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kotmj

The suiting thread

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In case anybody is wondering, it's a fused suit. With fused suits, I let the workshop which produces it determine the styling. I also do not have as much influence over the fit. 

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Screenshot_20190829_195931_com.instagram

Most of his posts get about 30k likes. He has 200k followers. Through sheer photogenicity. He's just a college kid. I think I might sponsor him. Before others discover him.

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The editor of the documentary about Mahathir also edited this original theme song by Yuna. I thought he meant the Korean Yuna who sang alongside Psy. Turns out there is a Malaysian Yuna. The editor, who also writes plays both for theater and screen, is a very smart and insightful person. A one-in-500,000 kind of person. 

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From what I see, the situation with editors is that the top ones are expensive, yet they don't make a great deal of money. It isn't contradictory.

It has to do with their lack of leverage. They have to do the editing themselves. To make a lot of money, one requires a lot of leverage. 

Its like a tailor who cuts, fits and sews himself. The suits end up costing a lot this way, yet the tailor doesn't make much money.

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Isn't the video editors' market vulnerable to be 'spoiled' by new entrants into the field, offering cheaper services due to less experience, just like still photography? I don't know the answer, but one difference is that video editors usually just edit and have little to no influence on the material they're editing, whereas photographers usually control the content as well as the editing process.

I've noticed that on Youtube at least, the size of the production house is somewhat proportional to the frequency of publication. Take Linus Tech Tips, for instance. They release tech videos almost daily, and it's almost a factory in there. There are presenters, tech testers and reviewers, video editors and scriptwriters. Contrast this with a YT channel called Oversimplified. They release videos only once every few months, there's only one presenter, and the material seems like it can be done by a one-man team. 

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I guess if you're an incumbent looking at an onslaught of scruffy inexperienced entrants, one escape from having to wrestle with them for jobs is to go upmarket. There are always clients looking for very good rather than very cheap. There are even clients that not want but need THE BEST. So Domino's would be competing against Pizza Hut for the best pizza photography. Which production house can make the pizza look tastiest? Cost becomes almost irrelevant. 

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I recently made the owner of a production company a suit. He told me quite a bit about how that business works. The thing about talking to people who founded and who run a successful business in a competitive industry is that they tend to talk about the key things that keep the company functioning. It's what occupies their mind. 

He talked about food stylists. There are very few who are good enough for clients like QSR etc. They tend to specialise in food styling. They only work with production teams they like. You basically pay them what they ask for. 

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DSC00897.jpg?raw=1

No buttons or buttonholes yet, but this one looks very promising.

I wonder if i should hire the guy I interviewed a few days ago. Economies everywhere are either slowing, or in recession. Tailoring is badly affected; revenues are sharply down.

But also, I was looking for someone who can eventually replace me, but it doesn't look like it will happen with him. He interned with a certain Brian Khoo, a fashion designer, but has no clue whatsoever how Khoo gets his customers. If you intern in a business with fewer than 10 employees and you have no clue how the most important function of the business is fulfilled, then you're either retarded or hopeless. In any case you are unlikely to make partner at JT. He also has no clue as to Khoo's revenues, which is really strange. I mean, you can practically see it with your own eyes, if you would just look. He could tell me almost nothing about Brian Khoo's operations. To be a partner of any business requires considerable powers of observation. 

But! you say: He's only 22. Well, at 5 years of age I was already plotting world dominion, so he's really a late starter to say the least.

I suppose he could become a sewing tailor, say a coatmaker, but he appears to me a little too spirited for that. I fear the worst outcome: After spending a few short years at JT with very subpar productivity barely able to justify his salary (like taking 30 man days to sew a vest, which is what my assistant requires), he finally gets a little more productive. And decides to leave and start on his own. He then spends the next few years like a disabled tailor, limping along and barely eating. The online presence will be great, but the business is severely hobbled from the lack of critical mass of talent (also a problem JT suffers from). During the few years he spends with me, I basically lose money on him. It's lose-lose.

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Along a similar theme, look at this article from 2004.

https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2004/09/01/wardrobe-forges-smart-partnership

It reports on how Wardrobe went into partnership with a certain Barni. Wardrobe leases and fits out a shop; Barni then runs it in exchange for a 50% share of profits.

