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The Fashion Geek Podcast

83 | Upgrade Your Style: The Advantages Of Custom Tailored Suits With Joseph Genuardi Of Genuardi Tailor

Joseph Genuardi, a master tailor based in Hoboken , New Jersey, and Reg Ferguson, a men's fashion consultant, discuss the unique qualities and emotional connection of bespoke suits. They discuss the importance of understanding fabric, fit, and individual needs, and the challenges and misappropriations in the fashion industry.
Joseph shares his dedication to the craft, operating a traditional tailor shop where he and his team construct exquisite, bench-made suits. He touches on the importance of a clean fit and the distinctions between bespoke, made-to-measure, and off-the-rack clothing. The episode challenges the misuse of industry terms, particularly "bespoke," and calls for honesty and respect for the art of tailoring.

Guest Links

📸Instagram: @genuarditailor


00:00 Introduction and Importance of Handmade Clothing
00:31 Meet Reg Ferguson: The Fashion Geek
01:31 Introduction to Joseph Genuardi: The Master Tailor
02:24 The Art of Tailoring: A Conversation with Joseph
03:55 The Importance of Handmade Garments
09:16 The Bespoke Experience: A Deep Dive
21:48 The Misuse of Tailoring Terminology
29:06 Master Tailor: A Title Earned
34:42 Striving for Perfection in Tailoring
35:15 The Importance of Canvas in Suit Making
35:44 The Art of Constructing a Suit
38:19 The Downside of Fusing in Suit Making
41:48 The Role of Canvassing in a Jacket
42:53 The Best Fabrics to Work With
46:45 The Challenges of Working with Different Fabrics
49:16 The Process of Tailoring a Suit
53:20 The Value of Custom Tailoring
56:42 The Impact of Fashion and Clothing
01:02:47 Fashion Tips for the Everyday Man
01:05:55 Why Is Considered One Of The Best Master Tailors
01:08:17 Closing Remarks and Future Plans

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Joseph Genuardi [00:00:00]: It's really important to me that people can distinguish between handmade clothing and, ready made clothing or factory made clothing. Because there's a big difference. If you go to buy a car, you know, a Mercedes and a Honda, basically the same concept. But there's those certain things that you see and you feel about a luxury car, let's say, that are just a little bit different. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:31]: Hello. This is Reg Ferguson, fashion geek number 1. How are you? Welcome to the ride. Thank you so much for listening. I'm a men's fashion consultant here in New York City, and I help the everyday man go from fashion confused to fashion 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 making you look good man, I botched that is to help making you look good feel easy. If you ever want my help, email me at for a consultation. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:09]: If you have a friend who's looking up to level his fashion style wardrobe game, I'll pass it again. Please share an episode with them. While you're at it, if you dig the show and haven't already left us a rating review, please consider doing so now. Your shares, ratings, and reviews help us grow the show and help us get the best possible guests and help more men dress their best. Today, we are going to talk with Joseph Genuardi, master Taylor. You tell me to put that in. Who is from Hoboken, New Jersey. Who is in Hoboken, New Jersey. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:43]: And we are in his showroom. I've been planning to do this for years, so I'm happy that we're here. And we're gonna talk about something the everyday man should have an interest in. What are the benefits to having a bespoke suit made or a sport jacket or pants, etcetera? Joseph in the building. It's amazing. How are you? Joseph Genuardi [00:02:05]: Doing well. Thank you very much. Cool. Thank you for coming. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:08]: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It only took 3 years. Joseph Genuardi [00:02:11]: Yeah. It took a Reginald Ferguson [00:02:12]: while. Yeah. Joseph Genuardi [00:02:13]: Yeah. We had a a pandemic in Reginald Ferguson [00:02:16]: the process, but it's okay. Yeah. Absolutely. I always get my man. So Here we go. Joseph Genuardi [00:02:23]: Let's go. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:24]: So before we get into our topic, please tell us. So what do you do? Joseph Genuardi [00:02:29]: I'm a master tailor. I own and operate a traditional tailor shop in Hoboken, New Jersey. We use, bench made techniques, classically trained to craft one of a kind suits for our customers, using the best materials in the world, the best hands in the world. And, that's that's our job. That's that's what we do. Very simple. We create beautiful clothing, for people that wanna dress well and look elegant and feel great. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:08]: So ladies and gentlemen, Joseph and I made an executive decision. We decided we wanna kinda do a little bit of autobiographical about who he is, where he started, which led him to be in Hoboken, which I had to take the bathroom. It's really something. You know? It's very easy when you live in New York. Six blocks. But then, we're going to really get into what has brought us together here in terms of why should you do something this way? So Joseph, I do a lot of research. You're gonna be impressed, I hope. I'm gonna be talking about things that you probably didn't think I knew. Joseph Genuardi [00:03:52]: Okay. Great. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:54]: The one thing that I find very interesting, and, you know, and I know we've talked previous to this in which we actually wish that we had recorded that. You are very emphatic about making sure that everyone knows that you're not just a tailor, you're a master tailor. Why is that? Joseph Genuardi [00:04:20]: I think the the emphasis really is more about the fact that we are actually making our clothes exactly the way we're saying we are. It's really important to me that people can distinguish between handmade clothing and, ready made clothing car, you know, a Mercedes and a Honda, basically the same concept. But there's those certain things that you see and you feel about a luxury car, let's say, that are just a little bit different. They're more special about it. It's actually a feeling when you drive it. The way it reacts to your input. It's the sound that the handle makes and the feel of it when you pull the door open. There's, like, all these little nuances to something that's refined that you don't get in something that is cookie cutter or something that is just middle of the road. Joseph Genuardi [00:05:31]: And so what's important to me that people understand is that with clothing, there's the same exact thing. You cannot attain, I'd say, the the apex of beauty and fit in clothing if you don't have it made by hand. And if it's not made individually. So it's really important for me to not that people know what my, my title is, but people know what my work is. And that it's authentic to what it says it is. And it's authentic to the dedication, and the training, and the deep thought that we put into our workmanship here. And I have an amazing team and the, it would be a disservice to them not to distinguish what they do from what, let's say, someone that's working a sewing machine in a factory does. So that's the differentiation that's important to Reginald Ferguson [00:06:34]: me. It's funny because when I came here from Brooklyn, New York, They stamped my visa to come to Hoboken. One of the things that I've really enjoyed as I've looked in your showroom, and everyone now will say atelier Joseph Genuardi [00:06:52]: Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:53]: Is really seeing items and pieces from my late grandmother, seeing blocks, seeing old school irons. My late grandmother was a seamstress. Mhmm. So, Joseph Genuardi [00:07:05]: you know, Reginald Ferguson [00:07:06]: if she was here, you too could really Joseph Genuardi [00:07:09]: I'm sure. