Meet President William Ruto’s tailor who charges Up to Sh 1million Per Suit

In today’s world dominated by mass production and fast fashion, the exquisite craft of bespoke tailoring stands out as a rare and luxurious art. At the forefront of this art in Kenya is Ashok Sunny, a 32-year-old fashion designer and stylist who creates masterpieces of bespoke suits sought after by the country’s elite, including President William Ruto, top CEOs, and politicians. So, what exactly is bespoke tailoring, and why does it hold such high regard?

According to Sunny, bespoke tailoring is the meticulous art of creating a garment entirely from scratch, by hand. It involves starting with the client’s measurements and posture, meticulously drafting the master pattern on brown paper using tape measures, set squares, chalk, and a keen eye for detail.

Sunny or one of his 20 skilled tailors then cut the suit and create the first basted fitting, allowing the client to try on the garment and make any necessary adjustments. This iterative process continues until the final product achieves a perfect fit, resulting in a truly unique masterpiece that can never be replicated.

What sets bespoke tailoring apart from made-to-measure tailoring is the unparalleled attention to detail and the use of only the finest materials. Sunny insists on using the highest quality fabrics for his bespoke suits, importing wool from renowned sources in Italy, London, France, and Belgium.

These fabrics vary in quality, ranging from super 100 to 200, with the most luxurious and expensive options being vicuna and cashmere. Vicuna, for instance, can cost up to Sh600,000 per square meter, with a suit requiring three meters. Cashmere, often mixed with wool, results in a garment with a price range between Sh250,000 and Sh1 million.

Despite the substantial investment, Sunny believes that the longevity of bespoke suits justifies the cost, as they are designed to last a lifetime and can be treasured as heirlooms.

However, bespoke tailoring is not solely defined by its materials; it is also a testament to craftsmanship. Sunny and his team employ age-old techniques passed down through centuries to create their bespoke suits, ensuring that every stitch is handcrafted and every detail is flawlessly executed.

This labor-intensive process typically takes three to four weeks to complete a high-quality garment, with the final cost ranging from Sh60,000 to Sh250,000, depending on the fabric chosen.

During an interview with Daily Nation, Sunny explained, “Super 100 will cost Sh60,000, super 120 Sh100,000, super 130 Sh150,000 and so on. The higher the super, the lighter the fabric, and the more the garment will cost. Cashmere can be mixed with wool, and the end product will cost between Sh250,000 to Sh1 million. Vicuna is the most expensive fabric in the world, which we don’t have in Kenya.”

Sunny’s passion for bespoke tailoring began in 2013 when he established a humble stall in Nairobi’s Umoja estate, armed with a meager capital of Sh20,000 borrowed from his mother. With a single sewing machine and the help of an 18-year-old apprentice tailor, Sunny served anyone who walked through his doors while expanding his knowledge and honing his fashion sense.

As his expertise grew, and his financial resources strengthened, Sunny gradually narrowed down his client list, focusing exclusively on discerning clients who appreciated the art of bespoke tailoring. Today, he stands as the CEO of Ashok Sunny Tailored Limited, a luxury tailoring brand renowned for crafting bespoke suits for Kenya’s elite. His exceptional craftsmanship has earned him the opportunity to dress distinguished figures such as President William Ruto, top CEOs, and politicians, establishing his brand as synonymous with unrivaled quality and exclusivity.