BY MARK KEAST

Anyone who has bought a suit from a custom suit-maker versus buying a suit off a rack from a retailer can articulate the differences when it comes to the luxury experience. You can read about what’s trending in men’s fashion in an article in GQ then run to Holt Renfrew or you can sit and chat with an expert about a bespoke suit option. The difference in the experience and how the suit you are presented with in the end makes you feel is substantial.

Creative director Hussein Dalla, a “suiting specialist and image consultant”, is changing the way men in and around Toronto think about suits and tuxedos, in part because he loves what he does.  DALLA is the fashion house he founded. Clients meet Hussein one-on-one in his private studio, to talk about custom-tailored suits, the fabrics, measurements, and customizations, sourced from the best European materials, and the elegance and luxury that comes out of that. DALLA suits are made in Italy.

Regarding Luxury spoke with Hussein, heading into the holiday season, about the art of suiting:

RL: From a luxury lifestyle perspective, can you expand on the difference between going to a retailer and buying a suit off a rack, as opposed to going to someone like yourself, for consultation and a custom-measured fit?

HD: When I first started in the fashion industry, I had my own storefront. At that time that’s what worked for me. But over the years I have built up my own clientele, enabling me to now have my own private studio. The experience of shopping in the studio is very personalized, unlike when you buy off the rack at a retailer. Having the studio really allows me to have that one-on-one time with my clients and build long-lasting relationships. Many of my clients have actually become life-long friends of mine and that to me is priceless.

It also gives me the opportunity to connect with each client and give them exactly what they’re looking for, from head to toe. It’s all in the details. Bringing their dreams into reality. I take a lot of pride in ensuring that everyone who walks through my door leaves feeling their very best. For a lot of men having the private consult with me allows them to open up and blow off steam as well. So not only do they leave looking their best but they leave feeling better too. That is a feeling you will never have when buying off the rack.

RL: What are you hearing back from your clients now, about suits? What are the trends in men’s suits? Should more men be wearing suits and if so, why?

HD: The way I look at it is, trends come and go, but suits are a timeless classic. From the beginning of time to now, suits have remained in the fashion spotlight in some shape or form, even transitioning over to women’s fashion as well. Wearing a suit gives you a presence and strength. It makes people do a double-take when you walk into a room.

RL: Why is wearing a suit fun, do you think?

HD: I wouldn’t say it’s fun wearing a suit. I would say it’s more empowering than anything. It gives you a newfound confidence, like you can take on the world.

RL: It’s been said that this is a “suitless era”, yet there is still a strong case to be made for one. Why do suits stay in the picture?

HD: With social media influence on the rise, in terms of fashion, there is more of a street-wear focus, as it is predominantly young people who follow those trends. However you will always see suits in the foreground. Our world leaders who make our laws are all in suits. To me that really puts in perspective just how powerful wearing a suit can be. There there are the special occasions or big achievements in life where a suit has become a necessity and that is one thing that will never change.

RL: Who in your view are some of the style icons out there now, among sport athletes, movie or TV actors, and other celebrities?

HD: I would say the style icons right now for men would have to be Zayn, John Legend, David Beckham, Ryan Gosling and Luke Evans. All very classic, edgy, effortless styles. That’s just what I like.

Hussein Dalla, left, with a client.