Mr. Kaan Tavli is the brand manager and a senior stylist from URBBANA. With stores located in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, they have become recognised as one of the leading luxury brands for men’s clothing. Their brand is based around holding a supreme level of reputation as well as excellence and quality of their products.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your background and how you ended up choosing your field.
A: I’ve grown up in a household that revolves around three things: Fashion, Finance and Football. My family has always been big on etiquette, and from a young age was told to never make compromises on these three things: “the quality of your shoes, tie, and the woman you one day marry!”
Q: What made you want to be a part of URBBANA?
A: I’ll never forget the day I met with our talented designer Sam Abi. At the time I had an offer from a fashion giant, which I was certain I would take.
When I sat down with Sam over a drink, I told him the situation and said very bluntly “why URBBANA?” … which he replied, “let me show you”.
When I started feeling the fabrics and learning more about the business, I was baffled. I said to myself, I need to be a part of what this brand is doing.
Q: What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
A: The way the business started is itself a hurdle. URBBANA started in 2009, and surprisingly because of the GFC. Our designer Sam Abi noticed a big compromise in quality via manufacturing with many reputable brands, which had to be made for them to meet their demand.
Although he was aware many consumers were okay with buying the garment because of the label, he believed there was still a huge demand from consumers that wanted to pay for quality.
Q: What are 3 best practice tips you can share with our readers as it relates to your industry?
A: 1. Find a niche: Don’t be afraid to be different. Individuality should be celebrated, not hidden.
- Believe in what you’re doing: Sometimes the purpose of what you’re doing is greater than the business itself. Make sure what you’re doing contributes to society, this ensures clients value and respect your business.
- Stick to your guns: If you truly believe what you’re doing is valuable to society, never steer away from your business values. No matter how tough things get, always stick to what you believe in.
Q: How do you personally define success? What does it mean to you?
A: For me personally, success is defined by how many people’s day-to-day lives we influence. Ensuring these individuals are making the impact they want to be making, and watching their confidence grow.
Q: How do you differentiate yourself from others in your field?
A: I personally don’t like think we’re differentiate on purpose. Like I said, sometimes the purpose of what you’re doing is greater than the business itself. So, the more quality retailers that start operating, the better! This helps make society more sartorially aware.
The way I see it, we’ve found a niche that attracts clients who demand quality. Every garment is limited, as nothing is mass produced; and our clients are the ones who appreciate these values.
Q: What was the biggest business success you’ve had and what did you do to learn from it?
A: For the brand and individually, this would be the newly signed partnership between URBBANA and Brisbane Roar FC. The deal saw the club be the only sporting side in Australia with custom-made suits and fabric made from scratch.
With my role having a big emphasis on business development, our perspective is that we strongly believe this partnership will help influence the men of Brisbane/Australia to be more sartorially aware, and express themselves through style. We don’t want our city’s sporting sides wearing stock standard suits that don’t fit correctly, to be a norm.
Q: What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business’ success?
A: One word: Product. Being a boutique label, we don’t have to worry about meeting a big demand, therefore we put a lot more money in to the product and construct fewer quantities. This model has helped us build a huge client base that appreciates what we do here.
Q: Who is your hero and why?
A: My Father is without-question my hero. He’s done nothing but support me through my life, giving me all the tools I need to take on whatever endeavor I choose. He’s done what every father should do; taught me how to be a gentleman.
Q: What do you do to recharge when you are feeling drained?
A: I’m a huge fan of lounge/ jazz music. So chances are if you hear some Tony Bennett; that’s me done for the night! You’ll usually find me at jazz clubs after-hours, with a glass of wine in one hand and a cigar in the other. As ‘ol’ blue eyes’ once said, “I’m for whatever gets you through the night!”
Q: If you had to pick a charity to give to, who would it be and why?
A: Despite being a boutique operation, we donate to over 10 different charities annually. Often donating vouchers valued at over $1,000 for fundraising events; we’re big believers in getting involved for great causes. We’ve been associated with charities such as: RedKite, Variety QLD, Mater Foundation and more.
Q: What is the one mantra that you live your life by?
A: “Style is a signature that can’t be forged”.
Q: What is your business all about?
A: “Impact with style!” quite simply; this is what we do here at URBBANA. We work with individuals and corporate businesses in a gentleman’s environment to help ensure they’re making the impact they want to be making.
URBBANA is a true expression of luxury. We are a brand that wants to uphold our pristine reputation and quality. We ensure the all products meet our levels of excellence to ensure every man is well dressed.
You can learn more about URBBANA’s expression of luxury at www.urbbana.com.au.
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world.