Dapper up! Blazers have long been a staple in many of our closets and a good one really should be finding its way out of the house and onto the street on a frequent basis – even in the tropics.
Yes, tropical heat may be impractical for our favourite outerwear, but we recently discovered the blazers of SACCO and, let’s just say, we’re in love. The blazers are unlined and unstructured – designed for those of us who like our weather HOT. To learn more, we talked to SACCO’s founder, Alexander Hascher who previously spent 20 years in luxury fashion working for brands like Dior, Hugo Boss and Yves Saint Laurent. Here, he tells us all about why he left that world behind and how he’s now off killing the suit.
What inspired you to create SACCO?
I love wearing blazers to upgrade a casual outfit. For example, a comfortable combination of chino trousers and a plain T-shirt will look more sophisticated simply by adding a blazer. When I first moved to Singapore, I found it hard to find a single-layered, unstructured and unlined blazer to beat the heat in style. So I decided to create my own SACCO, which in German, means blazer.
Read also: Luxe List: Tropical blazers from SACCO
How have your two decades in high-end menswear translated into the creation of your own brand?
Product development is key in menswear, especially for tailored jackets. I was privileged to work with some of the best creators in the industry, like Hedi Slimane and Raf Simons. From them, I learnt of this single motto that I stay true to in building SACCO – that “there is no compromise” in reaching the highest level of luxury quality. After years of sourcing, our SACCO jackets are now crafted in Napoli (Italy), the pinnacle of tailoring.
Why did you decide to leave behind what many would consider a dream career in luxury fashion?
I wanted the freedom to follow my vision of how I think the perfect blazer should be constructed – without compromise, in a purist form by using only one single layer of fabric. I wanted to create a quintessential product that moves away from traditional tailoring to a “less is more” philosophy. This means we create our blazers without shoulder pads, no chest canvas, no fusing, and no lining.
The construction of the SACCO blazers is really different. What was the idea behind creating something unlined and unstructured?
Traditional blazers have at least four layers, including the fabric, some fusing, canvas or padding, and then the lining to cover up the interior mess. I wanted something pure with a raw quality to it by using only one single layer of fabric that is perfectly cut and crafted into a blazer without cheating with multiple layers. The result is a super-light jacket that breathes and keeps you cool in the summer.
Some of your blazers really stand-out, with gorgeous colours, why not stick to traditional colours?
Our blazer collection has a range of 12 to 18 colours per season to give the modern man a wider variety of options to build his outfit. We have the classic colours, such as grey and navy and other ranges of colours like sky blue, green, red and pink, all across a palette of different tones. Our customers usually buy three to four jackets, including classic colours but some with bolder colours to make a fashion statement.
SACCO’s motto, “The suit is dead. Long live the blazer.” is quite bold! What happened to the suit?
The trend today is to wear a modern blazer as a soft jacket that is unlined and unstructured, with round shoulders in a comfortable fabric and flexible to be mixed and matched with different looks. In comparison, the suit jacket uses a stiff fabric with shoulder pads that looks square and can only be worn in uniform with its trousers. The suit fabric is also not really suitable to be used for trousers because it is too delicate. Whatever you chose, please never wear a suit jacket with casual pants. A suit jacket is not a blazer!
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You’ve traded the traditional business model for an ‘ePOP’ model. What does this mean for your clientele?
ePOP is a retail pop-up concept we created, and it stands for “e-commerce Point-Of-Purchase”. We deliver to retail boutiques only 12 jackets, one per colour and each in a different size. The end consumer can visit the boutique for a fitting and select a colour of their choice. The shop then orders online and we express-deliver – alterations included. This way, the retailers carry no stock, i.e. no risk, and the consumers can physically feel the product before buying.
I love your blazers, so any plans for a women’s collection?
Thank you! Yes, and as a first step, we are working on a unisex jacket for winter 2020. But some women have already bought our smaller sized men’s jackets because they want the colours. It’s a great compliment that women also love our blazers.
Any advice for those who might want to give up the corporate life and start off on their own?
To start a new brand means investing much more work for much less salary compared to living a corporate life. The only reason to go solo, in my opinion, is to follow your passion for a product. That if you didn’t do it, it would drive you crazy. If someone asks me, “should I start my own company” then I would say don’t, because the question itself shows doubt and the market is too competitive for any self-doubt.
What’s your favourite country to visit in the region and where are you wearing your blazers?
I live in Singapore and travel mostly to Italy for production and Japan for retail events. But when I have time, I travel to resorts in Langkawi, Phuket, or Bali. I wear SACCO blazers for business but also during travel because the jackets are superlight and our fabric doesn’t crease, always ready to impress!