Why should people buy tailor-made attire?
Our clothing expresses ourselves and we should dress to feel good. We should feel perfect, as if we were wearing a second skin. This is a feeling that cannot be enjoyed if clothes are too large or if the colors are not harmonious. Tailor-made attire was worn by the English aristocracy. Even today, as in the past, it is and always has been a matter of status. Even in Italy – the Mecca of fashion and style – men of higher social standing don’t purchase ready-made clothing, despite having a multitude of internationally renowned domestic brands to choose from. They are aware that ready-made products lack personalization and are made in large factories around the world. The logic behind ready-made products is to manufacture as cheaply as possible and sell for as much as possible.
What should people know about tailor-made attire? What should we concentrate on when looking for a top product?
I can only draw on my own knowledge and experience. First and foremost, the client should have the guarantee that they are receiving something worth what they are paying for and that what was stated during the analysis of the client’s requirements, their preferences and during image consultancy has been taken into account in the final product. It is therefore paramount to take an interest in the process after the customer selects the clothing, has their measurements taken and leaves the showroom. One of the key questions is whether the company has its own manufacturing capacity. Mostly after the initial sitting with the customer, the specs are sent to another company that mass produces these garments. This means they are not a company that provides tailor-made attire, and they do not have control over the entire process. And this has a real impact. If the client has numerous garments made from various materials, each suit may be made to the same specs, but the client may feel different in each material. Different materials have a different firmness, softness and sit differently and therefore must be tailored to a different extent, even for the same customer. The aim is to provide the perfect feel for every suit. At Marco Mirelli, because we produce our own clothing, we know how to adjust individual measurements for every material, thus providing the perfect feel for the customer. And this should be the alfa and omega of every company that provides tailor-made attire.
What is the process for choosing a tailor-made suit?
At Marco Mirelli, we initially analyze the customer’s requirements regarding what exactly they want and the event the clothing is for. We then complete an image card, which we use to analyze the color typology of the customer, their face and figure typology, we find their preferred style and what their existing wardrobe looks like. The color of the suit is selected based on the client’s personal color typology. The figure typology defines the cut. We mask flaws and enhance traits. The quality and structure of the material is selected based on the figure and skin structure. The garments are tailored from materials from international manufacturers such as Loro Piana, Ermenegildo Zegna, Holland Sherry, and Scabal, to name a few. We stock a very wide range of materials – from wool to cashmere, and a myriad of patterns and structures. Thanks to this – and traditional Italian and English family companies from who we stock Santoni shoes, Jacob Cohen jeans, handmade Albert Thurston braces and Italo Ferretti ties – we have created the original Marco Mirelli style. Each and every product must be of an internationally-renowned character.
Marco Mirelli has been operating for 16 years. You have beautiful showrooms in the center of Bratislava and Prague and your own production facilities in Tornaľa. Are you able to keep pace with top-end international companies?
Despite us being a local brand, abroad we are considered the Bentley of menswear internationally. International brands provide tailor-made attire, but only as made-to-measure. They take the customer’s basic measurements and have the garment made in a production hall where all their garments are made, including ready-made products. Marco Mirelli undertakes its own production, and specializes in tailor-made clothes. This ensures a far superior quality product. We are able to compete with international brands in terms of the quality of our services. There are those who shop abroad just for the feeling that they are wearing an international brand. But who stands behind these brands? We are gradually overtaking international companies, because our clients know us personally. Thanks to this, we are able to provide customers with absolute privacy, a personal relationship; we know their wardrobe and provide comprehensive care. We can advise customers by phone and even visit them in person. We live with our work. We cannot compete with international brands in terms of brand psychology, but we can in terms of product quality and service. With Marco Mirelli, the customer receives so much more than they do abroad.
Why did you decide to produce clothing in the Gemer region in Tornaľa?
Because producing high-quality tailor-made clothing can’t be done by just anyone. It has to be done where there are highly skilled staff and traditions. This is how it works abroad. For example, in the world famous Loro Piana manufactures in the small town of Quarona. It’s one thing to purchase good quality machinery, but staff with decades of experience is the most important factor. Thanks to our know-how and having our own manufacturing capacity, we are able to produce tailor-made clothing without fittings, thus saving time for the customer. We can even provide a tailor-made suit in 48 hours. Customer satisfaction is the most important aspect of our philosophy. Therefore, although we often make bespoke clothing that is ready to go, we always make the necessary adjustments, even if it is only half a centimeter.
