The Year of The Dog At Blank Label
If you’re a Blank Label client, you may have received an email explaining that it will take a little longer to receive orders placed after January 30th due to the Lunar New Year. We’d like to share with you the reasons behind that delay—and the unique ways our skilled tailors will be celebrating the Year of the Dog.
What is the Lunar New Year?
The Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year, doesn’t have a single fixed date. It’s instead determined by the first new moon between January 21st and February 20th. This year it falls on February 16th. While the period of celebration varies, it can be as long as two weeks or more.
Our Shanghai Team
The skilled workers who craft Blank Label clothing are spread across four different workshops in Shanghai, each of which is helmed by a different Master Tailor. Most of the drafting and cutting necessary to make a suit is done by the Master Tailor, who is assisted by a team of seamstresses and pressers. The larger workshops may also have a Deputy Tailor, who assists the Master Tailor with drafting the pattern.
In total, it takes about ten hours to make each Blank Label suit; two hours to create the pattern, seven hours of sewing, and one hour of pressing.
Just as England has London and Italy has Naples, China has its own cities with proud tailoring traditions. Our Master Dai and Master Lei trained in Ningbo, the very heart of China’s garment trade, Master Chang and Master Sheng come from the equally renowned city of Shenzhen, and learned their craft from famed tailors in Hong Kong.
How Do They Celebrate Lunar Year?
At the start of Lunar New Year the staff partake in a large shared meal. It’s traditional to present friends and family with monetary gifts in red envelopes during the New Year, and in that spirit the team receives bonuses equivalent to two to four weeks of pay.
The team has the next eight to ten days off, and many return home to continue to celebrate the New Year in ways unique to their region or family. Ji Yong, our General Manager, remains in Shanghai and looks forward to the specialties served during New Year feasts, his favorite being mud crab. Master Tailor Gang returns to the northern province of Hebei, bringing plenty of red envelopes filled with cash for his delighted nieces and nephews. Xiao Hou, an operations assistant, travels to Tianjin—the sixth most populous city in the world—for family time, complete with plenty of card games and home cooking.
It’s for these reasons that orders placed in February will have a 6-8 week turnaround rather than our typical 2-3 week timeframe. We regret the inconvenience, but we’re happy to give our team the opportunity to enjoy Lunar New Year to the fullest—and share some of their stories with you.