As a young entrepreneur from over hailing from the UK, Miles Wharton is putting his stamp on Sydney, Australia. Fascinated by business as well as the evolving menswear scene, Wharton recognised a gap in the market – modern quality tailoring. In just a few short years, he established The Bespoke Corner in the inner city of Sydney, followed by a new store in the heart of Melbourne.
From recognising the needs of men, to understanding the market, this is how he made a successful start-up flourish.
When did you open your first store?
“We initially offered a travelling tailor service which was fantastic for time poor businessmen, however we had no bricks and mortar presence. In 2017, we decided to open a boutique store in Paddington with a large emphasis on the customer experience. We found the feedback was great and that many gentlemen actually preferred to take the extra time to work through the process and design the exact suit of wardrobe they had in their mind.”
“Since then we have also launched The Bespoke Corner Tailors in South Yarra, Melbourne.”
What is your background and how did you get into tailoring. Pure passion or business move?
“Ultimately my background is in business and start-ups. I always had an entrepreneurial flair from a young age which has led me through many different businesses and industries.”
“In terms of the tailoring side, I had always had an interest in suiting and dressing well, so combining this interest with a business came naturally. Beyond this I saw there was a gap in the market between off-the-rack suiting which is generally low quality, and old-school bespoke tailoring which uses dated techniques. The Bespoke Corner aims to create a personalised experience using high quality garments, which is a reflection of my business experience and what I see as valuable to customers.”
You were already active on social media before you opened The Bespoke Corner in Sydney. How helpful was the use of Instagram and Facebook to push your brand when you first opened?
“The social media following was definitely a help around the launch stage of the business to increase exposure and brand awareness. I would say as the business has grown we have been able to take advantages of more avenues, such as word of mouth and referrals. It is important to continually monitor where your business is coming from in order to effectively execute your marketing strategies. Social media promotion particularly for online businesses is essential in driving traffic and therefore potential of making sales. It is important to remember however you can’t rely solely on social media, Instagram likes don’t always convert sales.”
What are your thoughts about the Menswear industry in Australia, more specifically in the tailoring side. How is the clientele reacting to the MTM experience, considering that until few of years go it wasn’t a thing?
“There is no doubt the world has become more competitive and I think men are becoming more conscious regarding their presentation and how they look. This has caused an increase in demand for quality suiting and casual wear. New technologies have allowed companies to provide custom suiting at an affordable price point, meaning perfect fits and unique styling. These Made to Measure technologies have bridged the price gap between cheap off-the-rack suiting and expensive full bespoke tailoring.”
What is the best suggestion you could give to a young entrepreneur willing to start his own fashion company nowadays?
“Two big things to keep in mind: put in the work, and build relationships. From the outside the fashion industry looks like pure glamour but if you want your concept to be a success it will require huge amounts of work behind the scenes. Hard work always beats talent.”
“Next – the importance of relationships is paramount. Things don’t happen overnight and if you expect someone to be loyal to yourself and your business, you need to treasure the relationship before trying to make the sale.”
What’s your goal from now to the next 5 years for yourself, and of course the bespoke corner?
“Our goal is to dominate the Made To Measure industry in Australia. We will have the best personalised tailoring service and be the go to solution for all aspirational gentlemen. In the future we will have stores open in Brisbane, Dubai & London.”