Who are the people who work for you?
Tornaľa has a strong tradition in the clothing industry, and our people, who now number 30, are the crème-de-la-crème of the local clothing industry. We adapted their knowledge to our specific tailor-made style. After 16 years, with the company they know how to do this perfectly.
When visiting the Marco Mirelli showroom and facility, what is surprising is that you and your wife are ever-present, you even both model in your adverts. Why is that?
We are a family company and our whole world is based around what we do. Furthermore, it is stunning, creative work. We create beauty. The personal approach allows us to create a good relationship with the customer. What’s more, we retain key people at our company. Whenever the client needs, they can meet with the same person who always takes care of them, and who they trust. It is like the banking sector, which has retail and private segments. In terms of our work we are ‘private’ – i.e. we have a personal relationship.
Marco Mirelli is not the only tailor-made company in Slovakia. Who do you consider to be your greatest competitor?
We consider international companies such as Brioni, Zegna and Tom Ford to be our competition. From one point of view, we don’t have any competition in Slovakia. But on the other hand – from the uninformed customer’s point of view – every company that claims to make tailor-made attire is our competitor. However, making a good suit, or rather a well-fitting tailor-made suit, is truly an art. One has to control the entire creative process, respect all the nuances of the male physique, know the characteristics of the materials and master the design patterns and sewing devices. And this is what many lack. Our “competition” merely sells attire. To a certain extent, some companies take an interest in the individual personality of the customer; however, the sheer complexity of our services in Slovakia is incomparable. As I always say, we compare ourselves to the comparable. The others merely try to emulate us. Our business model is complex and expensive. The company - and indeed the entire industry in Slovakia – is something we have built up over 16 years. Providing superior service and products globally is only possible with a certain size and complexity, thanks to in-house production and the necessary number of people working for us. The others do so on a small scale, but it is just a one-man show and improvised. It may seem personal, they may take care of the customer, but they will never be able to achieve the level of professionalism we are able to.
Don’t numerous companies make comparable clothing to Marco Mirelli’s, only cheaper than they sometimes claim?
I can only repeat: one needs to compare with the comparable. And it’s exactly because of this claim that the customer should consider what exactly a company does which claims to make tailor-made attire. For example: what kind of tradition does the company have? What is its expertise? How are the items made? How many customer measurements do they take? Where is the attire made? Do they monitor the manufacturing process in its entirety? What happens if the customer’s suit doesn’t fit? How long is their waiting list? Will they really undertake the requested alterations if the suit does not fit exactly? Yes, maybe people are more interested in the price these days. But they should know what they are receiving for that price. As I always say – it’s best to pay more, and be certain. And the only way this can be achieved is through having the entire process from A to Z under control. Orders go from the customer directly to our facility – and not only the measurements, but also the customer’s name and specific requirements. The whole time the entire process is under our control and we only deliver a garment when the customer is absolutely satisfied with the result. After-sale care is also important. We make suits from only the finest natural materials and we also have our own laundry where we know we can take care of the given material. In terms of products and services, we are something like a Michelin restaurant that provides only the best food and service. We have global products in which there is something individual – we use materials from the world’s leading manufacturers and make suits, jackets, tuxedos, tailcoats, shirts and coats, plus we have some of the best accessories in the world. And we mix them together in our own style. Our services must be at the same level of quality as our products.
Not everybody goes to a Michelin restaurant. Is it your intention to focus on a narrower group of people?
Our philosophy is to offer high quality products and services – this is something we will never change under any circumstances. We understand that we are not the everyman’s brand and we will always only have a limited number of customers, but these will be absolutely satisfied customers. Wherever our customers travel in the world, they will always be amongst the best dressed. And that’s another reason we are proud to have built a top brand here in Slovakia. We have put everything into it. This is our lives.
IMAGE HOUSE FOR MEN
Bratislava - Staré mesto
+421 910 920 240
Marek Liso, the director of Marco Mirelli