On a quiet block in Brooklyn, only moments on the Subway from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, David Reeves Bespoke is making custom suits with a sharp, British sensibility. I was early to our interview and while I sat sipping a macchiato, a gent walked through the cafe door in a tonic blue silk double-breasted suit at the height of summer, and I knew I’d found my man: David Reeves.
History of David Reeves Bespoke
David Reeves hails from Northern England, and first got into clothing while studying graphic design and typography at university. It began with the mod scene and having cheap suits made for himself, and developed into a job working retail at Gieves and Hawkes, the famous Savile Row tailor. “I was getting a suit made up like every two weeks, getting my hair cut every week… I was into it in a really big way from the beginning.”
After graduating, David Reeves decided to take a break from typography, and has worked stints at Richard James, the Bond Street Prada, Comme des Garçons, Duncan Quinn, and Timothy Everest before setting out on his own. The downturn in the economy was actually a big help in getting David to set up shop himself. “You know, when you can’t just walk into a shop and get a job it really makes you think ‘Well, I’ve got to make this work,’ and you do.”
The first year was tough, but profitable, and it looks like we can continue to expect David Reeves to continue to grow and expand successfully. “It’s not like we’ve got hundreds of clients, but I went to deliver a suit the other day and this guy has almost a whole David Reeves wardrobe. So it’s nice to see we’ve got a small but loyal group together.” And really, although David has worked large retail before, that isn’t what David Reeves Bespoke is about at all. Listening to David, it’s all about relationships and collaborating for him.
Shirts By David Reeves
David Reeves’ shirts are not made in New York like his tailoring, but rather in the UK. David has been working with a shirt factory in Manchester, England that he’s been using for his own shirts since long before David Reeves Bespoke was even a glimmer in his eye.
The cloths used for the handful of shirts I saw were certainly above-average, but the
attention to detail in the make of the shirts is what was really eye-catching. At just over $200, they’re not inexpensive, but they’re certainly not bad value. Buttons are sewn on sturdily, patterns are matched perfectly, and button holes are tight and neat. The shirt here has holes in the collar for a collar pin or collar bar, and even these small pinholes show the same tight attention to detail exhibited in the rest of the shirt.
Plus, unlike many higher-end shirt makers, there is no minimum order and David is more than willing to experiment a little. One David Reeves customer wanted a vintage-inspired “lawn print” shirt, and David helped him source the fabric and got the factory to be especially attentive to lining up complimenting flowers at the seams.
Custom Made Suits
The main line of David Reeves suits are his “custom made,” which is a pretty unique middle ground between made-to-measure and bespoke. The process begins with a consultation with David Reeves himself. He often meets clients at their apartments, in cafes, or over lunch, preferring to build relationships, rather than just churn out product. You’ll talk through the suit, rifle through the Loro Piana and Dormeuil books, and David might do some illustrative sketching in his “book.” It’s a far cry from the giant ledger books you’ll find up and down Savile Row, but essentially serves the same purpose.
After the initial make-up, you meet up with David Reeves about four weeks later for a raw fitting. Because David works closely with the factory making the suit, he can do fittings that most made-to-measure services just can’t offer. Things are done close by in Brooklyn, and David will actually go through a process of two to three fittings for a custom suit. Also, unusually for made-to-measure, David Reeves does draft up a paper pattern for each client that he stores for future orders. So, rather than having to order a suit, have some significant alterations done, and then fix them up front on the next order, you can sort of tweak things as you go from the beginning.
Essentially, you get to dip your toes into the type of relationship and process that accompanies bespoke tailoring.
Again, what struck me was attention to detail. The finishing at David Reeves is all top notch, and certainly a step above what most factories are turning out. You’re getting finely trimmed edges and seams inside the coats and trousers, tree-trunk-like button shanks, and so forth. Button holes and buttons are sewn by hand; collars are sewn by hand, and notably “we don’t charge extra for all these little things, like buttonholes, ticket pockets, etc. None of that.”
That said, David Reeves custom made suit’s don’t come cheap, with regular pricing being around $2000, but you are getting top of the line cloth and service to match. If you just want to get in, get your suit, and get out, David can do that as well, but if you’ve got 6 weeks and time for fittings, you can really get the most bang for your buck.
6000 Stitches – The David Reeves Bespoke Suit
Now, David Reeves works with a number of tailors and, in the past, he had a kind of collaboration with Rory Duffy but that is no longer the case.
David says he doesn’t like to be thought of as “fashiony” or “rock ‘n roll,” but there is no denying that his take on classic British style is not that from the days of yore. So, if you’re looking for something that balances a contemporary aesthetic with British tradition, David Reeves is a perfect solution.
For more information about David Reeves suits, please visit their blog at davidreevesbespoke.wordpress.com
You can reach David at David@DavidReevesBespoke.com or 1 (917) 783 2270 to enquire.