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The Fashion Geek Podcast

62 | David Paletz of Elevee Custom Clothing Is Here To Tell Us If They Really Wear Suits In L.A

Reg talks with David about working for a company that courts among its clientele the NBA, the NFL, Hollywood stars and wardrobe departments for TV and Film. How do they do it?



Guest Links

Timestamps

00:00 Introduction and Welcome
01:09 Meet David Palletts of Elevé Custom Clothing
02:07 David's Role and Responsibilities
05:09 The Organic Growth of Elevé
06:26 David's Journey to Elevé
08:26 Client Recruitment and Operations
10:25 The Unique Supply Chain Process
18:23 Profile of Elevé's Customers
22:15 Innovations in Custom Clothing
26:22 Exciting New Project Tease
26:42 Working with Studios and Wardrobe
27:43 Organic Growth in the Industry
28:43 Collaboration with Emmy-Nominated Costumer
32:20 Delivering Exceptional Customer Service
35:11 Maintaining Integrity in Business
38:47 Lessons from Nordstrom
45:01 The Importance of Fashion
48:13 Elevate's Unique Selling Points
51:58 Always Be Fly

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Transcript

David Paletz [00:00:00]: Because we have 1,000,000 of dollars worth of fabrics in house, and I'm talking from shirtings to sport coat fabrics, suitings, linens, cashmeres, camel hairs, everything, just knitwear, everything. Because we have that in house, we technically, I can measure somebody this morning at 9 o'clock in the morning, and they will literally wear that suit on the red carpet. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:39]: I'm Reg Ferguson, Ferguson, and I'm a fashion consultant from New York City, born and raised. I've been helping men look fly for years. And now I wanna help you learn more about menswear, the entrepreneurs, the brands, and top fashion tips on the Fashion Geek podcast. Have you ever been to LA? Do you like it? I went out there once in some business, stayed for a bunch of days. During the week, I wore suits. On the weekend, sport jacket and jeans. When I met with the production company the 1st day, I received compliments on my suit. Cool. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:23]: The second day, they lost their mind. I had on another suit. That's when I realized this isn't what's regularly done here. On that Saturday, I hung out with a friend of mine in Santa Monica. We rolled up at this spot called Bongo Road. Very cool place. Uniquely California. Group of dudes were checking me out. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:49]: Step 2 1 of them asked, Yo, is there a problem? Kid said, no. You just couldn't be up in my studio. That's when I realized that California was more casual than I ever could have imagined. I'm sure the weather has something to do. Does anyone wear a suit out there? Yo. This is Reg Ferguson, Fashion Geek number 1. How are you? Welcome to the ride. Thank you so much for listening. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:23]: I'm a men's fashion consultant here in New York City. And I help fashion challenge men go from confused to confident. If you ever found yourself staring at the closet, not knowing what to wear, Or if the idea of shopping for clothes makes you feel physically ill Then this is the show for you My goal with every episode is to help make looking good feel easy If you ever want my help email me at regnyfashingeek.com for a consultation If you have a friend who's looking to level up his fashion style wardrobe game, please share an episode with them. While you're at it, if you dig the show and haven't already left us a rating and review, please consider doing so now. Your shares, ratings, and reviews help us grow the show and help us get the best possible guest and help more men dress their best. Today, we're going to talk with David Palace of Elevate Custom Clothing. He's going to let me know if I said that right because there's a bunch of accents on that word. And he is in Los Angeles, and we're going to talk about something that the everyday man should have in their wardrobe. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:36]: We're going to talk about bespoke and made to measure clothing, West Coast style. David in the building. How are you, sir? David Paletz [00:03:46]: How you doing Reginald? And yes, you got elevate exactly right. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:52]: That prep school education. David Paletz [00:03:54]: Yes, sir. How are you doing? Reginald Ferguson [00:03:57]: I'm well. I'm well. Yourself? David Paletz [00:03:59]: I'm doing great today. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me. I, this is this is gonna be great. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:06]: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Well, I'm really flattered for you to come on particularly because we're doing this very early in the morning for you and late morning for me. So, before we get into our topic, David, please tell us. So what do you do? David Paletz [00:04:40]: Well, I'm a chief operations officer for Elevate Custom Clothing and I make sure that our tailor shop is running smooth that we have everything we need to properly produce bespoke custom clothing. And that really goes into a lot of different areas. It talks about fabric, making sure that we always have a great supply of fabrics on hand as well as maintaining our relationship with all of our vendors, our cut length vendors. Working with the pattern making team, making sure that that's all running smoothly. Also, do a lot of training with the sales people as far as measuring and how to fit and how to do proper alterations, maintaining systems, all the things that go into bespoke custom tailoring. Reginald Ferguson [00:05:52]: Well, I think you've hit on a whole bunch of things that are gonna make this an enjoyable conversation. I did some research. David Paletz [00:06:02]: Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:03]: And I have to keep it real. You and I, we met on Clubhouse. Correct. And I'm always telling my listeners, please join Classic Menswear Club on Clubhouse. Just do the app overall. I've gained so many wonderful interactions and experiences at newfound relationships, and I consider I was one of them. I, as you know, am here in New York City. I'm a native New Yorker. