Bespoke Leather Vests – One Style – 4 great looks!
It’s not often I am asked to create multiple bespoke pieces simultaneously, but there is a benefit to multiples!
I was asked to make a version of a client’s well loved and very well worn cashmere lined Ermenegildo Zegna vest. The original vest is no longer made, and does not exist in any variation. Plus he wanted some changes in both the fit and detailing of the vest.
These bespoke leather vests were a long distance commission, so a selection of leather, suede and lining choices were sent to him – based on his initial requests – plus a few more. (There is an amazing array of colors and fabrics available when you go for bespoke.) Once my client saw the color choices available he decided to get 3, and then 4 different versions of his vest created. Using the same pattern and construction multiple times in a group allows for some discounting (depending on project, quantity & leather/fabric choice – usually between 10-15%) as that is as close to any sort of production I get.
The first vest was made in (all) our clients favorite Mona Lisa Lambskin in Black- it’s a super glossy, very fine leather with almost no visible grain and it was combined with a super 180’s grey heather merino/cashmere blend suiting for the lining.
The 2nd vest was made up in a beautifully lightweight tobacco goat suede with a striking heathered chartreuse green cashmere knit.
The 3rd one was a rich blue – almost teal – goat suede (the same as used here) with a tonal blue cashmere lining and the last-
The last bespoke leather vest- was deep velvety burgundy goat suede combined with a black cashmere knit. This last one really is striking – the richness of the burgundy combined with the black give it a super luxe feeling where the others straddle casual and luxe.
I chose rib trim and zippers that would blend well with each particular color combo – and of course I use two-way zips.
Sourcing for each of these bespoke leather vests was done individually.
Unlike high-end production lines that are cutting at minimum several dozen of a style in each color – I cannot get trims and zippers custom made or dyed to match due to the minimums (huge) that would be involved. Periodically I can, and do, get leathers custom dyed and tanned, but that is only possible because some of the finer tanneries in Europe and the very few specialty tanners and finishers that still remain in the USA will accommodate smaller minimum orders. But when it comes to the hardware and the linings, each component has to be chosen based on: the client’s preferences, the main body material and what is actually available.
It’s not always possible to match client’s exact wishes, so there can be give and take. I will always find and present excellent choices – sometimes too many. (This particular project started as an order for 3 Bespoke leather vests!)
When I went out to locate linings I had an idea of what the client wanted, but not all of the color choices could be fulfilled with the same fabric. Ideally, a fine gauge knitted cashmere was what I was looking for, but because I had to source the linings for these vest at retail, the color selection was limited – but I was able to find a beautiful, satiny heather grey, menswear merino suiting for the lining of the black vest. I was also very lucky that the client’s choice of body colors made it easy to get a very close – almost exact- match on the rib trims. This was really fortuitous, since the color ranges in these trims tend to be classic and straightforward.
The client was very happy with the results and I know these vests will be well loved and, if the original was any indication, they will be worn a lot. So having 4 of them is not a bad investment.