W.W. Chan and the "Red Gang" - Shanghainese Tailors
When strolling the streets of Asia, many a tourist or foreigner may notice the prevalence in tailoring shops advertising “Shanghainese Workmanship” or the presence of Shanghainese staff in their backrooms. There is actually an extremely rich history behind the Shanghainese tailors, which one can learn about through the abundance of literature and records. These are the few important points that one must know:
Shanghainese "Red Gang" tailors refers to the first generation of tailors hailing from Shanghai and the first school of tailoring in China. Best practices from British, Russian, American,Japanese and Chinese tailors were incorporated into their skills before specializing in one.
Tailors from the Red Gang were formally trained and recognized in many facets of the art of tailoring. Students were enrolled around the age of 14 and studied for 3 years to learn the fundamentals and basics of high quality suitmaking.
Of these tailors, Baromon, WW Chan and a few other houses have indelible associations. WW Chan & Sons is one of the dying few which retains a direct lineage to this rich and pivotal antecedent.