There is nothing like a tailor made suit to make someone look and feel their best. Made to measure, in quality fabric, with expert style advice, the end result often includes a significant confidence boost.
Max Liondos from Liondos Suits in Sydney has over three decades of experience in the industry, and is well versed in the importance of style, counting former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, as well as several Rugby League players including the St George Illawarra Dragons and Canberra Raiders among his clientele.
Starting his career at Berlei Hestia after finishing school, he has always had a keen eye for fashion and has always enjoyed wearing nice clothes. Finishing a course in pattern making, production and accounting, he then went on to work for Jill Fitzsimon and her fashion house in the mid-1980s, starting as a Production Manager, and being promoted to General Manger two years later. He flourished in this role, launching 5 retail shops and supplying over 350 boutiques and department stores around Australia. Max also created and managed the uniform branch of the company, supplying to Qantas, Bank of NSW among others.
In 1985 he started Liondos Manufacturing, used by many of the high end designers in Sydney such as Covers, Simona, Trent Nathan, Marcs and so on.
“Most manufacturing was done in Australia but towards the end of the nineties many designers started taking all production overseas to China as it was in their best financial interests,” says Max. “In 2003 – 2004 we branched out into made to measure suits and corporate wear as there was no more manufacturing being done in Australia, only by very few design houses. Our corporate-wear customers include Lexus, Toyota, Bank Of Sydney, Meriton Serviced Apartments, Norwest Medical Imaging centres, St George Illawarra RLFC and other NRL clubs. We have produced for over 150 companies Australia wide.”
One of the biggest keys to success for Max has been his insight into understanding what the customer is wanting, and quickly gaining their trust.
“Many men find it difficult to decide on what suits, style, colours and fabrics to purchase. I always try to tell them the truth on what would suit them and their body type,” says Max. “Then when they see the final result on their second fitting they thank me for convincing them. I always like to see my suits on my customers and how confident they look and feel. I always use quality fabrics in my suits as the finished product speaks for itself.”
The benefits of made to measure suits are many – the process by which the customer ultimately chooses the colour, style and fabric, as well as the suits being made specifically to the customer’s body type.
Max’s favourite part of the design process is choosing the fabrics as well as the design and styling for his customers. Working on an appointment-only basis, he needs to be able to allocate time to each individual customer.
“When a customer walks into Liondos Suits they can expect to be treated in a professional manner. To express what they would like and then decide, with my input, on which style, fabric and colour to complement their body type, as everyone is different and totally unique,” says Max.
It is clear that decades in the business have not dimmed the joy or endless inspiration Max draws upon when making his creations. “People on the street inspire me as well as my favourite designers Tom Ford and Giorgio Armani,” he says. “I just enjoy and love what I do. Every day is a new day and an adventure and I get to meet new and wonderful people.”
“One piece of advice that has stayed with me is ‘Always keep your quality and standards high’ and I truly believe these words have helped me achieve in giving my customers the best results,” says Max.
In an industry which sees countless trends come and go each year, Max places importance on classic pieces, and timeless style. Timeless styles are the classic suits, like the single breasted suit with 2 buttons and the double breasted suit,” he says. “Both these jackets should be worn with straight leg trousers. You cannot go wrong with the classic colours of charcoal, navy and black, just as a lady can never go wrong with a little black dress in a classic style.”
According to Max the biggest trends for 2017 will be the double breasted suit and the sharp looking suits. The ‘must have’ colours in suits will be black and khaki. “A black sharp suit is suitable for all occasions and is a must in a gentleman’s wardrobe,” he says.
As for how he would describe his own style? “My style is lounge and business suit classics, as well as red carpet black tie tuxedoes. The suit always lives on.”