The Sartorial Gentleman
There is one myth about Alfred Sung that is worth dispelling. He is not shy. No matter how many fashion reporters have built their stories on the reclusive genius stereotype, the reality is Sung prefers to express himself through his personal style. The designer takes great pleasure in maintaining an impeccable and stylish personal appearance, which he couples with a devotion to physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Known as a “best dressed” recipient, he has been able to extend his design talent and personal interests into a success designing men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, fragrance and home furnishings.
He might wear a classic navy blazer with an antique cameo pin tucked into the lapel, or a gold Cartier watch with a pair of $50 sneakers; because this is Alfred Sung; Canada’s leading designer; a man whose witty personal style reflects his belief that the classics don’t have to be boring or predictable.
He lists as his design inspirations the romantic male lead actors from the 50’s, including Cary Grant, A student of personal dressing, he has admired the eclectic style of the Duke of Windsor, who set sartorial standards through his novel combinations of stripes, checks, plaids and his beloved tartans and crests. He prefers simple items without logos. Blue jeans, khakis or chinos - no brand. “As a designer, maybe I shouldn’t say this but I don’t wear designer jeans. To me, Levi’s 501 is the original. I like v necks and crew necks and I often wear a bow tie. Sometimes blazers but most of the time I’m casual, in sweaters. My shirts are custom-made in Hong Kong, with a monogram on the sleeve.” His collection of vintage and antique specs are also often from Hong Kong, where he makes special trips just for the unique market finds and tiny one-of-a-kind shops.
His eye wear is part of his signature look. “I’ve been wearing glasses since childhood. I used to wear contact lenses, but I find glasses more comfortable.” He explains. “To me, what’s most important is comfort and style. In the past, I had to have glasses custom made to get the look I wanted, and to fit my face properly. You shouldn’t have to go to such an extent to get good looks and fit.” Which is why, in 1990, he decided to create a line of ophthalmic quality eye wear. The ALFRED SUNG eye wear collection, made in Italy and Japan is available at optometrists offices across Canada.
“I understand what’s involved in choosing and wearing glasses. I know, because I wear them. I love the aspect of adding fashion to a very technical product, of giving a sense of attitude and style to a product that for the longest time was taken for granted, was used just ‘to see’, not ‘to be seen in.’”
“I’m also a shoe freak.” He confesses with a smile, “I constantly buy shoes. I’m a loafer person, particularly shoes made in England - John Lobb shoes, J.M. Weston and Church’s, of course. And Trickers, the bespoke velvet slippers.
Alfred’s personal philosophy emphasises “event appropriate” dressing and his own well-organised and constructed wardrobe, often featured in the press. This consistent attention to impeccable personal dressing and his focus on taste level have been successfully translated into a men’s bespoke range of suits, shirts and men’s watches.
True to his approach, the ALFRED SUNG bespoke line is carefully constructed one suit at a time to specific custom measurements to fit perfectly and stand the test of time and trends. The line offers men the same sensibilities that has made Alfred Sung a highly acclaimed name in women’s wear.