“When we choose customers how their suit or other piece of clothing will look, we don’t just ask them about the color or cut, but we go through things from work and personal life with them. It is important for us to know what occasion or lifestyle we are sewing clothes for. Only then can we get down to business,” explains Michal Trnka, one of the owners of the tailor shop and also the architect behind the name and the entire visual identity of the salon.
And the design process still remains: “We want it not only to fit their figure exactly, but also to fit into their life story, and for them to be sure that only they own this piece in the whole world.” That’s why we called our studio The Owners.”
“At the same time, we meet people every day, often in high positions, who haven’t sorted out their wardrobe yet. During our meetings, they discover that they can feel great in their own skin. They don’t have to be uncomfortable in a suit, and their appearance also affects business partners or colleagues. Thanks to a well-tailored suit, they gain self-confidence and thus become ‘owners’ of their lives,” adds Matěj Rázga, who takes care of the business side of tailoring.
They spend two to three hours with their customers at one meeting. A person from The Owners will go through at least three such meetings before leaving with their suit. “It takes time to get to know the customer, but also to fine-tune everything in technical detail,” describes the third of the partners, Veronika Pňačková.
The process leading up to the final result is complex. “For example, we can make up to 400 adjustments to a suit compared to the basic cut. Typically, this is the length of the sleeves, the fit or the slope of the shoulders, but there are customers and characters who need much more detailed adjustments,” explains Michal Trnka.
“And then we know about the customer, for example, that he drives with the driver and sits in the right rear seat several times a day, where he crosses his leg. We don’t sew a button that would normally be there on the right trouser pocket, which is therefore under enormous strain, because it would immediately tear off the customer,” enthusiastically describes Matěj Rázga. “This is exactly our competitive advantage,” he adds.
According to them, the best fabrics, for which the trio travel to Italy several times a year, can eventually be obtained by the competition. However, in order for the tailor to know his customer to the last detail, he is said not to be seen here often. Also due to covid, there is quite a lot of employee turnover in the industry.
“We work with most of our customers on a long-term basis, we have a wardrobe planned for them for years ahead, because they can only afford one jacket every six months. Or, on the contrary, they are in high positions and do not want to waste their time planning or shopping for clothes. With them, we often know their taste and exact measurements, and we sew their clothes ourselves. And of course we will bring it home to them,” explains Michal Trnka, what is included in the price of a suit, which usually costs around thirty thousand in a tailor’s shop.
Not everyone can afford that. “But we don’t even want our pieces to become consumer goods. The production of one suit in our country costs tens of thousands and takes about a month. However, we think even more about every detail with our customers so that it really fits into their wardrobe and lasts for many years,” says Matěj Rázga.
In total, about 300 suits are sewn in the salon every year. Production is delegated by the tailoring department to Portugal, measurements are taken at the Prague address, cuts are made and details are fine-tuned.
A business with a turnover of ten million annually prepares about two thousand orders. “Part of the service for our customers is also the adjustment of their wardrobe, often ready-made clothes that they already have and do not fit them. At the same time, we don’t just make suits, but essentially all pieces of clothing, except perhaps for ordinary T-shirts and uniforms,” says Matěj Rázga with a smile.
So far, the majority of customers of The Owners tailor shop are men, most often high-ranking managers, but also fashion enthusiasts. Women, who so far make up about fifteen percent of customers, but the number is increasing. “While a man usually wears a suit to work, a woman has more options. But they are already discovering that a tailor-made jacket is worth more than ready-made models, which they have to constantly renew,” says Veronika Pňačková.
A tailor herself, who not only sews in the salon, but also owns it, is still a rarity. And not only in our country, but also in the whole of Europe. In addition to the unusual focus on details, this was the very thing that was appreciated at the Czech salon by the critic and global icon of tailoring, Hugo Jacomet. “We traveled countless countries for suits, until we finally found a woman-owned place in Prague,” he commented in his podcast.
The man known by the nickname Parisian Gentleman (translated as Gentleman from Paris) and the author of the book of the same name recently came to Prague just for The Owners studio. If you live in Europe and wish to own the perfect piece of clothing, you should head to the Czech capital. It has a trio of tailors making the best suits you’ve ever worn.