Our Garment Manufacturer
Duchess Clothier has partnered with an industry-leading manufacturer in Hong Kong to bring you our offering of fine tailored, custom-made garments. Those of you familiar with Duchess will remember that our company started by designing suits that drew inspiration from past eras (the Edwardian age and the 1960s being our favorites). As the Portland fashion market evolved over the last decade, we realized that a growing number of our customers were embracing more current suiting and styling trends.
We needed a manufacturing partner that could meet the diverse style and design needs of our clientele, as well as meet our high standards for quality and reliability. The decision to work with tailors in Hong Kong was an easy one. Hong Kong has a long tradition of outstanding tailoring. The reasons for this are a fascinating chapter in the history of the apparel industry.
In the late nineteenth century, Britain’s trade and colonization efforts resulted in the First Opium War and the occupation of Shanghai. British merchants and expatriates moved to Shanghai, resulting in a demand for the high-end tailored garments that they missed from their beloved Savile Row establishments. Talented British tailors emigrated to Shanghai and by the time of the Second World War, the industry was booming.
In 1941, the Shanghai Cutting and Tailoring College was established to meet the demand for training new talent. The availability of comprehensive training in the trade further advanced Shanghai as a flourishing center of tailoring.
During the Chinese Revolution in the late 1940s, many of the Shanghai tailors fled to Hong Kong (a British colony at the time). Although there was a long-standing tradition of tailoring in Hong Kong already, the new tailors brought their specific manufacturing techniques that were heavily based on the British tailoring tradition and therefore well suited to meeting the demands of the British citizens and expats residing in Hong Kong.
Throughout the twentieth century, tailoring in Hong Kong continued to thrive and adapt to changing trends in the industry. The result was a distinctly modern approach to tailoring that allowed for speed, consistency, and scalability. With the advent of computer-aided pattern drafting and specialized machinery, fine custom tailoring became an accessible luxury for a wider market than ever before.
Today, as many are rediscovering the cachet of wearing a well-fitting and stylish suit, it is interesting to pause and reflect on the evolution of suit manufacturing. If you are considering the investment in a fine suit, you can rest assured that years of industry experience have gone into ensuring a garment of long-lasting value and enjoyment. We are looking forward to helping you design something special so that you can experience the skill and craftsmanship of our overseas partners.