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:09]: Yeah. Talk intelligently. So I'm looking at all these things. Literally, there's know, there's pattern, you know, pattern blocks behind me, so to speak. It sounds really what you're saying, and I'm certainly not trying to put words in your mouth is that a product that has this type of specialization, that has this literally hand curation, so to speak, goes back to your analogy about, hey. Yeah. If you go to a store, you know, this is what you're gonna get. Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:46]: But this is a more organic experience. Joseph Genuardi [00:07:49]: Yes. Completely. Because it's also a completely different way of working. So when when people say things like handmade, I don't really think that we've done a great job of establishing what that actually means. Because think people think immediately about hand stitching. So they say like, Oh, well our suits have hand stitched buttonholes. Or they have pick stitching on the edges handmade of what a handmade garment includes. So handmade is a system of working that includes pressing. Joseph Genuardi [00:08:33]: It includes, very like nuanced hand needle movements to gauge things like thread tension, and thread depth, and stitch length. And so and smooth lines. And so, I think that you have to think about something handmade as a whole system of working, which is completely different than the system of working inside of a factory or an assembly line, where things are put together by operators. And they move through a system of production. And they're not handled as long or as intricately by a single craps person. Reginald Ferguson [00:09:16]: What is the very first step in this type of process for an individual? Joseph Genuardi [00:09:22]: Well, the very first step is coming in, to our shop and having the small conversation about what it is you're looking for, what your history has been with clothing, what your experience like, thus far has been, and kind of like maybe what the pain points that you've had before. For most people, it's fit. Right? That's the most obvious thing. It's like, I want something that fits me well, and I just don't feel like I've gotten that to this point. And that's why I've come to a place like yours, like a full bespoke, full bench made, like made in house. Because I just have not been satisfied. And so, from there, we can sort of feel out like, so okay, what are your uses jackets? And so then we start to talk about fabrics. We start to talk about style. Joseph Genuardi [00:10:23]: And so what we're really doing is like I'm getting to know the person and how they're interacting with their clothing. And from there, I'm curating the cloth selection. I'm curating the details. And they, they look to us for advice. Should I have a soft shoulder? Should I have a rope shoulder? Should I have a ticket pocket? And so it's not always the same answer, and frankly, it's not always specific to like a house style that we have. For me, it's specific to that person and what I'm learning about them and their personality. And, like, do they sort of favor, like, a British look? Or or more something that's more military inspired? Or are they more like Ivy League style? Do they want something that has a little bit of, like, power to it, or or flare to it, or do they want something that's understated? And so like those little things that I can learn from a person just by listening closely to them, when we meet, directly go into their suit. Directly go into, like, all the details. Joseph Genuardi [00:11:24]: And so I have that conversation in mind throughout the whole process. The cloth that we pick. It gets communicated from me to my workers so that they understand, like, what's what's the feel, the expression of this garment? Reginald Ferguson [00:11:47]: It's interesting to me. I've had a conversation with someone who also was a tailor in the space. And you know better than I that most tailors that have their own showrooms have a house style. Mhmm. But I can tell already, literally by your body language, you are proud that you don't have a house style. Joseph Genuardi [00:12:10]: Yeah. I would say that there's like certain core elements of my suit's expression that are continuous, like through any garment that we make. So there's and and that gets into like the philosophy of of your vision. You know? Like, what is your philosophy about clothing? And so, you know, inevitably, my feelings about clothing and and the way it should communicate get imbued into the garments. So, I would say that we're not afraid to change details for people. Like, I won't push someone away from a rope shoulder. I just wanna do it I'll do a rope shoulder, but I'll do it in a way that I know is elegant and is refined looking and has, still has an elegance about it and a, and, sophistication about it. And so that goes into, like, what my vision of sophistication and elegance look like. Joseph Genuardi [00:13:09]: And we've had very good success, and and our vision is proven because our customers are happy, and they've come back and ordered many times over, and we're very busy. Reginald Ferguson [00:13:22]: You talk about vision. You know, I'm a research guy. Mhmm. So I checked out your gram. Why don't you explain to the folks your whole philosophy behind the 3 d shoulder? Joseph Genuardi [00:13:36]: The 3 d shoulder? Yeah. Okay. You mean how I believe that a a sleeve should have a certain richness to it? Like a volume to it? Reginald Ferguson [00:13:46]: Yes. Literally, I saw photos on your Instagram Mhmm. In which you were very clear Joseph Genuardi [00:13:54]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:13:54]: To accentuate, verbally, what you were doing visually. Joseph Genuardi [00:13:59]: Yes. Well, so, you know, what we do as tailors, if you're doing at a high level, is ultimately you're sculpting fabric. And you're sculpting it sculpting it in a way that's going to fit a person's body well, but you're also sculpting it in a way that's gonna communicate aesthetically, pleasingly, in proportion. So it's not that you're just molding someone's body. You're also interpreting measurements in a way to make them look better, or their best. And so, that being said, if if our job is to sculpt cloth to adorn someone, then we need to use every opportunity to to, elevate that. And so, you know, then you come to the anatomy of