Ashok Sunny, the proprietor of Ashok Sunny Tailored is a man who is good at his craft. The 32 year old is a fashion designer based in Nairobi and has set the bar high in coming up with bespoke suits for targeting high-end clientele.
It is without doubt that the fashion designer has created a loyal base of raving fans who are out to dress to kill. He is the brains behind the outfit that President Ruto donned in the defining moment when his daughter June Ruto exchanged vows with her husband Dr. Alexander Ezenagu.
Sunny believes that a man in a suit is a complete individual and that at one point in life one would need a suit.
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In this article, WoK takes a look at the high-flying career of Ashok Sunny.
In past interviews, Ashok reveals that he had a tough upbringing as his dad passed on while he was still young. But inherent love conquers all baggages: his mother raised him single-handedly even as she guided him to adulthood.
Ashok holds a Bachelors of Business and Information Technology (BBIT). However, he ventured into fashion designing while in the second year of study.
Ashok told Weekly Review that he started out with a paltry ksh 20000 capital. He rented a shop in Nairobi’s Umoja Estate and began with a single sewing machine and only one tailor. His mother also advised him on always having a plan B in life and helped in paying rent for a couple of months.
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Looking back, Ashok demystifies the general notion that one has to have a huge capital to start a business. However, he insists on investing in ideas and being patient in one’s venture.
“The problem is people focusing on capital; it is not everything. If you have the ideas, passion and drive, you can start with whatever small you have and be patient and grow with it. The business will grow with whatever capital you have,” he says.
Currently, Ashok Sunny Tailored employs at least 20 tailors and has brought in other partners. The company has designed and made suits for other prominent persons as well including George Kinoti and comedian Njugush.
Why Ashok Sunny stands out
According to the proprietor, creativity, quality, timely deliveries and being authentic are the key factors that has enabled his business to grow.
“The most important thing is creativity. Day to day, you need to come up with new things and new ideas because people are looking for unique things and fresher trends,” he says.
Ashok says he invests a lot of time for the final product to come out as preferred by a client. After meeting a customer, he pays attention to his/her preferences and then take the measurements. The entrepreneur then drafts a master plan and cuts the suit. He will then invite the client to come for fitting before final touches on the garment.
“Anyone who claims to make a bespoke suit within a week is a con. From start to finish, the blazer will take you 50 hours, a trouser 25 hours, then you do over 5000 hand stitches, finishing and fitting. It takes at least three to four weeks for a quality garment,” he says.
Ksh 250000 suits
Ashok reveals that most of his clients are lawyers, youthful MPs and people in the corporate world. He imports his fabric from Italy, London, France and Belgium. The fabric come in various quality ranging from super 100 to super 200, cashmere and vicuna.
The super 100 is the finest quality of wool. According to Ashok, a majority of suits in the Kenyan market is made of polyester which is quite inappropriate for the tropical climate. His shop sells polywool suits at a price range of ksh 30k-60k. The highest quality designer suits cost upwards of ksh 60k, up to ksh 250k.