80 % of our products
are made in Europe.
More than 80 per cent of our clothes are produced in Europe.
(These are the numbers for our Spring/Summer 2019 and Autumn/Winter 2019 collections)
Italy – 38 %
Italian denim experts have been making our jeans by hand since 1978 – the country is home to the best weaving mills, manufacturers and laundries.
Portugal – 18 %
Our leather handbags are made by a traditional family business. Another Portuguese expert is responsible for shirts and jersey products.
Turkey – 17 %
Our T-shirts and sweatshirts are made from premium cottons by Turkish jersey experts. Our leather garments and lambskin pieces are also made in Turkey.
China – 17 %
Silk and fine materials are handled by our Chinese partners with great know-how. Some of our chinos and jackets are also made here.
Romania – 7 %
We work with Romanian companies specialising in jackets, coats and other on-trend, ready-to-wear products.
Hungary – 2 %
Under the expert guidance of our Italian specialists, Closed footwear is produced here by a local manufacturer.
India – <1 %
Our partners here are experts in the finer details, such as embroidery on blouses and shawls.
Morocco – <1 %
The special expertise of our partners here: suits.
For us, timeless design means one thing: perfection right from the start. That is why we search the globe for partners who are absolute experts in their fields – and just as uncompromising when it comes to quality. We found most of our collaborators in Europe, where almost 80 per cent of our products are made. We want to keep delivery channels short – and ecological standards high. This is also true for our suppliers in China and India, who champion eco-friendly and fair practices as much as their colleagues in Europe.
We regularly visit our partners and became friends along the way. We would like to introduce them to you – so you can see who makes your clothes.
Our ready-to-wear garments – mainly coats, jackets and blazers for men and women – are manufactured by Texdata. Texdata has even developed its own ironing press for our Closed blazers. The Romanian company cooperates with local partners to keep transport distances short – for example with a laundry that achieves washing effects using environmentally friendly methods (such as lasers).
Modeler Vasilica has been with Texdata since 2013. She considers her colleagues her second family and appreciates the good working chemistry of the whole team. She enjoys the challenge of finding creative solutions in the mock-ups production department. Before starting in the textile industry, Vasilica played handball full-time. She still enjoys doing a lot of sports with her family, and she is a supporter of her local handball team.
You can usually find pattern builder Claudiu, who has been working at Texdata since 2008, in front of his computer where he ‘plays’ with new patterns, focusing his attention on solving the clients’ design puzzles day after day. His work demands great precision, as he has to build patterns using exact measurements, which will then be passed on to the cutting department. Claudiu appreciates the fact that he is able to speak openly with the owners at Texdata. Recently he has started travelling through his native country. He particularly likes the mountainous areas.
Iuliana likes everything about her job as a tailor at Texdata, where she has been working since 2015, especially as she’s constantly encountering new technologies. She enjoys being around the latest machines and working in an environment that always gives her the chance to learn something different. She is interested in music and arts, and both her children are studying design and architecture at school. Her love for nature, tradition, and life in general make her appreciate her own country.
Marilena is head of the production line at Texdata and coordinates all of the people who work in the production department. She says her working days are neither easy nor difficult, but that she always likes to keep busy. She started as a modeller in 2004, and over the past years her role at the factory has developed significantly. One of the things Marilena values the most is the way the management solves crisis situations and always keeps the team united. She has many hobbies, including knitting and driving. She also raises honeybees at her home.
Piombino Dese, Italy
A pronounced passion for denim is just one of the characteristics that we share with the Everest laundry. The company from Piombino Dese, a small town near Venice, has accompanied us on our path since 2007. With its many years of expertise, it takes care of the special washings of our Closed jeans. This is about much more than an exceptionally beautiful blue: Just like us, Everest attaches great importance to environmentally friendly processes and develops new standards for jeans that are as sustainable as possible.
Founded in 1976, the company of 80 employees uses denim washing processes for A BETTER BLUE that require little to no water and do not use chemicals. Some techniques are carried out completely by hand. Everest has been working with the Italian weaving mill Candiani, our long-standing denim producer and A BETTER BLUE cooperation partner, for over ten years. Together we develop the jeans of the future.
Gabriele has been with Everest since 2011 as a laser expert. Thanks to his technical expertise, Everest is also able to employ environmentally friendly laser processes to give the denim a used look. Gabriele likes to experiment with different techniques to achieve new effects. He collects the results in his personal archive – on a large wall at his workplace.
