Preview, September 2004
Ino Caluza brings new meaning to finding the perfect pair of jeans with his custom-made label, Viktor.
Cuts and washes change with the trends but the eternal challenge is snagging that perfect fit. After trying on hundred of pairs, the lure of custom-made jeans is one that’s difficult to refuse. Preview roadtested the handiwork of MTO jeans designer Ino Caluza to see why, in 8 months, he’s created more than 350 pairs for an already loyal set of clientele.
First off, you’ve got to set up an appointment. Ino is best reached via his mobile phone 09178504543. His workshop is in Antipolo, so for clients who live within Makati, Quezon City, Mandaluyong and Pasig, he prefers to meet them in their homes. You can either show him a perfect pair to copy or start from scratch. But before deciding on style, Ino asks when and where the pants will be used (day or night, dressy or rugged occasions) and which shoes (heels or flats).
Choosing a fabric is probably one of the most difficult parts. It is nearly impossible to choose one from the swatches of denim (in several colors and washes)corduroy (in varying sizes), cotton twill or more. This is probably why most of his clients end up ordering at least 3 pairs at a time – once you’ve got the jeans with an exact fit, you’ll want it in every color. You also have an in depth discussion on the color of stitching, as it has a surprising impact on the overall look of the pants.” Although I have made several pairs of white jeans,” says Ino “ each is made distinct by details like stitch color or piping.”A word of caution though, most of the fabric he uses have not been commercially washed. To avoid getting the dye all over your hands and legs, make sure you wash the jeans—especially dark pairs—before deciding to go out in them.
This is the most critical step. There are seven points that need to be measured, waist, hips, crotch, leg, knee, hem and length. He might also ask you to put on a favorite pair of jeans and proceed to pin and sculpt the desired cut. “It’s a very technical process,” he says. “Even one quarter of an inch makes a difference.” After measurements are taken, all that’s required is fifty percent down payment and the next meeting will be to fit the jeans.
The normal waiting period is two weeks. Seven types of machines are required for the construction of a single pair of jeans, which only goes to show how intricate the entire process is.
At the fitting appointment, if the customer is satisfied, the sale is made final(and more often than not , the next pair is ordered). If he finds a problem, Ino goes back to tweaking it until he’s content with how it falls.
Viktor jeans are slowly reaching cult status among Manila’s Habitual and Blu Cult-wearing set, making that signature red V a familiar sight. A pair goes around P3500 tom P4000.