Oscar Hunt – Tailoring Perfection

The Oscar Hunt set up caught my attention in the last Non Surgical Symposium so I am thrilled to chat with Chris who is the founder of Oscar Hunt. He talked about how he started this business, how they help their clients to express themselves by their clothes, the process in purchasing their funky, cool suits and many more.
Life is a journey and fashion is part of it. Oscar Hunt can help you realise your style, express your character and create a bespoke wardrobe that suits all occasions.

Transcript- Oscar Hunt – Tailoring Perfection

Trish 

Hello, listeners. It’s Trish Hammond here from the Aesthetics Uncensored podcast and today, I’m joined by Chris. Now Chris is actually the founder of Oscar Hunt and we’re going to talk about what Oscar Hunt is because I recently met Frank who was actually behind the stand of Oscar Hunt at the Non Surgical Symposium and I was blown away by number one, the quality of the products and number two, just the way they looked. So I’m really excited to be speaking with Chris today. So welcome, Chris.

Chris

Thank you very much. Happy to be here.

Trish  

I’m so happy that you’ve taken the time to talk to me, I really appreciate it because I know how busy work days can be.

Chris  

No, not at all. It’s a nice little break.

Trish   

Yeah. Nice. So, first of all, tell us about Oscar Hunt- what is Oscar Hunt?

Chris   

So Oscar is a figment of my imagination. So we started the business myself and a friend from high school about 12 years ago. And essentially, I’d always had a thing for menswear and for like the idea of structured and tailored clothing, but found that there sort of wasn’t anything out there that seemed accessible or seemed like it spoke to me; it was all very conservative. It was all very kind of toffee elitist, there wasn’t any kind of catered to what I would be looking for in that experience so we set out to essentially, build something where we would shop where we would have something made for us, but to a really high level and make the experience really special so that’s kind of how it started. So Oscar Hunt is essentially a made-to measure tailoring house so we specialise in suits and shirts and overcoats and we’ve recently launched women’s wear. So we launched women’s wear about 18 months ago in the middle of the pandemic, which is hilarious. But yeah, so that’s starting to really pick up now as well, which is awesome to see. So yeah, all tailored we’re gonna broaden out our product ranges into more ready to wear clothing but at our core, we’re made to measure tailoring houses.

Trish  

Well, I love it. I mean, because I have been looking at the women’s wear, of course, as I would like that, like the fact that it’s structured, but it’s not over structured is kind of like a funky structure. In my mind, it’s still, it’s dressed up, but it’s also, it’s not pretentious, like, you know, I mean, it’s not like, look at me look. Yeah, kind of just like really classy looking clothing.

Chris   

Yeah, exactly. Well, I mean, our I guess our ethos in a lot of ways is that we take the craft seriously, but not ourselves and I think that’s totally reflected in the clothing, the construction and the quality of the materials that we use is to the, I guess, to the highest order, but ultimately, we want to have fun with it or when you see that in the patterns, and you see that in the shapes that we make and you want to feel comfortable, you want to feel good and yeah, these things shouldn’t be restrictive. They shouldn’t be things that you put on and you’re worried about, you should put them on and forget about it really. 

Trish  

Yeah. And I guess, if we start with the guys talking about the guys, like, what I like about it is the fact that it kind of makes suit dressing a little bit fun because like, like I came across like there’s one plastic surgeon on the Gold Coast and every time I see him, he’s always wearing really funky suits so he goes the pants, the jacket, the best and, sometimes a bow tie and all that. And it just stands out, and I love it. And that’s kind of his signature thing at the moment. So when I saw that Oscar Hunt range, I thought, wow, this is really funky because it’s not the old kind of, I mean, it still looks like a suit, but it’s just, it’s got a little bit of an edge to it. I don’t know how to explain what that edge is. I don’t know.

Chris

Yeah, I feel like it’s someone’s personality and that’s the beauty of custom. That’s the beauty of when you have something made, you can essentially sort of implant your DNA into that piece of clothing and that’s what we’re there to do. Our team is there to really listen and get to know you so we can draw out that DNA and make something that’s for you and essentially by us as well. So it is I think whether it is someone who’s after something more conservative, whether it is for work, or something that’s a little more out there, like sounds like what you’re describing, it’s about finding out what you know what that person is all about and then tailoring something for that and that’s where the fun is. I think we can make really conservative pieces. But as long as that’s what that individual feels really comfortable in and that’s what they’re about. It’s those small little details that make it truly their own and make it fun. So, yeah, I completely agree. And I think it’s just boring when people kind of miss out on these elements. It sounds kind of a bit snobby for me to say that but it’s not about a luxury thing or it’s not about the money you spend. It’s just about kind of making it your own and yeah, as I said, I think that’s what draws me to tailoring and these kinds of signature, kind of styles and these unique pieces.

