After 18 years of experience in the international fashion industry Vishal Mawandia felt saturated of the women’s wear market. Wanting to bring international fashion consciousness to India, Zegdo is his foray into Made to Measure and bespoke fashion for men.
Coming from the stable of Vineetaz Exports one of India’s leading suppliers to high street brands like Zara, Mango, Pull and Bear, Massimo Dutti, Vishal has seen men’s fashion evolving very closely.
Zegdo has a wide variety of fabrics to choose from: suits start at Rs35,000. Everything is customized and made to measure. The range covers everything a man’s wardrobe needs from business wear, occasion wear to leisure wear. Each customer is treated to individually and by appointment only. Customers can choose to come into the conveniently located Nariman Point studio or can have the team come to them.
Here are excerpts from the tête-à-tête we had with the founder himself:
What is the main difference between a made-to-measure and a bespoke suit?
Vishal: There are 3 major segments in which the fashion industry operates. First is RTW which stands for Ready To Wear which holds the major chunk of the market. It means exactly what it says. You come, you buy, you wear. A level higher is MTM which stands for Made to Measure. This segment is growing swiftly. In this method, the products are pre-made using a set size stencil. Some minor alterations are undertaken to provide the best fit possible. People who don’t want to spend too much time on their clothing go for the first 2 methods essentially. The fitting is always a compromise in these 2 methods. Indian body types come in many variations which these 2 methods cannot do justice to. Bespoke is now gaining popularity amidst the masses as the clothes are made to their body type, measuring all angles. There is no stencil here. The clothes are mostly made by hand and with minimal assitance of machines. The fitting a person gets in Bespoke is unmatchable in the RTW and MTM formats.
What was your path to Zegdo and the tailoring trade?
Vishal: I have been an exporter for garments and scarves for almost 18 years. The core job I had to forecast fashion 2 years in advance by researching various markets and exhibitions. We made new designs using the new forecasted colours on new fabrics to offer to our high street brands. This included extensive travelling and meeting product heads from different brands in different countries.I began to feel saturated of doing the same thing year on year. I always used to note that my European counterparts were always dressed with current fashion and we were at least 10 years behind. Women still have enjoyed a lot of product offerings from Indian and International markets. But it was men who were falling behind. I felt there is a need to bring the Western fashion visibility to Indian Men. What is visible to you, grows on you before you start indulging in the same. It’s just like new music. You warm up to it after you have heard it a few times. So with a mission to bring that visibility to our Men, make them see the products available to them around the world, and get them out of their black blues and greys, I launched Zegdo which aims to offer most of its products be it clothing, accessories, gadgets or toys in a bespoke format, at their doorstep.
Speaking of new and old customers since your entry to the industry, have you noticed a change in your client profile over the years?
Vishal: As I said earlier, people see it and then they want to experiment. Our doors are opened to men in all ages. The clients’ have had a very rigid profile. They are unwilling to move from their decades old tailors or cobblers or barbers to try something new. But once they are exposed to the new formats and offerings, they are coming forward. Any client coming in to us walks out with a new profile for themselves. They have been injected with the limitless possibilities. How will you know how fast you can drive if you still drive a car that tops around 100kmh without test driving another newer one and see new possibilities
What is your favorite sartorial style? Which type of suit do you think every man should have in their closet?
Vishal: At this moment, my favourite is pairing a waistcoat or a jacket with a pant and shirt. And at this moment, every man should have a double breast suit in their wardrobe
How many fittings are needed for a bespoke suit?
Vishal: In India, I don’t know of anyone who has the ability to offer the actual bespoke work like the Italians or English do. Having said that there is no thumb rule to how many fittings are required in the Indian version of Bespoke. But a minimum of one and maximum of 3 fittings is what I have experienced with our customers.
Do metrosexual men these days men seem keener about brighter colors?
Vishal: You know this is question I would answer differently with respect to Indian Men. It is really not their sexuality that leads them to choose what they wear. There are other bigger factors our Indian Men have which most of them don’t even realise. They are restricted by religion, their workplace, their designation, culture, peers, and lastly (may be funny to some) but the wives or their significant other becomes a huge deciding factor on what designs and colours they SHOULD wear. Other external factors like weather and location do play an important role but those are not exclusive to our sub-continent.
Like we can see from your studio, You aim at providing bespoke services from shoes to ties as well, could you tell us a little bit more about the other services you offer at zegdo!
Vishal: Aspiration in the key word to answer that. Where can I get a variety of say checkered suits, where should i do my shirts from, I want a particular red tie, my shoes don’t fit me well etc etc. Zegdo is aiming at being a true ONE STOP SHOP for men. We are not just targeting clothing for men. Our Product range is increasing and the idea is to provide men with the flexibility to choose say a red tie from 20 different red swatches and get the one he needs hand made for him. There are many products available for men out there in the World which most men haven’t even dreamt of, we are working hard to bring lifestyle products from the best in the world to our discerning indian men. We are already offering suits, shirts, jeans, trousers, chinos, indian wear, ties, bow ties, pocket squares, lapel pins, collar stays, shoes, shoe care, grooming products, cigars, and ice press machines. In the near future Men will also have bespoke sunglasses, hats, golfing gears, swimwear. And there are many other segments we are working on for men.
If you could create a suit for one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Vishal: That would be Michael Jackson or Ian Somerhalder. In India I see my next to MJ as Tiger Shroff and would love to work with Hrithik Roshan and Shahid Kapoor.
Having had this in depth conversation with Vishal, I couldn’t help but ask Vishal to create a suit and a pair of jeans for me.
Below are pictures of the whole experience from choosing the fabrics, the trials and the final product.
I personally loved the whole experience Zegdo has to offer. Hope you guys enjoy the pictures
Phone or Whatsapp: +91 99991 44399
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY : The Grey Dot