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:34]: I don't know much about the West Coast. I've been to Los Angeles And I guess my point is if it wasn't for Clubhouse Not only would I would I have met you? But I wouldn't have known anything about this company because I'd never known I've never heard the name of the company. So, for me as a native New Yorker, I feel like you've been operating under the radar. But I know you're a big hit in L. A. This company has been around since 1999. And what I have found in my research, which I'm fascinated about, you seem to be the go to tailor for Hollywood celebrities, but equally, if not more important, because I'm a sports fan, you're connected with the NBA, the NFL. I mean, I gotta tell you, I wanna get into I think I want to start with the glitz and glamour before we start talking about supply chains. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:34]: How did this happen? David Paletz [00:07:35]: You're right. I mean, we we do fly under the radar. It it really is, everything happens organically. It's really a word-of-mouth business. Reputation is everything and like I said, it happens organically. You help somebody, they're happy, they tell a friend or 2 and they become a client and they tell 2 people or 4 people and it just over time, it just kind of grows. And then you also have obviously your traditional, like we all do, pound the pavement. You have to do your cold calling and figure out how to you know, meet your professional athletes and how to get in front of their face, you know, that's a whole another thing that I'm sure all the clothiers across the country face how do you get in front of these people. David Paletz [00:08:39]: But, yes, as you say, we've been flying under the radar. We don't advertise at all. It's really a word-of-mouth business. Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:08:51]: Holy shmoly. And how long have you been with the company? David Paletz [00:08:54]: I've been with the company 15 years. Kind of just happened as a kind of a crazy story. I was working for Nordstrom at the time. I was with Nordstrom for 18 years, starting my career when I was 25 at Nordstrom. And I came up to LA to this guy was working on some foundation things to try to get, you know, elevate in a foundation. He knew I was in menswear so he kind of wanted some moral support. I came up here, I met people from Elevate. And I remember going home and telling my wife, boy, this would be my dream job to work for a company like this with the background and experience I had in menswear at Nordstrom but nothing ever happened from it. David Paletz [00:09:54]: Made my connection and left some phone numbers and nothing ever happened. 3 years later, I'm still at Nordstrom, ended up leaving Nordstrom. I got headhunted away to go work for Max Azria at BCBG, women's wear company Yeah. In Los Angeles. And I worked with, Max and his his wife, Luba, who's the head designer, worked with them for about three and a half years. And one day I get a call from the owner of Elovey and he says, David, remember all those, you know, things you were talking about, all those great ideas, you know, I think we're ready. So met with them, had some coffee, offered me a job and, you know, the rest is history. And I've happily been in the bespoke world for 15 years. Reginald Ferguson [00:10:45]: Wow. That's that's a cool story. So, what I've gathered, and you kind of hinted at it already when you talked about training with salespeople, Is the model of Elevate in terms of client recruitment, is it very similar to Tom James? Meaning, it's kind of hub and spoke. You're based out of LA, and you're vertically held, and we're gonna talk about that hopefully before the conversation is over. But then you have reps in all, I would say, you know, the top 10 DMAs, you know, the top markets, the big cities, and they go out and preach the gospel so to speak and try to develop a book of business. Is that correct? David Paletz [00:11:33]: Exactly. Exactly. Pretty much similar to what all of us clothing people do across the country. Whether it be locally that they're focused, we're really national. We've got people on the East Coast in Florida and Denver and Texas, Arizona, California. And then they travel just like everybody else does for the client needs to meet with them. Reginald Ferguson [00:12:11]: So in that instance, who's who's paying for the travel there, David? Because, you know, you're COO. So, I know you're keeping your eyes open. Who's who's paying for the T and E there? Who's paying for the transportation? David Paletz [00:12:26]: Well, it just depends. We usually don't travel unless it's over $5 for for a sale so people know that. But for the most part, the company pays. Reginald Ferguson [00:12:47]: Wow. That's good. Yeah. So you're a vertically held company. David Paletz [00:12:54]: Exactly. What's unique about that is because we have 1,000,000 of dollars worth of fabrics in house and I'm talking from shirtings to sport coat fabrics, suitings, linens, cashmeres, camel hairs, everything, just knitwear, everything. Because we have that in house, we technically I can measure somebody this morning at 9 o'clock in the morning and they will literally wear that suit on the red carpet tonight. Reginald Ferguson [00:13:40]: Okay. Stop right there because I did some research. Yeah. No. I know. And I was I did the research and I said to myself, I know this is true, but it still seems like fantasy. David Paletz [00:13:51]: Mhmm. