A little Charm can go a long way everyday! So don't settle for average. Suit up! My name is Zef Vataj and I founded the clothing brand Charm by Vataj. Ask me anything.

Zef Vataj
Feb 28, 2018

My name is Zef Vataj and I am the founder and CEO of Charm by Vataj. I love suits and the feeling of wearing them. I have always been a huge fan of James Bond and other characters like him so naturally, when I had the opportunity to start a company, that was the message I wanted to portray: that everyone can be suave and look good when they are wearing the right clothes. The brand was started so that everyone can afford and enjoy the same feeling I do when in a suit. Our suits are wrinkle resistant and can be worn with everything from a formal dress shirt to a t-shirt. Their comfort is what makes them so popular. Charm by Vataj has been featured in a few interviews on the radio and will be in some upcoming podcasts as well as a few magazines this year. I will personally be designing an original Charm by Vataj suit for a live music performer at the Cannes Film Festival this May. Charm's upcoming launches include a new store front in New York and an app that is currently in development. Ask me anything! www.charmbyvataj.com

Zef Vataj says:

This AMA will end Mar 14, 2018 11AM EDT

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What are some of the aspects Charm by Vataj took into account during brand development?
Mar 10, 9:04AM EST0

To me, the most important part of brand development is the message you want to give. I chose Charm as the lead name because I felt that it was something that has been lacking more and more in most peoples' lives, yet we all romanticize it. And why shouldn't we? Therefore, I wanted my company to provide clients with confidence and style which lead to a charming look; all while being affordable. (I would imagine that the extra cash saved can be quite a charming boost on a nice date). The brand was then developed with those ideas in mind. It was imperative that every action taken from then on was one which furthered those ideals.

Mar 12, 5:30PM EDT0
Do you believe it is necessary for a company to have a brand and why?’
Mar 9, 5:32PM EST0

I think it is generally important for a company to have a brand. Many may not need well known brands, especially companies that sell to other businesses, but it is important nonetheless. The reason is due to perception. Any company who does not have a brand or brand power, is one which most clients will probably be uncomfortable purchacing from. But if a company has a good brand, then people will begin to trust it and can become loyal if the product or service is good. A brand is a statement of quality. If the brand is strong, than that means that the quality of a selected product or service is good. One example would be Apple. People are not buying other smartphones as much because there is a strong loyalty to Apple for the phone market.

Mar 12, 5:26PM EDT0
What marketing methods has Charm by Vataj used and which have been the most successful?
Mar 9, 2:51PM EST0

We have predominantly used social media advertising and posting as well as personal advertising. So far the personal advertising of having clients represent out brand, has been the most successful. Hopefully, our new deals with some marketers connected to Beverly Hills will provide us with some new partnership deals with social media influencers. This is probably the most effective branding strategy I have seen so far.

Mar 12, 5:23PM EDT0
What role will Charm by Vataj play in the future of innovative fashion?
Mar 9, 4:02AM EST0

My hope fo Charm by Vataj is that is will not make classic styles that we know and love more affordable for everyone but will also be the medium for which everyone can become the architect of their own looks and outfits. I hope that between our growing product lines and the customizing abilities that will be further grown by our new app, it will become easy and possible for everyone to have their own outfit ideas custom made and fitted to their liking for their own wear. I hope to change the way people shop for clothing as well as the way in which they dress.

Mar 12, 5:21PM EDT0
Do you try to put your own sense of style in your collection of suits? Have your pieces become more appealing to people as a result?
Mar 2, 11:48AM EST0

I do try to put my own sense of style into all my collection. Much like any art, it is an expression of the artist. I try to have it reflect what I value in clothing and suits, particularly comfort and image. You can see that in the fitting of the suits and in the wrinkle resistant qualities. It is also evident in the quality of the suits. I believe it has made it more appealing because those same values seem to be shared by many people who look to buy suits and are reasons that they get frustrated with so many other brands as I used to.

Mar 2, 12:36PM EST0

What's the most challenging situation that you have ever faced after opening Charm by Vataj?

