South Australian Style Magazine : South Australian Style 33 Autumn
88 SA STYLE AUTUMN 2O18 / WEDDINGS #JOSEPHUZUMCU / WHAT YOU LEARN IN THE BAZAAR CANNOT BE TAUGHT IN A SCHOOL; THE MARKETING, THE CUSTOMER SERVICE AND THE COMMERCE CANNOT BE FOUND IN ANY KIND OF TEXT BOOK. “ Bustling market places teaming with people, noise and chaos was Adelaide’s Joseph Uzumcu’s introduction to the world of fashion. An unlikely start, perhaps, but for this accomplished fashion veteran it was an experience that has stayed with him, influencing his ethos and ultimately starting him on the road to success. “My mother took me to the bazaars of Istanbul and paid a store owner to teach me the ways,” he remembers. “It was interesting because it is unheard of these days, everyone wants to be paid to work, you don’t usually hear of it being the other way around.” Days spent working alongside experienced tailors and convincing salesmen left a powerful impression – “what you learn in the bazaar cannot be taught in a school; the marketing, the customer service and the commerce cannot be found in any kind of text book” – and these skills have become the foundation of Joseph’s successful Adelaide business, and have remained so for the past 32 years. During this time there has been an unmistakable shift in Adelaide’s fashion scene, in fact Joseph goes as far as to say that Adelaide is now in close competition with Melbourne and Sydney. “Today’s generation knows too much about fashion," he continues, "they know the fit they want, the style they want and the colours. I think social media has had a huge part to play in this; the younger generation turn to Instagram and Pinterest and in a second they are able to see what’s happening on the streets of Milan or Paris and who is wearing what. They understandably want to be able to replicate the look.” According to Joseph, the knowledgeable customer is good for business though, and people are now returning to custom-made suits for this very reason. “A custom-made suit allows for choice,” says Joseph, “they can choose double- breasted, wider lapels or bold prints. They all want thin, thin, thin and we are therefore seeing a lot of soft shoulders to accommodate this.” It’s this attention to detail and exemplary customer service that has enabled Joseph to stand the test of time in an industry that so frequently swallows the smaller player – a game changer that was learnt all those years ago in Istanbul’s vibrant bazaars. But, ever humble, Joseph is quick to say that the businesses success has as much to do with his wife, Melena, as it has to do with him. “Being able to work with my wife by my side every day is the best thing, and the business really is as much her achievement as it is mine,” he says. Of Style and Substance From the bazaars of Istanbul to the laneways of Adelaide’s bustling CBD, Joseph Uzumcu lives and breathes fashion. And he knows a thing or two about romance, too!
South Australian Style 32 Summer
South Australian Style 34 Winter - Rebecca Morse