Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Interview with Tufail Moeniralam, Entrepreneur & Founder at Deluxe Army

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1- Hello Tufail, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, of course. I was born and raised in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I’m currently still living there, but I’m already preparing to leave The Netherlands within a couple years. I’m definitely not from a wealthy environment and grew up surrounded by people who live in mediocrity and aren’t related to entrepreneurship in any sense. I think that that has been fundamental for a sudden change in my mind during my teenage years, when I started realizing that I had the potential to reach much more, and from there my ambition started growing and growing. Around the age of seventeen, when I was almost graduating high school, the first motions towards my life as an entrepreneur started showing up. I was already sure that I would never work a day job and that I wanted to establish a huge business on a relatively young age. I only wasn’t quite sure about what I wanted to do yet. I spent some years thinking about it and experimenting with several things. I found out that I had a passion for creating extravagant things. A long and weird journey eventually led me to the point when I suddenly started getting the idea of creating an innovative, extravagant clothing brand. I realized that this segment of the fashion branch is a branch which fits me perfectly well because of my creative talents, my knowledge about influencing this market, and my very own luxurious taste. It happened in summer 2015, while I was laying down on the beach in Egypt, when I suddenly started realizing that I wanted to launch an exclusive clothing brand. After a couple weeks I immediately registered an enterprise under the name Deluxe Army and from there I started developing and endorsing the idea of the brand. I spent a lot of time on this and announced my first collection almost a year later, in July 2016. This first limited collection has been launched recently and is turning into a huge success at the moment. I’m already working on some new projects.


Next to my business-life, I’m also a part-time student at the VU University in Amsterdam. I started studying Philosophy 2,5 years ago and still aim on getting my masters degree within a few years. Even though I barely have time to study anymore, it’s definitely still one of my goals because I’m extremely interested in Philosophy. Many people wouldn’t see the link between Philosophy and entrepreneurship, but that’s the great thing about it. That’s where my power and exceptionality as an entrepreneur reside.

2. What are your business focus areas and why?
The first one would be my focus on the integrity and quality of the brand and myself as creative entrepreneur. Deluxe Army is providing excellent clothes and accessories which are just as good or even better than the famous Italian and French fashion houses. I work for weeks on the development of each single product, which results in the excellent outcome, and which is also what the world can and should expect from a brand like this. The development and research processes are elements which are of huge importance to me. Providing a beautiful garment is one thing, which is not a big deal, but providing a garment which reaches excellence in every single detail is another thing. That’s the definition of luxury. So my first business focus area would be the focus on marvelous quality. The feeling of creating a perfect product is priceless for me as creative director and owner of the brand.

Another area, which hierarchically follows after the first called, would be the focus on building the brand as actual enterprise. The establishment of an enterprise and brand that is known worldwide. We are growing every single day and this growth should stay exponential at all times. Right now we’re working on our first headquarters in Amsterdam, but that’s just the beginning. I will work on establishing showrooms, stores and headquarters in multiple big fashion cities in the future. For now I’m focussed on launching the brand in as many relevant countries as possible and making the brand famous all over the world.

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3. How do you describe “Deluxe Army” in few words?
I would describe Deluxe Army as innovative, radical and symbolizing for the era that we’re living in. We try to be ahead of our own time while harvesting our products. Extended research and development processes take place before we start with the production, which explains why innovation is one of our fundamental aspects. Someone who knows the industry will immediately recognize this whenever they get in touch with a Deluxe Army product for the first time. And the reason why I call Deluxe Army radical and symbolizing for our era, will get clearer when you start seeing our new projects.

4. Where do you think you are making an impact?
The biggest impact that I’m making, is that I’m about to add a new shade to the luxurious fashion branch. What you find in this branch are the big Italian and French fashion houses, which will anyhow stay marvelous, but are getting cliche at some point. Other than those, there are very few brands that manage to add a variety to this branch. I can only name a few, which means that there is room for something new. And that’s exactly where we will make an impact. People like to be part of the masses, but still stay in search for things that will make them unique. People are naturally in search for variation from time to time. That’s the way you set a new trend and that’s the way for the growth and come-up of a new brand.

