SHF Masters: Junaid Hamid, A Tailored Man

The misconception that the clothes make the man is exerted unto many of us, and it may be be that in days gone by this reigned true. Kings regaled in the best attire, laden with layer after layer of silks and cashmeres, made painstakingly by a man gentle with his hands and strong of conviction in providing a piece of himself in the hands of someone who might not fully comprehend his craft.

Junaid stares at the petrol blue velvet, the colour glistens and seems luminous for it’s absence of a definitive shade of black. His hands are steady as he plunges the needle into the cushioned and fabric coated frame of the colossal Earl sofa. His body perched on the seat while it balances almost weightlessly in front of him. There is a deep focus as his hands work, and in this moment he resembles Christian Barnard in surgery. He is Da Vinci in his third year of perfecting the Mona Lisa, more so he is the tailor to the Emperor’s New Clothes that Hans Christiaan Anderson had envisioned, weaving magic with his touch.

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There is a relaxed nature to the man who heads Dean’s Upholstery, working closely with his wife, his 2 year old daughter can be found shuffling about the expanse of his workshop. Staff members are dotted sporadically around the cleanly space; frames are stacked like Jenga against a wall whilst seamstresses busy themselves with the day’s tasks. His office sits at the far end and the garage door lets shadows dance on the concrete floor. He continues deep buttoning the imposing piece of furniture, a skill learned by sight, touch and feel.

Beginning at a young age, the heir to a long run family of true artisans, upholstery is stitched in his life just as his veins are woven through his body. His arm tenses and the defined muscles of the recreational gym fanatic show themselves, it’s a stark contrast due to his jovial and timid nature. He pours forth a slew of jokes as he takes a break, wiping his brow, eyebrow cocked, he examines his work. The scissors are grabbed in a swift motion and loose ends snipped, hands moving in a rhythmic motion as the dance between a man and his love ensues. His workers assist him in a resemblance of telepathy, no words are passed but there is a deep rooted understanding of what is needed to help a generation legend tailor make a true piece of future history.

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Junaid is a rarity. Carrying the dreams of people who made his craft viable whilst passing on knowledge from decades passed, perfected by his ancestry. The tailor is more than a stitcher of fabrics, but a man who is a maker of creations we could not comprehend, made with respect, tradition and a touch of magic that we forgot had even existed.

Life cannot be tailor-made but true craft can, by tailor making the things I love, I tailor make life.

– Junaid Hamid

Written for SHF by Keanon D


Inspired by the SHF Masters?

Browse through one of the sophisticated SHF galleries in Kramerville, Ferndale, Pretoria, Durban, Ballito, Pietermaritzberg and the Midlands.

Visit their website at shf.co.za.

Like them on Facebook, and #followthemasters on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest


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