If New York Had its Own Savile Row...
A quiet street in Greenwich Village is home to a growing community of men's clothiers.
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I’m convinced that if New York had its own Savile Row, it would be located in Greenwich Village.
Sure, London’s great tailoring legacy is unmatched, but New York has this unique optimism and energy about it, this new class of men’s clothiers preserving the legacy of tailored clothing, and that’s something that gets me excited.
The thought occurred to me last week when I was in The City. I planned on visiting the good folks at J.Mueser on Christopher Street.
You can see their showroom on the second floor, just above the French café, Boucherie. I quickly realized F.E. Castleberry’s atelier was right above them, so I had to pay him a visit too.
When I got there, I looked across the street and saw my old friend, Angel Ramos, from 18th Amendment, and he had moved his showroom next door!
And then there was Leffot, the legendary shoe store (sellers of Edward Green, Alden, etc) adjacent to both.
And on it went. It finally dawned on me that there’s this beautiful, budding community of tailors in Greenwich Village, and it felt like they were family.
Because they are.
The camaraderie of men in suits, standing on the street chatting, smoking from the balcony, sharing a laugh… You just had to be there.
I even saw Matt Hranek rocking a double-breasted suit that Angel made, wearing a hard hat, which I later found out was for the Spring Issue of his magazine, WM Brown.
Here are some of the photos I managed to take from that day…
Started by Jake Mueser, of course.
He’s the product of a punk rock kid-turned-tailor (so Matt tells us) who trained at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He opened up his own shop in 2010 on Christopher Street and has invested in the neighborhood since.
And then there’s Matt, creative director of the brand. Before this, he was running the Drake’s store on Crosby Street, effectively running their U.S. business.
And finally, Chase. The loveable grump, as he calls himself on Instagram. He runs the showroom with Matt. And for those of you who will ask, his necktie is vintage Brooks Brothers. I already asked.
It’s like you stepped on to the scene of a Wes Anderson film.
Everything is thoughtful, quirky, against the rules.
As Fred puts it, his brand is:
“…the product of a bygone New York and the blurred line between upper class opulence and downtown irreverence.
It inhabits a world where the je ne sais quoi of Jacques Cousteau, Cy Twombly, Fila tennis, George Plimpton, the Porsche 911, Pablo Picasso, the Borg–McEnroe rivalry, old Stones albums, and Tina Barney mishmash into something achingly human.”
An apt description.
Fred’s been building FEC for years, what eventually spun out of his once-famous blog for WASPs, Unabashedly Prep.
And you have to acknowledge his marquee saying, “the better you dress, the worse you can behave.”
First off, Angel Ramos is one of the finest-looking men on earth. You could drop him off on the streets of Havana, Beirut, or Firenze and he’d blend right in. He ages like fine wine.
Second, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him for years, and he’s a stand-up dude. He takes care of his people, and he knows a hell of a lot about the art of tailoring.
He recently changed his eponymous name to 18th Amendment, moved his showroom to Christopher Street, and is building a phenomenal community around him, both in NY and Italy, where he’s fostered relationships with other mills and tailors.
This is his colleague, Miguel, who helps run the showroom.
Let’s hear it for the camo raincoat!
That day was a breath of fresh air. I recently stepped back into the world of men’s style after taking a hiatus, I’ve seen cycles of trends fade out, and it’s refreshing to see brands like these hold each other up, investing in long-term sustainability.
Surviving a pandemic as a men’s clothier has been f*cking hard. No one can deny that.
But when I saw these guys and the smiles on their faces, you couldn’t help but feel that better days are near.