When David Bowie walked into the Tsim Sha Tsui shop of Sam’s Tailors, current owner Manu Melwani had no idea who this thin young man with a shock of blonde hair was, but his other customers did. “We thought he was something,” Melwani said. “Later on he was putting some suits on order, and people were looking.” he said, “I said ‘who’s this person?’ They say ‘he’s David Bowie, he’s a well known singer’. “I was very surprised.” The singer, at the early peak of his career and about to play his most lucrative performance by 1983 at the Hong Kong coliseum, chose silk suits in purple, pink, white and black for his performance. “Young, nice tapered suits with short jacket, and slim trousers,” Melwani, who as a 27-year-old tailor working with his father was measuring up the megastar, said. “He wore it, because we had to make it in 24 hours for it to be on the stage.” READ MORE: The many transformations of David Bowie Manu said he was invited to the show. It was the start of a long relationship; Bowie visited the small shop in the Burlington Arcade, TST again in 2004 — “he needed some good shirts ... white shirts, and black,” he said. At other times Melwani would fly to New York to measure up Bowie for new shirts and suits during the tailor’s annual roadshows, they even spoke about a clothing line, he said. “He was always exactly the same [measurements],” he said. “He knew what he wanted for materials and he use to tell me ‘look, bring these samples’ and I took them. I was in his place [office] for no more than 15 to 18 minutes.” “He knew what he wanted, and what he wanted to replace.” FREE DOWNLOAD: David Bowie’s fashion changes (PDF) Upon hearing of the death of his client of 32 years in the news on Monday, Melwani said he was shocked. “He never talked about his sickness, or anything to anybody,” he said, adding he hadn’t seen the musician for about two-and-a-half years. Bowie’s death came after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69. “It was a big shock for me when I heard the news ... yesterday,” he said. Sam’s Tailors: a legacy Opened 1957, the little TST shop floor, surrounded in bolts of fine material, is a business handed down from father to son. They have made suits for many men and women ( 7 per cent of his clientele were women in 1998 ), and in a South China Morning Post story from 1984 the elder Sam, Manu’s father, explained his business at the time employed 42 people in the shop and at two workshops nearby. “I am a tailor and I believe I have to be on-the-spot giving attention, a bit like a doctor.” That tradition is carried on through Manu who says he spends his time in the shop to make sure quality continues. “Anybody comes to me to make clothes for them, I do it for them. They’re spending the money in my shop, I treat everybody well.” The people who visit Sam’s “As a tailor, I keep it confidential,” the tailor says, but his reputation precedes him. Among his clients are the best known people in the world, “I treat them like a friendship.” According to articles in the Post he has also made clothes for: Nelson Mandela Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters George W. Bush George H.W. Bush Bill Clinton Ronald Reagan Former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke Elton John John McEnroe Pierce Brosnan Margaret Thatcher Angela Merkel The Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson Prince Charles Colin Powell Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld And Georgio Armani was “just looking around” And there were, obviously, plenty more.