Future Makers 2013
Business: Saibu no Akuma
Tony Wu wants to bring old style customer service and bespoke tailoring back for men.
That’s why he’s launched Saibu no Akuma, a business that specialises in made-to-measure shirts.
“We are a clothing brand that focuses on human interaction instead of ecommerce, attention to detail instead of mass produced, and high quality at very realistic prices,” he says.
The name of the business is Japanese for “devil in the detail”, and Wu says he chose the Japanese translation because it sounded strong and friends liked it.
Wu also practises the Japanese martial art of jujitsu and looks up to the Japanese philosophy of kaizen, which he explains is about step by step incremental growth and is something many of the country’s businesses follow.
Wu, who currently works as an account manager and is studying entrepreneurship at RMIT, hopes the business will one day become his major source of income.
He got his first taste of bespoke tailoring a couple of years ago when he worked with a tailor who travelled around Australia making suits and shirts.
It sparked the idea for Saibu no Akuma, which he launched in July after travelling overseas.
“Around the world bespoke and made-for-measure is very large,” he says, noting that while Australia is behind in the trend, interest is growing.
He says Saibu no Akuma is an appointment-based service, with clients attending an office in Bourke Street, Melbourne, to be measured and to pick out fabrics and styles for their shirts.
The shirts are then made in Bangladesh and clients come in for a second fitting when the shirts arrive in Australia.
Wu says his ambition is to be known as Melbourne’s best shirt brand.
His advice for other young entrepreneurs is: “Do, don’t say. Be, don’t wish.”