Zudi provides the authentic used-look details of the jeans using sandpaper and sanders – entirely by hand. He has been part of the Everest team since 2016 and has been working in this area, where his father once worked, for over twenty years. A small family tradition that Zudi continues with a great deal of commitment.
Bladi has worked in laundries for more than 35 years and has been with Everest since 2013. His speciality is ozone washing, in which jeans are treated with ozone gas. Bladi is proud of the fact that this technology requires no chemicals and consumes hardly any water. He thoroughly enjoys learning new things about his field. To achieve optimum results, he adjusts the settings of his machine according to the outside temperature and humidity.
Jessica loves working on the different sewing machines. In her over 15 years with Everest, she has become an expert in the skilful patching of destroyed-look jeans. In addition, there is always plenty of variety – she deals with a wide range of sewing tasks, for which she uses whatever machine that suits the purpose best.
Amanda and Arthur are a married couple who together run the knitwear agency Aten in Shanghai. Along with their eight employees, they organise the production of our knitwear in three Chinese partner production facilities. What we particularly like about Aten is that the company has a deep understanding of our aesthetics, and it works very reliably and quickly. Over the ten years of working with the agency, Aten has become a loyal partner that tries to make everything possible.
Hongzhai has been a washing process employee at Pinghu Maochun since 2011. He mainly works alone, following a five-step process where he first applies detergent to the garments and then puts them in a softening machine, where they are also washed. After that comes dehydration and drying, which is his favourite part of the job. Hongzhai enjoys reading books and magazines on international and Chinese news.
Shaoying has been working at Pinghu Maochun since 2015 as a technical textile employee. As part of her role, she is responsible for overseeing the fabric knitting machines, taking samples from them and seeing if they are correct. She also attends to the adjustment of the machine settings so that it can give a looser or tighter knit as required. Having grown up in Pinghu, Shaoying is one of the few locals at the factory. She is very proud of her hometown, especially the famous Pinghu watermelon, and the special type of bamboo that grows there.
Qingying joined the finishing team at Pinghu Maochun in 2007 and was later promoted to leading the process finishing and fine-tuning team. She sets everyone their tasks for the day, which include cutting away excess thread on garments and checking that all the stitches are flawless. Completing ten pieces per hour, Qingying enjoys working hard because she wants to set a good example to her colleagues. She has always loved sewing since she was a little girl, when her mother taught her and her sister, who also works at the factory, how to sew.
Jianhua joined the Pinghu Maochun sweater factory in 2013 and has been responsible for assembling garment pieces such as sleeves and collars ever since. She is extremely proud of the fact that she is very quick at her job. Normally Jianhua completes forty pieces in one day! Outside of work, she enjoys travelling back to her mountainous hometown of Hunan and admiring the views over the lake and valley.
Esvap Konfeksiyon San. Dış Tic. Ltd. Şti.
Esvap in Istanbul has been producing knitwear for us since 2013. In conjunction with our designers, a new knitting machine file is developed for every jumper or cardigan – no easy task, especially for patterned garments. The machine-knitted pieces are stitched together by hand and finished with great attention to detail. The finished knitwear is constantly checked to make sure it meets Esvap’s high standards. By the way, Esvap predominantly uses high-grade Italian yarns from Pecci Filati for our knits.
Ihsan has been with Esvap since 1992. He checks sample production to make sure everything is perfect before packing and shipping. When he’s not working, he listens to nostalgic Turkish music or watches his favourite football club, Galatasaray Istanbul.
Gülay operates one of the linking machines. She has started working at Esvap in 2019 and says that she is happy with the many benefits the company offers, such as excellent food during the lunch break, a shuttle service and on-time salary payments. When she is not working, she spends time with her daughter or watches action movies.
Metin has been part of Esvap’s sample design team since 2014. He develops new knitwear designs, working closely with our designers Justine and Manfred. At the weekends, he loves having picnics with his family.
Bahriye started at Esvap in 2004 and works in the finishing department. Knitwear requires quite a lot of finishing touches and attention to detail, which Bahriye enjoys very much. After work, Bahriye likes to spend time with her family.
The Store S.r.l.
Men's Pants (Sewing Workshop)
The Store is our absolute expert for high-end chinos and woollen pants. The sewing shop works very precisely and with a great deal of attention to detail, for instance creating the models in our Closed x Bergdorf Goodman cooperation. We are extremely pleased with this small company out in the country and its typical Italian understanding for men's trousers.
