This is the first post of my ‘future of tailoring’ series. The basic idea: I want to highlight tailors that are young and have a passion for tailoring. They are the future of tailoring. I would like to make sure that they get some more coverage.
We will start with the first tailor: Julian Weyand. He is a tailor from Dusseldorf, Germany.
Trained as a woman’s tailor (couture) he started his journey into men’s tailoring when in 2007 he bought some great looking velvet to make a suit for himself. Well, he concluded that it wasn’t as easy as he had thought. Velvet being a hard cloth to work with and also the fact that he had no prior training in men’s tailoring. But he did like it! So he ventured out and started his apprenticeship. Because of is prior schooling as a couture tailor he learned quickly and he now is a coat maker for Heinz-Josef Radermacher (funny sidenote: Räder macher in German means Wheel maker) it’s one of the most famous tailoring firms in Dusseldorf and I would say the whole of Germany. Without further notice, let’s dive in!
What is it that you like about men’s tailoring, especially in regards to that of woman’s couture?
Couture is all about freedom, you can almost literally do anything that you want with it. There are much more types of fabrics to choose from. It’s about emotion and expression. Tailoring, on the other hand, is much more rigid. You can only change so much before you lose balance. While couture is all about curves, tailoring is all about lines. That’s what I like about tailoring. Oh and the fact that you have such a big impact with just the smallest of changes.
We all know the funny stories about tailors and their tailoring, do you have any?
After some thought. I once had a colleague who told me that tailoring is like building a rocket, one little mistake and the whole thing explodes into space. That’s how serious and difficult tailoring is.
Tailoring is like building a rocket, one mistake and the whole thing explodes
You are talking so passionately about tailoring, why are there not a lot of young tailors or aspiring tailors?
That’s a good question. The first point is the fact that it’s hard to master. You need a lot of dedication to master the art of tailoring when you factor in that it’s hard work not a lot of young people want to do that. But a more important factor is the salary. Because when it’s hard and difficult work that may be no problem when you get paid handsomely. Well, that’s not the case. You get an average salary. These days it’s easier to just work for a bank and get a higher salary. (note: of course we see these problems in the creative sector and also in the craft sector).
Why are you still a tailor then?
I like creating. Making something that’s 2d into a 3d object. It’s incredible to see a pair of trousers that you cut from 2d cloth. Sewing it, pressing it, and when the customer puts it on it suddenly changes from that 2d state to a 3d object.
What is your preferred style?
I like a fairly traditional jacket. moderately close-cut shoulders with a bit of padding in it. A high armhole and wide sleeves. The button stance is, I would say on a normal height. The chest has enough room. I think this will look modern yet also will stand the test of time. I would cut the trousers wide enough in the thigh-era and around the knees, with some nice tapering to the ankle, I think that this suits the jacket and at the same time feels contemporary. I think that this looks better on my younger clientele. I, of course, will discuss everything with my customer and will make changes accordingly.
Is this different from the style you make at Radermachter?
Yes totally, at Radermacher I make structured jackets. A fairly extended shoulder with a lot of padding and wadding. So I certainly know how to make it. But it’s definitely for an older clientele. Mostly senior executives of big corporations. Also bankers and lawyers.
How do you see the future of tailoring?
First of all, I do think that you have to approach it differently. What I mean by that is a simple fact that there are not as many people buying expensive bespoke suits. Ready to wear has that immediate satisfaction and that’s hard to beat with bespoke tailoring. It’s all about education, when customers are passionate about tailoring they understand that it takes time. I do think that people are also not always aware that it’s difficult and a tailor needs a lot of experience to deliver a great product. The other factor is wearing suits and jackets. The next generation isn’t wearing them as frequently as other generations. That’s sometimes a bit worrying because as a tailor you are making suits. When nobody wears them we have a problem. But I still have hope. There are more people (especially young people) that wear suits, while they may have no budget to buy bespoke suits they will probably get there when they are in their thirties. It’s important that they stay interested in the craft and in clothing in general. Also, travelling makes it a lot easier to reach a wider demographic. That will probably save tailoring as a whole and make it available in more countries. So we may have less competent tailors but more people can get in contact with these tailors.
Julian, I want to thank you for your time and for your insights. I hope we will see more of you and your tailoring. Good luck!
While Julian still works for Radermacher, next year he wants to open up his own tailor shop in Dusseldorf Germany. Do let him know what you think!
A big shout out too Dennis Walter for providing his photo’s of the suit that Julian made for him. THANKS!
Photo number 1 and 3, 4, 5 and 6 are credited to @kleidsam
Photo number 2 is credited to @Julianweyand