Watch: Shinji Yamasaki And His Love For Suits In 'Remarkable Living', A Singapore Tatler x CNA Luxury TV Series
The very dapper Shinji Yamasaki, CEO of Re:erth and friend of Singapore Tatler, appears in the second episode of Remarkable Living, a 10-episode TV series that we have collaborated on with CNA Luxury. Each episode features lifestyle visionaries, unwavering artisans and their collectors, starting with society doyenne Peggy Jeffs in the debut episode.
An adage that Shinji lives by: “If it doesn’t make you feel like a million bucks, it’s not the right suit for you.” They're are not empty words from a man who epitomises the essence of perfect suiting.
In fact, the 34-year-old owns more than 50 sets of suits, including hand-me-downs from his father Paul Arata Yamasaki. These suits are not just any ordinary pieces, he sees them as ‘armour’ that his father used to wear when he travelled to New York for business in the 1960s.
As Shinji's father was just starting out in his career, he was told by Mr Imada, the president of the company he worked for then that he was too young to deal directly with American businessmen. He advised him “to buy the best suit you can buy, and with whatever money you earn. Even if you don’t eat, buy the best suit.”
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Later, Paul was told that the Americans had chosen to partner with him in business because he “actually came in wearing a good suit and [was] serious”. So he took Mr Imada’s advice to heart and told his son: “A businessman’s suit is his armour; you have to have a proper armour if you’re going to war in business.”
But more than that, he wanted his son to make a very good impression with what he wore. “Because you can only make a first impression once. You have only one chance.”
(Related: A Gentlemen's Guide To Shopping Spring/Summer 2019)
It’s not surprising therefore that father and son share the same taste in clothes. Both have been known to show up wearing the exact same suit. While their tastes are similar, Shinji makes it a point to pick out colourful pieces that reflect his personality. “I’m not afraid of colours, whether it’s the suit, the tie, the shirt or the pocket square,” he said.
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Shinji gives an example of his colour choice—a pinkish-red double-breasted suit that he had previously worn. He explains that it was not a very bright red so that “I don’t look like a stop sign.” It was a case where he wanted to give it a shot because “I just liked it. I was just attracted to it”, just like how he is attracted to succulents and cacti, especially “weird looking plants” because that was “really my thing,” he confessed.
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The dapper dresser does not think there’s much of difference in terms of suit styles. Whether it’s “2019 or 1980 something or even before that, a suit is a suit”, he said. What is critical is the quality, how well it’s made, and how it makes him feel when he’s wearing it. Most importantly, he has to get good mileage out of the suit. He says: “If it’s good quality and made well, you can wear it for a very, very long time.”
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Access is a collaboration between Singapore Tatler and CNA Luxury.
Catch full episodes of 'Remarkable Living' on Channel NewsAsia, Sundays at 7pm.
Episode 1 | Episode 2
- Production Threesixzero Productions