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:13:52]: So, listen, you've been There's a quote by Ben Baskin of Sports Illustrated. And I love Sports Illustrated. I've been reading Sports Illustrated since I was a child. I keep them in business. I'm a subscriber. He was quoted as saying that it takes 4 and a half hours to do a suit at your company. David Paletz [00:14:12]: It takes long for you now. It takes longer to Reginald Ferguson [00:14:15]: do that. You better find him. He's, he's messing you up. But on your website, it read 24 hour turnaround service, which essentially is what you just said. Yeah, exactly. Holy shmoly. Talk me through this supply chain process. And like you said, the beauty of being vertically held. Reginald Ferguson [00:14:37]: Give me a give me a hypothetical scenario. Reg Ferguson comes in. And how does it work? And I need this immediately. How does this work? David Paletz [00:14:48]: I measure you. I take about 40 measurements, take some profile pictures of you. I walk back to my pattern maker, hand them your measurements and your profile pictures and he rolls out a piece of paper and starts drafting your pattern based off of your measurements, your body type, your curves, your stance, your arm position, all the things that you would look at that are important. They'll finish the pattern. We'll design whatever it is you want your 2 piece suit, how you're going to style it. We'll lay the fabric down, our cutter will cut it, we'll hand it off to the first step in the tailoring process and it'll just work its way through the line. And at about 5 o'clock the last button will be sewn on and the lining will be sealed up, and you'll be on your way. Reginald Ferguson [00:15:57]: In that scenario, David, you haven't mentioned multiple fittings. So do you feel confident? I know you're doing 40 measurements, so I realize how detailed that is. That's not where I'm coming from. But to me, from a bespoke perspective, you know, and I know usually the standard is 3 to 5 fittings. But it sounds like for here, you're just doing a one and done. Am I incorrect? David Paletz [00:16:24]: Well, if if if Reg Ferguson needs it today and he doesn't have it, yes, it's one fitting. But if Reg wants to come in at 2 o'clock before the sleeves are put on and for the jacket sealed and, you know, the button stance is set or buttons are punched, we'll throw it on you, do a quick little fitting, make some tweaks and adjustments and then sew it up. So, you can do like a mini first fitting in one day. We've done that before. Reginald Ferguson [00:17:02]: Okay. But like you said, if if time was really an issue, one fitting, turn this around, send you out with a beautiful new suit. David Paletz [00:17:15]: Correct. But as you say, it normally is 1 to 2 fittings, 3 if you have to if maybe somebody didn't measure properly but if you have it's kind of garbage in garbage out. So, if you have good measurements and they're interpreted properly and you have good profile pictures you're probably only going to have 1 or 2 fittings to get to a perfect fit, get a great pattern. Reginald Ferguson [00:17:45]: Can you elaborate on the profile pictures? Because not everyone does that. And I would like my listeners to understand that better and myself. David Paletz [00:17:53]: Yeah. I mean, it's it's helpful. I guess even in made to measure, it's helpful but it just depends who's doing your made to measure. But the profile pictures are important to see and I'm talking about fitted clothing not wearing some baggy basketball shorts. The pattern maker needs to see the shape of the body, needs to see the shape of the seat and the legs and how somebody stands. You need to see the proper the slope of the shoulder. In bespoke, we don't take any we don't use any tools as far as angles or measurements that I think some of the made to measure people do with a shoulder slope percentage or number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, we don't do that. And then the side view, how are they standing, are they regular stands, are their arms backwards, forward, that's important for how you set the sleeve head position so that you have a proper drape of the sleeve. David Paletz [00:19:02]: So that's a really important picture. And then also for just to see balance whether they're front chest prominent or they have big lats, you can see certain things of how you're going to balance the pattern. If a guy is a 42 chest, well, are you going to put more on the front part of the panels or the back part, just depends. It's really all about letting the pattern maker see balance because bespoke clothing and all clothing, it's all about balance. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:43]: Sure. Yeah. It's it's it's about the balance of proportion. David Paletz [00:19:46]: Mhmm. Exactly. