Meet The Maker— Doran & Doran
Paul Doran of Doran & Doran
The way Paul Doran wears a suit could convince any person to up their game. The proprietor of Doran and Doran, a tailor, menswear store and homeware boutique rolled into one, has that great salesperson thing that makes you feel like you’re the only person in the room, and leaves you thinking “maybe I really do need a bespoke suit”. And his clients love him. After the shop got burgled, a client of Paul’s offered up their lawyer to help in any way they could. He’s managed to build a business out of high end, made-to-measure clothing in a country that lives on Barkers and Hallensteins. I talked to Paul about how to dress, why he came back to New Zealand, and what the suit means in 2018.
What do you do and why?
I make clothes for people, to make them happy.
That was easy
Yeah. When people are happy, we’re happy, and we’re really lucky to have an amazing bunch of clients, it’s grown very organically.
You worked in the UK and around the world, why come back to New Zealand?
New Zealand is just such an attractive place to live. In London, you’re spending an hour on the tube both sides of the day, and it’s a real slog in winter. New Zealand is also just an easier place to start a business, you can start small and build over time, whereas in the UK you’d need quite a lot of investment to get going.
What are the specific challenges of running a business like this in Auckland, rather than London?
I don’t see challenges, I see opportunities. I think there’s a real hole in the market for what we offer in New Zealand. At the moment, the market is split into suit shops and casual wear shops, but we offer both. We sell grown up clothing here, but with a youthful feel. I think that the way people are dressing is evolving in a cool way, it’s much more contemporary, and we can cater to that too. Also, New Zealanders travel a lot, so you’re often talking to people who’ve been shopping in London, Sydney or LA, and you get to have those great conversations with clients.
If people are dressing more contemporary now, what’s the position of the suit for you in 2018, where making suits is the core of your business?
A suit is just a jacket and pants that fit really well. For me, the suit is the ultimate option in the morning that you can just throw on and will work really well. A good suit will work with a pair of sneakers, boots, a knit or t shirt, or a shirt and tie. We cut suits in a way that provide that kind of flexibility, so you don’t feel like it’s just a formal outfit. I think the demarcation between casual and work clothes is changing a lot. A suit provides a solution to the question of what to wear in the morning, and that’s what we provide for our clients. More and more, we see our clients less, but do more for them. Everything from sheets, furnishings, books, as well as clothes, we can help our clients with that, too. A lot of guys don’t want to waste their free time at the tailors, they just want someone to take care of them, and that’s what we do. We create solutions for people.
Do you have any tips for guys to dress better?
I think shopping around is really helpful. A lot of guys find their spot and that’s it, but I always encourage them to shop around and try new things. Developing relationships with people is important. If we’re making your wedding suit, we can do a better job if we know a bit more about you. Make sure you have a go-to garment that you can rely on any time. We sell a suit that we’ll alter to fit you, and it’s cut in a way that you can wear it with sneakers and a t shirt or in a law office. Investing in quality that you can go-to whenever is a really helpful habit.
My best tip is to give yourself time. You’re very rarely going to find something you need on the day. It might not fit right, or be the right colour. Give yourself time and make it perfect.
Story by Reilly Hodson