A Glimpse Inside The Berlin Studio Of Tailor Mr Maximilian Mogg
What are the first things that come to mind when you mention Berlin? Loud techno music? Or maybe an enormous apartment in which various high-cheekboned contemporary artists throw around paint and polystyrene? It’s possible you’ve been on a less than well-behaved weekend to sample the city’s clubs and, perhaps, even returned with enough brain left to tell the tale. Or it could be you’ve merely walked around artsy Kreuzberg, sipping on kombucha, and been struck by what you can only describe as a certain post-industrial cool that tends to be the German capital’s main calling card.
You might want to put all that aside for the moment, because right now at MR PORTER, we are enamoured with another facet of Berlin’s vibrant life, in the form of the stylish tailor Mr Maximilian Mogg. Since he founded his company in 2015 with just €5,000, this charming Savile Row enthusiast has been turning the heads of a particularly suave subset of Berlin’s style-conscious men, building a coterie of like-minded individuals around him and an international clientele that come to him for a flamboyant take on classic English suiting.
For those unfamiliar with Mr Mogg, the pertinent details are as follows. He stumbled upon the delights of tailoring as a young man when, eternally frustrated by being unable to find clothing for his long-limbed, slim frame, he turned to the services of various alterations tailors, taking inspiration from Mr Alan Flusser’s tome on gentlemanly style, Dressing The Man. In particular, he fell in love with the fits and fabrics of Savile Row. “I thought it looked quite dashing,” he says. “Not fashionable, but classic. And it reminded me of the James Bond movies, which I was always a big fan of.”
Savile Row suits don’t come cheap. Unless, as Mr Mogg discovered, you can find them on eBay. After that realisation, he stumbled into an overlooked resales market that was ripe for exploitation and went on to exploit it, ordering vintage Savile Row suits, getting them altered for himself and then doing the same for his friends when they complimented him on his spiffing ensembles.
“My boss there told me I had no entrepreneurial skill. So I thought, that’s all right, and quit my job the next day and started my own company. Just to show him”
For Mr Mogg, the next step was obvious. He would head for the Row and become an apprentice tailor. Unfortunately, positions were in short supply. “I got a lot of business cards and a lot of nos,” he says. “I took it like an athlete – like, it’s all good, failure is part of it. And I thought I’d do something normal with my life and just keep it as a hobby. So I decided to study business and work at a bank.”
It wasn’t long, however, before he was back at it. “My first real client at the bank, he said, ‘Your suits look smashing,’” says Mr Mogg. “So I did a suit for him. This was in Cologne.” After that, he transitioned to a marketing position, where he encountered the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. “My boss there told me I had no entrepreneurial skill,” he says. “So I thought, OK, that’s all right, and quit my job the next day and started my own company. Just to show him.”
In its earliest incarnation, this business was conducted from Mr Mogg’s apartment, but the very peculiarity of this setup – as well as the slightly counter-intuitive pitch (Savile Row style in Berlin) – quickly drew attention from major German press outlets such as Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung, _Die Welt _and Der Spiegel. Before he knew it, Mr Mogg had more orders than he could handle. “It was a case of either I’m stopping now, or I’m making new suits in the way that I like them,” he says. So, he called some old acquaintances from Savile Row and asked for some recommendations. “I said, ‘Is there a guy who can do single-piece orders on a made-to-measure basis, with an English cut, and the features that I want?’”
What followed were the first prototypes, executed in the style that Mr Mogg has come to call his own – a mixture of 1920s classicism with a bit of 1970s flamboyance, done with exacting attention to detail and a dedication to customisation and fit. Today, the core of the business is still made to measure. Suits are developed from a template block and then altered to fit individual customers and finished by hand. The future, says Mr Mogg is in more elevated iterations of this idea, specifically a true bespoke line that he aims to launch at the end of the year.
The Maximilian Mogg capsule available on MR PORTER is, therefore, something a little bit special – a die-hard bespoke enthusiast dipping his toe into the world of ready-to-wear for the first time.
To honour this capsule – a tight edit of summer-appropriate eveningwear executed with the wide lapels, high waistlines and generously padded shoulders that have become Mr Mogg’s trademark – we travelled to his atelier in Berlin to see just how he puts it all together.
As we hope will become apparent upon watching the video above, Mr Mogg’s world is not just a shopfront, but – and this is very Berlin, we suppose – something of a scene in and of itself, made up of his close collaborators, the garment engineer Mr Vimal Luke Panalickal and communications and translation specialist Mr Daniel Paul Finbar Carey, and a suite of suited gentlemen who provide regular contributions in the form of website articles or, in the case of Mr Everett Glenn, illustrations for Mr Mogg’s own comic strip, Mr Lush. Through Mr Mogg’s eyes, we see another side to Berlin, not just Europe’s notorious party central, but simply a place where, as Mr Mogg puts it, “Everyone can be themselves and there are no bad vibes. No bad vibes at all.”
Film by Mr Anthony Molina