From time to time, we get asked by people how we pull together a collection of menswear each season; Questions range from how we choose who supplies us with the raw materials, how we select individual fabrics, decide on the cut, collar and cuffs of our shirts and obviously, how we manage to pull together a cohesive range of menswear that captures the attention of our customers, stays fresh and seasonal but at the same time, classic and true to our traditional European origins. Well, in the words of Montel Jordan, this is how we do it…Sha la la la la la lo!
It’s in the DNA
The Perzi family have been expertly outfitting men from Perth to Prague, from Sydney to Stockholm and everywhere in between for decades. So when it comes to selecting the finest quality fabrics, deciding on the dimensions of each cut of shirt, trouser, jacket or tie width and sorting the men from the boys in terms of craftsman, experience really counts.
The origins of the label, Philippe Perzi Vienna are firmly rooted in European tailoring, with Philippe’s father, Johann, beginning his career in Vienna as an apprentice under the watchful eye of C. M. Frank, renowned tailor to the royal families of continental Europe. Obviously, the “Vienna” in our brand name gives away our origins that stem from the Austrian capital, but we are most proud of the freedom and the appreciation for fine menswear that our adopted home of Australia has provided. At Philippe Perzi Vienna, we think one of the secrets behind our success over the years in providing exclusive high quality menswear that is stylish, elegant and timeless and at the same time always on-trend, comes from our mixed heritage – we combine the best of both worlds – Classic European sophistication and quality and Australian confidence and freedom. For more on the Perzi family story, check out our blog.
Menswear: A family affair
The beauty of being a boutique that is wholly family owned and run, is that we not only have skin in the game and therefore, are highly incentivised to bring only the best quality and beautiful product to market, but each and every family member is able to contribute and take part in designing, choosing and selecting stock; each family member bringing something unique and special to the table, drawing on their wide ranging experiences, knowledge and observations.
When decisions need to be made, they are made swiftly without the need for lengthy approvals and meetings that so often can stymie and stagnate larger apparel businesses. Some would say this means we can respond to trends faster. We like to think this allows us to set the trends!
We are free from the shackles of ‘playing it safe’ that can often mean customers get a limited selection of stock from larger retailers. We pride ourselves on our collection that not only contains classic colours and patterns, but a wide range of bright and bold fabrics that are otherwise unseen in today’s market. Importantly, we can deliver on our commitment of producing the highest quality menswear, without the pressures some big businesses may experience. No short cuts.
Good things come in small packages
As a boutique, and also because of the reputation and good standing we have with our suppliers, we are able to source the finest fabrics for our apparel that are only made in very small quantities and consequently, we only stock a limited and finite amount of any one design (maximum of 17 in each shirt design), which means our customers get the best of the best and can buy with the knowledge that their shirt, tie or pocket square is truly one of a kind!
This means that not only do we deliver on our commitment to high quality, but we also deliver on our commitment to individuality. Additionally, our close connection with customers helps us understand their preferences.
The Philippe Perzi Vienna team travels widely around the world and much of the inspiration behind our collections can be attributed to our experiences and appreciation of the modern gentleman’s intrinsic demand for quality, effortless sophistication and to stand out from the crowd. The Pitti Uomo fair is one such event that provides a rich source of sartorial stimulation, both from exhibitors and stylish gentlemen who attend this famous fashion spectacular. As a buyer of classic menswear, we look to see how many of the trends and styles we see at the fair and on the street, translate into our exclusive range of men’s shirts, ties and accessories, mindful of the fact that we want to maintain our heritage and classic masculine lines throughout our collections. So, rather than chasing the latest fad or trend, we take note and are inspired by what we see and who we talk to at the Pitti Fair and inject a little bit of that panache into our range.
Cooperation and collaboration
But it’s not all about fashion fairs and street style. Our suppliers and manufacturers are some of the most talented and passionate family-run businesses in Europe, who have been operating successfully for many decades. We actively choose to work with like-minded businesses and know how important it is to support their craft, which is becoming rarer as many in the fashion world chase mass production and margins (check out our blog on slow fashion). Unlike many other labels, we are prepared to reward the source of innovation and creativity, rather than copying it. Our supplier’s enthusiasm for producing high quality menswear is infectious and we share the attitude that the secret to long-term success comes from more than just a desire for profitability. Some menswear retailers in Europe will tell you that dealing with suppliers can be idiosyncratic and takes patience, but in working with smaller family-run, like minded businesses, our shared passion for high quality and individuality makes this cooperation and collaboration all the more rewarding.
We hope that gives you a little bit of a primer into how we go about putting together each menswear collection. It takes a lot of thought and planning, but we love bringing the best of the best to our devoted clientele and have no interest in cutting corners or catering to the masses, so whilst this is not how every menswear business operates, it is how we like to do business and we hope that translates into a fun and enjoyable experience for our customers.