Greeley Tribune: Windsor custom clothing business offers suits for the most sharp-dressed men
Read the full article at The Greeley Tribune
WINDSOR — It’s no secret that the days of having a custom tailor are over.
Some men dread shopping for clothing, let alone shopping for dress clothes. Casual Friday at the office has visibly leaked into Thursdays — and sometimes Wednesdays.
Ron Wagner knows all of this, and he wants to change it.
Since last fall, Wagner has worked with his two sons, Ryan and Brett, to make waves in Colorado’s custom clothing industry by selling high-end, tailor-made suits he promises will last a lifetime. With full suits beginning at about $700 and dress shirts starting at $125, he knows it’s not a market for everyone.
But with decades in the industry, he believes it is the market for him.
Having the one-on-one, individual involvement is really important to me. We are creating a one-of-a-kind garment.
— Ron Wagner, The Bespoke Edge
“We’re just offering products we feel make terrific sense,” Wagner said, dressed in a snappy custom suit. “We’ve got this global market out here, and people are so easily aware. But when it comes right down to it, it’s a matter of presenting ourselves every day.”
His services were not lost on longtime customer West Foster, a commercial real estate appraiser in Greeley. Foster had been a client of Wagner’s for years at The Regiment Shops in Fort Collins. It closed two years ago. So when Foster needed a suit to testify in an upcoming trial, the call from Wagner came just in time.
“I said OK, let’s try it,” Foster said, who had turned to a shop in Flatirons Crossing for his suits before Wagner called. “It’s a beautiful suit. It’s a little more expensive, but it’s a custom tailored suit. It just it boils down to the relationship I’ve had with Ron over the last umpteen years. I trust him.”
Wagner’s interest in high-end suits stems from more than 30 years in Colorado’s clothing industry. From his early days as a salesman to a more prestigious managerial position at a local outfitter, he said he has built a cliental that looks for more than just an OK fit. They look for exceptional quality, and they’re willing to pay for it.
To do that, he and his sons started The Bespoke Edge — BE for short — with hopes of turning the clothing store model upside down. Wagner acts as a travelling salesman, carefully fitting clients and helping them design their suit from the most minor of stitches. He goes to homes and businesses prepared with binders loaded with cloth swatches and samples. From high-end Egyptian cottons to Merino wools, clients work with him to design everything from the threading patterns to the cuff styles and — of course — the color schemes.
“Having the one-on-one, individual involvement is really important to me,” he said. “We are creating a one-of-a-kind garment.”
Within a week, he said, the fabrics are cut, the designs are laid and the garment begins to take shape. The final product is usually in Colorado three weeks from the initial consultation, though the process isn’t finished at that point. Wagner insists on seeing the final product worn before calling it a done deal.
Though he and his sons recognize the market is slim, Wagner draws on a hefty list of past clients and is working to attract buyers from across the region, stretching into Denver where demand is more visible. He sees a growing market.
That’s how he connected with Foster, who said he’s happy with the final product.
“I like the fabric and the way it fits,” Foster said. “It’s a dark gray with bit of a pinstripe. The dark gray suit I had was solid, so this is just a little different.”
Wagner said he’s ready to make a new future for himself on his own: “I’ve reinvented myself.”
As for now, his goal is to be readily available to help people navigate the admittedly confusing, and even intimidating, fashion world. By operating out of his Windsor home and spending life on the road, he’s cutting down costs and working to start his business in the black.
Moreover, by maintaining a blog and updated website, www.bespokeedge.com , he has plans to include a web-based store that can expand beyond Colorado borders.
After all, he maintains, there’s still an emerging market of young men and business professionals looking to suit up.
“We firmly believe that all of the dressing down went way too far,” he said. “How you wear that shirt, how your shoes are polished, whether you put on a nice pair of pants — that’s what we can educate people about.”
If you enjoyed reading this, be sure to check out our feature in the Windsor paper here.