Kicking off the first “Designer Corner” post is Perth bespoke menswear designer Terence Borgioli.
What's your typical day like?
Hectic. Either 6am or 6pm in the gym, depending on how late I finish. Whilst it varies from day to day, it includes any combination of the following – commencing, continuing or completing designs, measuring clients and conducting initial consults or final fittings, managing my production workflow and ensuring everything is on schedule, organising photo shoots, creating new marketing and promotional opportunities, sourcing new cloth, working on the expansion of BORGIOLI accessories, interviews, public speaking engagements and business planning for the eventual leap in to the ready-to-wear market.
Was is always fashion design or was there something else?
As fashion design wasn't seen as a practical career by my parents, I considered a few other paths, but always came back to fashion design. I loved woodwork in school and cooking, therefore I considered becoming a chef or carpenter, however fashion continued to call my name. I strongly considered a career in law, but again, I couldn’t escape the pull of fashion.
How did you start and decide what direction to go in initially with your label?
After spending 5 years working in marketing and brand management, circumstances in life changed and allowed me to finally pursue my dream of launching a luxury menswear label. I spent years researching, relentlessly scouring the globe by phone, internet and on foot to find manufacturers, fabric mills and merchants, packaging specialists and designers who would grant me their time as a budding new designer to impart their pearls of wisdom. Originally I considered focusing on mens luxury footwear, however I quickly realised my passion extended to all aspects of menswear, in particular suiting and formal attire. Fortunately I possess the skills and experience having worked in branding to ensure that the BORGIOLI brand, once developed, was watertight and presented the exact image I wanted to portray. Once all my ducks were lined up, my first client came out of the blue and spent $20,000 in one transaction.
Your website talks about a rich family tradition with luxury menswear, care to elaborate?
The website referred to a rich family tradition in ‘design’, not specifically menswear. My Borgioli lineage includes craftsmen and talented designers in every field from architects to engineers, sculptors, musicians and many other creative and design driven fields.
Where do you source your materials from?
All of my fabrics are from either England or Italy.
Where are your garments made?
BORGIOLI garments and accessories are made in a number of countries including England, Italy, Spain and New Zealand.
Where are you drawing your inspiration from?
I've always found tremendous inspiration from architecture and nature. Not only does nature yield the most beautiful and harmonious matches of colour and texture, it’s also responsible for the finest raw materials with which to work. I find architecture to be incredibly relaxing and akin to fashion design. In much the same way as we spend our lives in clothing, we’re also immersed daily in the shapes, angles, materials, colours, varying styles and advances in architecture, all of which I find most inspiring.
What made you launch the Borgioli XII?
The BORGIOLI label very quickly became an aspirational brand. The high price points are ultimately determined by the quality of cloth used in all my garments and also the fact that just about everything is hand made. Launching BORGIOLI XII made the brand accessible to more clients who may not have been able to afford garments upfront, therefore giving the option paying monthly for their wardrobe.
You mentioned that you are planning to launch a ready-to-wear line. Can you tell us a little about that?
About 18 months ago it became apparent that the BORGIOLI brand needed to progress in to having a ready to wear line. Whilst at first when I launched the label this wasn’t something I was too keen on, for a number of reasons it now makes sense. My aim is to open a luxury boutique stocking only BORGIOLI clothing, footwear and accessories. It's a massive and risky undertaking, but one which I believe will be received well and a success due to the receptiveness of Perth clients.
What's your own wardrobe like?
Scary. There's a lot in there, so much so it occupies two rooms. I’ve been guilty of hoarding clothing over the years, remembering where I bought each piece and when. Recently I've undergone two very large purges, donating considerable amounts to Good Sammies. I look after my clothes meticulously, therefore they last a long time…probably too long. I now have quite a lot of BORGIOLI in my wardrobe which is to be expected.
How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
Eccentric, passionate, creative, motivated, stylish.
You label is currently all Bespoke can you tell us about the process that you go through with your clients from start to finish?
The bespoke process is fairly consistent globally, commencing with an initial consult to measure the client and discuss things like his personal style and the purpose of the garment/s. Prior to the consult, I generally try and extract a bit of information which at least allows me to have an accurate selection of cloth prepared to avoid flicking through thousands of swatches. Sometimes too much choice can bamboozle clients. Once the measurements are taken and the cloth selected, that concludes the initial consult. I’ll design the suit based on the client and their requirements, order the cloth and send everything for production. Once I have the finished garment/s, it’s time for a final fitting to ensure everything is spot on. Any final alterations are made and the finished product is delivered to the client.
Your take on Perth fashion & style?
Perth fashion and style in general has progressed in leaps and bounds. We’re still limited by our population as to what is available, however speaking purely from a menswear perspective, never has being dapper and suited up been more popular. Men of all ages are open to trying to new things and are receptive to input on how to put together their outfits and plan their wardrobes. It appears that the importance of being well dressed is now becoming a slightly more mainstream pursuit.
What type of person wears a Borgioli suit?
A vast majority of BORGIOLI clients are entrepreneurs across a variety of fields. They are successful and driven individuals who know what they want and stop at nothing to achieve it. I personally like the age range of my clients, from 25 to 70 which just goes to show the broad appeal for luxury menswear and highlights the fact that it isn’t something reserved just for older gents. Clients of mine who choose to get married in BORGIOLI have made the conscious decision to ensure they match their bride, but also take enough care and attention to be dressed appropriately on their big day, in something designed specifically for them. All too often weddings are exclusively about what the bride is wearing, however guys nowadays are wanting to share the spotlight…and quite rightly so.
What's your plans for the future of Borgioli?
The first and most critical step will be branching in to read-to-wear. After this, I think the sky is the limit. Nowadays, fashion houses are attaching their labels to an increasing range of products from hotels and residential complexes, to homewares, mobile phone, luxury cars and all manner of accessories. Once BORGIOLI is established in the ready-to-wear space, I will assess other avenues for brand expansion and growth that fit with the Australian market and clientele and pursue these.
Leave us with some words of wisdom?
Never give up. I never realised the importance of these words until starting out in business. We hear cliches every day, however persistence is the key to success. If you have a dream, talk about with anyone who will listen – this already starts to plant the seeds. Research as much as you can, try and contact your business idols in any way possible to get five minutes of their time and wisdom (the nice ones will actually give you their time). Don’t rest on your laurels once you think you achieved all you set out for as there is always more. Block out negativity and as many distractions as you possibly can. Believe me, the closer you get to realising your dreams, the more negativity you will encounter and you’ll face a bombardment of distractions. Stay the course, however listen to sound advice and make changes along the way if necessary. Agility is the key to a successful business.
Visit the Borgioli website.
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