the body, and a great suit has the property of being able to move with you. And so if you think about the way we move, it's most of it the the majority of the movement of the upper body is the arms, right? And the shoulders. Joseph Genuardi [00:15:09]: You're shaking hands. You're driving. You know, you're working at a desk. Or you're in a meeting and you're presenting something. It's all up here in the chest and the shoulders. And so, the idea of of a a shoulder area on the jacket that is three-dimensional is literally that you're creating volume so that that the the joints on the body can move freely without the jacket moving and pulling along with it. And so, you wanna maintain the smoothness and the elegance of the garment even while someone's in motion. So, there's that. Joseph Genuardi [00:15:51]: That's the goal, right? And then so the best way to do that is by working by hand. Because you can actually mold the portions of the jacket that need to have volume and and movement. And you can you can set a sleeve in around the shoulder that has its own volume built in, in such a way that number 1, it moves well, drapes well, and then thirdly, that it looks beautiful. Okay? Because like, again, you look at the a beautiful car. Well, what is it? Well, there's the transition, right, comes alive, like it stands out from the the jacket. And it's 3-dimensional. So long answer to your question. Reginald Ferguson [00:16:53]: No no no no, long answers to But but short short questions, long answers. Joseph Genuardi [00:16:58]: Yeah. So I hope that answers Reginald Ferguson [00:17:01]: gives you an idea of what give me an idea, but this foundational philosophy you have, it doesn't matter whether it's a more unconstructed shoulder versus a rope shoulder? I mean, how is this Yeah. Joseph Genuardi [00:17:18]: Well, so that's where our that's where our expertise comes in because what we do is, like, we're engineering to a degree here. And we're using soft goods, but we're still there's a lot of engineering in terms of how we create the canvases that we use that are the structure, the foundation of the jacket. You know, where do we have opportunities to create volume and structure but without stiffness or hard materials. So how can I use soft materials but still create volume and still give a clean looking jacket? How can I create an unstructured jacket that still like sits cleanly and fits cleanly? That's my challenge as a professional. Like, those are the engineering problems that we work out. So it's not that people see tailoring as something that has been done for 100 of years and, like, is a mature process. Like, there's no new things. Well, there's new things all the time. Joseph Genuardi [00:18:22]: We create challenges for ourself to improve and refine different techniques. And and to improve things in a way that can feel like a new vision. So if I wanna create a soft jacket, but I don't like the drape like droopy kind of slouchy look, I still want it to look clean. Well then, I need to create a way to canvas that jacket, or support the cloth where the customer is not feeling any bulk. And that's a great, like, technical challenge for us. And those are the things we focus on. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:01]: It's funny you say that because, for example, with my body type, I'm not very good with unconstructed. I bought don't jump at me. I bought store line Mhmm. A unconstructed suit from J. Crew. Mhmm. Actually. Sure. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:16]: And, it's it's cotton linen, like a 80 20. You know, really nice for the summer online. Mhmm. But I'm not that body type. And and specifically, because I don't have shoulders. Mhmm. So so, you know, when you said that about the floppiness, I actually generally only rock that suit of the most casual occasions. Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:43]: Like sometimes I wear sneakers with it or I will wear a loafer, but the point is that's not a suit that I'll wear a shirt and tie with. Mhmm. So it's interesting to hear that even with the unconstructed, which I feel I am not the go to physical type for that Yeah. That through your engineering. Joseph Genuardi [00:20:01]: Yeah. Yeah. Because we, you know, like one of those core principles I said of of my garments is that I like a clean fit. I like a smart looking garment. You know? I don't I don't really care because to me, if you make a garment that's, that doesn't fit cleanly, you're almost not taking advantage of an opportunity that you have with the bespoke process. Because we have all these techniques to avoid that, right? And so it's almost like that type of fit is not almost not in harmony with the process that we make things. It's almost more lends itself to a factory made garment. You know? Because those because clean fit and and clean drape may not be a a priority in those garments. Joseph Genuardi [00:20:53]: It may be that they want it to be lightweight. You know? Or they wanna use a certain, like, a certain fabric for that season that's lightweight or, or a style that's popular at the time. So there that's like the priority for those types of garments. Whereas, we have all these techniques and opportunities to, like, really, really, like, make anything we want and still have it fit cleanly and comfortably, and look sharp. So, so yeah. I think that, I think I see that as our, you know, our job is to figure those things out. Like, so that you could have an un unconstructed jacket if you want something particularly like, you know, or you like the Reginald Ferguson [00:21:48]: What's your beef with made to measure and store bought? Joseph Genuardi [00:21:53]: I wouldn't say I have beef with them. I, I respect I respect, Made to Measure. I'm intrigued by their sort of, like, problem set and how they go about, tackling that. I think that, you know, a lot of them do really good business. I wouldn't say that I I have any beef with them. Ready made clothing, you know, is it's just a it's it's a it's a matter of fact thing. It's something, you know, not everyone can afford to have their clothes made from scratch. Not everyone has the time to come in for fittings and or pick out fabrics. Joseph Genuardi [00:22:41]: Or or even, like, the interest, you know? So I don't I know why those things exist, and and I have respect for for their own sort of niches. But it's not really me per se. It's not in my heart to really, like, create things at high volume. At least at least not in this setting. You know, it's a different set of challenges, and it's a different design problem that's curious to me. But, I think that in terms of if you really wanna go to, like, the top, if you want the best thing, then you have to go really handmade. And and you wanna go that direction because if you don't, there's always gonna be a sacrifice. And you're gonna run into, unfortunately, a lot of smoke and mirrors. Joseph Genuardi [00:23:42]: Because what they a lot of those companies do that I don't really care for is that they they state that they do things or make things in a way that they actually don't. And I think it's disrespectful to craftspeople that really do make handmade things. And I also transparent about how your clothes are made, and still do good business. You know, but, what does kind of bother me is when people appropriate terminology and visuals and, and sort of narratives that come from my trade, and they they appropriate them into like a high volume, made to measure business, it's just not it's not authentic. It's not, genuine. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:36]: Well, you hit on something. Right? And we were talking about this prior to recording. I mean, the one thing I think we can agree on is to your point, the misappropriation of terms nowadays. For example, the word bespoke. I mean we know actually talking about driving there are people saying now that it's a bespoke driving experience. Joseph Genuardi [00:24:59]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:00]: Okay. Joseph Genuardi [00:25:00]: Yeah. Well, it's just a fancy, sexy word. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:03]: Exactly. Joseph Genuardi [00:25:03]: You know? That has a little it's a little mysterious and, like, exotic. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:10]: But if we go particularly into men's suiting and tailoring, it sounds like you're more than hinting that there are individuals that are using that word Mhmm. Inaccurately. Joseph Genuardi [00:25:23]: Yeah, I mean even that word is I have problems with that word because I don't really think it actually speaks to like, the way something is made. And there's so much dialogue about this topic online and I I don't I just dip my toe into it every once in awhile and then like quickly get out of there. So that word aside, I would say that it would be nice if this industry, that is the clothing industry, could be a little more genuine about the processes. And also, I think to give credit where credit is due to people that are doing hard things and pushing the pushing the limits of like quality and craftsmanship. You hear those words everywhere. I mean you have handcrafted granola bars now. It's, It's, you know, so so we're not very careful about our language. Reginald Ferguson [00:26:32]: Right. Joseph Genuardi [00:26:33]: And I I would love if if we could be more careful. Because I think that what happens is once you dilute all the language, then there's no way for anyone to decipher, well what what is really the quality? What, you know because if everybody everything is handcrafted, quote unquote, then what's really the handcrafted thing? Like, so now I have to If I'm If I was a bespoke tailor before, I have to be like a classic bespoke tailor. You know, like, you have to keep adding these adjectives to sort of like distinguish because everything all the language has just been misappropriated and and confused and diluted. And so it's problematic because one other thing that's really a tragedy in this industry is that, young people need to, like, have something really special that, that they are striving for in order to get into the line of work that I'm in. Because it's very difficult, and it takes a long time to learn, and to learn properly, and to gain experience. And so you need some you need motivation beyond like, I'm gonna make money. You know? You need motivation to feel like you are you are working towards, making something that is truly special or at the top. The creme de la creme. Joseph Genuardi [00:28:12]: You know? Sure. That, that goal is way more motivating than, than a dollar. So, if we don't know what the top is, then then people don't have that goal. They don't they don't have something physical. They can say, I wanna make suits like that. So so what happens is you you don't get the you don't have the motivation for people, for for aspiring people Because they won't even get credit for making a special thing because everything is the special thing, you know. So it's a tragic thing because you need to preserve some of those, pinnacles so that people can strive for them, and then ultimately try to supersede them. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:06]: So when you talk about language and you talk about semantics, why did you make sure to have essentially after your name, the moniker Master Taylor? Joseph Genuardi [00:29:18]: Yes. Because I don't really like the word bespoke. It's a British word. I never used it in my life. When I was coming up in the tailoring trade, it was just custom tailor. When I was an apprentice in Philadelphia, everybody the best tailors in America were just they were real bench bespoke tailors, but they were just custom tailors. And everybody kinda knew what that meant. But with the the Internet and then, you know, the chat rooms and then like I said, these terms, like, became misappropriated and adopted, and so that word was quickly sort of, like, scooped up not just by tailors or or Reginald Ferguson [00:30:07]: Everybody. Joseph Genuardi [00:30:07]: Yeah. By the whole like, every industry. You know, you have bespoke mattresses. Right. And so, I didn't want to use that word because to me, it really had no value. So I said to myself, well, I am a master of my of my craft. I have enough experience. I am, I'm able to train people to do this craft at an elite level, and so I feel comfort comfortable identifying myself as a master. Joseph Genuardi [00:30:43]: And I probably did that about 5 years later than I needed to. But for me, it was a very big deal to, like, say, okay, now, like, feel comfortable with that term, like that suffix master. And I thought that it would be very pretty darn just disingenuous of someone to call themselves a master tailor if they really didn't know anything about tailoring. So that would be a hard one to kinda, like, misappropriate. You know? Like, that's just literally, like, putting a sign on your door that says you're a doctor and you never went to medical school. So that's why I chose, honestly, master Taylor and not bespoke Taylor or custom tailor. That was the the reasoning. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:32]: You hit on something earlier, like us to revisit. We were having a conversation, and we were talking about social media. And you said, literally, I know this raises your happiness, that there were individuals that actually, you blew me away. That there are individuals that are shooting videos, and they're they're presenting themselves as just tailors, much less master tailors. Mhmm. And you said you clearly can look and see what's going on in the gate. Joseph Genuardi [00:32:06]: Sure. I mean, listen. There's so much bullshit on the Internet. It's it's not just I'm sure it's not just tailoring. Right. People are just creating these mirages about their business or about their brand that are just filled with fancy words, and they're filled with, sophisticated imagery, but they're not genuine. I mean, you know, to specifically to what you're saying, there are tailors that really know their craft that can look at a video of someone that has a measuring tape. They're standing in front of a piece of cloth with a scissors or with a chalk, and you just know what they're doing makes zero sense. Joseph Genuardi [00:32:53]: It's not even a real thing. It's just it's just BS. And so, you know, at the end of the day, you can let it upset you, you can get frustrated. You can try to, like, push back against