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:50]: How many people do you have in these buildings, in this factory for you for you to do these turnarounds? I mean, it must be David Paletz [00:20:01]: a army. Yeah. It I mean, it's, it's about it's about 40 tailors in the in the tailor shop. Reginald Ferguson [00:20:12]: Holy shit. David Paletz [00:20:14]: Yep. Reginald Ferguson [00:20:15]: And how much fabric do you have in this warehouse? David Paletz [00:20:19]: I'm going to have to we're going to have to do a FaceTime. I'm going to have to either get you out here or do a FaceTime and I'm gonna take you on a on a tour. You'll be just blown away. It just kinda Reginald Ferguson [00:20:34]: Yeah. You can tell. And I think I think we're gonna do both. Because, Steve and I've been telling you, I've got big plans for you. So, can you describe who the standard customer is for Elevate? Meaning, I want to find out, is it really just the Hollywood stars and the athletes? Like who's your standard customer in your mind? Because I know you know your avatar. So, who's your profile? David Paletz [00:21:10]: Anybody that can afford us. Reginald Ferguson [00:21:13]: And what's your price David Paletz [00:21:15]: quote? It could be a professional athlete, It could be a celebrity. It could be a musician. It could just be, you know, somebody who just is looking for their first job interview suit if they can afford it. And then people of high net worth. I mean, our suits started 18.95, just kind of opening price point. Okay. Just to give you some idea. And then it just goes up from there depending on the fabric. Reginald Ferguson [00:21:49]: Sure. Of course. Off the top of your head, can you remember one of your most expensive suits that you did for a client? David Paletz [00:21:59]: I actually just did one yesterday. I mean, for me, I I I can't really recall for, like, any other salespeople. I think they may have done one of the, Scabal special signature names that's woven in the pinstripe. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:19]: Oh, yes, yes, yes, I've seen that. Yes, I do. Yes, I do. David Paletz [00:22:24]: I honestly don't know how much that went for. I mean, I just sold a suit, a full cashmere suit from Holland and Cherry yesterday. I think it was, like, $7,000, somewhere around there. Yikes. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:42]: Woo. If I didn't have to do this interview, I'd probably just fall on the floor. David Paletz [00:22:48]: Pink. It's a pink cashmere suit. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:50]: Woah. Pink cashmere? David Paletz [00:22:52]: Yeah. Pink cashmere. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:54]: Wow. I feel that's a direct prince reference. David Paletz [00:22:57]: You'll, but when you'll see that on my Instagram in about 3 weeks. Reginald Ferguson [00:23:03]: Oh, okay. Wow. That's a great sizzle job, David. David Paletz [00:23:09]: Yeah, yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:23:10]: You're going to have to follow me for 3 weeks, Rich. Obviously, we follow each other already. So now I have to keep on looking around. Yeah. David Paletz [00:23:17]: Be on the lookout for that pink. That is very sweet. You will definitely see it. Reginald Ferguson [00:23:22]: Wow. Holy moly. Single breasted? David Paletz [00:23:27]: Single breasted. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:23:29]: 3 piece or 2 piece? David Paletz [00:23:30]: 2 piece, 2 button, single vent, no belt loops, side adjustable tabs, 1 and a half inch cuff. Reginald Ferguson [00:23:40]: Notch peak? Not. For the little notch? David Paletz [00:23:43]: Yep. Alright. And the dusty rose, lining. Reginald Ferguson [00:23:49]: Whoo. You know, that's a wonderful segue. I have a funny feeling that somehow your company has led to, the lining frenzy that we've seen, you and I, as a trend over the past. What do you think it's been now? 5 years? David Paletz [00:24:09]: I would yeah. I'd say they that's a great that's a great, number about 5 years. That's right. That technology has really taken off and people have really, you know, been able to do it, you know, that it's been accessible to people. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:24]: Right. Because literally, there are individuals that will give, for example, and I'm sure you have clients like this. If you care to elaborate, you can, that they'll give home photos, and then these are scanned and incorporated into a lining. David Paletz [00:24:40]: Yeah. So, what we do is dye sublimation printing and, Reginald Ferguson [00:24:46]: what is that? David Paletz [00:24:47]: Can you Dye sublimation printing is you you you digitally print on paper and then you have the fabric and the paper that goes through a large press. It's a oil drum press. I mean, there's different types but oil, an oil drum is best because it distributes the heat more evenly than just like heating elements. Those have a tendency to have different hotspots and you don't get as good of a print but you put it, you just marry the paper to the fabric and put it through the press and it goes through and it comes out and you just peel the the paper off from the fabric and then you just have this beautiful, beautiful lining. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:38]: Wow. So, when I was doing the research, like I said, you deal with a lot of athletes. And specifically, when I'm thinking of linings, I think you have led this charge through dealing with the draftees in the NBA. And I don't know if you want to cop to that, but I think you may be one of the reasons why there's a lining frenzy, to really be honest. So David Paletz [00:26:12]: I honestly don't know the answer to that. I know a lot of people do it but, you know, we were one of the first when the technology first came out I was subcontracting it. I would prepare the digital files and send them off to another company and they would produce it and send it to me. And I think a lot of around the country still do something like this but I was doing so much of it. I'm like, this is crazy. Plus, it was taking a bit of time and I'm all about time and efficiency and I said, look, I want to buy my own printer and my own heat press so that I can be in charge of where and when I do something. So, if I want to do something rushed and I want to do something in a day, I can, I'm not dependent on somebody else. So, we did the research and bought the best printer and heat press that we could and immediately started just producing just some really cool stuff like you said. David Paletz [00:27:32]: It could be engagement pictures for a wedding and that's inside the lining