A Cut Above! 

Paul Jheeta's story is one of determination and following your passion, no matter what seems ordained for you in life. Training to become a pilot in India, Paul's creativity and obsession for precision led him to United Kingdom where he is today a Fashion Designer and Bespoke Tailor at the Mecca of impeccable suits and stitching - Savile Row. Boasting an impressive, yet discreet set of clientele, Paul has dressed the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, cricket legend, and Farhan Akhtar, Bollywood actor/director.

Born to a father in the Indian Navy and a homemaker mother, the warp and weft of Paul's life saw him bid goodbye to India in the early 90's and move to United Kingdom (UK) for post- graduation in 'intensive pattern cutting, stand modelling and garment making for ladies and men's wear' at the Central School of Fashion, London. In 1997, he began working with Antony Price, British designer, as his senior design assistant and pattern cutter and fitter until 2000. Paul then honed the skills of making men's bespoke suits from 2000 to 2008 and worked under the guidance of some of the best craftsmen including Terry Haste and Gordon Alsleben at H. Huntsman & Sons, Savile Row. He then became the master tailor and craftsman for Chittleborough and Morgan at Nutters Ltd. at Savile Row.

Says Paul of his early days, "As the first person in my family to go abroad and set up this business, it hasn't been very easy, and people tend to see only the greener side of people who move abroad for work. To try and understand global fashion trends, combine this with precision and subtleness, and then produce authentic garments - it hasn't been very easy. But I don't see these things as obstacles, and I was very fortunate to be picked up by the right kind of people."

It was only a matter of time before the brand 'Paul Jheeta' arrived. His label landed on Indian shores through a tie-up with Kachins in Mumbai back in 2008. He has since gone solo and makes a few trips to India every year, just to connect with his clientele, even as all his creations are produced at Savile Row, London. For Paul, "It's more about the relationship than numbers."

Paul swears by honesty, hard work, and no short cuts when it comes to his work "You can grow only if the foundation of your work can sustain your growth. Everyone starts small, and you have to have that strength to sustain things when you go big. I stand out from others because all my clients all celebrities in my eyes, and I ensure that they all get that personalized service, it's about the relationship I build with people, which is not based on the products that I buy or sell."

Talking about his strong connection with India, Paul says, "The whole world is looking towards India, and I would want Indians to look good and show that prosperity." While women's fashion here is great, he feels than more of an education is required when it comes to men's fashion. "At a black tie event here, 99 per cent of men will look at each other and wonder what to do. So you need to understand the culture behind events and clothes so that you don't make the wrong fashion statement."

For inspiration, he looks no farther than his mother who has always believed in his creative abilities, and his wife, Pammi who constantly supports him.

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December 2013

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