Roger Shamoun, Zimma Tailors

Sydney, Australia

Launched in 2011, Zimma Tailors is run by Roger Shamoun and is located in the prestigious Palings Lane in the Ivy Precinct. Zimma Tailors offers full bespoke suit tailoring with an average of 90 hours and 4 fittings to create the perfect fit for their customers.

What business aspects have led to the success of Zimma Tailors?

You could put the the success quite simply down to, education!
I believed in what I was trying to accomplish, focusing on teaching each and every person that walked into my showroom how I made my clothes. The details are what differentiate the good from the bad and ugly.
I taught my clients how fabrics worked, what they meant, idioms such as drape, balance, posture, canvas and baste began to draw an image and develop understanding. I would virtually say the same thing over and over to each new client, the conversation became somewhat robotic with the hope that it would eventually inspire.

The first 2 years, I was more intrigued and aware of all the brands and offerings around me. Since I was offering ready to wear, MTM, Bespoke and alterations, I saw competition virtually everywhere. After about 2 years into the business, I stopped. I stopped looking around me and focused on what I was doing and how I was doing it, this changed my goals and really allowed me to grow. Competition in a sense was a distraction, it was that annoying person that would nag and nag and nag, only if you let them. I walked away from that person and was able to hone in on what I needed to do to change the way things were being done!

What do you think is the future of tailoring? Do you see technology replacing the essential art of tailoring for instance, cutting, measuring or producing bespoke suits?

Replacing, definitely not. I would use the work assisting! The concept of handmade, is just that. Technology at best, can make an amazingly fitting suit but never can it make an amazingly fitting suit, by hand! Technology will only make things faster and more regimented. I’ve seen some bespoke consignments all made by hand that didn’t fit the client’s body at all. The 2 major components in bespoke are the pattern and the construction. They are as equal and important as each other. You don’t put race tyres on a beat up old car and you don’t put a beat up old engine in a formula 1 race car.
Since opening the factory, I have seen the evolution of technology with machinery and software. It really has allowed for processes to become faster and more precise, reducing cost and error which is a huge issue in production. Now saying that, when I started building the factory the central nerve was the bespoke pattern process. Cutting each client’s order off the bench with scissors, no machine assistance was paramount. I wanted the essence of bespoke to remain within the concept of the factory. I wasn’t looking to build an MTM facility, I was building a bespoke production facility and to do this we needed some amazing machinery and software that would allow us to completely customise each order instantly, this is how technology has allowed me to build SARTORIA ZIMMA.

What is Zimma Tailors’ unique value proposition and how do you acquire your customers?

A picture speaks a thousand words, so trying to explain what I do and how I do it…this could take a while!
I hate a hard sell, my sales pitch was educating each and every time, still till today. Explaining the difference between MTM and bespoke (most people don’t know the difference) explaining how many stitches go into a canvas, how a collar is rolled, why pad a canvas, and so on. I tried to give them something they could take home and ponder, something they never knew prior. If it resonated they would come back, otherwise it was a conversation once upon a time. The conversation would generally turn into a physical display of workmanship, cloths finesse testing and a yelling conversation between us downstairs and tailors upstairs. The machines rumbling upstairs and the tailors singing would always become part of the sale.
Zimma Tailors was built and grew simply from client referrals. Word of mouth is powerful, it takes time but it is worth every effort to attain!