If there is anything globally acknowledged as a necessity asides food and shelter, it is the need for proper clothing.
This need has grown from just being a means to protect the human skin from harmful exposure to a need to exude elegance and style. Because of this need, the beautiful concept of fashion was born.
As such, tailors, designers, and stylists have become a set of professionals found in every society today. We all need them if we want to look our best, after all.
Despite their creativity, Nigerian tailors, or better still ‘fashion designers,’ as they would love to be addressed, face constant clashes with their clients who pose challenges in their line of work.
What could be wrong? Or better still, should the question be rephrased to people who annoy tailors?
A cross-section of tailors in Lagos State shared several categories of clients and their annoying habits with PREMIUM TIMES. It might interest you to know that you could belong to one or more of these categories:
Joseph Ebie, a 24-year-old fashion designer told our correspondent that some clients do not know what they want for themselves, “they will just come and say sew any style,” he said.
According to him, those who would not choose a style, at the end of the day, when the tailor makes any style, they would start saying, “this is not what they want,” and the tailors would be like, “Okay, if you knew what you wanted, why did you not tell me that this is what you want. So I have to think hard, bring up a design, and then you would come to tell me that this is not what you want.”
He also noted that some of these indecisive clients would spend lots of time on the fashion magazine, flipping from page to page, and picking various editions of the available magazines but would not settle for at least one style for themselves. They are as indecisive as much as they are insatiable.
The stingy clients
China Mirabel, a tailor specialising in only womenswear, also shared her fair share of experiences with her clients. For her, some clients are just stingy.
“Somebody would want the tailor to sew a particular design stitch to stitch just exactly the way it is on the magazine or from the internet, yet they will not be willing to pay a reasonable amount of money for it.
‘They start pricing like they are buying crayfish. When they bring out a complex job, they should equally bring money worth the job, not peanuts. Most clients are not ready to pay for what they want; they forget that looking good costs good money.” she said.
An angered Mirabel pointed out that it seems that the women are not in this alone in this category as many men are also part of this annoying group.
Okey James, another tailor, who specialises in men’s suits alone for over two decades, told our correspondent that some clients do not appreciate hand workers. He said, “when clients see a pair of suits online on a showroom, they will pay for it at exorbitant money for it, but when they come to us to make these same suits or even better ones, they will be pricing us down.”
Mr James claimed that local tailors like himself produce some clothes displayed on the internet and showrooms.
Victor Emmanuel, a young tailor apprentice awaiting settlement after learning from his tutor for the past four years, described this category of clients as the most annoying. He cited an example, “Some clients would choose a style, they would look at every detail in style, and they would be like, ‘this is how I want you to sew it.”
“Sometimes, because the tailor has more knowledge and experience about cloth making, he could caution such client, that may be the material/textile would not work with the design, but the client often time chooses to remain adamant, insisting and instructing the tailor on how and what to do; and when the outcome isn’t as pleasant as they envisioned it, they blame the tailor.”
According to Mr Emmanuel, some clients “love to rush the tailor.”
He said that cloth-making takes lots of processes, and making stylish cloth demands that the tailor understand the design and then plan how to execute the design before properly executing the design.
All these processes, he hinted, are time-consuming, and a tailor could have more than one or two deadlines to meet. However, some clients who need to attend a function over the weekend would wear a dress within that week and expect the tailor to perform a magic trick.
While some clients are hasty in getting their jobs done, Mr Ebie told our correspondent that some clients would instead allow their cloth to stay with the tailor until he misplaces them.
He said, “for instance, some clients would turn the tailor’s shop into a museum. After sewing their dress, they would abandon the dress in the shop for years, and most annoyingly, some of these clients live very close to the shop, but they would not come to collect the cloth.
“But whenever the tailor loses track of where they kept the cloth. That’s when they would come to collect the cloth, after that accusing the tailor of using their materials for something else.”
Mr Ebie further added that he has even lost track of the owners of some clothes in his shop because they have stayed in the shop for a very long period.
For Mr Emmanuel, it is not enjoyable when a client brings not enough materials for them. He said that some family people are in the habit of managing materials for events involving the entire family.
“Someone would bring a material that would not be enough to sew a particular design yet insist that the tailor should manage the material.
“It’s more difficult when it has to do with a family, but when the tailor manages the materials and sews the clothes with the available material, the clients begin to make several complaints.”
Abstract fashion clients
Ms Mirabel told our correspondent that not all designs go with every shape or size. For example, a design could be better for a tall person, but the reverse might be the case with a short person. She also noted that not all materials match every design.
She explained: “Some clients would go for a design that does not fit into the material they want or even a design that in most cases does not fit their body type or size, even when the tailor tries to caution them, they would insist, and when the dress is out, and it doesn’t fit, they start complaining.”
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