What Ali Wore: Ongoing Series Featuring Ali, A Tailor from Berlin

tailor dressed in suit on streets of berlin

No you are not looking at Lech Walesa. This impeccably dressed man goes by the name of Ali. He lives in Berlin and is quite a sight to behold because he never steps out of his home unless he is flawlessly garbed. This dandy senior citizen is actually a retired doctor originally from Turkey. He makes a living in Berlin as a tailor.

fashionista on the street

old man in khaki suit

Naturally he has quite an awesome wardrobe. In fact, he owns a total of 80 suits. That is much more than what most men would own in a lifetime. Ali apparently is not one to do things in small numbers as he also has an overwhelming 18 children. This dapper elderly was spotted one day by photographer Zoe Spawton, who was immediately charmed by his appearance. With his permission, she started to photograph Ali in his handsome outfits beginning last August.

Zoe is a food and documentary photographer from Melbourne, Australia. She currently resides in Berlin, where she gets to practice her profession while she also indulges her other loves: food, music and travel.

old man in dark suit

The sartorial splendor of the man is quite evident as he conjures up one ensemble after another. The styles range from traditionally elegant to stylish and flamboyant. He displays his mastery of the well-clothed gentleman from formal combinations reserved for the boardroom, to casual outfits meant for leisurely outings.

old man in fedora and dark suit

Not only does Ali show a flair for the classy, but also a keen sense of color. His adventurous wardrobe contains some pretty bright and intense hues such as violet, bright red, camouflage, and yellow in some clothing accents.  And of course, a man could not possibly be called well-dressed if he was not in quality shoes. A yardstick for measuring a man’s style is his shoes.

old man in all dark denim ensemble

It is this investment to detail that sets a well dressed man apart from the rest, just as Ali demonstrates. Ali’s head gear is consistent with the rest of his apparel, with a vast array of caps, bonnets and hats, color and style coordinated to his chic ensembles. Ali is also quite at ease in front of the camera, as he hams it up each time for Zoe. When the series was started, he was very careful to avoid repeating any of the outfits.

two people posing together holding newspaper
Ali with Photographer Zoe Spawton

Check out more of Spawton‘s portraits of Ali on this tumblr account.

Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.