Every morning, since 2018, production supervisor Beatrice and her co-workers have been checking orders, delivery terms, and the workroom schedule. She did the same thing for another firm for 30 years, but at The Store it’s different – there's a great understanding among colleagues and while telling that, her eyes get bright. “I'm lucky to live in this area, where there's everything I need – my family and the beautiful countryside.”
Pattern maker Roberta's been working for the company since 2002. She's proud to have built up a successful business, together with Alex, The Store's owner. Every morning she talks with her co-workers about production, prototypes and samples, also taking care of delivery terms. According to Roberta, the most exciting challenge is making a paper pattern out of an outline. Her free time is full of walks in the countryside and day trips in Veneto, the beautiful region where she comes from.
Every day, fashion designer Chala chooses fabrics and accessories and then contacts suppliers. She particularly likes the first phase of her job: going to fairs and discovering trends. She's been working for The Store since 2018 and has loved the teamwork from the start. Chala is from New Zealand and has lived in Italy for 15 years. She feels great, but misses her home country and the ocean. Every winter weekend she goes skiing. Off-season, she enjoys visiting European cities.
Seamstress Katia joined The Store in 1982. Her daily routine consists of a variety of tasks connected to sewing and seaming, the most important one being sewing in zippers. She has enjoyed sewing since she was a child, and now she gets deep satisfaction from making garments together with her colleagues. Everything seems to revolve around happiness in Katia's world. She is proud to live and work in the area where she was born and where she's been raising her three sons.
Otto Deri Pazarlama ve Dış Tic. Ltd. Şti.
Leather and Fur
Otto specialises in leather and fur used to make high-quality clothing. Many of the leather experts who work for Otto in Istanbul have been with the company since it opened in 2012. Closed was the first client – we worked with Otto’s founder before he started his own company. The patterns for our leather and lambskin garments are drawn by hand in the pattern making department of the light-flooded white building. One pattern maker usually draws three or four patterns per day. A cutting expert then produces the final patterns with a machine for Otto’s 20 cutters. The cutting department is a very quiet area. The staff here are fully focused while they work, treating the valuable leather and fur very carefully.
Other departments at Otto include quality control, merchandising and the sample stitching workshop – a buzzing room with clattering sewing machines. There is also an ironing room and a finishing area, where the garments are trimmed using high-tech machines.
By the way, all of the lambskin which Otto uses to make our jackets and coats is sourced from La Doma in Barcelona. This long-standing firm uses an eco-friendly process which conserves water to tan the leather by hand without bleaching it. Good to know – all of the lambskin and leather used by Closed is a by-product of the meat industry.
Tülin manages the pattern making department. She has been with Otto since day one – and she has been working with leather for 22 years. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts with her daughter, and she is a big fan of Marvel movies.
Hüseyin manages quality control and cutting. He checks the incoming leather, communicates with the tanneries and oversees the cutters’ work. Hüseyin has worked in the leather industry for more than 35 years. He started at Otto when the company was founded and was the first person in the cutting department. He enjoys walking alongside the Bosporus and likes eating Lahana sarmasi, vine leaves filled with minced meat.
Erkan works in sample stitching. He has 30 years of experience in his job and started at Otto in 2014. In his free time, he likes to go fishing and camping with his colleagues – or he goes trekking and spends time with his wife and three kids.
Nurten works in merchandising and has been a ray of sunshine at the company since Otto opened its doors. She oversees the whole production process from speaking to Closed about the initial idea to the final production of the garments. Seeing the finished garments being delivered to the clients makes her very happy.
Donglong Feather Manufacture Co. Ltd.
Some of our outerwear is created at Donglong, mainly jackets lined with Thinsulate™ Featherless by 3M™. This material is an innovative down alternative that we have been using since 2015. Donglong has invested a lot of time and know-how in working with 3M™ to develop the appropriate filling technology, as Closed was one of the first companies in the apparel sector to work with 3M™. The technical materials that Donglong processes are produced in China, keeping transport routes short.
As a fabric cutter, Li Min has a very important role at Donglong factory. Along with his team, he works with the fabric when it is still ‘raw’ and on the roll, stretching it out onto a table to be cut up according to a pattern. Some fabrics are very hard to cut due to being multi-layered, and Li Min admits he likes cutting easy fabrics the best! He comes to work every day on his electric scooter after having shopped for fresh vegetables at his local market. Outside of work, he enjoys watching Peppa Pig with his seven-year-old granddaughter, which he says is relaxing and also educational – even for him.
