Spring is in the air and the sun is shining on the streets of this fair city again. The days are longer and lighter and they are leading us swiftly towards the beginning of wedding season! Before this year's rhythm ramps up I had the pleasure of joining the wonderful Sammy Aki for a day to see what makes her Groom Style Consultancy tick.
Groom Style consulting is a niche that Sammy spotted and has been carving out for the last three years, she is a trail blazer in an industry that typically focuses all of its attention on the bride. But with men's style becoming much more established in the wardrobes of our favourite chaps it was a natural progression for Sammy after many years working in the in the men's luxury fashion industry. I met her at home to discuss how she found her way to this unique business and what are her secrets on how she gets dressed in the morning...
How did you come to create your Groom Styling consultancy?
With over 15 years in luxury Menswear, I've helped a fair few men with their tailoring including wedding suits and accessories. I had a brief but very insightful job when I took a position in PR for a bridal company. They produced dresses for the bride, bridesmaids and mother of the bride but there was a group long forgotten not just by them but the whole industry...The Groom. This was in 2009 and since launching my business I'm proud to say that a lot has changed both in the menswear and wedding industry and its great to be in the forefront of this. The recent release of The Wedding Bible has a chapter dedicated to the Groom and I am beyond thrilled to be a part of this.
What in a nutshell do you offer?
I enable grooms to gain a relevant overview in preparation for their wedding and ensure they are looking sharp next to their bride. I concentrate not only on the fit of the clothing but also on the finer touches bringing together my "menswear family" some of the names you know as well as those you haven't yet come across, as well as making one off pieces especially for my clients. My made to measure tailoring has gained a great response.
How do you decide what to wear in the morning?
I’m very decisive when it comes to clothing. My clients come to me for this, as I’m able to filter out the rubbish and then give them the options that matter. So I guess that’s what happens to me in the morning, as I can get ready in record speed. I do have staples that I draw upon, silk shirting, cashmere jumpers and tailored trousers. The aim is to feel elegant yet comfortable, and this comes from the fabrics I choose to wear. My main considerations are how far will I be walking, how cold is it and when will I be back home. I find that layering is the key. It keeps me warm and means I’m actually wearing three outfits for every eventuality.
I followed Sammy into the the heart of London as she showed me the ins and outs of her well worn style trail. What I discovered is Sammy is a bridge between both the highstreet and incredible craftsmen and women that still create garments by hand and her Grooms. She has a well tended black book of some of the most accomplished tailors, shoemakers and fabric merchants in London and a wealth of knowledge of how to tune in with her clients and express and translate their very own personal style.
What are the biggest trends for Grooms in 2015?
As much as I enjoy finding new trends within menswear and seeing them develop I don’t necessarily enforce them when creating outfits for my clients. Fashions tend to come and go and I believe it is important to wear something that is true to you and what you are about, especially for your wedding. This means I work with my clients character and build and from there see what “trends” actually suit them. As I am able to create something that is specifically for my client it means they do not have to rely on what is available in the shops due to trends.
But seeing as you asked...2015 sees a prevalence of botanicals within menswear and I believe this can be incorporated within most outfits through either beautiful prints on ties as well as interesting yet subtle jacquard weaves on tailoring fabrics for dinner jackets.
Who would be your dream client?
Interesting question, I really enjoy getting to know my clients and seeing cultures and ideas come together. I want my clients to express themselves. I meet men who have zero idea of what they want, and those who know exactly what they are after but just can't find it anywhere. It's all about having fun in this part of the planning. So my dream client... I guess I would have to say my future husband!
What is the most rewarding element of what you do?
For me it’s seeing my client stand tall and proud next to his partner. Throughout the whole process this is at the forefront of both my Grooms and my decisions. He wants to make sure she is happy and in turn that makes him happy. I also love sharing my knowledge and also learning from both my clients and suppliers. Each comes up with a new proposition and I love spending the time to achieve the best for them with the experts at my side.
I was fascinated, intrigued and inspired to see how Sammy works, her unique vision and effortless sense of style shone through and I love her dedication to guiding her grooms towards real investment pieces that will not only see them down the aisle in style, but will be classic statement pieces that will be the pillars of their wardrobe for years to come. To find out more about Sammy's Groom consultancy take a look here
Thank you so much Sammy, and to all that allowed us to look in to their beautiful worlds for the day!