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An artisanal conversation with Muki Hasani - Founder and bespoke tailor of Muki Bespoke, Barcelona

Dear readers, while the latest edition of Pitti Uomo is just over about a month ago, as a classic menswear enthusiast, it’s quite understandable to get some inspiration and new ideas from there, and freshen up your wardrobe for the new season accordingly.  When it comes to tailoring, I am keen on hearing from a skilled tailor’s point of view, as they are excel at creating those exquisite clothing that fits impeccably on one’s body, and, they also have such discerning eyes on what works for their clients, and even themselves, to achieve a sophisticated classic look, making an outfit that complementing one’s persona and style.  Today, we are heading to Spain, to have a chat with one of the great bespoke tailor, Mr. Muki Hasani, the Founder/Tailor of his own atelier, Muki Bespoke, which based in Barcelona, Spain. 

As a brief intro, the Kosovo-born Muki learnt about tailoring after school when he’s a teenager, and developed a bond with the art and craftsmanship during his apprenticeship; he then went to London to work, and learn about the Anglo-Saxon sartorial culture and its techniques, after being in the English capital for more than a decade, and worked in Zegna as Head Tailor for 20 years, Muki decided to open his own atelier in Barcelona, to pursue his dream to create some exceptional bespoke clothing for sophisticated and discerning menswear connoisseurs, with his own hands, and the heart and soul of an artist inside.  Without further ado, let’s dive into this Barcelona-based tailor’s world to see his thoughts about men’s tailoring and men’s style, here we go:

My Modern Darcy: Hi Muki, thanks for being here with us today!  First thing first, can you tell us what fascinates you about men’s tailoring?  Also, can you share with us about your experience when in London?  And how does it influence you and your work when it comes to tailoring?

MH: At the time I was 22 years old, so I needed a new adventure for my life, and I’ve always heard those talking back home about English tailoring as a gentleman’s wear, so I’ve decided to emigrate there, which I did and ended up leaving there for 11.5 years; it was one of the stages in my life which I really enjoyed a lot staying there during those years, I think it has enriched my working experience, also in many other ways, it was a question of opening myself to a different world, different way of lifestyle, service and working methods which I’ll always be grateful for that; I lived there for such a long time that, in the end, it became to me like my second home!

MMD: Your atelier is now based in Barcelona, can you tell us what intrigues you so much about this Spanish city?  And how’s the distinction of bespoke tailoring, whether it’s the craftsmanship or silhouette, compare with here in Barcelona and London?

MH:  Although I’ve been living in Barcelona the last 24 years of my life, Muki Bespoke was created only eight years ago up until now, and it’s still keep & running and I am very pleased about it.  Well, this is another part of a story on my long way to one of the most beautiful cities I consider to be living in, which is Barcelona!  There is one of the best architecture you can find thanks to their amazing ‘MODERN ARCHITECT ANTONIO GAUDÌ’, and what can I tell you about the lifestyle in all parts of Spain, I think by just mentioning this name, people will know what it’s about!  As for the difference in Spanish tailoring, to be honest, in Barcelona there are very few “bespoke tailoring” shops or ateliers, I think the difference is obviously as we all know in English tailoring, the Spanish tailoring also mostly in Madrid, and most of them used to make strong shoulders, although lately they’ve been willing to also offer more softer shoulders and half lined jackets, which I think it’s great!

MMD: Let’s talk about your atelier, can you tell us about what’s the ‘house style’ of Muki Bespoke?

MH: Sure, the ‘style’ obviously comes from each person themselves, we all have a style actually I think we’re all born in some ways with style, each and one of us we dress differently, so as long as the style is considered, everyone can choose their own style…, that’s the beauty and the secret of using a bespoke tailoring, so basically, you’re creating your own style from the crutch obviously always with our help.

MMD: From what I know that you like to work with Anglo-Italian fabrics from premium mills with thread count from super 150s to 220s but not below, can you tell us the rationale behind?

MH: At the end of the day, you pay for the best so why not use the best?  I know that many tailoring houses don’t work with such fabrics as you’ve just mentioned above, and I perfectly understand it, whether it’s the difficulties when it comes to working with such fabrics, as we all know that it’s more complicated and it takes more time; to be honest, it isn’t the same, for example, making a working button hole in super 100/20s as in super 200 13.5 micron!  Not to mention like making a jacket of a Neapolitan shoulder, obviously, such fabrics isn’t that reachable for everyone when talking about the price, it all depends on what environment you are living in, I don’t think that someone would wear those kind of suit to drive in an ordinary car, but then if you like to drive a Porsche or Bugatti, you probably want to distinguish yourself from the rest, it’s what I simply call it a LIFESTYLE.

MMD: In your opinion, how did you define a well-made bespoke suit?  What are the essentials?