Yun Mei is one of the sewing monitors at Donglong factory. She first started working at the factory in 2006 as a sewer, and after six years was promoted to lead her team. She hands out fabric and instructions, collects pieces of clothes to check for quality or any missing stitches, and makes sure the production process runs on schedule. She is most proud of her ability to spot potential problems that the sewers might face with garments before they occur. In her spare time, she enjoys running and square dancing.
Hong has been working at Donglong since 1996, initially as an inserter for fillings before being promoted to the role of textile model operator in 2014. Her role involves taking pre-cut fabrics and placing them on models in the right order so that they assemble to form complete clothing pieces. She gets great satisfaction from seeing finished products come together, but her favourite time of day is lunch time, when everyone comes together like a big family to talk and enjoy homemade treats.
Han started at the Donglong factory in 2011 upon the recommendation of a friend. Ever since then, he’s been happy to be part of the factory’s big family as a packaging employee. His role mainly consists of filling boxes to be delivered according to order lists, and he is very proud to think about how the packages he puts together will be sent to customers all over the world. He also enjoys helping out in other areas of the factory, for instance by filling the garments with the synthetic insulating material.
Denim (Sewing Workshop)
The longest-standing partner of all our partners! Closed has been working hand in hand with the Paul sewing shop since the beginning, with our first Pedal Pusher jeans being sewn here. Several years ago, we developed some iconic features together that are still signatures of Closed today, for example our X-pockets, the sacrum cut on the rear of our jeans, the fly label on the front of the fly, and our triple stitching.
In the Italian family business, each component of our jeans is accompanied by one of their 60 experts. Paolo Galassi, who took over the company from his father, has been running the business with Mario Ceccarelli for almost 30 years. They cultivate their craft by investing in creativity and sustainability.
Carlo cuts the trousers to size.
Marina sews the fly label onto the Pedal Pushers.
Paolo and Mario run the company.
Francesca is Mario's daughter and takes care of the orders.
The name of our jersey specialists is Caifai. They produce tops and T-shirts for Closed. The family business was founded in 1987 by married couple Conceição and David Simões. At Caifai, our designs are implemented with the help of state-of-the-art CAD/CAM software, which guarantees particularly precise planning, keeping material waste to a minimum. Every finished garment undergoes a quality control check and is carefully ironed and packed by hand – so that it arrives in perfect condition at our destination.
Cafai is a real family business. Two generations and their relatives are at the helm of the company today. In order to support the constantly growing business, even the son of the founders, André Simões, hung up his doctor's coat, and is now working in management.
Francisco is the production manager at the company. "After work, I love to go mountain biking."
Laetitia is one of Caifai's seamstresses. "I like the warm, friendly working atmosphere here."
Alzira is the general manager at Caifai. "I am proud when everything runs smoothly, when I can pass on my knowledge to others – and when at the end of the day there is a quality product that delivers what it promises."
Teresa works in the Commercial Department at Caifai. "My happiest moment? When a difficult task ends up succeeding."
The name Pecci has been synonymous with high aesthetic standards and craftsmanship since Luigi Pecci founded the yarn manufactory in 1884. One of the guiding principles of the founder was, "Focus on the things that unite, rather than those that divide." What unites us with Pecci is the firm conviction that quality always comes before quantity. And that it's always worth rolling up your sleeves.
Whether merino, baby alpaca, natural or synthetic fibres (which, by the way, are not added because it would be cheaper, but because they provide structure), whether viscose or silk: Pecci Filati is one of the oldest yarn producers and textile families in Prato, the textile district of Italy. With their employees, they create something very special: incredibly rich, vibrant colours. We don't buy ready-made wool blends, but each tone is designed by an expert.
Ricardo has been with Pecci for more than 40 years and is an expert in colour compositions. He finds out how a tone is created, how it is composed. This is not an easy process, a lot of experience and a sense of proportion for the colours is needed. When he's not at Pecci, he could be hiking - in Peru, for example.
Francesca works hand in hand with Closed at Pecci.
Catarina has been working for Pecci for more than 40 years. She ensures that the machine runs smoothly so that the yarn does not get tangled up. Her station is one of the seven stations the wool has to pass before it is spun. Her dream is to travel to New York City one day.
Alessandro is working on the machine that ensures that the colours have exactly the right tone. He is the youngest employee at Pecci. Does he like his job? "Multo", he says with a broad grin. He stands in a tank top at the machine, which ensures that the wool has the right tone after combing. It's hot here, with 70 percent humidity in the hall. In his spare time, he likes eating pizza and pursuing his hobby: painting tin soldiers.
