May 22, 2002
Cruise travelers no longer have to go all the way to the Far East for custom suits as two industry titans -- both leaders in areas having nothing to do with fashion -- have launched competing services. Rick Sasso, former Celebrity Cruises head honcho, has teamed up with Royal Far East Tailors -- and Holland America Lines -- to offer onboard fittings for passengers who want custom-made garb. Sailing tailors will conduct the sizings on the ship as well as consultations on fabric and design; the clothing itself will be made in Bangkok and shipped to the passenger’s home address in about three weeks. Holland America, which is the first cruise line to sign up for Sasso’s service, says it will first introduce custom tailoring on Rotterdam and plans to expand fleetwide by fall. Over at Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, which has also embraced custom tailoring as an onboard service, Hong Kong Custom Tailors has partnered with the Ft. Lauderdale-based PPI Group (helmed by Bill Panoff), which is known as publisher of Porthole Magazine (among other ventures). The program basically works the same way: passengers can check out style and fabric options, then have measurements made; the figures are electronically sent to the Hong Kong-based tailoring firm and finished garments are shipped directly to the customer.