Trish  

Yeah. So how did you learn to like, where did you go? I know something that you started from school, which is great. Like, I love that story. I didn’t know that story as well so you and a friend from school? Yes. That decided to start making menswear?

Chris 

Yeah, yeah. So I mean, I’m not a tailor, I’m a fraud. I’ve always been behind the scenes so when we started, we put together a tailor and someone to fit. So I’ve always kind of been, if anything, more like the client on the fan. So quite quickly, we built a team of, I guess, crafts people around. But yeah, we started with menswear, as I said, just because we felt it was just such a big need to create beautiful pieces without it costing unnecessarily an arm and a leg, but also the experience of not being really stuffy and conservative, we wanted to make it fun and we also wanted people to be looked after like you’re walking into so many, you know, these stores, high street stores, and you’re almost it’s almost like, rudeness is the currency. You know, we wanted to make people feel good when they walked into our spaces.

Trish 

Yeah. Yep. You know, you’re so right and I think it’s that pretentiousness as well, because I’ve even experienced it when I’ve gone to get a suit with my husband and I have actually walked out with no suit for that very reason. Yeah. And I do like the idea. It’s almost like, not the olden days, right. So it’s like the olden days where you’d go in and actually get fitted for a suit. But I think what people have shied away from that thinking is that it’s a lot more expensive, the more but I think it’s like, it’s actually affordable. But also, it’s a realistic kind of pricing bracket that you sit in as well, but you kind of get the top notch service and product as well.

Chris  

Why exactly like, interestingly enough, I think we’ve stopped, we’ve remained, you know, reasonably reasonably consistent with our pricing and I’ve seen kind of the high street, you know, just kind of go up and up and up and, yeah, I think that this is the thing you can with us, you can get the most premium fabrics, construction, the experience, something that fits for you something that’s going to last a very long time and it’s pound for pound for kind in terms of pricing for you’re sort of entry level, and you’re on these, sort of high street brands, and it just becomes, at least in my head, it just becomes a no brainer to have something made. And yeah, I think the experience is everything. You know, it’s when somebody listens to you and learns about what you are, who you are and what you want out of that garment. Like, I think that’s pretty special. Yeah, yeah. As opposed to just selling something that’s on the floor. And they’ve got to clear because they need to make the next season’s range or something.

Trish

Yeah, no, I totally agree with you there. And so, because I like bringing back the tailor experience to you, because I think a lot of people don’t, don’t go to tailors, because you think number one is way too high price, but it’s also you don’t know that they’re around or where they are? Yes. You’re kind of everywhere now, aren’t you so people can actually book an appointment, and actually come into a showroom. Is that right?

Chris

That’s right. Yeah. So we were in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, we’re going to be in Perth, and Canberra later this year. So yeah, that’s the idea. We want to be accessible to people. But yeah, it’s, I agree, it’s not something that people immediately think of when they think about getting a suit made and we want them to think that having something made is actually kind of the new norm, you know, one off products and doing it slowly and doing it thoughtfully. That’s kind of what we want the broader market to think. But yeah, that’s why we’re kind of doing it so that we can be in places where it makes it convenient for people to come, you don’t have to sort of be a fly to Melbourne or Sydney, these kinds of hubs. So yeah, that’s definitely part of what we’re trying to do here.

Trish  

Yeah. And it’s great to know that you can just like, take X amount of time off and just go and get properly fitted. And so say, for example, if I wanted to get a man suit, I can actually get measured up and from there, I’d be like, Okay, well, I like this look, because you’re saying you personalised to the individual. How does that work? Do you like this fabric? And what colours are you or how do you find out about that person?