San Giovanni Ilarione, Italy
Our leather footwear is specially developed at Stil-Tre in Veneto, the heart of Italy’s luxury footwear industry. The experts at Stil-Tre are meticulous about every detail – from the choice of leather, through the sketches and cutting, down to the very last seam. After all, we expect our footwear not only to look fabulous but also to offer comfort and the best fit. Many of the work steps are done by hand. The finished samples come in every size, and experts from Stil-Tre use them to train our local footwear manufacturers.
Enrico works as a modelist. He prepares the technical sketches of the shoes, which are then sent to the cutter. He has been working for Stil-Tre for two years now, and the most interesting part for him is seeing his sketches turn into a real shoe. In his free time, Enrico likes to listen to music, play rugby and go for a run in the nearby mountains.
Elia is the youngest employee at Stil-Tre and knows all about computers and leather. He cuts the samples after receiving the digital sketches from Enrico and ensures that the quality of the leather is as high as possible. Before starting at Stil-Tre four years ago, Elia studied to be a cook, and if you ask him about his favourite meal, the answer is definite: “Pizza. Obviously!”
Rosetta has been working at Stil-Tre for fourteen years. She is responsible for sewing together the individual pieces she receives from Elia – and mostly does so by hand. She likes to work with her hands and finds great satisfaction in seeing the shoes coming together.
If you ask Francesca what she loves most about her job, the answer comes promptly: “Tutto!”. She joined Stil-Tre four years ago, and her job is to attach the upper part of the shoe to the sole. This is not an easy task, as it requires maximum precision. Francesca is proud of the fact that she puts the final pieces together, and it makes her happy to finally hold the finished shoes in her hands at the end of the process.
São Martinho do Campo, Portugal
Tranquil São Martinho do Campo is where most of our shirts and blouses are produced. With "profession and passion", the motto of the founders of the company, Agostinho Pereira and José Almeida. What began as the small-scale production of shirts for men was gradually extended to include women’s clothing. Today, Mundicorte is a flourishing family business where sons, nephews and cousins work in various positions within the company. And, of course, the well-trained specialists who work in the bright, modern workshops. Many of them their entire working life, from apprenticeship through to retirement.
Inês has been working at Mundicorte since 1987 and she’s in charge of the preparing department. She likes her work a lot and comes to the factory in a good mood every day. She says there’s always a positive atmosphere at the company. In her spare time she enjoys strolling around with her family and get to know the beautiful landscapes of Portugal.
Glória has been Mundicorte’s cook since 1987. She is also known as "Soup Glória" because she cooks a different vegetable soup for the whole team every day. She loves cooking soup – just as much as taking a cup of coffee with her colleagues. When she’s not busy cooking at Mundicorte, she can be found in her own kitchen – she likes to cook in her free time as well. And she also enjoys spending time with her family.
Helena joined Mundicorte in 2006. She helps to cut the fabrics. One thing she particularly likes about her job is separating fabric cuts. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, listening to music, watching series and being with her family.
Leonel has been an assistant at Mundicorte’s cutting department since 1992. He likes working with the fabrics a lot. When he’s not at work, he enjoys to be with his family. Watching soccer is one of his hobbies.
Denim (Weaving Mill)
It's amazing how green blue jeans can be: The Italian family business Candiani, located in a nature reserve near Milan, has 80 years of denim experience and extremely high standards of work. This applies not only to quality and production, but also to environmental protection. Using the latest technology means that Candiani consumes 15 per cent less water and energy. It is also called the greenest denim factory in Europe because of its sustainable and innovative inventions. The perfect partner for Closed – for almost all our jeans and for our environmentally friendly denim line A BETTER BLUE.
Christian is a maintenance clerk in Candiani’s finishing department. He has been with the company for over 20 years. What he likes most about his job is coming up with new solutions – and being part of the team. When he’s not at work, he enjoys gardening or building things for his kids. His latest project was a treehouse – it even has its own terrace.
Loredana joined Candiani over 40 years ago. The receptionist especially likes talking to everyone at the company. When she’s not at Candiani, she goes to the gym, takes walks with her girlfriends or relaxes with her family.
Almost unbelievable: Roberto has been with Candiani for over 60 years! The former head of the weaving department is Candiani’s selvedge specialist. He loves teaching and transmitting his passion for denim to the younger generations. Another thing he likes at work: tuning the machines just right in order to make the perfect fabric. In his free time, Roberto carves flowers out of wood, steel or iron.