it. But, unfortunately, in this day and age and without the technology that everyone is, taking in all the time, I just think it's a losing battle. And I think that, really, the better route is for us is to focus on the work and just to to just have our customers experience our authenticity directly. There's no you can't fake that. You know? You can't. Joseph Genuardi [00:33:44]: One thing that's cool about tailoring, in my opinion, is the end of the day, the garment fits really well and looks amazing or it doesn't. You know? There is a degree of like, well, the best garment you've ever had is the best garment you've ever had. You don't know anything better. Right. But when you do get something better, you know and you feel it. And so in that sense, I like that, like, that's real and you can't fake that, you know. You can tell somebody, oh, well, you know, don't worry about those wrinkles, that's just the fabric or yeah, well, that's your shoulder, you know. It's most people don't have shoulders like that and, you know, it's not meant to be perfect, and you can make any excuse, but then when they do get it from someone that does it right, they know the other stuff was excuses or just maybe inexperience. Joseph Genuardi [00:34:46]: And we don't get it perfect every time either. But but it's very important to me to. To really, like, eliminate those mistakes. And we don't we don't do many. We, of course, like, we're not perfect, but it's been a priority of mine to really, like, be the best at what we do. Reginald Ferguson [00:35:15]: You talked briefly about Canvas. Yeah. And, again, you know, I did my research. I literally saw on your gram pieces of Canvas Mhmm. Waiting to be deployed. Mhmm. So can you explain to my listeners how important it is, the role of Canvas in a suit, whether it's fully Canvas or half Can, and Mhmm. If you're willing to offer the differentiation. Joseph Genuardi [00:35:44]: Sure. Well, half canvas is, well, can't let's start with what's canvas. Well, canvas is a cloth that has, spring built into it. So in other words, if you try to fold it in certain directions, it will push back. It has resistance woven into it, and that has to do with the fibers that are used, which oftentimes are things like horsehair that have natural, like, spring to them. And so what you get from a cloth like that that has resilience is, a built in there's a built in energy to it and a built in a built in, let's say, force if you fall if you push against it in a certain way. So the what we do is we use those types of cloth. We cut them in certain ways to give volume, like using darts, things like cuts and darts and wedges. Joseph Genuardi [00:36:47]: We can create, like, concave and convex surfaces out of a flat piece of cloth. And then we can, combine them in a way where they provide resistance and resilience in certain areas, and then they submit or, give way or give softness in other areas. And so, you know, the sort of possibilities are endless the way that you can configure those cloths, those canvases, and the way that you can combine them, the way that you can build up a garment and make it more sort of like, substantial feeling, or you can take away in order to make it feel light and airy or weightless. And so you we really were just playing with those forces and the and those weights that are built into the cloth, in order to have the garment drape cleanly, fit well, and move well. And so another great characteristic of the canvas is that over time as you wear it, it will conform It will mold to you. Mold to you, and its natural fibers so that it has it's sustainable and it has longevity, whereas a lot of man made man made things like fusing, over time can depreciate. And they also, what's probably the worst thing about fusing, which is using glue inside of garments in to give them structure instead of using cloth, instead of sewing cloth in between layers of the garment. So probably the the worst thing about fusing is that it actually can change the nature of the outside cloth of the suit. Reginald Ferguson [00:38:44]: Like the bubbling? Joseph Genuardi [00:38:45]: Well, bubbling, you know, I think the fusing technology has has, advanced enough now that bubbling is probably pretty rare even with dry that would Reginald Ferguson [00:38:56]: nice though. Joseph Genuardi [00:38:56]: Yeah. That used to be a problem. Now I think those technologies are very advanced and very, like, consistent. But what I would my personal opinion about what is the downside of fusing is that it changes the nature, the the characteristics of the actual cloth of your garment. So, like, if you're if you're feeling a swatch in a swatch book, you can feel the body of the claw. You can feel if it's thickness, If it's thin and airy, you can feel if, like, is an open weave. Does the air pass through easily like a fresco or a basket weave. And so the beauty of cloth is like the way that the cloth makers combine fibers and weave fibers to give you a certain characteristic. Joseph Genuardi [00:39:51]: And so you if you feel let's say let's say it's an open weave. Right? Like a a a mocklino sport jacket. Right? It's, it's all wool, but it's lightweight. It has, like, very loose weave so the air passes very easily. So if you take that, and then you take a a piece of, a very thin piece of synthetic cloth, and you glue it to the back of it. Well, you've just completely changed the nature of that cloth. Reginald Ferguson [00:40:23]: I would've thought of that. Yeah. You're taking away Joseph Genuardi [00:40:25]: Exactly. What's already been designed into that cloth. And so now you're dealing with a something a different cloth, and I love all different types of cloth. And and to me, it's a shame to take away from, like, those great characteristics. And, also, you don't get the performance that's also built into those that's woven in. Like, let's say it has already resilience in it. Well, maybe if you glue something to it now, it's not so springy. So things like that, I think are a reason that we really, you know, don't use fusing at all. Joseph Genuardi [00:41:12]: We also embrace the challenge of creating garments with even with cloth that is very hard to work with, because maybe it puckers easily or stretches easily or shines easily if you press it without the right techniques. You know, that is a way for us to show our to show our ability, is to preserve those characteristics of cloth that you originally chose it for. Reginald Ferguson [00:41:48]: Now since we're also doing video, and I know I know this is not the full example that you could give, but with your jacket, can you just show for the viewers where canvassing would would exist on a jacket? Joseph Genuardi [00:42:01]: Sure. The well, the canvas is built into the front panel of the jacket. So from starting at the shoulder this is a full canvas, which is we do primarily full canvas garments. It starts at the shoulder seam, and then it runs all the way down through the chest and then through the waistline and down to the skirt area, or the bottom of the jacket. And then it usually stops at the bottom around, like, halfway across the front panel and continues up all the way into the armhole, and it's anchored around the armhole as well. And then in