The Classicist: A Quarter Century of Style at Alan Flusser's New Custom Shop
Alan Flusser, author of 2002's Dressing the Man, is our foremost arbiter elegantiarum in matters sartorial; the book remains the reigning bible of men's style. In 1981 he published his first book Making the Man and opened his first custom tailoring shop in New York City in '86; a year later his Master of the Universe wardrobe created for Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street made him an instant icon. Now on the 25th anniversary of the original's debut, Flusser is re-launching the shop with a new look in the space on E. 48th St. it has inhabited since 2002. In recent years someone else handled the day-to-day operations of the shop for Flusser though he remained available for consultations. Now he's decided to take up the reigns once again and usher in a new era of elegance.
"My original vision for the shop had always been a kind of imaginary Savile Row tailor's shop–meets Park Avenue men's club–meets Gertrude Stein for a bullshot," Flusser tells us. "In other words, an environment suffused with Old World taste and totems." As a younger and more 'downtown' crowd has increasingly taken to the merits of fine tailoring, however, Flusser felt it was time for an update, both decor and clothes-wise. Having introduced a slimmer fitting, more body conscious silhouette – the "Vanderbilt" – to his repertoire in 2008, Flusser "wanted the look of the shop to more closely reflect that sleeker sartorial idiom." Enter silver walls, alligator skin tables, 1940s leather and chrome furniture, black lacquer fittings, and of course a cocktail bar. [cont'd]
Gallery: Alan Flusser Custom Shop
"I've stepped back in and basically redesigned everything from floors to ceiling, pillows to picture frames, shirt collars to tie widths," Flusser notes. "In addition to the aesthetics of the business, I also decided that the hand-sewn, individually-cut, hand-recorded tradition-tied male custom tailoring business needed an infusion of modernity." That comes in the form of a digitized inventory of each client's purchases. "Should they be in momentary need of some ensemble coordinating advice or direction relative to the correct dress for a particular social occasion," Flusser says, "everything is no further than our finger tips." He also recently launched an iPhone app, BeSpeak, a "personal mobile stylist". Don't expect high-water trousers or bum-freezer jackets however; Flusser promises finely-crafted clothes that truly transcend fashion, wearable for twenty years or more. Take a look at the gallery for a tour of the most stylish digs in town.