Sergio is one of the warehouse attendants for finished products at Candiani. He has been with the company for 33 years – and still enjoys everything he does. He says it never gets boring and he likes how varied his work is. In his free time, Sergio spends his time gardening, relaxing at home or with his granddaughter.
Daro’s David & Soares Lda.
Bags & Leather Accessories
São Pedro da Cova, Portugal
Daro’s has been manufacturing our bags and leather accessories since 2013. The company’s headquarters in São Pedro da Cova are brand new and futuristic, yet it is all about traditional craftsmanship. All the samples and small parts are cut at Daro’s by hand. The edges of our leather bags are also hand-painted and sanded – the process is repeated up to four times for the perfect result. The employees work together on an idea with passion and know-how – to produce leather goods that combine craftsmanship, tradition and the latest trends. Just like us, they believe: Every detail counts.
Daro’s is a family business. In 1972, shortly after the birth of her daughter Carla, Celeste Oliveira Soares set up her own leather goods business. She was so successful that her husband David Roque joined in 1981 – and the couple founded today’s Daro’s, which is a play on the letters of both names. Daughter Carla manages the company, while son Paulo is in charge of material purchasing and finances. And the third generation, granddaughter Ines, is at university already gearing up to go.
Marlene has been working in the commercial department of Daro’s since 2015. She is a very happy woman, who smiles and laughs the whole time. She is very fascinated by the handiwork of her colleagues and loves seeing a sketch “come to life” before her eyes. It’s very fulfilling to her to witness the process. She is grateful that Daro’s and Closed have a truly fruitful relationship, as both sides try to understand and respect each other’s way of working.
Rosa’s tasks at Daro’s include the final control, cleaning and packing. She loves variety. This is why she loves working on Closed bags, since there are many different styles in many different colours instead of huge quantities of the same bag. She has an eye for detail and always makes sure that every bag looks perfect before it’s wrapped and sent to Closed. Rosa loves going to concerts and is currently dreaming of seeing Madonna. She also loves going to the theatre and recommends Teatro Sá Da Bandeira.
If you ask seamstress Maria de Lurdes what she likes most about her job, she gives you a huge smile and says “Tudo” – everything. She’s been working at Daro’s for more than 30 years and says that the company is like a second family to her. When she is with her first family, she goes to the beach a lot and loves to eat Cozido à Portuguesa and Bacalhau com Natas. She laughs and jokes a lot, but as soon as she is holding a bag in her hand she is suddenly 100 per cent focused and sews a perfect line without blinking an eye.
It is not easy to ask pattern maker Sonya, who has been at Daro’s since 2005, questions about her job, as she never stops moving around. She constantly walks from table to table to check details with her colleagues or to discuss a new pattern with Carla, the owner of Daro’s. Her biggest challenge as well as her biggest motivation is an entirely new idea that has to be transformed into a practical pattern. She learned everything about pattern making from Carla and is now the head of the department. To balance out her demanding job, she looks for as much relaxation as possible in her free time.
China Red Textiles Ltd.
Blouses and Dresses
China Red produces our delicate items made of flowing fabrics, such dresses or bloused made of silk – which also originates in China. The employees at the production plant are extremely familiar with delicate materials, which are very difficult to process. They have a special feeling for the finest details and work very precisely. Recently, China Red converted the production facility and equipped it with the latest technology to work even more efficiently.
Amy has worked as a merchandiser at China Red since 2013, handling everything for Closed from the development to the production stage. She’s always in touch with designers and buyers and loves working with different seasons. Her favourite season is summer, as she loves embroidery and floaty dresses. She describes China Red as different from other Hong Kong companies and loves that she regularly gets to travel for work, to fabric fares in Shanghai for example. She also loves fashion outside of work.
Sue is one of the team managers at China Red. This was her first job after college when she started in 2007. Sue has seen the company grow from being a small company into a much bigger one. She mainly handles day-to-day business development with Closed, such as sample development or fabric research. Every year, she travels to Germany to meet with the design and production team, something she enjoys very much. In her spare time, she likes to go hiking and do yoga.
Annie has been an IQC manager for more than 25 years and has worked for China Red since 2008. She inspects all the clothing orders during production, which she describes as tiring but also enjoyable. She oversees a team of four and likes that she gets to work on her own. Outside of work, she loves to read traditional Chinese history books, her favourite being Dream of Red Mansions.
As a general manager at the factory, Many has meetings with different departments every day to ensure productions are running smoothly. He’s a problem solver and admits that working with Closed can be very challenging, as the collections consist of a variety of different styles. He lives near the sea, so his favourite food is fresh fish, and Daiyue in particular. It’s a very long, thin fish that you find in the rivers where he is from, in Jiangsu province.