leading up to the wedding with just special pictures. It could be grandkids and families. It could be now we're printing fabric for shirts and shorts and even printing even printing fabric to make suits. Reginald Ferguson [00:28:07]: Can you explain? Who are you talking about? David Paletz [00:28:11]: Let's see. Have you have you seen the, the blue Aflac commercial, the blue jacket Coach Saban wears? Reginald Ferguson [00:28:23]: Every month when something important is going on, I send out my New York Fashion Geek newsletter to my fellow geeks. It drops on Fridays and it offers a quick glimpse into the world of The Fashion Geek. I offer some tips and it's a nice breezy read. To sign up, just head over to nyfashiongeek.com and fill out the welcome sheet. Not off the top of my head. No. Okay. David Paletz [00:28:48]: Well, you check out that commercial, you know, things like that. Like, you can do print any color that may be a a special brand or something like that. Reginald Ferguson [00:28:58]: Okay. Actually, I remember yeah. I remember he did the commercial, but, again, I'll have to YouTube it. Yeah. I remember him doing the Aflac, but I don't remember the jacket at all. David Paletz [00:29:06]: It's becoming a a thing, that blue jacket. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:09]: Oh. Yeah. Alright. David Paletz [00:29:11]: There's there's a new one coming out that's just gonna be you're you're just gonna love. I I can't tell you about it, but Reginald Ferguson [00:29:17]: I know. I know. I know. I know. David Paletz [00:29:19]: It's gonna be out soon and it is gonna be hysterical. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:24]: You're doing the sizzle again. So, I'm assuming that coach is your client. Is that what we're saying here David? David Paletz [00:29:32]: No. Studios. You know, you deal with the studios and Reginald Ferguson [00:29:39]: you know, commercials. Yeah. You're you're dealing with studios. Right. David Paletz [00:29:43]: Professionally, you know, where they need to do something special for a commercial. So it's it's not dealing with the clients have nothing to do when it comes to like commercials and stuff. Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:54]: You're dealing you're dealing strictly with wardrobe. Exactly. So let's talk about that because I didn't realize, you know, you're you're a very humble man, David. So so you're dealing with studios? You're doing you're doing TV? Are you doing film? What what's going on over there? David Paletz [00:30:13]: Yeah. I mean, you know, nobody ever really tried to, you know, do that. Nobody really studios are are a unique thing. It's kind of a closed system. It's like very hard to get in. So, again, that kind of stuff happens organically, you know, word-of-mouth. You just can't go to a studio or wardrobe people and try to, you know, introduce yourself. It just doesn't I guess just because, you know, we're here in Los Angeles, that's just how it happened. David Paletz [00:30:57]: I had people who contacted me, hey, you know, we have this thing going on, this project. We're wondering, can you do this? Yeah, we can do that. You do it and you have a success and they use you again and then they tell somebody else and you get another call and they say, hey, we're working on this project. You know, do you think you can do that? Yeah. Yeah. We can do that, you know, and then it just kinda happens, you know Sure. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:30]: Like you said, organically. David Paletz [00:31:31]: Organically. Yeah. And I would say one of the coolest things, I had a great relationship with this costumer, Michelle Cole, who's a Emmy nominated wardrobe person. She is I mean, she she's been doing this a long time. I mean, she started back like doing like the way in way in brother shows. Oh, yeah. I mean, she's just been around forever. And you work with people and you just have a good working relationship and you have a trust that if they need something that they'll get it and they'll get it on time. David Paletz [00:32:20]: And that's really what it's all about. Just I mean like any of our customers that all of us clothiers deal with it's really about trust and delivering what you say you're going to deliver and delivering a quality product and standing behind what you do. But anyway, I ended up a great relationship with her and she's led me to a lot of other different wardrobe people that it's been fun and she's Emmy nominated for Blackish this season. You'll see I did she commissioned me to do a idea, a sketch that she had for for Lawrence Fishburne for his wedding suit, Pops. You know Pops? On Reginald Ferguson [00:33:15]: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So we did David Paletz [00:33:17]: a cool suit for Pops on Reginald Ferguson [00:33:19]: I saw it. I saw it. I believe this is on the gram unless you have another suit in which you're gonna do the sizzle again and go wait 4 weeks. Yes. I did see the suit, and I said, oh, there's another Matrix movie coming out. David Paletz [00:33:34]: Right? Didn't he look Matrix? Reginald Ferguson [00:33:37]: I was like, Orpheus. Yes. Yeah. I totally saw that. So that was you. Look at that. David Paletz [00:33:43]: Yeah. So they drew it out and said, hey, can you do this? Lawrence, you know, wants this look and I want this look and can you do it? Yeah. We can do it. So that's pretty cool. You know, I hope she wins her Emmy this year. Reginald Ferguson [00:34:01]: Well, if she does, you'll be a part of it. So maybe maybe you'll get a photo with it. David Paletz [00:34:07]: So, yeah, pretty cool. Pretty cool. It's it's fun. You know? It it's fun, it's fun working with the studios. Reginald Ferguson [00:34:16]: Yeah. I mean, I can only imagine. I mean, it really seems like, David, this is a charm life that