But where is Barni today? Nowhere. Absolutely nowhere.

https://web.facebook.com/barni.zulzamanizahir?_rdc=1&_rdr

I'm trying to avoid hiring people who go nowhere.

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On the topic of your bamboo plant, I just realised one thing (I do a lot of thinking while on my bike; there's no other form of entertainment). By the time your bamboo's foliage becomes satisfactory, it will also have a high risk of toppling over. Get a bigger pot (that, too may not prevent toppling over in the worst of storms).

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On 8/31/2019 at 12:34 AM, carbman said:

On the topic of your bamboo plant, I just realised one thing (I do a lot of thinking while on my bike; there's no other form of entertainment). By the time your bamboo's foliage becomes satisfactory, it will also have a high risk of toppling over. Get a bigger pot (that, too may not prevent toppling over in the worst of storms).

They keep toppling over even now. They're in polybags; I've been meaning to buy pots for them but have not got around to it. It's always the decision between:

a) go to Sg Buloh nursery to buy pots, or

b ) process several thousand ringgit worth of orders, or

c) spend more time with the dogs before they become estranged from the owner/become feral.

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On 9/1/2019 at 4:53 PM, kotmj said:

They keep toppling over even now. They're in polybags; I've been meaning to buy pots for them but have not got around to it. It's always the decision between:

a) go to Sg Buloh nursery to buy pots, or

b ) process several thousand ringgit worth of orders, or

c) spend more time with the dogs before they become estranged from the owner/become feral.

Procure big plastic pots from ACE Hardware. Fill 'em with soil from Lazada (saves having to haul it up yourself). Or you could go Lazada all the way.

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DSC00901.ARW.jpg?raw=1

Me wearing Julian's jacket. One of many he will be receiving as part of the sponsorship programme. After seeing pictures of the previous jacket on him, I thought it is necessary for me to influence the styling more, which resulted in what you see here. Julian has very horizontal shoulders, unlike my sloping ones.

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Every day, I receive a great deal of communications via email, whatsapp, IG dm, FB messenger and the phone. My problem is, I actually have to spend most of my attention on the clothes. I have no clue where to find the attention for all these messages that come in. Over time, I end up with a pile of unanswered messages. A mountain.

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IMG_20190904_154915.jpg?raw=1

Someone just went for a jacket in the above red donegal tweed. And a suit in Escorial. And a shirt in Alumo.

He was complaining about how he spends all his money on his family and not on himself. Mostly because he hasn't the time for himself. Especially not for something like using tailors, which require many appointments before a suit is produced.

I said he does treat himself to nice watches---he had on a Rolex Deepsea Dweller. I asked if he had to wait a long time for it. He said, no, not at all, he got it very quickly. He is a regular at the Rolex dealer. He was proud he paid only retail. He says he has quite the Rolex collection.

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Today, a customer came in with a Meyer & Mortimer (of Sackville St.) suit. He had spent 15 years in London, hence. The suit was made in 2009.

He wore it to show me. The first thing to strike me about the trousers: Holy moly, it is sooooo roomy!! Second thing: It is very beautiful.

Then I helped him into the jacket. The first thing I notice: It is sooooo long! It went down 2" past his buttocks. Second thing I notice is it is very beautiful. Third thing I notice is, the sleeves are very roomy, the upper back has a great deal of ease, and the way the cutter positioned the neckpoint  and back neckscye is very smart! I will do this too from henceforth (neckpoint and back necksyce)! The waist is actually very close fitting.

Both the jacket and trousers are constructed with about 2X the labour content of the stuff made in Asia, including WWChan. He said the suit took forever to be completed. I asked what he meant by "forever". About 5 months apparently, with many trips to the shop for fittings. He said the cutter fiddled with the jacket "endlessly". I didn't ask what endlessly meant, but I think maybe 5 to 7 fittings. This customer is not new to tailors; he has used at least another one in London, and more in Asia, so when he says endlessly, it means he felt like he had to keep showing up for an interminable number of fittings.

He left the suit with me, so I can examine it with my assistant. He ordered a 12 oz. suit with me. I told him the cut will be substantially different.

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