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Rory Duffy Bespoke - A Savile Row master tailor in NYC

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Montauk, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    Savile Row uses a mix and it varies from firm to firm. Most do a combination of sending stuff out to coatmakers and having alterations tailors and some coatmaking done in house. Some have their own finishers and some send out. Bigger firms are more likely to have more capability in-house, but may still send-out to deal with overflow.
    In all likelihood, the tailors in Ireland are as good if not better than Rory, since they are probably more experienced. The main problem is it add potential problems and delays to the process (like a tailor in Ireland vanishes with your coat because he wasn't paid (or because he didn't pay his own landlord)). But the biggest problem - that you can't just walk in and get stuff adjusted because the tailors aren't onsite - probably doesn't exist because Rory can do stuff himself if need be.
     
  2. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    Do you know if Huntsman does everything in-house? I never asked. They used to be famous for not only doing everything in-house, but having specialists for specific parts of the suit, kind of like a retrograde assembly line. That is no longer the case. I wouldn't be surprised if they sent stuff out once in a while, but I don't know. I do know that everything they have done for me has been well made.

    Thanks. It will certainly make for an interesting video. I look forward to seeing it, though it seems your coat isn't really going to be representative of what normal customers would get as yours is made in-house and most people's clothes will be made elsewhere by different tailors. I hope you explain that on the video. It will actually be interesting because it will show that Rory can do everything himself, so people needn't worry that they will be stuck having to wait for fedex packages to travel across the ocean after every stage. It isn't a bad system, but people will be pissed if they feel misled.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  3. gambit50

    gambit50 Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing tedious about it. Your praise was effusive and all. It was not only I who thought it a bit much without more detail into your relationship.
    If you can't see that, fine. Most are not objective and have no empathy. You are friends. You should have just said that. Why you are friends(because you think he is a great person and tailor)is irrelevant.
    There were many others asking questions, not sure why you singled me out besides that I explicitly had the stones to tell you to just state the case and be done with it. Then, no more questions.
    And if you want to go on about how he is a fantastic bargain, I can't argue with someone who won't read the multiple other posts explaining how it is hardly at the low end of bespoke options.
    And I said, perhaps he is best so then it is. So paint me as the bad person because you wanted to schmooze the board about how your mate who is doing a coat for you at a discount and you, in turn, give him exposure is the best around. There is something in it for both of you and if you were just honest and open, I (and probably most others) would not have an issue with it.
    It does not change his work so why not say it?

    "All I said in the first place is that this guy's here in NYC, that he's good, and that he'd be happy to meet with anyone interested in a Savile Savile Row standard of bespoke."

    That was hardly all you said but it is what you should have said. I'm sure the responses you received would have been quite different if so.
    Read your own OP and tell me you just made a simple statement akin to the above. Then again, I find most people are biased and see everything they do and say as completely neutral.
    It was a bit rich with no disclosure from a neutral's vantage point, that's the simple truth. Toned down and open, then people can inquire further if they so choose.


    Which part of there are other tailors with more established reps, higher op costs, etc. that charge similar or less do you not understand such that you are lambasting me about it?
    Perhaps numbers are not your game. Or since, in your mind, he is better than any NYC tailors, the number is low. I repeat, if he is surely better, then a bargain. Why am I repeating myself? Oh, because you are indignant due to having to fill in some blanks.


    I think using 'tedious' twice in a sentence is tedium personified.

    Friends with someone/something you are promoting is not quite sinister but it is an extra motivation,no? Especially when you don't mention it.

    And if I was so out of line, why did you finally answer the question?

    "He's passionate about his work, with a missionary zeal about raising awareness of handcraft tailoring, and young enough (30) to be that lifelong tailor we all dream of having."

    That is typical Billyburg hyperbole. It smacks of the usual denizen of the area who acts as if they invented butchering whole animals, cooking food that isn't commercial grade awful and pretty much any skill that has been done for a very long time before them and was and is currently done better elsewhere. And most of them have some bloody attitude to boot. I am not saying Rory is one of them. Maybe this was all your doing. He might be the greatest bespoke option in NYC and elsewhere and a humble man .And perhaps you were just a bit too enthusiastic and lost sight of how it comes off. So, now it is all there, people may visit him and if they do, I hope they report their thoughts.

    For me, honest people will give you the downside and potholes while stating the upside plainly, openly and confidently.
    Salesman type 'pie in the sky' stuff creates skepticism for me and anyone who is not a fool. Fortunately, there are many fools who take what was said as gospel.


    And attacking me for asking an obvious question does not fortify your position in any way.

    Looking forward to additional reports and the video.
     
    3 people like this.
  4. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Well-Known Member

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    Dopey -
    It was always my understanding that everything was done in house (and I know that they have the capability to do everything in house). Your point about overflow being send outside is interesting. I'm visiting Huntsman next month and will ask the question.
     
  5. quar

    quar Well-Known Member

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    5K USD + NYC Tax is priced at the upper end of the spectrum.

    I suspect that his product will be hard to sell.
     
