Ben Sidden / Alteration Specialists
How did you get into Tailoring?
My whole family, they are a seam stitches and dress-makers, tailors from both sides. Learning this trade is not something I went to school for. It’s a gift, I just grew up in it. In the Caribbean, my father, had a business back home. When I left school in the evening I used to go up there, sit at the shop with him. Just by watching him I catch on and learned sewing. It’s more like something I don’t know, like a talent, gifted.
Why do your customers come to see you at Alteration Specialists?
At Alteration Specialists here I try to be a people person. The way I meet with client, the way I make them feel comfortable while I’m doing their fitting. I try to be the best at what I do and take care of them while I’m doing it. Always make them feel more at home coming here. And they get real good work when they come here.
Are there any moments in your career that stand out to you?
Two weeks ago there was a customer, he came in with a jacket that was 2 times his size and he says he’s going on the red carpet and he needs this jacket to look perfect. While I was doing the fitting I was looking at the jacket and there were so many things wrong with it. When he came back for a second fitting and when he looked at it, just the way his face light up, it was a real nice feeling. He sent us pictures of when he was at the awards show looking real good.
What sort of trends do you see happening now?
Mostly for men, they just want a slimmer cut, more tailored look. They would buy a suit off the rack and bring it to us to have a more tailored cut, more fitted, more taper on the pants, more of those types of trends. Like for dresses, for a better fit. Every customer will see something out there and love it, and although it might be like two times her size, she knows that she can depend on us to bring it to her size and fit perfectly.
Are there certain fabrics you like working with?
For me I mostly like sequins, sequin velvet, I like the challenge. Most of the time sequins are difficult to work with. When a customer comes in with a special garment to fit and I look at it and think to myself, “This is not gonna be easy one,” and I’ll push myself to get it fitted the way they want it.
What do you see in the future for fabrics?
Any changes I see now are that most of the jackets are a different pattern. It’s not like a regular turned wool, not like a super wanted material any more. Most of the designers are using printed fabric to make men’s suits, but it looks really nice. It makes a statement.
What do you do to stay creatively motivated?
When I leave here I do sewing at home also, sometimes I do custom things like making suits from scratch cause that’s what I grow up on. Most of the evenings when I leave here I still go to work for me it’s always work. I’m always around a machine, always pushing myself to be the best at what I do.
How do you like custom suit making?
I just love to please the customer. When they where my piece, it feels good.
What have your experiences with WAWAK been?
WAWAK, I love their customer service. You order it this minute, you get it by tomorrow. Their turn-around time is the best. I love to work with them, especially when it comes to their turnaround time. I like to get everything in a day. You can depend on WAWAK.
Anything you would like to share with us?
For me tailoring is a gift, it is something I grew up in and something I work myself hard at everyday to be the best I can. Most of my tailors, once I see the talent in them I try to push them to be the best at what they do.
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