UAE Famous: Suited and Booted owners, Calvin Smith and Ryan Smith
Meet the tailoring tycoons dressing Dubai…
UAE Famous is a What’s On page focusing on people out there making the scene. They’re out there around town, shaping the UAE into what it is, creating the culture, food and life around us. We asked them what’s good in the UAE. We asked them what’s bad in the UAE. We asked them to tell us more, more, more about their wonderful selves…
And this month, we sat down with Suited and Booted’s Calvin Smith and Ryan Smith…
Who are you, and what made you famous?
We are the founders of Suited & Booted, a bespoke tailoring company born in Dubai with Scottish roots. We aim to bring a modern twist to the concept of traditional tailoring.
What inspired you to make the move to the UAE?
We liked the idea of living somewhere that has more than four days of sunshine a year. I think we moved here for the same reason as most, a chance to change our lives with a new adventure. The UAE showcases such rapid growth; it allows young entrepreneurs the chance to make their passions become a reality. Nothing is impossible in Dubai.
What’s been your biggest achievement so far?
Ryan: There have been so many milestones achieved along the way it’s hard to pin-point an exact one. The global recognition that the brand has started to receive is truly amazing. We were the first homegrown brand to host the Dubai World Cup Style Stakes in March, which was an amazing opportunity.
And the biggest challenge?
Calvin: As a growing business, the biggest challenge has to be knowing how to delegate responsibility, finding people in the business who deal with the roles that they specialise in.
Who would be your dream customer?
Calvin: Gabriel Macht, who people might know better as Harvey Specter. The American TV show Suits has made tailoring modern and iconic to our generation.
Ryan: HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. I think His Highness is probably at the top of everyone’s dream customer list. We’re playing on his pitch, what an honour it would be to dress the boss.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?
Like most young people in Dubai, we play the mental tug of war been enjoying the social scene or having a sensible night in.
What do you love about the UAE?
We love the people that we are surrounded by here, both clients and friends. Our network is full of driven and positive individuals. This combined with what Dubai has to offer is what makes the UAE such an exciting place to be.
What stresses you out about the UAE?
Understanding that not everyone wants to work 24/7 like us. At times, Dubai can make you feel like you’re going in circles to achieve something simple.
Do you think you’ll stay in the UAE forever?
The UAE will always be a part of the Suited & Booted story. It’s where the concept was born. We wanted to change people’s perception about tailoring and that started with Dubai. We have big ambitions to expand the business into other countries, but Dubai will always feel like a piece of home.