you have. But I want to be clear, you've put in the time. So, you know, again, I mean, you're the best kept secret, but you're the go to. And now I find out you're doing, you know, you're doing Hollywood. You're in Hollywood, but you're doing Hollywood. So, yeah, it seems like the sky is David Paletz [00:34:47]: the limit. But, you you know, I I was thinking of something, about, and this is something this is something new for me, but and I have done it over the years. You know, a lot of clothiers like even us, but a lot of clothiers, you know, sometimes things just don't happen right. They have a wedding coming up and I've had other clothiers across the country contact us. Something got messed up and Guy's wedding is coming up in a week and, hey, can you help us out? Absolutely. I mean when it comes to weddings and helping people out, I've made things for other clothiers across the nation who have just got themselves into a jam and to protect their reputation with their clients, they need somebody to make them a suit. You know, so I'll help them out. You know, it'll cost them, but I will help them Reginald Ferguson [00:35:50]: out. Right. David Paletz [00:35:51]: I will definitely help them out. You know? Not not for the money, just I know what it's like when, somebody's wedding is coming up in that most special day and you just don't want to disappoint them. I mean, I mean, you don't wanna disappoint anybody but a wedding, like I'm Yeah. That's high. I'm hypersensitive to weddings and, you know, planning planning and making sure you have things in time, you know, not last minute. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:24]: Well, David, it just sounds like Elevate should be called the the clothier of menches because you're just doing good acts and good works and it seems like it's coming back to David Paletz [00:36:36]: you. Yeah. I mean, we're we're trying, you know, it's it's it's it's interesting working with, changing that paradigm and working with, you know, your competitors which is something I do with the made to measure part of our business for our made to measure which is made in Mexico. We have a factory, another North American factory in Mexico. And here we launched this January of last year right before COVID hit. Not the best timing but there are other clothiers across the nation have access to that factory that does our made to measure. And also that opens them up, they have a relationship that if they want stuff made at Elevate because they're a customer then the door has been opened. So we work with them if they need bespoke, we work with them because they're a client. David Paletz [00:37:43]: So that's been a that's a little bit of a different paradigm working with your competitors. Reginald Ferguson [00:37:50]: Sure. I mean, essentially, you're providing service but it's like in a way, it's kind of like a white label, so to speak. Am I correct? David Paletz [00:37:58]: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And their label goes in it and there's this integrity about having access to their customers' names and their measurements and knowing that you'll never touch that, keeping that integrity that I'll never share that list or that list will never go out to, I mean, I have clothiers that I've had relationships with over the past years that I've made a lot of things for. And that list has never gone anywhere. And I don't even have a relationship with those clothiers anymore. Nobody nobody can have access to those. David Paletz [00:38:44]: That was theirs. You know what I'm saying? Like that was their that's work we did for them. Nobody just I'm not handing that list to somebody to, you know, go after them. Reginald Ferguson [00:38:56]: Right. No. You you honor the sanctity. You take all this seriously. You take the relations relationships seriously? David Paletz [00:39:07]: Exactly. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:08]: And you understand because, you know, let's keep it real, David. You're, you've been doing this for a long time, so you're a OG. You understand that it's a very long play. David Paletz [00:39:20]: Over 40 years, Reg. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:24]: My guess. So you started at 5, David? That's just amazing. So when you talked about helping other clothiers out, can you think of like the worst wedding story that happened at Elevate? That things didn't go right? David Paletz [00:39:55]: Off the top of my head, I can't think of, I mean, I can think of other clothiers where something they're expecting a shipment from overseas and the factory told them we're just not going to deliver it on time, stories like that. But as far as for us, we always make it happen. I mean, I can tell you where, you know, Taylor's didn't finish it on time for overnight delivery, right, and somebody is wearing a suit the next day, we actually, and this has happened many times, we buy a plane ticket, we send one of our workers support team to the airport and we buy them a plane ticket. They fly with the suit, get a cab or Uber and they hand deliver the garment because it's too late for even, UPS critical air like you've missed. There are no other there are no other flights. So the only option is to buy a plane ticket and, you know, get them on plane, take the suit, deliver it. Yeah. I mean, we've done that. David Paletz [00:41:19]: I mean, when I think back 15 years, we've probably done that 10 times. Reginald Ferguson [00:41:26]: Wow. David Paletz [00:41:27]: You know, so it's beyond critical error. So yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:41:34]: That's customer service, David. David Paletz [00:41:35]: That's customer service. Yeah. I I learned that at Nordstrom. You know, that was That was drilled into me at Nordstrom over 18 years. It's just it's just in the DNA of the