Eschewing mass-produced and mall-made men’s suits, designer Ivan Kirstein is bringing bespoke tailoring to South African men. His one-on-one approach and the realisation that every man is unique has got our attention – and is bound to get yours too. We chatted to him about his brand, Richie Rich, and what South African men are looking for in tailoring.
How did Richie Rich evolve? I have a branding and advertising background, which in its nature is driven by aesthetics and popular culture; think Mad Men and you have a pretty good idea. I have always had a keen eye and love for fashion, but found it difficult to find local brands that could cater for my specific needs – hence the birth of Richie Rich.
What are some of the tailoring details that South African men would love but aren’t familiar with yet? Stitch detailing and buttoning are, for me, one of the greatest nuances of a suit and can really show personality and define quality. These days a hand-pick stitch is very much sought after, as it really shows attention to detail. We can and often do get quite creative when it comes to the detailing side of tailoring, depending on the client’s preferences. Just the same way you can discern a mass-produced loaf of bread from a homemade one, the proof is in the quality and in the wearing. We always ensure we are on-trend and we keep our customers up to speed with the latest happenings in the world of men’s fashion. That’s just an additional benefit we like to provide.
What kind of man is the Richie Rich suit catering to? Well, any man that needs a great suit. But more specifically I would say there are two categories of men that Richie Rich caters to. The first is the client looking for an understated yet perfectly crafted and fitted suit. There is nothing quite like having a suit perfectly tailored to fit you like a glove. Secondly we are catering to the man who wants to stand out in a crowd – who is looking for something truly unique and personalised. With Richie Rich your imagination really is the limit.
What exciting trends are emerging in men’s tailoring right now? I definitely think Old School is truly cool now. Men are rediscovering that classic, clean look, drawing on old-school glamour. Think Matt Bomer in White Collar – very clean lines, a classic approach with just a hint of a quirky edge. I think more so than ever men are beginning to enjoy fashion and feeling comfortable in doing so. We are also seeing an interesting take on the traditional suit: shorter jackets, interesting lapels and slimmer fitting trousers with no socks. To cater for the more daring consumer we currently have a project underway with The Trechikoff Foundation which will be very exciting – so watch this space.
How is Richie Rich filling a gap that others haven’t? Nobody wants to be one of a thousand, we all want to be unique in some way and able to express ourselves. Fashion is one of the best ways to do this on a daily basis. Richie Rich is about fulfilling that need as well as giving a really personalised approach with one-on-one consulting, where we not only measure gentlemen up, but truly try to get a good understanding of their lifestyle, personality, needs etc. This was we are better equipped to provide them with a truly great product.
Can you give an idea of pricing for a Richie Rich bespoke suit? A two-piece starts at R5 220, and a three-piece at R6 800, while shirts start at R800. These prices can obviously vary as the super (thread count) of the fabric increases. It really is dependent on what sort of budget the client would like to work with. If they take a fancy to a Valentino fabric they could be looking at up to R12 000. So it really does vary, but we are proud to say that we only deal in very high-quality wools and cottons from the UK, Australia and Italy. For more information, visit the Richie Rich website or email Ivan at email@example.com . Alternatively, call them on 082-685-5060 to book your one-on-one consultation.