Mar 2, 9:37AM EST0

My greatest challenge thus far has been in marketing. The fashion industry is very saturated, which makes it hard to break into the market in a big way. It is a slow process and Charm still has a long way to go but by keeping quality and service as our number 1 priority, it has slowly gained the attention of new customers and great loyalty among previous customers.

Last edited @ Mar 2, 12:33PM EST.
Mar 2, 12:33PM EST0
Does your approach differ when designing womenswear compared to menswear?
Mar 1, 4:29PM EST0

I haven't yet dipped much into womenswear but the approach is not necessarily all that different. The process for designing suits for women is about the same as for men. Dresses and other articles of clothing, however, are definitely different. The styles change so often and so quickly that it is sometimes difficult to keep up; one of the main reasons why I now focus more so on suits and more particularly men's suits. But even with dresses, I like to aim for the same ideas: classy and comfort. It makes it a bit easier to create designs when you have a particular message in mind when you set out.

Mar 1, 5:19PM EST0
Do you have any weakness?
Mar 1, 8:51AM EST0

I suppose we all have weaknesses, particularly based in things we do not know. In this market, not knowing what the next moving segment will be can be a death sentence to a company. That is why innovation is important even in fashion, and not just for tech companies. It is also the reason that anyone who owns or operates a company (or wants to in the future) needs to stay ahead in knowledge and learning. Knowledge is key to success.

Mar 1, 10:04AM EST0
Do you also stitch suits for plus sized men/women?
Feb 28, 7:47AM EST0

We do not carry them in store but can absolutely produce them in custom fitted orders. That would not be much of a problem.

Feb 28, 8:56AM EST0
Could you share some more details about designing an original Charm by Vataj suit for a live music performer at the Cannes Film Festival? What type of suit will it be?
Feb 28, 7:22AM EST0

I don't want to give to much way until we actually produce it but I will be posting images on my social media accounts later this month. To give you an idea for it: It will be red and share features with long-tail jacket suits. As for the process, it is multi-step. Before developing the design, I had to attend some of his performances to get an idea of what would fit his personality. I followed that up with some meetings with him to get his comfort level with different clothing ideas. After that, I took measurements and then rendered a first drawing of the suit for him to review. Now we are at the finalization stage and will hopefully be stitching it very soon!

Feb 28, 9:03AM EST0
What was your experience like when you started out with the company and the people's response towards your work?
Feb 28, 5:51AM EST0

I actually had a very good experience. It was very difficult at first because it became very time intensive, namely in finding high quality manufacturers. Thankfully, once that was done, the product was very good. I have gotten great customer feedback thus far and everyone loves the suits when I am wearing them around at events. Most like the fit and look overall. Many people were skeptical about my getting involved in the fashion industry because it is a bit crowded but I have confidence that the market I cater to has needs that others have not yet met.

Feb 28, 9:06AM EST0
Are you currently shipping only in the United States? Any plans to ship to other countries as well?
Feb 28, 1:54AM EST0

I am currently only shipping in the US because of shipping costs to other countries but am capable of shipping worldwide with special orders or custom orders. There is an inhenrent cost increase in some nations because of tariffs and trade laws. I am hoping to expand globally in the next year or two.

Feb 28, 8:54AM EST0
What's your personal favorite brand of suits?
Feb 28, 1:29AM EST0

I honestly only wear my suits since that is my brand. You could say Charm by Vataj would be my favorite brand. There are advantages to the brand such as being more cost effective than most and high quality compared to competitors. However, I can give you a few other brands that are good (but much more higher priced!) such as Armani, Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana or Ravazollo.

Feb 28, 8:53AM EST0
What is the difference between tailored and traditional men's suits?
Feb 28, 12:26AM EST0

"Tailored" is in realtion to the fit of the suit. It is usually either a "made-to-measure" suit or it means that it was altered to fit better. A suit you can consider traditional would probably be on with two bottons in front and something a bit less form fitting. It isn't particularly flattering on the body but it isn't necessary very baggy. I prefer tailored because it feels and looks better in general, but it also shows others your care to detail and will make th suit seem more expensive or at least to be made by higher quality craftsmanship. However, you can have a traditional suit which is tailored as much as you can a modern suit that is not. They aren't opposites. Tailored and off the wrack might be a better comparison; or modern vs traditional.