Chris 

Yeah, no, excellent question. And this is actually where the magic comes from. So it starts with a conversation essentially so coming into our showrooms, we greet you, we offer you a drink. So essentially, you know it’s almost like hosting you in our home. We want the client to feel really comfortable, really welcome, really warm and yeah, from there, we just kind of get to know the client so starting out with what the suit is for. It could be for a wedding, we do a lot of weddings, but it also could be for an event, it could be for work, there’s a whole host of reasons but we really try and get to know the individual, because often people will come in, and they’ll have an idea of what they want. But they won’t know exactly how that you know how that looks at completion so the magic is in really getting to know the client, obviously, our team is really experienced and loves this style so our I guess our expertise is in really interpreting the individual. And being able to recommend fabrics and styles and design options that we think is really going to nail that brief for the individual. So that’s what it’s really all about. So, you know, we ask them a suite of questions, we’ll try on different garments. So you know, different samples, we’ll throw around some different jackets and trousers and really have some fun, see how people respond to certain things that have been tried on. And then we can really craft a picture of what the clients are really after. So basically, from that point, we measure the client. So we take a suite of body measurements, as well as we try things on to get a feel for posture and balance, things like that and then we run through different fabrics. And you know, at any time, we’ve got sort of five or 6000 fabrics in stock, which is obviously harrowing to think about it. But, you know, again, our job is to really curate that selection for the client based on what we’ve learned about. And so we really, yeah, as I said, add that to their DNA and then add our piece as well so we then go through the fabrics and the different designs and again, recommend designs based on what the purpose of that suit is. And then from there, we start construction and about four weeks after that, we’ll invite the client back in where we’ll try on the suit and generally, it’s really close to completion, we just need to generally make some minor tweaks from there, and then we’ll invite the client back in sort of a week or two after that, for the final fitting, which is generally when the client or walk away with a beautiful new suit and the beautiful thing is we’ve been got that that client’s measurements on file so if they have want something again, it’s almost like where they’re just at their service.

Trish  

Yeah. And, you know, because you do recommend that every suit has two pairs of pants, is that right?

Chris  

Not always, but it’s a good idea, because you tend to, trousers tend to get a lot more sort of wear into it so it does increase the longevity of the suit, because people tend to take their jackets off and they tend to hang it up. And so there’s a little more care generally for the jacket so we do say that because it does just add longevity to the suit. And it just allows the trousers to breathe. So yeah, we do recommend, but yeah, obviously, there are moments particularly if it’s a dinner suit, or a more formal suit, you’re not wearing day to day, we would certainly say look, it’s probably okay, we obviously, we tie the clothing and our constructions and the quality. It’s not necessarily about the quality, it’s just about the longevity and making sure that the suit just always performs.

Trish  

Yep, you know, my husband bought a suit from a menswear store in Byron Bay, when it used to be here years ago, it’s gone now, of course, and that suit, I can’t remember how much it cost was about $2,000 or something like, but he’s got it and that was about 20 years ago, and he wore it to my wedding and it was still fashionable. He wore it to my daughter’s wedding and he also wore it to some of the big functions that we went to, and it’s pretty much his only suit. There’s not a lot because we live in, we don’t actually go out that much to formal stuff. But you know, so it just goes to show that quality does last. We had a black tie wedding recently and he hired a suit and that was 400 bucks to hire a really like a suit. That was it was you know, it was just a black kind of formal suit. But I was quite blown away by how much the hire was. But I was blown away with his suit and the fact that we bought a really good quality, kind of funky suit then because it was a beige and white pinstripe suit, which is a bit lower and it’s still fashionable. All I would do now is probably take the pants in. Yep. But he won’t let me because you know, not doing anything but that’s lasted for 20 years so suits do last.

Chris  

Absolutely as it should. I mean, if something’s well made, it’ll last. That’s the point. That’s again, what we try to you know, without sort of repeating ourselves and droning on like that. That’s what it’s all about. If you invest in a world where things are just worn a few times and thrown out and end up in landfill like this is the thing. It’s like you buy something that’s well made. Great materials, this thing’s gonna last it’s gonna, as cliche as it sounds, essentially it’s an investment and particularly if it’s well, cotton, it sounds like that suit is like, good style. Good cuts are generally pretty timeless so you do get that longevity. And to be honest, like in terms of where we’re at with this planet, it’s like, yeah, this idea of fast fashion is just, it’s no good. It’s antiquated.

Trish  

Totally. I’m trying not to buy anything crap and just if I’m going to buy something, to me, it’s going to be a lifetime piece. 

Chris 

Yep. Yeah. Well, exactly. And the other thing is, you just know you feel good putting it on, because you know, it’s a good, it’s a good product, and you know, it feels good. You feel good wearing it so I always think it’s worth it even for that, like just that, knowing full well that you know, something you’re putting on is, is just really well made.

Trish 

Yeah, yep. No, I agree. So, going back to that feeling. So basically, they have the first fitting, which is where they pick the design, or you work out the design with them and take them. The second one is when you try that on and kind of refine it and the final one is where you have your final fitting and then collect your garment.

Chris  

Exactly right on selection that’s the process. Yeah.

Trish  

But you do other stuff as well, don’t you? Like? I know you do shirts, but can you run stuff that you do?

