French Tailor Berluti illustrates the difference of custom-made vs bespoke

. Posted in Paris

Do you speak bespoke?
There is a difference between custom made vs. bespoke - did you notice?  

Founded by Italian shoe designer Alessandro Berluti from Senigallia, an Italian town in Italy's shoemaker region Le Marche, Berluti has been making shoes for the elegant man since 1895. The Paris brand which employs highly skilled craftsmen and master tailors who to this day perfect cut and construction by hand, producing a style that is subtle, reduced and authentic. The house says of itself "One comes to Berluti not for showy luxury, but for luxury pure and simple." After a century of shoemaking know-how which is how Berluti initially started, the brand today stands for tradition and elegance complemented by highest quality fabrics, exceptional craftsmanship, comfort, and timeless class. 
As fashion and luxury are booming and the luxury goods market has grown from a €128bn industry to a €220bn, it becomes even more important to distinguish between perfection in form, elegance and comfort and custom ready to wear luxury. Whilst 'bespoke' (to speak for itself) where a cloth is custom made and reserved for an exclusive client, is the ultimate in luxury, in recent years the industry has seen many online platforms rise to offer custom for every budget. Aslaug Magnusdottir, co-founder of Moda Operandi, now brings mass-market customization to the luxury fashion world with a new platform called Tinker Tailor which lets consumers choose from 50 high end designer labels while offering them a way to alter certain aspects of the designs.  

Creating a bespoke suit is a time-intensive process, requiring high precision made-to-measure processes and individual pattern-making and cutting. The end product tells a story of both the client who chose the fabric and style and the artisan craftsman who made the suit.
With funky new tailoring services online now offering more affordable custom-made options, the difference between bespoke and custom-made can be confusing. A true bespoke version of a suit requires measurements taken from a person individually and the pattern created accordingly. It is important to understand that custom-made services which still take into consideration a customer’s specific preferences, in fact use pre-defined suit patterns and therefore have their limitations.


Made to Measure:
Produced from a pre-defined pattern and adjusted and customized based on several measurements that are taken. The suit usually comes with a set of predefined choices for buttons, pockets and other detailing. The client is fitted and afterwards final adjustments are being made. These kinds of suits are mostly machine-made and you have some but not all control over the process. 

Custom Made: These suits are predefined and customized to fit your measurements and a tailor will take several rounds of measurements to create a suit specifically for you. These kinds of suits can be made by hand or a machine.

Bespoke suits: A suit made to last a lifetime and created by the most skilled cutters and tailors, specifically created to suit your body's measures taking into consideration the finest nuances of the person's body. This suit can be adjusted even if your body changes shape or you loose or gain weight. For clients choosing to have a bespoke suit made the master tailor will take all aspects into consideration from the client's lifestyle and personality to seasonality and personal preferences. The client chooses literally everything, from the finest materials, belts, style, buttons, pockets and the suit is sewn by hand by only the most exceptional artisan craftsmen. After the measurement stage the craftsman at Berluti draws the model on paper before cutting it out and transferring the client’s measurements onto a canvas. After that he cuts the cloth leaving room for adjustments and corrections at a later stage which is followed by two fittings approximately 3 to 4 weeks after the initial appointment. Two months after his first appointment at Berluti the client can leave with the ideal suit, entirely sewn to his requirements down to the last detail with the master tailor having spent 70 hours to perfect this suit. 
To illustrate the difference Berluti has just launched a series of six films showcasing the manufacturing process from Taking the Measurements through to the fully bespoke one of a kind suit

The Shoemakers little lexicon by Berluti

Berluti's Spring-Summer 2014 Collection


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