Those who have followed the evolving sartorial scene of Budapest will be no stranger to Dorian Babel. He is the founder and creative director of BABEL BESPOKE.
Heavily inspired by the streets of Budapest, the classical drapes of the English, and the nonchalance of southern Italy, he is pursuing to put his hometown onto the global sartorial map.
We caught up with him to talk about life, sartorialism, and more.
MIDWAY: How and when did you start your tailoring business?
The idea started this year after being a luxury real estate broker for some time.
Working as a realtor in a luxury environment at the age of 22, I needed a way to stand out.
My way was sartorialism.
Soon I realized, that the power of visual communication can make up for my age.
Dressing the part has helped me a lot with the listings.
This is how my romance with sartorialism started.
In the summer of 2023, after almost a year of traveling back and forth to Italy, learning the language and the business, I took a leap of faith and decided to start my sartorial business.
And with that, BABEL BESPOKE was born.
M: What is bespoke and why did you choose this way?
Unfortunately, the term “bespoke” has inflated a lot, since its origin.
In our world, true bespoke tailoring can only mean handcrafted garments that are cut from the client’s personal patterns and made with precise body measurements and several fittings to ensure the perfect drape.
Let us differentiate the types of tailorings.
Nowadays in Hungary, you have men buying clothes out of necessity and they usually buy what we call RTW (Ready-To-Wear).
We do not believe in purchasing a fashion designer’s mass produced aesthetics and vision, which is all about the sale and nothing long term.
We believe that – along the body types – everybody has different approaches to their life, different sources of inspiration, different stories to tell but most importantly different philosophies on sartorial beauty.
Only a bespoke garment can embody all that and remain as it is or get even better over time.
M: Who is a typical BABEL BESPOKE customer?
At BABEL BESPOKE we do not have customers, we only have sartorial friends or shall we say, clients.
A typical BABEL BESPOKE client is a connoisseur of finer things in life, who seeks beauty and quality in every aspect of living while staying environmentally aware.
What we offer is a lifestyle rather than garments.
Whoever resonates with our world will be a happy client of ours.
M: What is a TRUNK SHOW and how it works?
Our sartorial TRUNK SHOW is not merely a display of garments; it’s a testament to the mastery of the craft, a symphony of fabrics, and a showcase of unparalleled style ingenuity.
BABEL BESPOKE partners up with world famous – usually Italian – master tailors and invites them to Budapest to an eminent venue where clients have the chance to commission the highest quality bespoke garments.
Our last TRUNK SHOW was held at HILTON BUDA CASTLE where we partnered up with ETTORE DE CESARE who we have chosen because of his impeccable philosophy of bespoke.
It was a great success and a very important milestone in the Hungarian sartorial scene.
ETTORE combines the classic English silhouette with a Neapolitan flair, which makes a lot of sense since he is a well know tailor at Savile Row and was born and raised in Naples, Italy.
We have put together a so called Budapest cut, which features an English shoulder from the outside but a Neapolitan from the inside, highly cut armholes, and high-waisted trousers with generous lapels.
M: So how can one participate in one of your TRUNK SHOWs?
Even though we started with an invitation-only format, our mission is to make the true bespoke experience available for everyone so the upcoming TRUNK SHOWs will be open to the public.
On the 30th of November, ETTORE will return to Budapest for a TRUNK SHOW. For this event we cannot provide more spaces, we have what we call a “full-house”.
But if one would like to join our upcoming trunk shows, he can do that by applying to our waiting list at our website under the TRUNK SHOW tab or contacting us via DM on any of the social platforms we are on.
M: Who is the biggest inspiration for you?
I think if you are in this business you ought to say Ralph Lauren simply because he is the greatest of all. I do agree with that, but my inspiration is a bit different.
While growing up, I remember watching movies like The Godfather or The Goodfellas and I always associated the wealth and influence of the “gangsters” with the attires they wore. I needed to find a way of wearing all these bold patterns and peak lapels without the “being a gangster” part.
Perhaps I succeeded.
Cinema had the greatest impact on my sartorial journey, starting with La Grande Bellezza, The Talented Mr. Ripley, North by Northwest, and La Dolce Vita, to name a few.
Alongside the cinema, books such as “The Sartorialist” or “The Italian Gentleman” were great inspirations.
M: We do recognize that you smoke cigars in most of your photos. Why is that?
As someone who finds beauty in handmade garments, I very much feel the same way about my – usually Nicaraguan – sticks.
I appreciate the tradition, the handmade craftsmanship, and the hours put into the making – not to mention the bold and rich flavors and the after-dinner talks that go with it.
M: To sum it up, what is next for BABEL BESPOKE?
BABEL BESPOKE’s mission is to put Budapest back onto the global sartorial map, and for that, we represent our unique aesthetics and visions all around the globe allowing likeminded people to step into the world of BABEL BESPOKE.
M: Where can our readers find you?