Union Apparel International Ltd.
Hong Kong, China
We have been working with Union Apparel for almost 20 years. Philip Law is the founder and managing director of the company, which boasts two production facilities, and he has been a good friend for many years. The cooperation with him and his employees is not only very congenial, but also runs very smoothly – Union Apparel (UA) understands exactly what details are particularly important to us and impresses us again and again with its special understanding of fashion and trends. Union Apparel processes materials from Asia, keeping transport routes short.
Liling is a merchandiser and production coordinator, and she has been working at UA since 2010. On an average working day, Liling spends most of her time communicating with UA’s office in Hong Kong. She loves spending time at the factory and says it feels like home, especially because she’s related to two of the owners. Outside of work, Liling spends time with her daughter, and takes her sightseeing and shopping.
Alan Lee Alan Lee is the owner and partner of one of UA’s factories. He’s been working there since 2014 and loves it so much that he plans to stay there until he dies. He organises the daily running of the factory, makes sure everything goes to plan, and also liaises with UA employees in Hong Kong. He is most happy at work when he can be creative and likes thinking up ideas for new machinery as well as looking after his workers. In his spare time, Alan enjoys reading books about Chinese philosophy, particularly that of Confucius and Mao Zedong.
Chaobing has been a sewing floor coordinator at UA since 2011. Over this time, the factory has come to feel like home. She manages all the workers who sew and teaches them the techniques. She also does random quality checks to ensure her staff are putting garments together properly, and so she can sort out any technical problems. This is a challenge she really enjoys. In her spare time, Chaobing likes exercising by going for long scenic walks. She also likes to play the Chinese tile game Mahjong with friends.
Chenfung has worked as a quality controller at UA since 2018. As part of his role, he oversees a team of colleagues and checks their garments to ensure there are no errors. This is something he really enjoys. Outside of work, he likes to travel around China. One of his favourite places to visit is Shenzhen, a very developed city close to where he lives.
Textile manufacturer Philip Law’s
take on innovation in China
Straight-talking, fastidious Hong Konger Philip Law rose from humble origins to lead his own textile manufacturing business
with factories across Guangdong Province in southern China. Law set up Union Apparel over 20 years ago –
and has been our production partner ever since. Today, he shows no signs of slowing down, even as the industry switches gears across China.
Once the world’s manufacturing hub, the rising cost of labour has shifted much of national production out of the country towards South-East Asian neighbours. Ever the innovator, Law has steered his business into safe waters despite these big changes.
When did your quest for innovation start?
It started from the first day. This is the age of innovation and there’s been rapid change. You need to be in line with the changes and always be looking for something new and innovative. The most important thing is that I am still passionate about this industry. I love my work, and I love the customers.
What innovations are you most proud of?
Setting is important. As you can see in our office in Hong Kong, we always have some element of art and architecture to support the creative atmosphere, to be able to develop more innovation. We make our spaces interesting.
What are the core values of Union Apparel?
Our core values are loyalty to customers and employees’ well-being. We treat our staff properly. Product quality, awareness of the environment, sustainability. Also having harmonious relationships with our customers. That’s important. Because our top five customers have been with us since we started over 20 years ago, including Closed. That shows we have been doing the right thing. Otherwise, customers will disappear. We believe in long-term relationships, understanding each other’s needs.
What has changed most with Union Apparel over the years?
We once had a big set-up, about a thousand workers, but that is no longer the case. It’s impossible because our wages are the most expensive in the region. We now have a set-up of smaller factories in different towns in Guangdong Province. It’s easier to recruit labour that way. Many factories have closed down because of the cost of labour and other reasons, so we are quite lucky that our changes will contribute to a longer future for us.
Text by Sarah Karacs, FvF
Istanbul-based Sezer is our expert for premium men’s jackets. From pattern making to sample production and from sewing to packing the finished products, the staff at Sezer work precisely, complete much of the work by hand, and pay attention to every single detail. Many of the employees have been at the firm for a long time.
Bircan has been a pattern maker for more than 20 years and started at Sezer in 2013. Her job begins when a client has an idea for a garment but does not have a pattern for it. She does everything by hand and is a true perfectionist. In her free time, Bircan enjoys walking through Sultanahmet, her favourite part of Istanbul.
Abuzer manages sample production. He has been with Sezer since 1997. Every single style passes through his hands. He always makes sure that samples are delivered in the best possible way and on time.