company. You know? Reginald Ferguson [00:41:51]: I used to always hear such wonderful stories about Nordstrom. And even myself going to Stern School of Business at NYU, remember probably this one case study. But as I'm sure you probably know until just extremely recently, we never had a Nordstrom in New York City. Right. That's right. So when they came to Jersey, I remember hearing about that. I can't even remember where in Jersey. And I remember, I think, going once or twice. Reginald Ferguson [00:42:22]: And I remember one of the big deals about it launching there was that they had valet parking. And that blew me away as a as a New Yorker. So but, you know, I wouldn't claim to really know about Nordstrom, and Nordstrom men came a few years ago here. So but, yeah, we just heard these amazing stories about about the company, you know, about the family. So, so clearly, you learned a lot there in your in your 18 years. David Paletz [00:42:57]: And that was not to dwell on that, but I think of stories like when I was managing a men's furnishings and you know that the Nordstrom family is coming in and you're just dialing in your department and your floor making sure everything looks great. And I remember reorganizing my Thai case, just lining everything up like soldiers and, you know, it looked great. And, mister John, John Nordstrom walked in, came in the department, introduced himself, they called everybody by their first name. Either they were prepped or they just had great memories but he knew my name, walked into the party says, David, come on over here. He says, look at this tie case right here. What does that tell the customer? So I had organized the tie case and shifted everything over so that it looked full but I left like one case at the end in the corner empty. And he spent some time giving me a lesson about an empty case and what does that tell the customer? It tells them that you're out of business, like you're out of stock, like it doesn't look good and you know, just lessons like that, you know. Sure. David Paletz [00:44:26]: By the owners of the company that would walk the floors all the time. It's just incredible. Reginald Ferguson [00:44:33]: Yeah. It seems like it says, again, it's embellishing or burnishing rather the legend that I remember hearing. David Paletz [00:44:39]: Oh, that yeah. And the embarrassment of that, you know, that just lasts forever. Like Reginald Ferguson [00:44:44]: Oh, yeah. David Paletz [00:44:44]: You never do that again. Reginald Ferguson [00:44:46]: You know. Right. Right. Right. Right. Quiet has kept I'm a graduate from the Macy's executive training program. I don't even have that on my website because it was just a lifetime ago. But, yeah, when your when your store manager, in my case, you know, comes to your department and and you messed up, you'll never forget. David Paletz [00:45:08]: I mean, we're we're all just, you know, products of all of our experiences and, you know, it's just great like on classic men's wear club which I'm really happy to be a member of just to hear the youngsters, the guys like Austin and you know, I think, what's the Louis. Louis and, you know, Aaron and, you know, I I can't remember the guy's name from Texas, the Taylor from Reginald Ferguson [00:45:43]: Oh, Ross Bennett. Yeah. Ross Bennett. David Paletz [00:45:46]: How Ross you know, was just, you know, complimenting and and inspiring, you know, guys like Austin, these young up and comers and, that's just fantastic. That those of us that have been in the industry a while that we can share information and you see these guys that are so excited about the business and just helping them to further their careers in this great industry that we're in, it's just really exciting. Reginald Ferguson [00:46:24]: Well, first of all, thank you so much because as you know, I created that club and it's a labor of love and I'm trying to build it and I'm trying to grow it. I remember when you came on and then I quickly looked at your profile, realized you were from the West Coast. And, you know, I get a big kick out of that because I'm here from the East Coast. So but let the record show, there was no beef in this episode. But I do find it fascinating because you're in a totally different spot and the timing couldn't have been more impeccable. And, you know, I'm glad when you're there. And, you know, I just wanted to grow. And I feel like I'm somewhere in the middle. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:10]: So you're you're you're the August voice, and Lewis and Austin are the younger voices, and I feel like I'm somewhere in the middle. So, you know, I'm just happy that we have that fellowship and, you know, that it continues to grow. David Paletz [00:47:26]: Yeah. No. It's, it it it's exciting. I look I look forward to see, you know, like how it progresses and and where it goes and we gotta get some more people. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:36]: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You gotta get some West Coast people. David Paletz [00:47:39]: Yes. I'm gonna try. I'm gonna try. