What’s in store for Brisbane Men’s Fashion for 2016
An interview with Ben Mayer, Partner at Tom James Brisbane to talk about What’s in store for Brisbane Men’s Fashion in 2016
Q: Why did you start Tom James in Brisbane?
We decided to open an office here in Brisbane due to the success of our existing Australian offices in Melbourne (operating for 11 years) and Sydney (operating for 6 years). These offices have done extremely well with the top tier business communities – working with CEOs of many varied companies, Barristers and Lawyers, Bankers, Doctors and people in Resources and Construction and Real Estate.
Many of these clients travel based in Brisbane indicated that we should open an office here, stating Brisbane is in real need of a high quality, men’s custom clothing service.
With so many successful business people, over-priced off-the-peg suits dominating the high street and with no real competition in men’s custom clothing, we saw Tom James as having a great shot at success in Brisbane.
We have been proven right. It is now 1 year since starting in Brisbane and in that time we have generated 2.7 million Australian dollars in sales and over 600 clients. We have also seen over 80% in repeat business in a very short period of time. People buy from us once, and then they buy again and again because of the fit, quality, value and most of all, convenience and time saving.
Q: How does Tom James differ from other retailers?
We are all about providing a world class service. Most of the people we work with do not really enjoy shopping, nor do they have the time for it, but know it is important to look smart and respectable with their respective roles. Brisbane’s business network is extremely tight-knit and very well connected. When people experience the quality of our suits, jackets, trousers and shirts, they are quick to recommend us to their friends, family and business associates.
Q: What is the one thing you would advise men never to be without?
Always have a navy suit of classic styling and fit. 2 Button, single-breasted with 2 side vents, trousers that are flat front, plain bottoms and belt loops. It has so many practical applications; business meetings, weddings, presentations. Not only that, but it will work with every colour of shirt and tie and shoes you already own. It is also a power suit and so should be used by people needing to close that all important deal! Also a pair of classic black oxford shoes. Shoes are something easily over looked but can ruin the whole look of a well put together outfit.
Q: How do you think Brisbane men dress differently to other cities?
There is no getting around or away from Brisbane’s climate! It’s hot and humid here and so we often see open neck shirts with no ties. Ties are great way to express ones unique sense of style – so why not do this with an exciting blazer or sports coat? Big patterns or fresh royal blues are something we see and sell a lot of here. In fact our sports coat sales outweigh many of our other offices around the world. In addition to that we can provide very light fabrics with minimal construction and no fusing in the internals making them very breathable in the hottest months. A must for a day at the races! Brisbane might be accused of having a slightly more relaxed attitude over other major cities – which is no bad thing, and so we see a lot of smart casual outfits – always completed with a smart pair of well-fitting earth tone or blue based chinos.
Q: What trend do you foresee for the Brisbane Men’s Fashion scene?
Brisbane is a city undergoing massive growth, in terms of business and population. You only have to take a look at the sky line to see countless sky scrapers in development. As more people are drawn to Brisbane, competition for senior roles will grow and professionals wanting to get ahead will up their game. Two of my best clients back in London, the top men at Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch respectively, always told me their mantra was, “don’t dress for the job you have, but for the job you want”. With this in mind, I expect to see more and more people better turned out, in well-tailored suits. I’ve already seen a lot of young professionals dressing in immaculately put together suits, white shirts, slim ties and black or brown brogues. These people are going places and their appearance is an obvious indicator of their ambitions.
Q: What is the strangest thing you have worn?
The strangest thing I have ever worn is a toss-up between my purple rain-coat or my black and purple, big striped jacket, which is reminiscent of the beetle juice film!
The Fitting Room on Edward has been partnered with Tom James of Australia since they moved to Brisbane in 2015. Contact us to find out how we can make some minor clothing alterations, and make any outfit look on trend.