Feb 28, 12:33AM EST0
What sets your suits apart from other designer wears?
Feb 27, 10:51PM EST0

Charm by Vataj has a different target clientele. The Millenial and Z generations both have moved away from the formal wear market and we believe that it is because of the message that other companies send: namely that you have to be stuffy and working. Charm by Vataj is designed to be wearable anywhere and everywhere in comfort without worry of ruining the suit. Take it to a barbeque after a long day of work and then head over the bar. You can wear it with dress shirts or t-shirts. The fitting is more form fitted (athletic) and most of our suits are wrinkle resistant to accomidate the activities above. We pride ourselves in the lifestyle they we sell with our suits. We also differentiate in our prices. Custom fitted will be about $399 full priced and you can currently get suits off the wrack for $179. Those prices make the lifestyle that much easier reach.

Last edited @ Feb 28, 12:08AM EST.
Feb 28, 12:07AM EST0
What was the initial idea behind starting Charm by Vataj? Apart from James Bond movies where else did you get the inspiration to start something like this?
Feb 27, 10:51PM EST0

I was always enjoyed wearing suits. James Bond came a bit later on in the process. Originally, I was looking for a suit for myself but it was so hard to find something that fit. I workout often and so my build is on the more athletic side. Off the wrack never fit right and the tailoring was always very expensive. That was when I decided to launch a brand that provided suits at affordable costs; so students like myself and others with budgets that did not include $1000 suits and alterations, could afford to enjoy the confidence and look that comes with a well fitting suit.

Feb 28, 12:10AM EST0
How do you connect with the prospective clients?
Feb 27, 10:06PM EST0

I like to use all my different social media accounts to connect with clients but I like face to face best of all. Social media is great to get the word out and reach a broad spectrum. I am available personally (as is the company) on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn so please look me up! However, personal connections with clients can really help you gain a lot of traction through word of mouth. I almost always wear my suits when I go out and because of that, it makes it easy for me to pitch my suits to prospective clients. It is also how I landed my original design job for the Cannes Film Festival. Eventually it will become impossible to do face to face so much but for now, I enjoy that aspect the most.

Feb 28, 12:15AM EST0
What do you think why did men's suit become the standard formal wear in almost every country?
Feb 27, 6:30PM EST0

I believe it became the standard for formal wear because of the status it suggests. Before financial markets and the blue collar class, suits and fashion were typically for the very wealthy of society. So if you had a proper fitting, new looking suit, you were the type of person who didn't work in the fields. Instead, you had money and were able to do what you pleased. Over the years, the styles have changed and progressed but the general impression of being rich and educated has stuck with the image of the suit. That is why it is suggested that everyone where a suit to interviews or to important meetings.  In addition to the work environment, suits make a person feel more confident (because they look so good) and can help improve perceptions as well. That is why I suggest wearing a suit as often as possible. A charming individual in a suit is always more likely to get attention than someone out in jeans or pajamas.

Feb 27, 8:08PM EST0

How many people work at Charm by Vataj? Do you have in-house designers or do you outsource the orders to any specific suit tailor?

Feb 27, 3:46PM EST0

Currently, there are two people working in-house, some marketing and web development as well all manufacturing for the time being is outsourced. I design with the help of another (who helps with drawing because I am not too great at drawing my designs yet). The marketing and web development is being done by a marketing agent who I have had a great experience with and has a great head for collaboration and ad campaigns. Once the store opens and the app is launched, the number of employees should grow significantly.

Feb 27, 3:50PM EST0
What's the most important thing that you put extra attention to while designing the suits for your customers?
Feb 27, 3:27PM EST0

I think the most important thing for any suit is the fit, not only for the body but to the personality. When I started designing the original suit for my client performing at the Cannes Film Festival, I first started by watching him at some performances and getting to know him and his act. The suit should be an extension of that. From that information, you can decide on colors, patters, lapels, etc. The other piece that is equally important is the measuring. I like to be extremely precise with when measuring a client so as not to provide anything less than a perfect fit. That takes a bit of time but it is worth the extra effort.

Feb 27, 3:45PM EST0
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