Reports of the suit’s death have been greatly exaggerated. At least, that’s how Mr Dag Granath, one half of made-to-measure duo Atelier Saman Amel, tells it. “The role of tailoring is changing, and perhaps the idea of tailoring as a means of communicating status or formality in the workplace is dying,” he concedes. Rather than being dealt a fatal blow by the wholesale relaxing of office dress codes though, the designer describes the suit’s situation as an opportunity for evolution: “Guys today are looking for something else from their tailoring,” Mr Granath says. “They want to be able to seamlessly integrate it with leisurewear or sportswear.” As an ethos goes, it’s a refreshing characterisation of a craft still often stifled by the straightjacket of tradition, and one the made-to-measure brand has embraced wholeheartedly.
First conceived in 2010, and producing its first custom-made wares five years later, the brand has just launched its debut ready-to-wear collection, available exclusively at MR PORTER. The pair themselves grew up playing football together, and today are steadfast in their shared vision for the label. “Our ambition is to bridge classic Italian tailoring craft with an essentialist approach to design,” Mr Granath explains. So far, that approach seems to be working out very well for the twosome: in just a few short years, the brand has built itself an international following, a rare feat for new kids on the tailoring block.
Their long-standing friendship might hold the key to their success. “We know each other better than we know ourselves,” Mr Granath admits. Two heads at the helm, he says, are better than one. “Saman is practical and creative. He works with his hands and he tries out different things and constantly comes with ideas. I am much more theoretical… I am the filter for these ideas.” The result is a fine balance between the contemporary and the classical that’s borne out in the clothes themselves.