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Raphael the tailor ain't going out like that.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
M.G. the O.G., posted this on the other.

http://www.nypost.com/commentary/65693.htm

BESPOKEN FOR: Custom tailor Raphael Schwartz won't give up his studio to a developer who plans to raze the building.
Photo: N.Y. Post: Luiz C. Ribeiro
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March 21, 2006 -- MEET the bravest - or the most stubborn - custom tailor in New York.
Raphael Schwartz, owner of Bespoke Tailors at 510 Madison Ave., is staying put in his fifth-floor studio, even as developer Harry Macklowe prepares to demolish the seven-story building for a new office/condo project.

Buenos Aires-born Schwartz caters to a high-end clientele and has been ranked by Town & Country magazine as one of the best tailors in the country.

Only one other tenant besides Schwartz and his wife, Rhoda, remains upstairs at the 53rd Street corner address, once home to the city's tailor trade. All the others have left, and a few street-level stores will move out next month.

Macklowe plans to take down 510 Madison and four buildings around the corner for the project, which will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. He's been assembling the site for years and last month paid $27.5 million to buy the building, the last and largest piece in the puzzle.

Schwartz says the builder offered him "a ridiculously low amount" to vamoose, even though he has three years left on a five-year lease.

Schwartz says, "It cost me $155,000 just to set the place up." A spokesman for Macklowe had no comment.



Much of the doomed building is a dusty, noisy mess of broken floor tile, loose wiring and holes punched in Sheetrock.

With pre-demolition work accelerating and asbestos being removed, Schwartz and his wife can't believe Macklowe isn't up to something illegal.

Macklowe is still living down a 1984 incident in which his men demolished two small buildings on West 43rd Street without permits.

However, both the city Building and Environmental Protection departments say he's in full compliance at 510 Madison, where he has permits for the scaffold but not yet demolition.

Schwartz scoffed: "They're ripping up floors and banging like crazy. They cut a hole between this building into 20 E. 53rd St." next door.

Building Department spokeswoman Ilyse Fink explained, "You can strip Sheetrock, and it's not demolition."

Last Friday, one flight above the Schwartzes, signs warned of "danger" in three languages.

The signs read: "Asbestos - cancer and lung disease hazard. Authorized personnel only. Respirator sand protective clothing are required in this area."

The signs disappeared over the weekend. The DEP yesterday found no evidence of asbestos removal anywhere but from the basement.

Someone - not Schwartz, he says - filed a complaint with DEP on March 14 that workmen were removing basement asbestos without a permit.

In fact, says DEP spokesman Ian Michaelson, Macklowe filed to do just that on March 6.

"We inspected three hours after we received the complaint, and we found no violation of the asbestos code in the basement," Michaelson said.

Follow-up inspections yesterday again found no violations.
post #2 of 14
I love this sort of display. The small niche merchant against the vulgar machination of corporations.
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
I love this sort of display. The small niche merchant against the vulgar machination of corporations.
Yeah, it worked really well when they wanted to raise the original WTC… Jon. BTW: he’s from Bs As? Who knew...
post #4 of 14
I hope he isnt getting too angry.....he's working on one of my suits right now!
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
I love this sort of display. The small niche merchant against the vulgar machination of corporations.

Don't romanticize him too much. He's holding out not because of the history behind his current place, but because he feels the monetary compensation offered is inadequate.
post #6 of 14
I thought his name was Raphael Rafaelli. In fact, 'he' used to post on AAAC as "RR".

Stage name?
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher
Don't romanticize him too much. He's holding out not because of the history behind his current place, but because he feels the monetary compensation offered is inadequate.
Yes, that's true.

Still, it's a display.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick M
I thought his name was Raphael Rafaelli. In fact, 'he' used to post on AAAC as "RR".

Stage name?

Wasn't he "Rafi" or something like that?
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher
Wasn't he "Rafi" or something like that?
i think you will cause some offense confusing him with Ravi!
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher
Wasn't he "Rafi" or something like that?
Nah, it was definitely RR:

http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/F...TOPIC_ID=11059

Although it was fairly obvious that it was a certain someone in disguise.
post #11 of 14
they're just going to make his life miserable if he doesn't move.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by m@T
i think you will cause some offense confusing him with Ravi!

Perhaps. Don't want that!
post #13 of 14
No one's really romanticizing him... but I'd hold out if someone was giving me shit nothing in compensation.
post #14 of 14
[QUOTEI thought his name was Raphael Rafaelli. [/quote]

I thought so as well. It could be a mistake, as there are other mistakes in the article. For starters, he was not born in Argentina, he was born in Italy and moved there later in life.

One reason I love going to him, (other than the best suits on the planet), is the fun I get out of chatting with him. Once you get him talking, you really learn a lot about him and his craft. Just from my first meeting on my first suit with him, I learned the following morsels -

- (Redundant) He was born in Italy and moved to BA.

- Frank Shattock used to work for him. (He speaks highly of Frank)

- He used to work for Flusser. He does not speak as highly of him. He called him a salesman, not a tailor.

- On the note above, unless you are one of the old-guard Madison tailors (Nicolosi, Corvato, etc.), you are basically a "charlatan".

- Don't buy Loro Piana fabric for a suit (2x1)

- The ticket pocket always goes on the right


Essentially, the guy is among the best in the world at what he does, and he knows it. Whenever I go there to get a suit worked on, my gf begs me to go - she loves talking to the guy. She refers to him as a bagel - perhaps crusty on the outside, but warm and soft on the inside. I think that is a good way to describe his personality. In any event, he is truly a great guy and a fountain of sartorial information, aside from being perhaps the world's finest tailor.
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