Murat has been with Sezer since 1997 and works as a flat machine operator. His job is to ensure that the fabric pieces are positioned perfectly. This is even more important when working with patterned fabrics. In his free time, Murat likes to take pictures, mainly of his friends, animals or nature.
Hasan has been with Sezer for more than 25 years and manages the finishing department, where he is responsible for 25 co-workers. They cut off threads, steam the garments, put the hangtags in the right places and wrap everything up ready to ship the garments to the clients. Hasan and his wife, who works in Sezer’s merchandising team, met at work and have been married since 2004. They have two kids.
Our men's jeans, jeans jackets and denim chinos are sewn at Incom. We value the excellent work we do together, and above all the great exchange of ideas. Incom regularly attends trade fairs, is always well informed, and always presents us with fresh inspiration.
Luca joined Incom in 1996 as a quality control specialist. Every morning from 7:30 a.m. he patiently checks the fabrics for all of the factory’s different orders. He loves his job so much that he'd like to teach it to another person one day. Outside of work, he travels back to his beloved Urbino where he enjoys hanging out with friends at bars.
Even though Lidia joined Incom in 2016, she already believes she has landed her ideal job. She is in charge of the sample production department, a job which requires her to plan and verify production in order to meet new sample orders. Lidia enjoys finding solutions to all kinds of 'impossible' requests. She finds Urbania a calm place to live and says that the tranquil environment gives her the energy to work hard and take care of her children.
Enea opens his office door with an open smile. Even though he's young, he's worked at Incom for a long time and first joined the company in 2007. He enjoys being organised, which is useful, as his job mainly consists of preparing textile samples data sheets for textile samples and overseeing the factory’s warehouse and cutting processes. Enea lives in Urbania, where Incom is headquartered. He loves the local food and climate, as well as playing sports and singing in a band.
Valbuna is originally from Albania, but she's spent half of her life in Italy. The seamstress considers Italy her real home, as it is where she's made a life for herself with a very satisfying job. She's been working for Incom since 2017 and loves the way the factory staff help each other out. Her daily tasks include seaming and stitching garments together. Valbuna believes that sewing is creating, and it is something she also enjoys doing in her spare time.
The Makers is our production partner in Morocco for high-quality suits and jackets for men. The history of this traditional company began in 1946 when the brothers Miel and Janus van Gils founded their company in the south of the Netherlands. It grew rapidly and production facilities in Belgium, Portugal and Morocco were added gradually. Today, The Makers is still family-owned, and the company is run from Breda in the Netherlands. Beau van Gils, grandson of Miel van Gils, is often on-site in Morocco to conduct training for the tailors. We value The Makers for their great attention to detail and their special eye for the perfect fit.
Beau van Gils is based in the Netherlands but often visits the production site in Tangier. He has been working for The Makers for more than ten years, in several departments of the company. During that time, he has found his favorite field: the made-to-measure department. The grandson of one of the company’s founders is responsible for sales, tailoring development and setting up tailor academies for customers. His tasks vary from attending fashion fairs to organizing events or visiting the atelier in Morocco where he oversees the development and fine-tuning of the tailoring fabrics. He especially enjoys working with the fabrics and being part of the team that creates the seasonal fabric collection for the made-to-measure department. He spends his free time with his family or on the golf course.
Alichane Fatima Ezzahra operates the Zünd cutting machine. She has been working with The Makers since 2017 and enjoys operating the high-tech computer-guided machine as it has the latest technology for cutting fabrics automatically. It cuts checks and stripes without having to match the patterns by hand. She works with different fabrics all the time which makes each day different – she likes the big variety of colours and patterns. In her spare time, she loves to improve her communication skills by studying different languages.
Talha Said has been working with The Makers since 2007. The engineering manager is responsible for the production flow with 1.230 people – which can be stressful at times. He makes sure that the production numbers and the high quality standards of The Makers are reached. This means taking a lot of decisions every day. He likes to assist people doing a better job and especially enjoys coaching The Makers’ quality technicians in their constant search for improvement. He loves to travel and read books in his free time.
Ben Haddou Nafissa is The Makers’ production line chief. She started at the company in September 1999. Still, every day is different as the company works with various international brands and the products change constantly. She describes her job as a continuous challenge that requires a lot of concentration. Her favourite tasks include pressing the lapels, collars and shoulders of the jackets – the final touches where she makes sure that both sides are perfectly equal. In her spare time, she takes French lessons as many people speak French in Morocco.