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This was when Chuka first started getting noticed for the suits I had created for him and it was a real honour. It wasn’t exactly something I was driving for or knew was even a thing back then in the early noughties. I had made hundreds of suits for business men, in particular Barristers who also needed to dress in dark shades and to be taken seriously.
I started creating suits for Chuka in 2006 when he was working as an employment lawyer at Rochman Landau back when every solicitor did have to wear a suit and it had to be sharp.
We opted for navy’s and dark greys, as anything with any flare was considered a no no in such a profession.
When Chuka joined the Labour Party in 2008, I made similar shades, as again, there’s nothing worse than standing out for being a fashionista in parliament!
“Chuka Umunna loves his purple and you’ll find that a lot of his linings are a shade of Cadbury purple”
After 10 years of making suits for Chuka, last year, we decided to mix it up a little. We went with a slightly bolder shade of blue which works so well with his skin tone, slimmer legs on the trousers and a more nipped in waistline. Prior to these suits, I had kept it much more classic and simple but it was exciting to try something new.
I once read a guide that said politicians should wear skinny lapels, slim trousers and a bright shade of blue. I completely disagreed. In fact I was asked by a journalist my view on this, to which I explained that I disagreed. Needless to say they left my comment out…
Politicians are not meant to be ‘down with the kids’ with their funky, high street style lapels as they have to be thought of as the person who can do a good job for the country. The notion that someone would take their clothes more seriously than their politics is frowned upon yet this doesn’t mean they have to wear old school colours and cuts and I feel we achieved the perfect balance with Chuka’s suits.
Now that Chuka has left the Labour party, who knows what may change. Both in his dress sense and the world of politics!
What to read next: Chuka Umunna is AW Man of the Month