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.
This was 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 10-20%) 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 goat suede with a tonal blue cashmere lining and the last-
A 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 more 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.
Because these are bespoke, sourcing for each item is 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. The smallest minimum is roughly enough to make a roughly 5 short mens jackets. These smaller minimums generally don’t provide any cost breaks. The cost benefits that happen in production usually start when you are dealing in very large quantities – in leather this can be 1000 to 2500 sqft.
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.