Coming from a family of garment manufacturers, a possible career in fashion was never far-fetched for Osman Abdul Razak. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that the former engineer ventured into the business of dressing up with his own boutique. Since then, the Chennai resident has been transforming the way men dress, for the better of course. Razak himself is a bonafide style influencer, always dapper and topping best-dressed lists. We caught up with him for an interview on his personal style and the art of dressing well.
What attracted you to fashion?
With my family invested in the export of garments, it’s no surprise that I developed a penchant for men’s fashion.
Who is your sartorial inspiration?
I am greatly inspired by European men’s fashion and always try to invoke their style characteristics in my creations.
Tell us about your label and its journey.
The year 2007 saw the launch of my men’s only concept boutique, intended to promote men’s pret-couture fashion as art. The boutique eventually evolved into a men’s bespoke studio.
We relaunched the atelier studio in 2016 under the private label Osman Abdul Razak (OAR). The promotion of traditional sartorial techniques continues to be the crux of my brand. I have seen the industry evolve over the last few years in Chennai and it is particularly interesting to be a part of this wave.
How do you balance a client’s need and your understanding of what suits them?
As a certified image consultant, I often work with men who want to revamp their personal style and project a positive first (and lasting) impression. I pay attention to their requirements and always keep in mind what they came for while using my initial brief to steer them in the direction of what would suit them best. It’s important to make the style transformation an easy and enjoyable experience.
What is your style philosophy?
Keeping it simple and classy.
Which new menswear trends do you find exciting?
Men’s accessories have taken the industry by storm. A colourful pocket square, funky lapel pins, and quirky wrist accessories add to the overall look of an ensemble. Another exciting trend is men embracing colours uninhibitedly.
My current looks take a cue from the season’s forecast, and showcase a classy play of colors and fabrics, fine hand embroidery and exciting accessories.
If you had to pick a few accessories that every man must own, what would it be?
Brown tasselled penny loafers and a matching belt.
Tell us about your biggest pet peeve.
Style faux pas such as fastening the last button of a formal jacket or wearing white socks with a black ensemble irk me.
Which items of clothing always feature in your wardrobe?
A navy blue unstructured jacket and a well-tailored classic white shirt.
Where do you see your label in the next few years?
Having carved a niche in the men’s bespoke fashion segment in Chennai, I am now looking to refine my services in the hope of venturing into new and different markets.