different sections of the canvas, it's layered in different ways to give more or less structure, more or less spring, and that just depends on on the garment itself. Reginald Ferguson [00:42:53]: So you mentioned fabric. What's the best fabric you like to work with? Joseph Genuardi [00:43:00]: I think I can't really say there's one. I love so many different cloths and for different reasons. You know, I it really like, I love I love, like, hardy, textured sport jackets, like Harris Tweed. I love, Cheviot. I love, I could name, like, you know, specific books that I really love. Like, those are great for sort of a classic, sporting, like, more rustic casual look. I love high twist cloths because of their performance value, so something like a fresco or, Draper's has one called an ascot. Finn Maresco from Smith Wallens is, Dorme has one. Joseph Genuardi [00:43:52]: They are very springy, and what's great about that is that, you can wear them all day, you stand up, A little while later, like, all the wrinkles are gone. They just really, like, keep their shape beautifully. In fact, this is one. This is, this is a fresco. Okay. And you can just see, like, how cleanly it drapes. And, you know, you can sort of, like, scrunch it up. And it's it's always going to kind of. Joseph Genuardi [00:44:21]: Come back to shape. It's very springy. So for somebody that travels a lot or they don't really want to worry about wrinkling and things like they're sitting down often, I would recommend, like, a high twist cloth. And, also, it's an it's more of an open weave, so they breathe really well. I love also, like, beautiful, colorways and and, pattern designs of a company like Loro Piana, who usually does more of, like, a smooth or clear finish on their suiting cloth. Clear finish, meaning that it has a bit of like a luster to it. This fresco is very matte. It absorbs light. Joseph Genuardi [00:45:03]: Clear finish cloth is a little bit more it's not shiny, but it has luster, so it's gonna, like, reflect a little bit of light. So you get, like, a soft sheen. And so when that's done really well, Draper's has a really nice arrival line, has that. It's beautiful. I think that's a a super one fifties or thirties. Who else has a good clear finish? Oh, Vitaly Barbarious. They have the revenge line, which is, like, beautifully finished. If you like a little bit of luster, like an Italian finish on the suit. Joseph Genuardi [00:45:45]: There's so many. I love vintage inspired clothes that have patterns and textures textures that you don't find easily off the rack, but are reminiscent of, like, the twenties and the thirties. So maybe like a micro houndstooth or very, like, interesting Glenplads that aren't the classic Glenplad that you see everywhere. And really, I love cloth that has, like, deep, sort of subtle coloring. So you might have, like, a beige, a beige base, but inside you can see little like hints of navy blue and brown or orange. And they're, like, very subtle coloring that doesn't show itself right away. But when you come up close to the suit, you know, you start to see all the colors inside. So when when a mill can do that well, to me, that's, like, really, like, beautifully done cloth is when you can accomplish that. Reginald Ferguson [00:46:45]: What's the most difficult fabric to deal with, Joseph? Most challenging? Joseph Genuardi [00:46:50]: Difficult. Silk is pretty difficult, pure silk, because it's not very it doesn't give very much. So you have to really adjust the way that you're working with fullness in the cloth. Also, velvet is tricky because it needs to be worked and pressed in a completely different way because it's very delicate. The top of the velvet, the nap is very delicate. And so you have to press it very carefully so as not to mat it down. I'd say probably those 2, some some of the stretch fabrics can be a little bit tricky. You see more and more of those being produced by mills these days, but, Reginald Ferguson [00:47:42]: Natural stretch or some Both. With Joseph Genuardi [00:47:44]: the Both. Some have elasticene. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:46]: Yeah. The lip. Mhmm. Joseph Genuardi [00:47:47]: Some are natural stretch. Reginald Ferguson [00:47:48]: Ridiculous to me. Yeah. It's Natural fibers, depending what they are, have a natural stretch. Joseph Genuardi [00:47:54]: Yes. That's true. And also, I I'm really of the school that your suit should not be so tight that you need it to stretch in order to move. That's not an elegant design solution in my opinion. So we we really, you know, often don't even, like, push those fabrics as heavily. Reginald Ferguson [00:48:22]: What happens when a customer pushes it on you? Joseph Genuardi [00:48:25]: Then it's okay. You know, it's not if if somebody if they say I like a little stretch and they want their suit to fit more closely, You know, I won't do anything ridiculous, but I'll I'll I'll cut it trimmer and we'll pick out a nice fabric that has some natural stretch or some elastic scene, and we'll just do it in an elegant way. So it's not that I'm just gonna say no. I'm gonna I'm gonna say okay, and then I'm gonna figure out how to do it in the most elegant way and and how to how to construct it properly and to execute well. You know, that's my challenge, and and we're very capable handling it. Reginald Ferguson [00:49:16]: We talked about the very first step is really the consultation with the individual Mhmm. The potential customer. What would you say is the next step in your process? Joseph Genuardi [00:49:27]: Well, so after someone comes to pick out cloth and and have their measurements taken, then I start by making a pattern. So the pattern making every every customer gets individual pattern made. They're hanging up some of them behind you here. Yeah. Cool. I've spent a lot of time developing a pattern system. Reginald Ferguson [00:49:49]: I wanna talk about you allegedly have a unique Yes. Pattern and drafting system. Joseph Genuardi [00:49:53]: Yes. We're getting our head around ourselves. Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:49:55]: Because you'll answer that Joseph Genuardi [00:49:56]: later together. So I make a pattern. I cut the suit, and then we what's called trim it. So we put all the extra pocket pieces and linings together, and then and then it goes to my team, and, you know, they they put it together piece by piece. And so we'll we'll start with a basted fitting, which is like a raw try on, no lining. Try on brown. Yeah. Customer comes back for the first fitting. Joseph Genuardi [00:50:27]: We make any changes. We take the whole suit apart, remark, recut, and then put it back together for slip on or second fitting, which is like this garment over here to your left. So it's basically finished like 90 8% finished, I'd say. So that's fitting number 2. And then, for people that are out of town, by this point, frankly, like, I'll be honest, you use usually no alterations. We get very close right out of the gate, and so a lot of times, we just finish it after the second fitting and and get it ready for delivery or ship it. But oftentimes people come in and pick it up. They try it on one last time. Joseph Genuardi [00:51:17]: Sometimes we even finish right after the first fitting. If it's a repeat customer or if it's someone that, like, obviously after the first fitting, like we're in really good shape, there's not going to be any surprises. Then we'll just there's no need to bring them back. I don't do 5. 