“Be Unique” or “BU” Fashion Brand, is the brainchild of Goa’s famous social worker and serial entrepreneur Matthew Kurian. There is an interesting story behind the origination of the ‘BU’ brand. Matthew was always fascinated by fashion, he used to like wearing different types of clothes and intricate designs wear. He would spend most of his pocket money on clothes that he would not wear for more than 3-6 months and later would give them away to his brothers and cousins. In time, he realized that wearing readymade clothes is not his cup of tea and decided that he will one day set up a bespoke designer store and the outcome is “BU”.
“According to me every person is unique in their own way, and so the clothes he or she wears need to be unique too, and that prompted me to start a bespoke designer store where we can give options to people to go for their choice of fitting and design,” said Matthew, adding that he loved to be fashionable right from a young age. “All my clothes to date are custom made for me and I make sure that I keep up with the latest trends in the market. This passion of mine prompted me to set up a tailor-made designer store where I could offer similar facilities to others.”
The Idea of Bespoke Tailors
The disadvantage of buying a readymade garment is they are made using universal sizes which are of international standard and so they don’t fit everyone. “The issue is that we all have a unique and different body shape: some will have broad while some will have narrow shoulders, and this way I believed that if you wanted to wear a nice set of clothes it has to be tailor-made and has to be quality,” said Matthew adding There are a lot of tailors here that wouldn’t focus on of quality, and the result would be lacklustre or just standard. “The threads would be sticking out, and it looks really low quality overall. Personally speaking, I would obviously want to wear nice clothes and after giving it a good amount of thought, came up with the idea of “Bespoke Tailors”.
When he came up with the idea of “Bespoke Tailors” he was not aware that something like this already exists in the market and soon he realized that there are quite a lot of people carrying out this type of work. “We thought about tailor-made, custom fit, and quality clothing as I wanted this to be a thing, and not loose or bland fitting clothes. These were the things that could only be done if there was a good tailor, and since I liked the clothes and the idea behind fashion, this is when I thought of entering into this business,” he said.
When you come up with some idea it does not only help you but also helps many others who become a part of the long journey. “When I thought of setting up a tailor-made garment store, I had an idea of giving employment to people, and with that idea I started the first “BU” store in Calangute and now 10 years down the line, we have given employment to more than 50 people – this is something that is quite important for me.”
According to Matthew, profit-making was never his idea while setting up any venture. “The setting up of BU brand store came up with the idea of crafting clothes and designing the way people can actually wear what they prefer and want, and simultaneously creating job opportunities for countless people that will help feed their families and themselves,” he added.
Breaking The Thinking Barrier
The idea behind BU fashion is to break the conventional thinking barrier. “Our job here at BU is to help them make clothes the way they dream or imagine so that when wearing this outfit they will do so proudly and this is the reason why we call it “Style BU” so that you will stand out and be unique.”
Whenever Matthew attends a party, he makes sure that he wears something that is interestingly unique as well as something that makes him stand out. “I would feel miserable if I wore a normal suit that everyone usually wears. This was something I live by, and sometimes I feel we spend so much money on a brand only for the name,” he said adding, that there are people who spend money on the branded clothes want to identify themselves with the brand, but what they don’t see is the money paid to celebrity and model to build the brand is finally recovered from them. “Today, anything you want in terms of design is available on the internet and people see the fashion trends that are currently trending and get inspired by all this. This is how we come into the picture, as we invite the customers to come to visit us at our store and experience this level of professional craftsmanship approach we have towards bespoke clothing.”
Customer Satisfaction is our Motto
Matthew believes customer satisfaction should be the primary concern of his store and keeping that in mind he always tells his store manager that he does not want to see a single unsatisfied customer at his door, even if it means redoing the entire outfit, do it again. “I have said before, profit is not something that pushes us to do this but what we want is for people to wear clothes with dignity and character so the clothes should speak for themselves and portray to the people about who you are and when they see you dressed in all the glory, they will understand. In today’s world, this is really important and this is one of the main driving factors in how we started “Style BU”.
The BU brand that Matthew runs now was not known as ‘BU’ when he started his first outlet in Calangute. “We initially started in Calangute, which wasn’t named BU at the time but the idea was bespoke and personalized clothing which was catering towards beachwear and so on. After this, I thought about entering into the suits and formal wear side, and for this, I traveled all over India to select the material. “I had a friend named Andrew who would run “DZigner” store and with whom I shared my idea of setting up of bespoke and personalized clothing store and soon we started working together, and somewhere down the line ideas and views didn’t match and after this is how “BU” came to be born,” he said adding that The name BU was conceptualized by one of his close friends, Gasper D’Souza who has been in the field of creative spheres for a long. “I have been associated and working with him for 20-plus years now. He is the one who designed the “Style BU” Store at Mapusa.”
One Budget That Fits All
According to Matthew, they do have budget clothing for the people with a limited budget. “We try to understand the budget of the customer before offering them the clothing solutions and we have a solution for every budget,” said Matthew adding, “We make premium and expensive dresses, but we also do make really reasonable and cost-effective ones as well. If someone is looking for a wedding gown at 5-6k, we can make those too. But if you want something that is more premium upwards of 10k and so on, is something we do by all means.”
Matthew believes that every body shape has a clothing requirement that suits their need, and this is something they take really seriously and it shows in all their work. “Right from having a skinny frame to having a healthy tummy is something that would require styling and this is something we do when we create and craft the ideas you have in mind. The idea of personality and ambiance is really integral to the presentation while you wear clothes, and what sort of clothes you wear, and this really matters. The clothes you wear should express your personality in a great manner, and this is how we do what we do best,” he said.
BU has all sorts of clients, from film stars to 5-star hotels that make all their uniforms with us. “We also stitch clothes for German and British companies and we make daily wear for our regular clients that are looking to get clothes done at an affordable price while maintaining all the professional qualities that we provide.”
“We have done 2 fashion shows but due to the current COVID environment, we had to stop it. I have a dream to set up a fashion industry that will help develop young talents such as designers and models. This is something that we are working on activities to promote the fashion industry in the state of Goa as there is a huge market for this. We are looking to create the same and develop the talent simultaneously. Things take time but with the right amount of work and dedication, we are looking in the right direction,” said Matthew adding if things go well, he will be soon opening a store at Panaji in the coming year. “We want a very organic growth, so as of now we want to focus on the Mapusa store as our main goal is to focus on customer satisfaction and quality clothing.”