Sustaining the storied Shanghainese tailoring tradition for more than 60 years involves deeply understanding each individual customer, as told by TONY CHANG.
The finest fabric and thread sourced from around the world, meticulous pattern matching across the entire garment, and no less than 22 stitches per inch – these are but a few of many characteristic details found in each carefully handcrafted shirt from Ascot Chang.
With shops in Beverly Hills, New York, Manila, and all over Hong Kong and Mainland China, it is renowned worldwide for unmistakable, lasting quality. Gentlemen of stature, luminaries of different fields comprise its clientele, as few others exhibit the skill and attentiveness to cater to the most exclusive tastes.
Company scion Tony Chang inherited the responsibilities of running the enterprise in 1977 to help his father Ascot, back then recovering from illness. While coming from a computer studies background, he quickly learned and became enamored with the garment business, witnessing up close the artisanship of master tailors, some of whom still make clothes for the company.
Tony recounts the events leading to the heritage brand’s establishment. From Ascot Chang’s 3-year apprenticeship in Shanghai to amassing a wealth of experience over the next 9 years, Chang established his name amongst a growing clientele that finally led to opening his first store on Kimberley Road in 1953, practically sharing in Hong Kong’s history of industriousness with milestones in nearly every decade.
“We are considered as one of the best shirt makers in the world,” says Tony. The special focus earned the brand prominence as many early tailors focused on suits. Ascot Chang began producing suits on a large scale in 2005, as it slowly evolved into a complete men’s store, carrying top brand items to go with its main product. “We are constantly working on improving our ready-to-wear offering to include a full range of clothing for the modern gentleman – from traditional suits, jackets, trousers and shirts to casual wear including polo shirts and sweaters,” he says.
One of a Kind
Ascot Chang’s core offering however is bespoke clothing. “Your body, posture, tastes, habits, and style – these are all factors that contribute to how we make your shirts,” says Tony, paraphrasing one of the company’s mottos. Ascot Chang considers much more customer input, engaging them in full collaboration, while other tailors merely take measurements and meet deadlines. “We care more than that.”
This reputation for caliber and process quickly drew in a VIP crowd, and as importantly, customers with specific interests. “Our customers care about what they wear and how they look,” says Tony. “They come mainly because they cannot find good fitting shirts off the shelf, or from other tailors.”
Ascot Chang patrons are particular about designs, fabrics, and colors, which rarely all come together, even more so in ready-made clothing. “They come into the store with something they want to achieve in mind. When you’re looking for something special, a special blue or white shirt with a French cuff for instance, then you need something custom-made.”
Only the Best
Ascot Chang shirting fabrics are preshrunk to minimize shrinkage before they are carefully constructed and made to last up to 100 washes with proper care, retaining their distinctive collar shape throughout their lifespan. Iridescent top grade mother-of-pearl buttons with rounded backs provide wearers with subtle elegance and a greater ease of buttoning up. Pleased with its off-therack product, many customers later opt for bespoke work; they are then treated to a plethora of styling options including a choice from over 6,000 fabrics.
The company enlists master tailors with over 40 years’ experience as well as new designers and stylists to guarantee customers the best results. “We are a very traditional trade,” says Tony. “To survive in this environment we need to bring new things.”
While able to boast the top talent in the trade, Tony restates that it will never impose style; what the customer wants comes foremost at all times. Their expertise assures best quality product, suited to the customer’s precise needs, backgrounds, and personality. “Your way of life defines our shirts,” he says.
Ascot Chang exhibits a resolute dedication to quality and customer satisfaction, a trait shared only by proponents of true value.
For additional information please visit ascotchang.com