When Sanjay Daswani was growing up in Nigeria, his parents emphasized dressing smartly.
The garments didn’t have to be expensive, he said, just appropriate and showing respect for the occasion. When he was younger, Daswani enjoyed going into his father’s closet and trying on his ties.
Now, more than 10 years into the fashion industry, Daswani works with executive clients in the D.C. area and beyond to create highly customized business wear and other types of clothing. He recently joined Golden Square Attire, a vintage British manufacturing house in West Yorkshire, as partner in charge of the Americas. Daswani said he was drawn to the company’s focus on providing superior business clothing to clients who value quality and fit.
“They understand that the right attire projects confidence and success,” he said.
GSA offers clients the traditional bespoke service and a unique made-to-measure offering. The bespoke service is very personalized and includes a number of fittings with the master tailor. The made-to-measure service is also highly individualized and is taken up by other tailors.
“The end result is a great looking garment, and only the most sophisticated eye would be able to tell the difference from our bespoke suits and made-to-measure offering,” he said. “Frankly, our made-to-measure products are indistinguishable from an expensive bespoke suit from Savile Row.”
Daswani prides himself on the quality of his work and an ability to finesse pushing the boundaries of otherwise conservative business fashion. So, how do clients let their fashion sense shine through in a conservative business dress environment? Daswani said the secret to pushing fashion boundaries without going overboard can often be found by playing with the weave of fabric and introducing subtle patterns into the traditional color palettes.
“D.C. is conservative, but not as conservative as it used to be 10 or 20 years ago,” he said. “It is moving in a more fashion-forward sense.”
Daswani is also candid about what is a great fit for each client, is constantly researching emerging fashion trends, and has a unique understanding of the “fashion context” in which each client works, he said.
“I know how to build a suit for you that is uniquely you,” Daswani said.
Having seen many aspects of the tailoring industry, Daswani has nurtured an appreciation for craftsmanship and attention to detail. GSA provides that detail, he said, in its office suiting, leisure suiting and jacketing, hunting and riding wear, shirting, dinner and evening suiting and coating. A tailor-made suit can overcome classic wardrobe issues such as wearing clothing too tight or too loose or trousers with too much break.
In this year of work-from-home en masse, sales of comfortable, dressed-down clothing have risen while traditional formal office wear has seen a downward trend. Yet the “two-dimensional meeting over a computer has just made looking good and creating a strong impression more important,” he said.
More than 10 years ago, he entered the industry and worked with a small retail company in the D.C. area, learning about fabrics and other aspects of the industry. With a focus on bespoke and hand-made garments, GSA provides attire a step above traditional made to measure suits, he said, and it’s a one-stop shop with no outsourcing. It’s currently providing complimentary face masks, made of the same fabric pattern, when clients commission a suit. GSA also has an eye toward sustainability, producing clothing only with natural fibers and components and without the use of plastics or glues.
“We take nothing off the shelf, which, in return, guarantees that whatever the client has purchased is truly a one-of-a-kind piece of clothing,” he said. “While I can’t guarantee that your new power suit will get you that successful deal, being smartly and confidently dressed certainly stacks the odds in your favor.”
Daswani said the company never divulges its client list, but he can say it spans a wide breadth of industries, including arts, entertainment, finance and government.
“You will spot our clothing across the world, from Europe to Africa to the Americas,” he said. “You can spot our clients, if you know what to look for: perfectly-fitting clothing and confidence. They are the individuals whose clothing looks a bit more unique and just a bit smarter than everyone else around them.”