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:40]: So, I mean, everybody's got to get people. So David, you've hinted at this, but I want to ask you an explicit question. Why is fashion important? David Paletz [00:47:55]: Why is fashion important? I mean, it's a reflection of who we are and how we express ourselves. We really don't have many ways besides fashion and when we're out and about socializing to express how we look. Yeah. I mean, that's that's what I think. You know, it's just a Reginald Ferguson [00:48:32]: What difference has fashion made in your life? David Paletz [00:48:38]: I mean, it's really been like, I mean, it's been my career. I mean, like I said, I've been doing this over 40 years, so I just love getting dressed up every day, picking out a well coordinated outfit. I mean, I love everything about I love fabrics. I love fabrics that just kind of talk to you and say something when people see you. And, I mean, I just I just love everything about fashion. Reginald Ferguson [00:49:22]: What's the top fashion tip you would give the everyday man so he could look his best? David Paletz [00:49:32]: Just make sure that your your clothing fits properly. I mean, you could have the most beautiful garment but if it doesn't fit properly, it's just not even worth having it for me. It has to fit right. Reginald Ferguson [00:49:55]: There is a quote on the Elevate site and it reads, fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. You wanna riff on that? David Paletz [00:50:16]: Your armor it protects you from I mean, that armor when I put that suit you know, it's that confidence that I feel that, you know, just nothing can happen because I just look so damn good, you know, that you walk into a room and you feel confident that you're the best dressed person in the room, that nothing can stop you. You know? It just gives you that confidence. Reginald Ferguson [00:50:54]: Yeah. I I agree. I feel I feel like that every day no matter what I wear. Mhmm. Why do you feel Elevate is the go to clothier in LA? David Paletz [00:51:14]: Well, that I I mean, I don't know that we're the the go to. I mean, there's lots of there's lots of choices. There's lots of other great clothiers. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:27]: True. But you have a very specific clientele. You have a Hollywood pipeline and you have a professional sports pipeline. And of course, you know the landscape far better than I, But that seems to put you in a rarefied air. No matter how humble you come across, like I said, you've put in the time. I'm not asking you to bloat. But why are you if you're not the the go to, why are you one of the immediate choices? Why do people think of LVA? David Paletz [00:52:05]: Quality, process, time, customer service, and when I talk about time, I'm talking about lead time because that is probably, you know, the the the key thing where everybody wants something right now. They want it right now, they want it tomorrow and time is not everybody can do the time thing. And so that's one of the reasons. But mostly the quality, the attention to detail, the little extra findings that we have on that we provide and I'm talking about like the, it could be the metal side adjustable tab that is Italian same that's on let's say a Tom Ford suit. I get it from the same manufacturer but things like that, the buttons, the uniqueness of the buttons, the little extra details that we put into it, the little fine embroideries or monograms that we do to enhance a garment. Just the attention to the cutting process, the perfectly aligned, plaid. So if you're looking at the edge of a notch lapel and there's like a 16th of an inch of a little bit of stripe on the right that 16th of an inch on the left is exactly the same, perfectly matched. That attention to the detail that the the cutting process when it starts is, you know, just spot on, you know, taking that extra time to match the lines up perfectly. David Paletz [00:54:21]: That's an art, that's not something that just kind of happens by happenstance, that's somebody painstakingly making sure that that the cloth is properly cut. So Reginald Ferguson [00:54:38]: long answer to that. No. No. A detailed answer. That's that's what I that's what I want, And more importantly, that's what the listeners want. What does the expression always be fly mean to you? David Paletz [00:54:55]: I've heard that somewhere before. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:02]: You're so sweet, David. David Paletz [00:55:05]: Always be fly. Always be fly means always be dressed to kind of like the nines, always have your image reflect who you are, Always have the proper accessory whether it's your glasses, whether it's the perfectly tied knot that has that perfect dimple in it, that perfectly complemented expression of the pocket square. If you're rolling your sleeves up, just that they're rolled properly and that they just look great. That your clothes are always pressed, they are crisp and clean and that the collar is laying properly. I mean, when I think about always being fly that's kind of what comes you know, to mind that you're just everything is properly put together. Reginald Ferguson [00:56:20]: So if you're in California, especially the Los Angeles area, you may wanna give Elevate a shot. Their entry level for a bespoke suit is under $2,000, which is a good deal, and they seem to have a lot of care and concern Forty measurements is a lot. If the chief operations officer has to stop your interview because he has to measure a client at 8 AM, that's dedication. Check out elevate.com. E l e v e e. You don't have to be a star to be a client. Well, that's a wrap. Thank you so much for listening. Reginald Ferguson [00:57:04]: We hope you had fun and are down for another one. Please tell a friend who could use some fashion help about the podcast or share an episode with them directly. If you enjoy the show, please give us a rating and review on Apple Podcast. Lastly, if you constantly struggle putting an outfit together and are looking to turn that confusion into confidence, I would love to talk about how we can improve the world. It. Check me out at nyfashiongoup.com, and email me at reg@nyfashiongoup.com for consultation. Special shout goes to our producer, Serge, and everyone down with the Fashion Geek podcast. If you have a story suggestion, you can email me at podcast@nyfashiongeek.com or hit me up on the insta at New York Fashion Geek. Reginald Ferguson [00:57:53]: And remember, always be fly.
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