6 fittings like these, you know, other people in England and Italy, they they torture people. They bring them back 5 or 6 times. Like, I I don't have time for that. If I'm buying a suit, I have to go to my tailor 5 times to get it fitted. Joseph Genuardi [00:51:57]: Like you're out of your mind. People it's hard for people to get here one time. So this idea that, like, we're gonna give you as many fittings as it takes to get your suit right. Bro, if you can't get the suit right in 2 fittings and you're a you're a master tailor, like, you got more studying to do. It's not it's like you need to you need to get better. Like it's not the customer's problem. If you can't fit their shoulders or you can't you can't adjust for their posture, like you don't, you need to learn more. But don't don't bring your customer for 4, 3, 4, 5 fittings. Joseph Genuardi [00:52:39]: Every once in a while, we'll do, like, an intermediate, like, a second try on fitting For somebody that's, like, extreme, you know, or, you know and usually it's like, they're fine with the suit. I just want to check something on my end before we before we go ahead and get it further down the line. But this this idea of, like, 3, 4, 5 fittings is just to me, it's insane. I don't know. In this day and age, if people don't have time to eat dinner, how they're gonna come to the tailor 5 times and not be resentful, you know, is a mystery to me. Reginald Ferguson [00:53:20]: How do you really feel, Justin? What do you say to an individual that is willing to spend $10,000 on a Tom Ford off the rack suit Yeah. Versus someone like you. Joseph Genuardi [00:53:38]: I mean, I would say if you're spending that kind of money, you haven't been here. You should be you should be our customer. Like, unless you don't you know, people sometimes just don't have the time. They, like but I will say, it's not really we try to make it really easy for people without cutting corners. So, yeah, we want you to come in for a fitting. Tom Ford, you're gonna go to the store, try it on, and then they'll probably do some alterations and either drop it off to you or have you pick it up, like, maybe a week later. I don't know what their turnaround is. But if you're spending that kind of money, you should get the value of something that is made specifically for you. Joseph Genuardi [00:54:30]: You should get the value of being able to select from 1,000 of the finest cloth in the world. Reginald Ferguson [00:54:36]: The books you got back there. Joseph Genuardi [00:54:38]: You should well, a lot of mills want their books on our shelf, to be honest, because they know our reputation, and and they wanna be they wanna be known as having their cloth in shops like ours. You know? And and I appreciate that, and I love to have a big selection of cloth. We might have the one of the biggest selections of cloth Definitely like on the East Coast. But. But back to your question. Because I think this is important. You have to realize what you're paying for when you buy something really expensive from a brand name store. You're paying for their overhead. Joseph Genuardi [00:55:16]: You're paying for their marketing. You're paying for their personnel, like salespeople around the world. So when you buy from a small place like this, you're paying for your materials, and you're paying for our experience and our time. You know? Like, you get you're paying for the workmanship, and you're paying for the claw, and and you're paying for our expertise. That's all the money. All the money you're paying goes to that. We don't have a fancy showroom. We don't have offices around the world. Joseph Genuardi [00:55:51]: We don't at pay for advertising, you know, big advertising online or magazines. I don't even know if people read fashion magazines anymore. But the point is the value is so much greater if you're and you're also supporting, like, people here in the United States, in the New York area that work hard and have families and that are have worked their lives like perfecting a craft, like you're supporting all those things. So it's there's so many benefits and and you're just gonna look better. You know, there's nothing that they're gonna give you that's gonna look better than what we're gonna give you. It's just it's it's just a matter of fact. Joseph, why is fashion so important? Why is fashion important? I really believe that, you know, I don't think fashion is the most important thing. Obviously, there are there are certain things that are way more important. Joseph Genuardi [00:56:58]: But I do believe in one's life. You have an opportunity every day to present yourself to the world in any way that you choose. And I think that what you wear is certainly a reflection of who you are as a person, and it's a reflection of what you wanna say about yourself and also what you wanna say to the world. And I think that I think that when you see someone that's well dressed, it gives you a good feeling inside because, and this is not just I'm not saying that you're well dressed. If you see someone that's well dressed, you see someone that like, at some level, like, cares and has put extra effort into their day and also into, like, your day. Because I appreciate seeing people that are well dressed even if they have a different style than me, because I think that, it elevates our the human experience in a way because you can, you know, you can choose to phone it in or you can choose to really, like, elevate it. And it's and especially with tailored clothing. I think tailored clothing is really special because it's it's true to the human form, but it's also, like, elevates the human form. Joseph Genuardi [00:58:38]: So you can create this sort of romanticized, like, silhouette or figure. And you can use, like, color and pattern and and proportion to really, like, refine someone's overall appearance and tail because the job of the tailor is not just to interpret, I'm sorry, not just to to calculate measurements, but to interpret them and to take them and filter them into a a vision for for for what's beautiful. Right? And then create that. You're not just a calculator. You're you're not just taking data and then put it and then transposing it onto cloth. You're you're you're filtering it and you're you're, you are putting your own sort of vision into it. And so I have a very strong vision about beauty and about optimism and about elegance and respect. And those are things that I come out of my filter after I take in the measurements and everything. Joseph Genuardi [00:59:50]: And then it and then it goes into like, well, let's let's create something really beautiful that people love to wear and that and that looks special. What difference has fashion made in your look? Well, fashion, you know, fashion, I don't I stay kind of, as far from fashion as possible. But, clothing, I would say, yeah, has made I mean, for clothing is my life, clothing has clothing has supported my family. It's hopefully impacted my customers in a positive way that they enjoyed