Chris 

Yeah. So it’s funny, like we’ve been pretty, I guess traditional in our like product offerings. So we’ve been in suits, shirts, overcoats for a very long time but we’ve definitely been late to the party but certainly over the pandemic, there has been a large casualisation of the wardrobe so we’re definitely leaning into that. So doing a lot more outerwear, whether it’s overcoats, car coats, bombers, things like that, a lot of polos, we launched denim, as well so we’re really looking to essentially move into these really beautiful, largely ready to wear an outerwear pieces, with a lot of these we probably won’t do as made to measure, but ultimately still have that ethos of really well made, stand the test of time beautiful investment pieces. That’s kind of what we want to do, like everything is built within intention. Everything’s built to last and crafted to the highest level. But certainly, yeah, we want to move into more of this. I guess a more diverse kind of wardrobe where we still like the idea of dressing. Well it sounds a bit off, but essentially, it’s at these elevated pieces, but more casual.

Trish   

Yeah, yeah, I think that’s really important. Because for me, I find something that I like, and then I align myself with that company. Yes, I buy everything they want so I think it’s really good to have those extra steps available.

Chris  

Well, it’s funny, because I went out with a client of ours a few weeks ago, and I actually just been a great client of ours almost from the beginning. And I spoke with him and I said, Look, you know, how can we be better? Like, what is it about us that you’d like to see? He’s like, to be honest, you really annoy me because I have to shop elsewhere. I just like you to do everything you know me, you understand my style, like, I’d love for you to just fill my wardrobe. So I think that’s quite an interesting idea to me, because I think we’ve neglected that as well and by the way, sorry, there’s a song in the background.

Trish   

I can’t even hear it. Tell us about your fabrics. Because I think this is what makes your suits as well like your fabrics, because they’re edgy. I mean, you can still get really conservative as well but I like the fact that you know, the edgy, they’re funky, it’s a little bit different. You know, you can be in your suit but still look kind of cool.

Chris  

Totally. No, no, I mean, we kind of work with mills that have that aesthetic and have that kind of that’s how I think about the world as well. So, I mean, it’s been a huge process. We work with a lot of mills, but namely out of the UK and Italy. So we’ve got more in the Northern UK, we work with a mill which has a huge heritage and they’re more of those, I guess more conservative clocks, but there is always a twist on it, whether it’s a slight little texture or a subtle pattern. There’s something in there that makes it different to you know, your run of the mill, corporate business suit sort of thing. And then we work with beautiful mills. For example from Italy, Loro Piana, which is an incredibly luxurious mill and they just do interesting things. So every season, they’ll come out with something innovative, something new and we can really push that to our clients as well. So, the last little I mentioned is, again, milled in northern UK, but a French company and again, they just do interesting things. They mill in a certain way that you see a certain finish on the cloth and again, a lot of this stuff is quite subtle. I think yeah, correct me if I’m wrong, it seems like that’s what you’re describing. Sometimes you can’t really put your finger on it like that. That’s interesting and yeah, that’s, that’s certainly what we like to see.

Trish  

Yeah. And you know what I like the fact that, because I think I don’t know if I’m right or wrong here. But if you go into a tailor shop, or the ones that I’ve seen, because I recently went to one in Melbourne just kind of walked in and had a look around and left with my husband. It’s generally a more conservative kind of looking people that serve you the crowd as well. It’s almost like, it’s the suit of the future.

Chris  

Yeah, well, well, yeah. It’s interesting that, as I said, we definitely, we’re not, we respect the kind of the tradition of the craft, and they said a lot about a lot of our clients, both women and men,wear the suits to work so there still is that need for that professionalism. But ultimately, like, yeah, it doesn’t need to be that really stuffy or conservative environment, it just doesn’t need to be, you can still have that really, really premium product, beautifully made pieces without needing to have all the other stuff. And that’s, I think, what we bring. I think I mentioned it before, but for us, we want to take what we do extremely seriously. Everything we do, we make sure it’s done to the highest level but when you walk in and meet our team, it’s incredibly down to earth and relaxed and warm. So that’s the kind of the combination that we think is important, and I just have never understood why it wasn’t like that.

Trish 

Yeah, yeah. No, I agree with you. 1,000,000%. Like, it’s so true. It’s kind of yes, it’s different. So I think, yeah, I think you’re on a winner and I had no idea that you’d been around for 12 years as well, like, because when I saw Frank on the setup, oh, this is great. This is something new, and then I discovered, oh, my God, you’ve been around for years?

