Monday, August 6, 2007
MADELEINE ENSOR MEETS THE MAN BEHIND THE EXCLUSIVE VIKTOR JEANS
As catchlines go, “Viktor Jeans can get you laid” is bound to cause some attention. But according to Victorino “Ino” Caluza, jeans designer and the man behind the coolest, er, behinds, in the country, there is more than a grain of truth in the claim.
“Somebody asked me to give them an incentive to buy my jeans,” he explains. “And I said: ‘they can get you laid’. It just stuck. The funny thing is, after a few weeks or months, a lot of people started to text me early in the mornings and say, yes, your jeans really worked!”
The best selling point of Viktor jeans is Caluza himself. Handsome and so very charming, during a one-on-one with him you start to want to look and dress just like him. Even if you’re a girl. In fact, some of his male clients ask him to wear the jeans before they buy them, to give them that perfect, just-worn-in model look. That takes buying into the brand to a whole new level.
In case you don’t yet know, brand Viktor provides exclusive tailor-made jeans that make the best of your body. He clads the butts of some of the country’s most exciting movers and shakers and his client roster spans doctors, lawyers, models, actors and politicians. He’s proved stylishly successful, with tens of thousands of customers around the world. After an initial consultation – which involves a close discussion with Caluza (let’s call him Viktor) about what you want and what will suit you – your measurements and style preferences are logged so existing clients can simply phone or email to get a new pair of perfect jeans delivered wherever they are. And at PHP3,950 (US$85) to PHP5,700 (US$122) a pop and PHP7,460 (US$160) for overseas clients, the Viktor range is doing well financially, too. Well enough to start considering launching a cheaper range of less detailed jeans, called Vik, for the under twenties. Other projects in the pipeline are plans to start a Lord Viktor line that will sell suits, shirts and jackets, and Viktorino, “my Baby Gap” for kids.
THE FULL PACKAGE
Viktor, admits to offering his clients more than just a great pair of jeans. “I like giving fashion advice,” he explains. “What shoes and bags to wear; where to buy the nicest belt. I’m happy doing that, because when some male clients come back to see me they’re like different guys. They’re more confident about what kind of shirt and shoes they could buy. They’re even more confident with girls. That’s the best part of the job, making people more confident about themselves because of what kind of clothes that they wear.”
And as for his get laid guarantee: “I’ve had someone else complaining: ‘I’ve been wearing these jeans for almost a month now and I haven’t got laid.’ So I say, ‘come down to our shop and maybe we can give you an adjustment’. Maybe you’re not smiling that much, or something! We’ll give you some tips.”
As a bespoke service, Viktor jeans work for people at the cutting edge of fashion and those with unusual sizes who can’t find their perfect jeans elsewhere. The jeans are distinguished by the play on his distinctive V logo. Every pair of each design is numbered and he never produces more than a thousand of each style, so you can be assured you won’t find the same pair on too many people. Or course, for those in the know, the lower the number the better, as it means you got there first. There’s even a special free pair, given to loyal customers once they have bought 10 pairs.
So if you want to get laid, or just be one of the most stylish people in the country, get down to Viktor jeans and meet the man himself.
Making Pinoys proud, his goal is to see Viktor as a global brand that can compete with those European and American brands out there. Let’s wish him the best.
VIKTOR’S TIPS FOR STYLISH JEANS:
What’s the most popular style of jeans?
Still the straight cut or the skinny. Other styles are slowly becoming popular again, such as the trouser cut, which is a wide-leg style. The way the Asian styles fit, I think the skinny would at least be able to last for another couple of seasons, as it’s a flattering cut for small girls.
Which colors are most popular?
I get a lot of request for dark colors. I think it’s harder to buy the dark jeans in shops, because normally they sell washed varieties, not the plain raw denim.
What’s the best style for longevity?
A straight cut lasts longer when it comes to fashion. The most flattering is the boot cut because it makes you look longer and it works with many types of shoe: flats, wedges.
Are jeans becoming more acceptable in formal settings?
Yes, girls can dress them up in a nice blouse and wear them for formal gatherings.
It’s the same with guys. Wear a black jacket, dark jeans and black shoes and you can go to a wedding. Jeans transcend lots of taboos. Before, you couldn’t wear jeans to the office, but now you can. Lots of my clients are professionals and they want to wear jeans.
Viktor Denim Republic
4/F The Podium 18 ADB Avenue Ortigas Center 1550 Mandaluyong 6316440 Metro Manila
3/F Trinoma, North Edsa, Quezon City. 9013044