Rahim Rawjee of Row-G shoots the service lights out
There’s tailoring and then there’s the scene from the movie where the hero – think Daniel Craig – nips in to Row-G for a fitting so Q can kit him out in a 100-percent wool suit cut just so, but of course with handy bullet-proof lining… Forget Craig. And the movie. It’s all possible in what must be Johannesburg’s most exclusive source for made-to-measure suits and shirts.
The choice at Row-G is staggering, and men might have to find their feminine side to cope. No point swanning in and settling for a bog-standard blue cotton shirt and tweed jacket when you’re about to discover the suit version of Shangri-la. Our would-be Bond or executive will be required to focus − on 12 different cuff designs for starters, and nine collars. That gives you a basic starter wardrobe of 108 versions of a white shirt. Even those can be customized further into 36 options for cuffs and 28 for collars. Now change the colour using the same fitted shirt made with fine cotton from Appenzell, Switzerland, and the permutations are boggling.
It’s just as well then that the master of this emporium, chief creative officer Rahim Rawjee, South African-born and trained, gently guides you to a dressing room… Well, ‘room’ would be selling it short, really. Think drawing room at Versailles: gold-framed floor-to-ceiling mirrors angled cleverly, and with the space subtly and flatteringly lit. It’s where Rawjee spends part of your 90-minute consultation, during which you’re able to see yourself miming an arrival, a departure, an executive stride, sitting opposite a gorgeous lunch date, or a pose that’s appropriate for the announcement of a hostile takeover. The mirrors will capture it all – you, the suit, the situation. In short (42 portly and otherwise), you will be smitten.
How well is your suit made? If the jacket alone has to pass 140 quality checks, relax on that front. They use nine different threads on a jacket, each thread with its own properties and strengths. The suit literally shapeshifts to your form. Rawjee also reveals that the trousers zip has inverted teeth, ‘which eradicates the bulk on the fly’. This is obviously a source of anxiety to some but, here, it’s sorted. Once the made-to-measure suit has been fitted to you like a second skin, it may be returned at a later date for ‘refreshing’, says Rawjee, underlining the promise that your needs are anticipated. The suit will be shape-checked, loose seams sorted, threads or buttons returned to pole position and then ‘aerated’ so that the fibres can breathe. It’s a little like shipping off your suit to a spa in the Alps. Is it so that ‘the apparel oft proclaims the man’? Here’s where you find out.
For more information, call 011 853 0000 or visit row-g.com. By appointment only.