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Growing up in a fishing village in Kuala Selangor, Ian wasn’t always known for his sophisticated dressing. “I was teased quite often by my peers for not wearing branded clothing. But I took it as an opportunity for me to learn how to tailor my own clothes,” he says, stating that when people were buying clothes off the rack, he was wearing his own creations. “That is something which I am very proud of.”
The proud owner of Bespoked, Ian’s journey to where he is now was never a walk in the park. “When I first stepped into a shop in the prestigious Savile Row, I was turned away by one of the tailors due to my appearance. The incident really discouraged me but it didn’t kill my passion,” Ian replies, before revealing that a year after that, he managed to land an opportunity to be a part of the regal bespoke boutique of Maurice Sedwell.
Upon returning to Malaysia, Ian was excited to share his new philosophy in bespoke tailoring. “Malaysians always compare the prices between ready-to-wear and bespoke, which is a challenge I’m facing right now,” he says, taking the opportunity to urge tailors alike to support each other to grow the market rather than holding grudges against each other. “Our enemy is ready-to-wear, not between tailors. We should be setting up a base and encourage others to visit a tailoring shop if they want to get a suit done.”
Apart from Malaysia, Ian is now looking to penetrate the Australian market. “The upcoming new leaders are my target market. There, my experience, my source of fabrics and workmanship will make my brand stand out in a few years. There are a few strong tailoring shops in Australia, but I am confident that I can challenge them.