5. What are some things that most people don’t know about your job?
How much of hard work it is, even though I can make it look easy. I work on this for the whole day, every single day. Except for the few hours that I get to sleep or that I spend in the gym. As the owner of an enterprise in this branch, you always have something to do. There is always room for development. And that’s quite an intense way of working. But that’s the way I prefer to spend my time, I feel no need at all to do other things which do not contribute to my goals. I became distant towards a lot of things since I started enterprising. I always say to use your time wisely. Time is the most valuable thing that we have and you need to take advantage of it before it takes advantage of you. And in my case, building up the brand is the real definition of using my time properly. Nothing is more fun than building up a million-dollar enterprise which you’ve always dreamed of. So it’s hard work, but I enjoy every single minute of it.

6. E-Business world is very changing, Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Indeed, that’s exactly why I won’t rely on e-business. E-business will just be a small percentage of my total turnover. I expect it to be around 10% of it, so it’s definitely a great extra. And it’s a great way to introduce the world to a new business, because e-business has huge benefits for startups. But our startup period is slowly getting over now, so I’m getting focussed on other things right now. Right now it’s mainly important to work on the retail and wholesale, so that’s what I’m focussed on. I’m working on getting Deluxe Army in as many high-grade fashion stores as possible. We’re starting in West-Europe next week and will expand to Russia and Asia afterwards. After we’ve reached our wholesale-goals, we will start working on the retail by building the first Deluxe Army showrooms in important fashion metropoles So about the five-year plan: In five years I see Deluxe Army in as many high-grade stores as possible, with mindblowing collections, and I see our first showroom(s) being opened in metropoles. And I see myself still working just as hard after 5 years. I don’t get satisfied easily and I’m always hungry for more.

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7. What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered while working on “Deluxe Army”?
The biggest challenge that I encountered was building up a stable enterprise while coming from the bottom. I started with a minimum budget, which made it extremely difficult to build up the enterprise. I couldn’t pay people to do things for me, so I did everything on my own, but I did learn a lot throughout that period. Nowadays when I look back to the way I started, it’s almost impossible to believe how much has happened in one year. A second challenge that I encountered was the financial investment in the first collection. It’s like jumping of a cliff with a leap of faith and hoping that you will learn how to fly. But luckily I believed that I actually could fly and that I would make it work. I’m a firm believer in the idea that you have to take huge risks in order to become successful. No risks, no glory.
Another challenge was working on creating excellent products. As I said before, making clothes isn’t that difficult. But making excellent clothes, collaborating with the best suppliers out there, and to enhance yourself about the technical part of clothing, ended up being a big adventure and challenge. It asks for a lot of patience as well. I’m a perfectionist, so I’m doing everything to provide excellent results. You wouldn’t believe how much phases of sampling I do before I launch a product. Now that my first collection is finally here, I even started admiring my own work. I’m headed to the highest segment of this industry, so I must provide the best imaginable products as well.

8. What can you tell to young people who are pursuing their dreams to have an online business?
Even though I’m not mainly focussed on online business anymore, I would tell them to definitely start pursuing their dreams, simply because we live in an era in which we have a world full of opportunities through the internet. But I would recommend to stay realistic and to have a plan B at all times. Online business is something which sounds easy and tempting, but which will turn out to be way more difficult than you thought. The amount of online businesses is growing every single day, so even in your own branch you will probably have a lot of competition. People on the internet get flooded with advertisements every single time they log in on social media for example. At some point, people start paying less attention to these advertisements, because they simply get annoying at some point. The key is to create content which separates you from the masses. To succeed in online business, you must know the game very well. Pursue your dreams, but do not underestimate it. And use your money wisely, because it’s very easy to lose a lot of money in the world of online business. Educate yourself very well before you even think about entering the world of online business.

9. What are you most excited about at the moment?
I’m quite excited about the things that will happen in favor of the brand in the next few months. The brand will finally hit the stores, which is analogous to a period of growth that we will go through. Next to that, I’m probably even more excited about the new projects that I’m working on. I can not reveal much about it yet, but some great new things are on their way and will hit the stores and our e-boutique soon.

10. The last Word or final thoughts?
Keep an eye on the brand and witness how we take over the branch. And I’d like to thank you for this interview!


To know more about Tufail and his work visit:
– The company website;
– The company Instagram profile;
– His Personal Instagram profile;

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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