There are many facts of life that are pretty universal. One is that we all deserve second chances, and two is that we all need to dress up every once in awhile. Bonham Strand is a Hong Kong based company that deals with these two issues. They make bespoke suits, handmade to the wearer’s specific measurements. This involves a nine-step process that includes two fittings to make sure that the suit fits the wearer perfectly.
To do this bespoke process they hire master tailors with decades of experience, who do both the measurements and the sewing of the suit itself. This individualized, non-assembly line process is rare nowadays. Most suits are assembled in factories and bought off the rack. At Bonham Strand, a single tailor is responsible for the suit from beginning to end.
This helps preserve a tradition of craftsmanship, in more ways than one. In addition to employing master tailors, they hire young recovering drug addicts as apprentices to the master tailors. This gives a second chance to at-risk people, while giving them a long-term career and teaching them a valuable trade.
Right now they have a retail space and workshop in Hong Kong. However, they do not want to keep it that way for long. Bonham Strand is planning to open a new workshop and retail space right here in Philadelphia. Founder Jong Lee graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and thinks the city is the perfect place to locate Bonham Strand’s second store.
The company plans to hire former inmates, as soon as they are released from prison, training them while they are in prison so they can start work as soon as they are released. If Bonham Strand is successful in setting up here in Philadelphia they will be a great addition to the community, and even better, I’ll have a great excuse to get an awesome looking suit.