MH: There are many ways, but obviously, the first thing I look is the body structure of the person who’s wearing it, then starting from that point, we can judge whether the shoulders, lapel, armholes, or any other exclusive details are added etc.; I always say that the suit must look nice and fitted, which it has the elegance part of it, but at the same time, it has to be comfortable, so the whole secret is getting those two points together!  Overall a very neat, clean, visible & close hand stitching is very important too! And then the final step – Ironing, remember that when you purchased a “bespoke garment “, it’s like an investment as it’s supposed to last for a long time!

MMD: What is your recommendation for bespoke menswear for this Spring/Summer 2024?  From fabric choice, pattern, color to silhouette?

MH: To be honest, I still haven’t receive the new summer collection swatches yet, but I am pretty sure about those from big mills of highly rated cloth houses such as LORO PIANA, DORMEUIL, SCABAL, AND VITALE BARBERIS, which are the ones I use, and they bring surprises every year, so I am looking forward so much to receive the new summer collection!

MMD: As a Founder and tailor yourself, can you share with us what obstacles that you have encountered in the past, and how did you overcome them?

MH: Well, before when I started as an apprentice a long time ago, it was totally different compare to nowadays, before we haven’t got paid for nothing to start with, secondly, you had to be very flexible and it was difficult to mix school and apprenticing at the same time, there was no information as such, the only one was what your mentor was feeling like to show you, so I guess that’s why before you could get being apprenticed for almost 20 years and could not finish the whole process of tailoring, which I must say that there are only a small group of people appreciate this great piece of art, in tailoring it’s an art I believe, so get back to the difficult obstacles, the one and more difficult it was how to try and learn faster, because back then, the master tailors didn’t want to teach you as they’re were afraid that you know everything then you’ll leave them!  So I did come to the conclusion that in the end, you have to find ways to learn those secret techniques of tailoring.  

MMD: Alright, let’s talk about yourself, can you tell us what’s your personal style? 

MH: Well, I distinguish myself and my atelier with a specific style which it’s very similar to the Neapolitan style, obviously with it’s minute details!  It’s created specially considering the Barcelona weather, something very light-weight, comfortable, elegant, very marginally layer of padding’s and often half lined jackets, overall with it’s beautiful round shape notch lapels of 9.3/4 cm.

MMD: With the fast-fashion and dress-down era that we are in, how did you see the classic tailoring menswear has its value to exist?  And, in your opinion, how will it evolve in the next few years?

MH: I think good tailoring is valued more and more day by day, people change so fast obviously, fashion is one thing and tailoring is totally another thing, people who know and understand the value for money nowadays, they know exactly what they are prepared to pay for!  They know that exclusivity isn’t something that you get to see it in any corner such as the theatre or restaurant you go, it’s something that very few can afford it and they like to be part of the exclusivity, which unlike those time to put out those big brands it used to be!  It’s like “hey, you let me get the pen of my pocket for you to sign on, so you can see the big logo of the brand and showing off inside of my jacket.” or wearing a huge big belt with the initials of the brand; personally, I think those things are over.  Bespoke tailoring is something different, something that it’s been created for you and passed through so many hands of crafted people that usually are in back side that you don’t even get to see them!  Every piece of tailoring has a drop of sweat, and hard-working man-hours by very humble artisans!  I think it’s important that we shouldn’t forget this.

MMD: When it comes to the word ‘style’, what does it mean to you?

MH:  For me the word ‘style’ means everything that surrounds us in our daily life, apart from dressing well and following trends!  It’s a part of our daily life, in the end, everyone of us live the way we can & like!  Which it’s nice otherwise I think it’ll be boring seeing everyone living like the same as each other; so the word ‘style’ is everywhere in our daily lives: behavior, manner, practice, appearance, confidence, etc.

MMD: Besides being well-dressed and well-groomed, what other qualities that a modern gentleman should have?

MH: As I did mention from the last question, but I could always add more words to it such as kindness, friendly, thankful etc.

MMD: If someone approaches you one day and ask you how to become a great tailor, what is your advice?

MH: I will definitely recommend it although nowadays becoming a tailor is more costly to start with in my opinion, and the second and more importantly is that, nowadays there are very few experienced tailor is willing to teach someone unless they’re ready to practice in their own atelier, also unfortunately, not many youngsters are ready to spend years of their time practicing in an atelier, which in reality, that is the best learning ground you can get by practicing and not like doing some online classes, as we all know the earnings as an apprentice are little, so I guess they prefer something which gets them to a faster way of income.  My father used to say: “if you are willing to learn any kind of craftsmanship, you’ll never be hungry.”

Special thanks to Mr. Muki Hasani.

Image courtesy of Muki Bespoke, Barcelona


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