made in house?
“Yes, always.”

Where do you source your cloth from?
“Ah almost everyone on Savile predominately uses, Holland and Sherry and Scabal.”

Do you ever source cloth outside of England?

“No we trust the English cloth, I’m not trying to undermine our friends in Italy, they have some of the most beautiful cloth in the world, but it’s not as robust as the English cloth, it’s not as durable. They don’t last as long.”

What would your guide be to buying a suit?
- “First of all, I’ve noticed people take a round about way to shopping. They ask about colour but when you are in the tailoring business the power behind a suit is knowing the cut. Trying on the cut of a suit and knowing what is suitable for you.”

“We can go all day talking about the cut. The most important thing is to always ask to try on the jacket. Do that with every store. Know your size then appreciate the cut. Once know which cut suits you best, then you can start to ask about colour and design that fits your style. Often you can see a beautiful jacket that visually - is spot on it has everything you want, but when you wear it it’s not comfortable in the right place.”

I think that’s one thing people don’t often realise. Often people treat buying a suit like buying a pair of socks. It’s not a one size fits all and then you’re done, right?
“Exactly, for example I’m quite tall with long arms. If I see a jacket that’s regular for someone else it may be a normal fit. But I can’t wear regular, my cut is a long cut - regular would not be proportionate for my size.”

What’re the Do’s and Dont’s for tailoring?
“Do know your body, because we are all individuals, we might wear the same size. I’m a 38″ but according to the size and shape of my body I need to find something that matches my proportions. So it’s not just finding the right size but finding the one that compliments your body shape.”

Lastly, how would you describe your personal style?
“Ah my personal style is a bit of tailoring with rock and roll. I wear my suits usually with my boots which is a big no traditionally. I don’t usually wear a tie.”

Any particular reason as to why not?

“I think style is a bit more profound than what people think of it. For me style is a big deal it’s like an extension of your personality. I mean I can look at how someone is dressed on the street (I’m not being arrogant to say that I instantly know what why’re trying to do) but you can get a glimpse of their personality. If for example you’re wearing a suit and you don’t wear it right, trying to be cool, there’s a misconception of what people think of you. I think with style, age has a lot to do with it.”

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