Montreal is a city with a rich history of style. Our multicultural backgrounds have resulted in a wonderful kaleidescopic amalgamation of styles from every corner of the world.
Established in 1974, H. Padar has built a reputation for the highest quality of tailoring in the city. You've seen their work in GQ, the Gazette, Vogue and so many other places.
We spoke with Hamed, the manager and heir apparent of the brand.
If you want to learn about what it really takes to look sharp, this is the article for you.
H. Padar is an atelier that MUST be experienced IN PERSON. Do yourself a favour and go visit them as soon as you can. We hear they're even running a promotion or 2 :)
The Art Of Tailoring - IIIMNKYS' Tailor H. Padar
I see you have a lot of older looking machines – does that reflect your approach to tailoring?
Yes! For example, this one machine is over 50 years old and we ONLY use it to make button holes. Everything else we do by hand!
This Singer machine over here is older than all of us combined probably, it’s over 80 years old and we still use it. We believe in the classic way of tailoring.
It seems like you aren’t a fan of modern magazine photo shoot styling – what’s the beef?
I noticed that in your photo shoots for Les Cours Mont-Royal, you guys have a problem with your styling. the shoulders never fall right. But it’s not unique to you, I see the same problems in magazines everywhere, even GQ!
With our customers and whenever we shoot anything, it’s always sharp. We want sharp lines on the shoulders and no bunching of material.
Now, we don’t push customers towards any styles, if they want to be comfortable and have it looser, we do that. If the customer wants an incredibly skinny, cropped suit, we’ll do that too. In the end, the customer is the one wearing the suit, not me.
Now IIIMNKYS represents a very different clientele than your normal businessmen – which do you prefer?
I really like to have ‘fashion’ clients. Businessmen pretty much always want navy or charcoal.
What’s the craziest suit you’ve ever made?
A full-on yellow, skinny and cropped suit! The guy wanted it, so we made it for him. He looked good in it by the way.
I see you guys also make your own shirts and ties?
All of our suits and ties are made by hand here in this atelier. The fabric for the shirts is sourced from Turkey, so that’s a bit different. Everything else, including pocket squares, is all made by hand here in Montreal.
What kind of suit would you recommend for someone who only wants to own 1 suit?
If he’s going for an interview, it’s got to be navy blue. If you’re going to work and you only want to wear 1 suit for every occasion, I would say charcoal is the way to go.
With a navy suit you can make some excellent combinations with burgundy, pink and pale blue accoutrements.
Charcoal is more versatile…and you can even pull off a black shirt. But no tie! I’ve seen some guys pull it off but I think it looks better without a tie.
So, you’re going out tonight – what are you wearing?
I like being colourful when I go out.
A blue jacket (cashmere) with grey pants, brown shoes and very funky socks (maybe Happy Socks).
The shirt would be white or pink. I wouldn’t wear a tie but definitely a pocket square.
How does that compare to your work outfit?
I wear blue jeans to work pretty much every day. Sometimes I’ll pair them with a beige sport coat.
I like to get crazy sometimes and wear a green suit that I pair with a denim shirt.
You have to wear a suit with a 2 inch cuff, you can’t wear a suit nowadays without a cuff.
You’ve mentioned pocket squares a lot - what’s the right way to wear a pocket square?
It all depends on the occasion! If you’re going out, wear it how you want. If it’s more formal, folding it into a square is the way to go.
My rule is no pocket square, no suit!
When did business men downtown stop wearing ties?
About 10 years ago in Montreal, it’s coming back now though.
The trend nowadays is definitely for businessmen to wear ties and hopefully a pocket square as well.
I see this giant horse statue here with Chinese engravings – do you work closely with ethnic communities?
Yes, for years we have provided suits to a lot of people in the Chinese community during the Chinese New Year. We were given this statue as a token of their gratitude.
We also work with a lot of men in the African community. They tend to have really amazing style and are willing to take more risks.
African people are the most handsome and they definitely know what to wear. They’re the reason I have really colourful suit options and I love making things for them.
We also have a lot of Swedish customers. We know our clients’ measurements and we can make them whatever they want and ship it to them. The Swedes are definitely pretty daring with their fashion choices, even though they’re supposed to be reserved people.
I’ve heard you guys have done work for a lot of celebrities?
Yes, we made everything for the X-Men First Class movie that was filmed here, as well as custom costumes for Lady Gaga’s entire Born This Way tour. Everything was custom made.
Michel Girouard is also a huge client of ours, everything he wears is from here.
What’s the deal with handmade vs. what you can buy in a store?
Handmade things may have slight imperfections but they will last you forever. Jackets you buy in stores will be fused, and can therefore fall apart with time and friction.
If you wash a fused jacket by hand, or even get it dry-cleaned, it will eventually lose its shape because of the glue. The only way a jacket can survive years of washing and wear is if it is hand stitched.
If you get a handmade suit, you will be able to pass it down to your kids. Nothing here is made in China, it’s all made here.
We even made this cross-stitched jacket by hand. It took over a month just for the jacket. A piece like this will cost $2-3000. Every piece of stitching was done by hand. This is the highest and hardest level of craftsmanship imaginable.
Have you guys thought about doing business online?
We considered online sales, but we decided that we wanted people to come into the atelier and experience its energy. We’ve had certain customers coming to us for over 30 years!
In the end, even if we could make more money selling online, we really don’t want anything to cheapen the relationships and reputation we’ve built with our clients and the city of Montreal.