their lives more just in some small way because of the clothing that we make, that they have a good experience, that that, you know, that they have a friend in us. Like, I'm friendly with my customers. I love seeing them. They're the best. And, it's those relationships are really important to me, beyond the clothing. Joseph Genuardi [01:00:56]: And, you know, this is the way I've made my living, and it's hasn't been easy. I've had very support. My wife has been so supportive of me, and she's lived with the clothing business for, you know, over 15 years now. So, it's I live and die by it. You know? So it's, it's at times it's a it's a point of pressure for me. And, you know, but I've I've been able to face the challenges along the way, and, I think adapt and and find elegant solutions and really, like, persevere because this path has not been clear cut or easy. Yep. And so proud of of what I've accomplished and and so proud now of the the people that I have with me like that. Joseph Genuardi [01:01:56]: To have a a team by my side of expert craftspeople is was like a dream that I actually didn't know if it would be possible. I knew I could learn my trade, and I knew I could become an expert. But being able to, like, have these great dedicated people is like this, like, extra special. Like like that that's, like, one of the biggest wins for me is being able to, like, support other people in being, in being expert craftspeople and in doing I want them to feel like they're creating beautiful work every day and creating that environment for them and and just being genuine with with my team and with my customers. So, yeah. Reginald Ferguson [01:02:47]: What's the top fashion tip you would give the everyday man so he could look his best? Joseph Genuardi [01:02:52]: I would say just buy a nice blazer, like navy blazer or just a tailored jacket. And just even if you're not if you're not like a jacket guy, if you're not a tailoring guy, even if you wear just put jeans on and like some loafers, just don't wear those half sneaker Hey. Half dress shoes. Just commit. Just commit. It's not gonna be comfortable the first time, first few times. Just put on some, like, loafers, some jeans, and like a nice tailored jacket. And I I really believe that you will find, even if it takes a little period of adjustment to be comfortable or to feel like it's you, you will find, even if you're wearing it over a T shirt, you will find that tailored clothing really does make a difference, like in in the way you look and feel. Joseph Genuardi [01:03:51]: And you will also, like, you also feel it from other people. Yeah. So that I guess if it was one, like, simple tip, I'd say just buy buy a blazer and just push push through. Even if it's not your thing, just put it on, go to dinner, you know, go get coffee, Whatever you do, just just include a a tailored jacket in there, and and then you can get started down the line, and then you're gonna, you know, the world of tailoring will open up to you. Reginald Ferguson [01:04:25]: And no half shoe, half sneaker. No. No. Joseph Genuardi [01:04:29]: No. Just if you're gonna do that, just wear flip. Like, go go, like, top of the line or or bottom. Don't do middle of the road. Don't do middle of the road. Reginald Ferguson [01:04:40]: I asked this of our guest, what does the term what does the phrase always be fly mean to you? Joseph Genuardi [01:04:46]: Always be fly. What does it mean to me? I just thought of fly fishing. Even though I'm not a fly fish, I always wanted to be a fly fisherman. But no. Always be fly. I think it's what I was saying before about just trying to put a little effort into how you present yourself and be true to yourself. You know? And also, fly doesn't necessarily have to be loud. Fly can be, like, understated also. Joseph Genuardi [01:05:24]: Absolutely. And so I think that I think that that's, you know, to me, important to just try to always elevate whatever you're doing a little bit. Reginald Ferguson [01:05:36]: Are you ripping on my Badrass jacket that I'm wearing on the Sunday? Is that Joseph Genuardi [01:05:40]: No. I love it. Reginald Ferguson [01:05:40]: Okay. Yeah. I love it. Yeah. It's great. Uh-huh. Alright. I'm switching the order of these questions for you and only for you. Joseph Genuardi [01:05:48]: Okay. Reginald Ferguson [01:05:49]: Here's the last question. Uh-oh. Joseph Genuardi [01:05:51]: What's my favorite ice cream flavor? Reginald Ferguson [01:05:53]: No. You don't know what it is. Why do you consider yourself the best master tailor in this country, I think, be fair? Joseph Genuardi [01:06:07]: I think because I just for me, that's that is just it's evidential. Like, it's not that I'm not a braggadocious person, I'm very I'm like the like, it took me a long time to be comfortable calling myself a master. I'm not I don't do, like, a lot of big talking online or I I don't even like taking selfies of myself. But it's it's it's evidential. I look out there. I look at what's being made. I look at photos of of other work, and I see problems with it. And I'm sure people can look at our work. Joseph Genuardi [01:06:47]: And and if they have enough experience, you know, they can they can, critique our work as well, to a degree. But I do just given what's what I know is out there and I pay attention, I can say, like we there's no one else making better clothing. Not that there's no one else making clothing as good. Maybe it's it looks different style. It's styled differently. Maybe it's constructed a little bit differently. There are, I'd say, a good amount of very good tailors out there, and I have utmost respect for the people that are doing it in an authentic way. But I would say in America, I have spent a lot of time making sure that we are working at the top of our game And I feel and I'm confident that we are. Joseph Genuardi [01:07:49]: I see the results we've had over the past 7 years. Customers are thrilled with our work. We have nothing but good reviews. And, it's been it's it hasn't been me looking for that title. I think it's more of that. It's the evidence. You know, being discovered by me that I can say I really think we're at the top of of our game. Reginald Ferguson [01:08:17]: Joseph, a humble man with a humble brag in Hoboken, New Jersey. I don't know how he got me out here, but I'm happy to be here. I really appreciate it. Joseph Genuardi [01:08:26]: Thank you so much. I really appreciate your questions, and, I hope we get to talk again. Reginald Ferguson [01:08:31]: Yeah. I think we totally should do a part 2 and do all your autobiography. Joseph Genuardi [01:08:35]: Okay. Here's some war stories Reginald Ferguson [01:08:37]: Yeah. I think that would be fun. Joseph Genuardi [01:08:38]: About how I got threatened to be be thrown out a window one time Reginald Ferguson [01:08:42]: Oh, I did not know that. Yeah. Joseph Genuardi [01:08:44]: By a by a fellow tailor? Reginald Ferguson [01:08:45]: No. I did not know that. Yeah. If you're yeah. I think you should invite us back so we can do that. Joseph Genuardi [01:08:51]: Yeah. There's some doozies for sure. Reginald Ferguson [01:08:55]: I'm glad we did it. Thank you again. Too. Yep. My pleasure. Peace.
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