- AP/Vincent Yu
The late David Bowie and Prince had more in common that just genre-defining music and gender-bending on-stage personas.
They also shared a tailor. Specifically, Sam’s Tailor, an unpretentious neon-signed shop in Hong Kong’s take on London’s famous Savile Row.
Now run by Manu Melwani, the shop has been operating since his father opened it in 1957.
It’s an essential stop for everyone visiting the autonomous region, and Melwani counts Queen Elizabeth II, David Bowie, Ronald Reagan, Michael Jackson, Margaret Thatcher, and the late Prince among his clients.
It’s no surprise world travelers and foreign dignitaries alike love Sam’s. Melwani offers bespoke, custom-fitted suits that cost less than $500 and are made of top-notch quality by a skilled team of tailors in 24 hours.
Melwani outfitted the Purple Rain rocker when he came to the peninsula in 2003 as part of a world tour, according to Time. Prince knew exactly what he wanted: two suits, both in silver with three buttons. They were cut with a silver lining, and made from Italian silk with no back vent on the jacket. He wanted to wear them for upcoming shows, and needed them in 48 hours.
Melwani was happy to oblige, and 15 tailors got to work on the garments. The tailor recounts to Time that the singer was “very skinny” and “spoke very little.”
Though Melwani’s wall is filled with pictures of the famous people he counts as his customers, Prince’s picture is missing.
The notoriously secretive musician “didn’t want a picture,” Melwani told Time.
- Reuters/Bobby Yip