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His Shirt Bespoke

Two young Egyptian entrepreneurs have bought Jermyn street to the streets of Cairo with their customized tailored-shirt-making service El Sastre…

Nothing says a man who’s on top of his shit, like a tailored shirt. A custom made dress shirt says, “I know what I want, and I’m going to do it in style.” An off the rack white collar from your nearest Bangladeshi-child-stifling-mega-franchise says, “I’m trying to look like a big boy but by the end of the night this shirt will be stained with cheap flavored vodka and regret.”

Ideally we would all just pop over to London’s Jermyn street and call our assistant to arrange a fitting with an atelier named Jeeves. But alas we are in Egypt and the closest thing we have to an assistant is Mohammed the cleaner, who sometimes leaves iron marks on our best shirts and then says it was like that before, at which point you don’t wear it so he usually just takes it.

As such we went on the look out for someone who can make us look photo shoot fresh without the salary of a Bearings Bank VP and stumbled upon El Sastre. The bespoke apparel company was founded in the summer of 2012 by Soliman El Aasser and Abdallah Zohdi after coming across leading shirt makers Ascot Chang on a trip to New York. “When our shirts were delivered we couldn’t believe how well they fitted but that was the end of it. At the time we weren’t aware that this experience is what would later inspire the creation of El Sastre. The unfolding events in our country was definitely the impetus behind our decision to embark on a challenging project that would go, hand in hand, with the spirit of a new and revived Egypt. And we felt there was a definite gap in market for high quality shirts.”

As said market also lacked quality good value fabrics, the El Sastre duo decided to import their materials and set up their own customized workshop where quality craftsmanship could take precedence. They now mainly source fabrics from Italy, England and Turkey. That may sound expensive but from firsthand experience we were surprised to find that a fully customized shirt from El Sastre with the fabric of our choice didn’t cost more than 350 LE. At most you’re going to be shelling out 600 LE for finer fabrics. If you compare that to your average high-street shirt price, it’s actually a bargain. For the real shirt connoisseurs amongst you, we’d recommend checking out their range of premium extra fine fabric ‘240’s’.

The best part about dealing with El Sastre is that when they say you can customize anything; they really mean you can customize anything. From the length of the collar, to the color of the thread on the buttons, meaning you can dream up any design and in two to three weeks you’ll be rocking it to your next event, probably with twenty women on your arms who are digging your style. El Sastre also send their own Jeeves right to your door with the fabric catalogues to take measurements and design orders.

Not through lack of demand, but because of a shrewd entrepreneurial sense, El Sastre has grown slowly, first starting off online and then launching a pop-up store in Diplo residential resort on Egypt’s North Coast last summer. They’ve also just added a gorgeous collection of Panama Hats to their collection. The hats are actually produced in Ecuador and made out of Paja Toquilla Straw. “We have a lot of plans in the pipeline, mainly producing new El Sastre apparel such as pants, suits, and shorts as well as expanding our brand onto the international scene.”

We can’ wait to fill up our whole cupboard with El Sastre customisations. Till then we’ll just try to keep Mohammed’s hands off our shirt.

Visit www.Elsastre-Store.com or call +(2) 0115 4464 440 / 0115 4464 441 for a fitting.