Back in 2008, my stepfather handed me an invitation to see a tailor. The tailor was from Hong Kong, and he was in New Zealand for a few days seeing customers. My wife and I turned up at his hotel (which was a little strange), got measured up, spent an hour or so deciding what fabrics we liked, then what style we wanted (pockets, cuffs, notch lapel, peak lapel, vents, and the list goes on). We paid, not an insignificant amount… then waited for a couple of weeks for the items to arrive hoping that everything would fit.
The business shirts fit well, the fabrics seemed good and the monogram on the sleeve provided me a little bragging value. However, the overall process got us really excited about made-to-measure clothing. We were inspired to help bring great style to other men. For us, there was a real gap in fabric choice and styling. The tailor could make us anything we asked for, but we didn’t want to choose styles that weren’t on trend, we didn’t want to be too “fashion forward” or too "fashion backward", we just wanted to look great. This was where the idea for Canvas Cut was born.
We thought it would be a relatively easy business to create. We're glad we didn’t know the extent of the obstacles before we started, or we probably wouldn’t have begun. Finding genuine natural fibre fabrics that would breathe was the first hurdle. Being from New Zealand, a country that produces so much of the world’s wool, we were passionate about wanting to ensure the use of natural fibres. We had a mantra “No polyester, not even a little bit!” Then, learning about the canvas making technique (using a traditional horsehair interlining rather than fusing/gluing the layers of a suit jacket). We then had another mantra “The old ways are the best ways.” Then, to find tailors who were skilled at cutting and were willing to take a little longer to make quality clothing. This led to our final mantra “We are after quality, not speed.”
When we had our first clothing tailored, we didn’t have any inkling that there were different kinds of suit making techniques, different cutting skills, let alone understanding styling. Seven years later, we’ve met with literally hundreds of tailors and searched through dozens of countries for quality fabrics. We really believe men get short changed when it comes to great fashion and quality clothes. Our mission is to help men develop the style that embodies who they are, and how they want to feel about themselves. We hope you enjoy the Canvas Cut experience “Style Made Easy”.