Chris 

Well, yeah, I think it’s one of those things where for us where real word of mouth is, I think the beauty of made to measure and tailoring broadly is you really get to know your clients. So in a lot of ways, our marketing is just people talking about it. So, you know, we’re never gonna be the biggest fish in the pond. But yeah, certainly, it’s a really lovely and and I guess, tight client group, which is why I guess beyond sort of the city that we’re in, we probably don’t make a great deal of noise. So, yeah, in a way, I love that, it’s like you have that real kind of close knit relationship and, yeah, it’s sort of not a brand, it’s just lasted around.

Trish  

Yeah, and you know, what, I think that’s what I wanted to speak to on the podcast as normally we talk about totally different things. But it’s all got to do with aesthetics looking good and I really would like to share this story, just to get it out there, let more people see it. And just, you know, hear the name because you chose how you choose the name?

Chris 

Ah, there’s a lot of versions of this story. So basically, the real version, which I funnily enough, I don’t really talk about, which is kind of sounds a bit off given, I’m talking about on a podcast, but when we started the business, I wasn’t really sure which way it was gonna go, we thought that potentially there might be a really large online component, and I wanted that in store experience, but we weren’t really sure. So I wanted something that we wouldn’t, I guess, put us in a corner and a name that we could evolve. So I liked the idea of Oscar, which I see is, I guess, a more interesting name and then Hunt, which for me anyway represented a more conservative name. So the fusion of those two ideas is kind of, you know, a bit more conservative and old school and then that is more progressive, just that sort of mould of the two. It might also have been because I’ve just gotten out of Uni and I was reading a lot of Oscar Wilde and Hunter S. Thompson, but that’s the less official version.

Trish 

Yeah, I like it. I like it. There’s a really good story because I was like, who’s Oscar? And he’s like, Oh, no, actually, that’s just the name. I’m like, really? What a good name. Yeah.

Chris   

Yeah. Funnily enough, our first tailor with his name was Oscar and he’s an incredible bespoke tailor. He doesn’t work with us anymore and he started his own amazing outerwear label, but his name is Oscar so whenever we got into trouble we would blame him.

Trish 

I love it. So tell us, how can people get in touch with you? Like, listening to this podcast, they think, oh, yeah, I want to get in touch, find out a little bit more and get a shirt or whatever. How can they get in touch with you?

Chris  

Yes, I think the best way is online. So we’re just oscarhunt.com.au and through there, you’ve got direct access to all of our showrooms. So on the Gold Coast, you’d be talking with Frank, who’s amazing and has a really great sense of style and understanding what the client is after. So yeah, I’d say online is the best betm and then, once you talk with us, we’ve got you on fire. As I said, we’d like to have that more intimate relationship with our clients. So yeah, it’s more service with us than I guess, in the traditional retail experience. But yeah, I’d say online is your best bet.

Trish  

Yep. And you know what I have to say, before we go, I have to say, like, normally, you will see something online and then you see it in real life. And you sort of think, oh, wow, look really good online. I have to say, I reckon your suits are actually even better in real life. Cool. Yeah, I like that online, which is really funny is weird, but like, I don’t know, I think it’s something that you have to actually see in person to even appreciate. Number one, the quality, number two, the finish and number three, just the way they look, you know?

Chris  

Yeah, no, absolutely. I think, you know, online can maybe tear through our ability to shoot content properly. But I feel like the thing is, it is actually not too difficult to shoot things in a way that makes it look really premium. But I think yeah, the rubber really hits the road when, when it’s in movement, and when it’s on the body and that’s where I think tailoring really shines through.

Trish 

Yep, yep. No, I totally agree. Well, I’ve got to say, thanks so much for joining us today, Chris. It’s been really interesting and I’ve really been looking forward to this because, well, I love the suits, and I can’t wait to share them out as well.

Chris

No, thank you so much. This has been lovely. So I really appreciate it.

Trish 

Yeah. Awesome. My pleasure. Well, this is Chris from Oscar Hunt so if you want to find out more just look at oscarhunt.com.au and you’ll see the men’s suit. There’s some great women’s colours as well. I’ve got my eye on navy blue at the moment. And there’s some great shirts as well. So yeah, I recommend that you do look it up. So thanks so much for joining us today, Chris.

Chris  

Thank you so much. 

Trish

Okay, bye. 

Chris 

Take care.

You can find out more about Oscar Hunt here https://www.oscarhunt.com.au/ and you can slide a DM in their Instagram https://www.instagram.com/oscarhunttailors/ for more product information. 

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Well, like all good quickies it's time to dust off and get back to our day jobs! If you liked the podcast please rate us because we need the validation for our fragile hearts. If you have a story to share or have a burning question you would like us to cover please slide into our DM’s on Instagram at @transformingbodiespodcast. Stay positive, keep your boobs and chins high until we chat again xoxo Trish