By Kim White
Inspired by thoughtful and uncomplicated style, the ALFRED SUNG design philosophy is that the simple things are always better and for 40 years, the brand has created and marketed fashionable and sophisticated apparel, home fashion, fragrance and accessories. During his design career, Alfred Sung garnered significant attention, acclaim and recognition in Canada and around the world for his classic styling and timeless creations. Nearly four decades after establishing his label alongside Mimran Group Inc., the pre-eminent Canadian designer, who remains a force in the fashion and fragrance world, has decided to retire.
Continuing the tradition of fashion-forward tailoring, a new generation is at the helm. Leading the brand today is Creative Director Jordin Mimran and Merchandise Director Tamara Mimran, the children of Saul Mimran (co-founder of the brand). The pair are taking the company into a new decade, and they firmly believe in the power of e-commerce to reach customers worldwide.
The ALFRED SUNG brand has reinvented itself several times over the past 40 years and, just as the pandemic has forced many apparel brands to pivot, the Mimrans have again embraced new approaches to business. In May of this year, the official ALFRED SUNG online store (www.alfredsung.com) was re-launched with a made-to-order option, allowing customers to create a custom size for their clothing. To start, you click through a quick online questionnaire about body and fit preferences, and that’s all it takes to determine your custom fit. The clothing is then crafted specifically for you and delivered within 3-4 weeks with free shipping,
Jordin explains that, “Quality takes time, and we’re proud of everything we ship. If there isn’t a customer, the clothing doesn’t get made. Each item is special and we take care to get it just right.” Tamara adds that, “We’re a little obsessed with helping our customers find their perfect fit, which is why we created the Fit Wizard,” a proprietary online technology based on thousands of customer data points.
Their strategy, however, is about more than just good business acumen and impeccably fitting clothing. Both Jordin and Tamara argue that by producing only made-to-order clothing they are helping to reduce over-manufacturing, which they see as a major issue in the fashion industry. “We have experienced it firsthand and recognize that fashion is one of the most wasteful industries, with over one-third of clothing manufactured worldwide discarded without ever being purchased. If there isn’t someone to wear it, we won’t make it,” says Tamara.
Now they’ve started making reusable, washable face masks with high-thread-count cottons and timeless seersucker fabrics (also sold online). “We are enthusiastic about continuing to sell designer clothing during a pandemic, and to offer the more mindful investment of quality-made, designer clothing and accessories to a new generation of customers,” remarked Jordin. They are hoping to focus on authenticity and the proven SUNG style to win over today’s online customers, who are leaning towards comfort and professionalism through their style.
Alfred Sung first rose to fame by dressing the emerging working woman of the early 80’s. He seized the attention of the international fashion community for his exquisite and novel interpretations of classic women’s suiting. Alfred’s designs helped liberate women from the male uniforms they were obligated to wear in the name of credibility and acceptance. Back then, to “look the part” meant severely tailored navy suits, patterned silk bow ties, mid-calf skirts and sensible shoes. Then along came Sung with bright colours, clean lines and subtle feminine flourishes. He made it possible for women to look feminine and still be taken seriously – and women loved him for it.
Following fashion, the brand moved its focus to fragrance and in 1986 launched the best-selling women’s perfume, SUNG ALFRED SUNG, followed by a number of follow-up fragrance hits in the 90’s, including PURE ALFRED SUNG, ALFRED SUNG FOREVER, and SHI ALFRED SUNG.
In the 2000’s and 2010’s Mimran Group Inc. pioneered direct-to-retail fashion licensing in Canada by launching exclusive ALFRED SUNG diffusion lines with large retailers nationwide like The Hudson’s Bay, Moore’s Clothing For Men and Mark’s.
Today Alfred Sung is taking a more sustainable and thoughtful approach to fashion, highlighting the digital customer experience, along with custom fit and personalized exceptional quality clothing for each and every customer. We can’t wait to get the masks to match our custom-made shirts, (P.S. they monogram too!)