A couple of weeks back, I told you all about the “Somethin’ Serious Fashionably Late Fashion Show and how I much I enjoyed the collection of one designer in particular, Mr. Kahlil Blazia. His looks were the highlights of the show and I was grateful for the opportunity to get to meet him that day. Recently, I was able to talk with him and get a full in-depth interview about his background, work, and future as a Suitier.
Kahlil grew up in the small town of Jackson, Georgia where he attended the local high school. Upon graduation he moved to Atlanta to study engineering/technology at Oglethorpe University and DeVry University, and ultimately graduated from the latter. Being a true 80’s baby, and growing up in a very rural part of Georgia, he was only privy to a very limited amount of fashion and says that he never really had a passion for fashion per say, just the look and fit of clothes on himself and the people around him. And true to his educational background, he uses his technological background to analyze the look and fit of clothes, suits in particular.
A man with such impeccable tastes in suits must have some kind of inspiration from somewhere. I personally think it’s from the “Suit Gods” but Kahlil credits several avenues from which he is inspired. Generally stated, he admires design in general, anything that is well-designed and aesthetically pleasing. He explained that he is very fond of the Bauhaus* method of design. A lot inspiration also comes from the things we see around us every day; basic contemporary design. The clean lines, elegance, simplicity and practicality are what move him to create the masterpieces that he does. He also credits the fact that without the British and their perfection in tailoring suits he wouldn’t have all of the knowledge that he does when it comes to his particular skill set. Also included in what inspires him is one of his personal favorite designers, Ralph Lauren, his Purple Label to be exact. He really appreciates the design methods used in that line and can attribute some of his own flair to it as well. And last, but definitely not least, he receives an immense amount of motivation from Savile Row. For those that don’t know what Savile Row is, let me school you on it. It’s the U.K.’s version of Rodeo Drive but is more famous for its traditional men’s bespoke tailoring*. It’s somewhat of a Mecca for those who appreciate finely tailored men’s suits. And yes, it’s definitely on my lists of places to visit soon.
. And what exactly is a “Suitier” anyway? When I first met with Kahlil and he gave me his card I was impressed at his title; Suitier. Once I was able to sit down and talk with him more about I must admit I was even more impressed by it. This is a word solely made up by him, but fits so perfectly to what he does, and yet I’m definitely not surprised that he is the first to think of it. In all aspects, many of the people who are in the same field as him consider themselves Clothiers. A Clothier is someone who makes, sells, or deals in clothes or cloth. Mr. Blazia’s area of expertise is a bit more specific than that. The origin of the word was quite simple though; “A customer was trying his best to describe what he does to another potential customer and called him a Suitor. He thought of the generalized term used to describe others in his profession, a Clothier, put the two together and thus you have the very eloquent and befitting title of Suitier. And it fits him perfectly.
Being that he specializes in suits, I wanted to know if he had any signature pieces. And like any real tailor will tell you, he doesn’t. As for his personal signature, he is very fond of dark rope stripe suits with link front closures, high arm folds with well-defined silhouettes, which, in true form, was what he was wearing the night we met. But, every piece that he creates is solely for that client. Everyone is different, so each piece is a perfect representation of that person. He prides himself on being able to understand each of his clients’ as individuals and creates their collections accordingly. And as for new customers who are looking to obtain their own signature collection they are guaranteed to receive an incredible consultative approach. Kahlil far exceeds the norm, when it comes to the initial meet. He has developed a 3-part analysis, which in many respects came from his technology/engineering background. He first takes into account the client’s physical stature. He makes sure to note build, height and proportion to ensure proper fitting of everything he makes. Secondly, he considers ones “coloring”, i.e. skin tone, hair, eyes. He wants to make sure that the suits are complementary to their owner. And lastly, he performs a lifestyle analysis. Kahlil makes sure that you’re prepared for all of your life events with a complete collection to fit. This is definitely a very thorough approach that everyone could appreciate.
Moving forward with the interview, I asked him did he cater to women as well and the straightforward answer was, “Yes, his wife!”. Mr. Blazia prides himself on being great at creating men’s suits because it’s simply where his passion lies. Before he completely entered the profession he only studied men’s clothes so although he appreciates women’s clothing, the interest level for men’s far exceeds that of women clothing. And to expound on the straightforward part of this answer, he does recognize his wife as being his biggest supporter. And he doesn’t forget to mention that his clients support through continued patronage and word of mouth have also been a support as well.
And to wrap up our very insightful interview I made sure to get all of his info so all the fellas, and ladies who’d like to treat their man to an updated wardrobe, can contact him. I’d consider him a very humble and approachable guy so working with him should be a breeze.
You can check his work out and/or contact him to schedule an appointment by the following:
2959 Piedmont Rd, Atlanta, Georgia, 30305
(Yes, he’s very accessible!)
Just one of ‘fatboyfavs’