Friday, 15 May 2009

Recession or no recession: Homeboy Amosu sets his suit at $100,000

THE reality of the global economic meltdown has hit hard at multinationals, groups and individuals, but the crisis doesn’t appear to be affecting Nigeria-born-London-based designer and entrepreneur, Alexander Amosu. The ‘wiz kid’ has found a buyer for his ‘most expensive suit in the world’ valued at $100,000. The one-off creation took 80 hours to complete, at a price of about 14 pounds per stitch.
The single-breasted, single-buttoned suit was made from rare materials such as Vicuna wool, which can only be shorn once every three years from the South American camelid, and Qiviuk wool, gathered from the Arctic muskox. Amosu wants this expensive garment to be just the first step of his new self-titled luxury-clothing brand, which he hopes will be bigger than either Yves Saint Laurent or Gucci –– both owned by French billionaire Francois Pinault –– by 2020.
On the inspiration behind his creation, Amosu, luxury designer to the rich and famous and founder of Amosu Luxury Ltd, said, “I wanted to create something completely exclusive, limited, luxurious, impressive and outstanding. Nobody has done that. Whatever I do, I have to do 10 times better than anyone else.”
He continued: “I’m trying to build a luxury brand that people know about. To compete with the likes of Gucci; you have to produce not just the ‘world’s most expensive’ but something so exclusive that you are the only one who makes it,” Amosu said.
The designer does not exaggerate; the triple-figure price tag includes hyperbolic levels of customer service –– Alexander and his tailors will travel to clients anywhere in the world to take measurements and fit the suits.

ALTHOUGH Amosu made his first million at the tender age of 25, from selling everything from cleaning services to mobile-phone ringtones, even he is aware that the world is in the grip of a major recession. Just recently, the International Monetary Fund said the global economy would shrink 1.3%; British finance minister Alistair Darling also said he would raise the income tax on top earners to 50.0%, from 45.0%, a fact which makes Amosu wince visibly.
“It will probably hurt us a little bit,” he admitted, “but what can we do? There are still wealthy people out there.”
Amosu did not divulge any of his goals or targets for 2009, but said the next move for his luxury road show was a trip to the hotspots of the world: Monaco, Abu Dhabi and Nigeria, his homeland.
“Everyone wants to touch the suit, to feel it,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
The suit is being produced in collaboration with Dormeuil, purveyors of the world’s finest fabrics. Frederic Dormeuil, the commercial director of the Dormeuil collection, expressed his excitement over the creation: “It is very nice to be a part of this. It is a very unique product.”

ALEXANDER Amosu, a young entrepreneur who turned his interest in technology and the mobile phone industry into a commercial success story, now heads a business at the forefront of mobile entertainment. His business has evolved from a one-man operation to employing over a dozen staff, and generating an annual turnover in excess of £1 million.
Whilst studying, Alexander worked part time in retailers such as the electrical store, Tandy and the fast food chain, Pizza Hut. It soon became apparent that selling and in particular developing a rapport with customers came naturally to him. Having undertaken a business start-up course at the college of North East London, at the age of 19, Alexander wrote a business plan which was reviewed by the Prince’s Trust. The Trust didn’t delay in awarding him a grant to start his new business venture for a cleaning company that he oversaw and ran for three years whilst continuing his studies.
At the University of North London, where he studied Sound Engineering, Alexander discovered a niche in what was then a fledgling industry. He proceeded to test demand for urban ringtones by producing and supplying them to his friends and family. Initially he had no promotional support other than the word of mouth of his customers. This was to prove a sufficient catalyst to propel him and his business along a roller coaster ride into the ringtone market – Alexander was in business.

ALEXANDER’S passion for technology, entrepreneurial skills and determination has resulted in his Company becoming the UK’s No.1 provider of ringtones and graphics. The Company’s runaway success story has attracted media frenzy. Such is the interest that he has appeared in several TV shows including, GMTV, Channel 4’s Flash documentary, an interview on Ruby Wax’s daytime programme and BBC2 Documentary, Mind of a Millionaire, accompanied with a published book.
He was awarded Young Entrepreneur Of The Year at the Institute of Directors by Black Enterprise Awards 2002, Africa’s Best Award at the GAB Awards 2003, also receiving London African Carribean Entrepreneurs Award 2004. Alexander have also been featured in the Sun, News of the World, Sunday Express and the Guardian newspaper as well as appearing on MTV, Bravo, Nickelodeon and Ben TV.

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