by Cheryl Williams
The City of Hong Kong is renowned for its superior tailors who make distinctive hand-made garments but luckily you don’t have to travel across the world to get a decent priced, tailored suit or dress. Hong Kong Tailors, located at 3200 W. Broad St., is a modest business tucked inside the Comfort Inn Hotel. It is here Richmonders have found a portal to coveted, quality tailoring and fashion. Mohan Romani owns and operates Hong Kong Tailors where he and his family specialize in custom suits, dresses, and alterations. In the 1960’s, Romani studied fashion design in Hong Kong for ten years which led to work in nearby Okinawa, Japan and as far as Australia. Once in the United States he decided to make Richmond home in 1972, going on to earn a name within the city and high-profile clients across the U.S.
However, the small shop is where the creation process begins. Here in Richmond, Romani along with his dedicated nephew, consult clients. They take measurements, draw the final design, and fax orders to Hong Kong. There Mohan’s family individually handcrafts each garment and ships it back to Richmond within 2-3 weeks. Romani credits his family’s success to being a family operated business and staying up on global fashion trends, “To keep up I see fashion shows in France, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, and Philly. My nephew travels to Shanghai and sees fashion show and we share ideas.” Romani collects fashion catalogs, and scrapbooks his annual travels to share with his Richmond clients. Individual garments such as blouses can be customized from an array of colors, patterns and material sample including popular Sea Island and Egyptian cotton. Romani describes his favorites as light-colored, breathable Seersucker cotton and linen suits in summer; and in winter, dark colors, charcoal or twin plaid, cashmere and gabardine wool suits. However, Romani is clear that he believes each suit is influenced by the respective client and not necessarily by trends and says, “…ready-made suits don’t fall perfect on [a] person and fabric bunches in machine. But custom-made suits are superior; no one in world has your suit. You look smarter and feel better because it fits perfect.”