“When I went to these fabric markets, I was still unable to satisfy what I really wanted to get.”
These words echoed by the founder of The Flamingo Suits, Marcus Tang, gave him the fundamental drive to eventually set up his own speciality tailor that produces probably the most eye-catching, customized suits in Singapore. Alongside his wife, Chua Si Ting, and business partner, Aidan Lim, we sat down with this new business to find out more about their inspirations.
Marcus describes his dressing as being loud and flashy, a fashion sense that stuck with him since he was young and developing his fashion sense.
“I was that crazy person always wearing weird stuff and all, so at first I wouldn’t think that I was fashionable or stylish. But after a while, people start to understand that I was actually quite trendy and it took me a few years to receive that sense of affirmation from them.”
Drawing inspiration from the flamingo bird’s bold and daring colour to his fashion, The Flamingo Suits was born.
The Flamingo Suits was started with the concept of bringing flamboyance to the classic suit and allowing people to showcase their individual stories in fabric.
The team believes in the design of a “one-of-a-kind” suit for each individual customer to represent their unique personalities through fashion.
The Flamingo Suits not only produces suits for men but also aims to cater to the ladies as well, as the market of suits for women is underserved in that aspect according to Marcus. Variances of a full female suit have been created including three-piece suits and even a blazer-dress.
They have also ventured into couple and family-themed suits where such suits can be seen as more than just an attire but a memento or even an heirloom for customers.
What further differentiates The Flamingo’s suits from the mass market apart from the colours and prints are the materials involved in the manufacturing process.
Their unique blend of fabric consists of a special composition of wool, polyester and spandex that is sourced and manufactured in South Korea.
Si Ting explains that “Traditionally when people are in their suits, they will feel hot and rigid without being able to sit in comfort. This special blend of fabric is more breathable and practical which allows our customers to be in comfort.”
Going through the trouble of fabric blend engineering retains the structure of the suits and gives the stretchy comfort that one will be unlikely to find in the mass market. Not at all like your usual rigid suits. Furthermore, the material is thin and gives a breathable feel that is ideal for the weather in Singapore.
Even the buttons are outstanding.
“If you take a quick look at all our suits on the rack if any of these buttons are plastic buttons, the entire feel of the suit will change with it,” comments Marcus.
A huge focus on the details of the suit includes the often overlooked buttons. Referring to them as “premium buttons”, these more expensive buttons are made of metal rather than plastic and this small detail aids in bringing out the individuality of a suit.
The Flamingo Suits have made a mark in the entertainment scene in both Malaysia and Singapore.
One particular client that they have is Dennis Lau, an award-winning violinist from Malaysia. His suits are customised for each concert event to suit the playful style that Dennis is known for during his performances.
Local celebrities such as Irene Ang and Zhang Yaodong has also collaborated with The Flamingo Suits to don on their customised suits for events. The Flamingo Suits are also in talks with several celebrities in the local scene, so do keep a lookout for these glaring suits in the near future. It’s pretty hard to miss.
The overall designs of the suit are often inspired by fashion runways as well as inputs from each individual client.
Discussions about a particular customized suit to be made involve a personal sit down session where the style and requirements on the suit are finalised and then ultimately designed by The Flamingo Suits. The team believes that with such sessions being made available in private, consumers will be given a chance to express themselves freely and try something that is out of their comfort zone rather than worry about judging looks.
Inspiration for their suits is also taken from various trends in the world and paves the way for a suit to be creatively designed. One particular design that they have was inspired by Conor McGregor’s “F**K YOU” striped suite when he first wore it for a UFC press conference.
Don’t worry, if the text is too vulgar for you, it can always be changed to a more family-friendly version such as spelling out your name.
Seeing the finalized product being worn by their customers fuels the team with excitement to create more. Marcus reiterates the importance of customer feedback which drives them to strive for new inventive ways to express each suit. Not everyone can afford a customized suit though.
On the company’s business direction, Marcus shares that “If we were to stay in this niche market, the time taken to transform the landscape will be too long as people who are not ready are just not ready. The e-commerce strategy is a broad sweep to get people to have a step into our business with classic designs and then we will start introducing ranges that are louder. Hopefully, this will allow them to be ready one day when they are conditioned. ”
An e-commerce store has been set in motion where more mass-produced shirts and pants will be sold. It is catered for those seeking a more casual and subtle look for an easier transition to more flamboyant styles in the future rather than jumping straight out of their comfort zones.
Asked if it is a challenge to break the traditional corporate norm of suits, Marcus agrees that it takes time for the mass market to be educated about the fashion and for people to be open to express themselves. However, he believes in the vision of seeing people on the street expressing themselves through fashion in the future even if they aren’t as loud as others.
“We are often misunderstood as just flamboyant. When we have the full range of customization and we want to tell the story, it is your story that we tell. If your story is more subdued and composed then it definitely should not take the form of a flamboyant one. You can always have a one and only suit in the world without shouting out loudly.”
After all, it is “your story, your colours and your design” that makes a suit different from any others out there.
Sure, one can always just buy a suit off the rack at G2000, but do consider these suits if you are someone who wants to express yourself through fashion. Fret not, there are toned down colours and designs that can still express individuality without being overly flamboyant. Not everyone is born to be a flamingo.
Isn’t it interesting to let your clothes do the talking for you without a single word?
Price: S$799 – S$1499 depending on the scale of customisation