  6. gherrmann

    gherrmann Well-Known Member

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    Although I can't speak for others, I can say for myself that I'm not suggesting there was a bad motive. But would you not agree, in retrospect, that the entire situation amounts to circumstances that, in the interest of full disclosure, probably ought to have been revealed in your initial post on the subject? You can't entirely blame people for taking a dim view of your comments when you start out by praising this fellow effusively, while telling only part of the story behind your relationship with him, and only later reveal that you are involved in menswear marketing/promotional activities by trade and that you're receiving financial consideration from him for preparing promotional materials concerning his services. I think most folks would view that as information they would like to know in deciding what to make of someone's opinions about a tailor (or other service provider).

    Just sayin'
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Montauk

    Montauk Well-Known Member

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    Look, folks--I started a very clearly promotional thread about Rory, promising video at a later date illustrating what I believe to the quality of his work. I may have been too effusive in praising him without said evidence. Whatever. The point most of you seem to be obstinately missing is that the thread was never about me or my relationship to Rory--it's about HIS clothes. Go check them out if you're interested. Or suspicious. Or shocked--SHOCKED!--about his pricing.

    I imagine that for many of you its an entirely academic matter, and you simply enjoy collecting information and opinions on various tailors like so many kids trading baseball cards on the playground. (Don't get your panties in a bunch if I'm talking to you--I'm kinda that way too.)

    The fact of the matter is that it's very difficult for a real tailor to establish himself in a market saturated by frontmen peddling free booze and false "bespoke." Rory's the real thing, and perhaps instead of hounding me for affronting SF's Sacred Code of Sartorial Objectivity, you might try holding your horses and give him the benefit of the doubt. For Pete's sake--it's HARD to contribute something of real worth to this community instead of just adding noise to the echo chamber. Rory's trying, and so am I.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  8. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    In my first post in this thread, I mentioned how you were doing Rory a disservice by puffing him in a way he would probably not be comfortable. I think you are still doing it. He is probably a decent guy and a skilled tailor and would be better off had you simply posted your video of HIM working, rather than posting your marketing spiel about "the only Row-trained master tailor working in NYC." Frankly, I am not holding it against him, because I assume he had no idea what you were doing or saying about him (and other tailors), and that he was giving you a discount in exchange for your video, not your promotional posts. I hope that is right.
    Why not drop this until your sportcoat and your video are done and then you can post the work for all to see? You are right. This shouldn't be about you. That is unfair to Rory.

    I, for one, would love it if there were more skilled tailors working in New York and certainly wish him success.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
    6 people like this.
  9. Grammaton Cleric

    Grammaton Cleric Well-Known Member

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    +100.

    Montauk - don't doubt your intentions, but jst let this go for now, and revert back with the video in a few months.

    As an aside, your initially posts did imply his superiority to other NY tailors, coupled with a more economical product. When both were proved false, you have hardly any place to get snippy.
     
  10. Threadhead

    Threadhead Well-Known Member

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    Pedigrees of any kind in the clothing business should be taken with a grain of salt. It all depends on the individual. Remember Jason Amesbury from Lobb or various makers/alterations from A&S or other Savile Row houses? Ambrosi anyone? They were touted up and down the message boards and couldn't deliver product and were in way over their heads. In NYC, how much good can come from a Duncan Quinn pedigree, a con man who doesn't pay his bills? How about a background from Tom James? :fu:
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  11. PhiloVance

    PhiloVance Well-Known Member

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    Based on the pics i've seen on tumblr lately, it looks like ambrosi has connected with the boys at the armoury. Perhaps his service is better now?
     
  12. David Reeves

    David Reeves Well-Known Member

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    Maybe people shouldn't be so cynical, Its just a guy setting up a clothing business at the end of the day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  13. Montauk

    Montauk Well-Known Member

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    The following are Rory's own corrections and responses to this thread:

    David Reeves and I worked together on two projects in 2011. All photos of my
    works have been removed from his affiliated sites. New York tailors need
    entrepreneurs and salespersons as passionate about tailoring as David.
    I wish him all the best with his MTM line and congratulations on his studio.

    I am of course humbled to be mentioned in the same sentence as the great
    Lenny Logsdail. I have meet Lenny on a few occasions, once at the Henry
    Lessers Christmas party in London and again at his 53rd St location in the
    city. Len has a reputation in the industry that I aspire to.

    David Taub is another great Savile Row tailor. I have know David for many years,
    and he did me the honour of attend my wedding party. His talent knows no
    bounds, being skilled in both men's and women's cuts. His coats are things of
    beauty, made in the true Savile Row tradition. I follow David's blog online and
    consider him a good friend.

    The following is the production process of my own suits:

    The client is met and measured by me in NYC. Using the measurements and
    configuration notes I draft a paper pattern. The canvas and collar are
    cut and padded in my workshop for the try-on. Cloth ordered from
    England is shipped to Ireland and the pattern is sent on from NYC. The
    cloth is cut and the pockets are put in the foreparts and lining. The trouser and
    waistcoat try-ons are also made in Ireland. When the coat foreparts are sewn
    with pockets, it is sent back to me NYC where the canvas is added and the
    try-on prepared. After two fittings, the try-ons are ripped and remarked for
    finishing. I then hand pad the lapels, shape the edge, draw the front edge tape
    and apply the facing.

    The trousers and waistcoat remains in NYC for finishing while the coat is sent
    back for lining. The coat returns to NY three weeks later with the sleeves basted
    in ready for the final fitting. Any alterations required are carried out by myself in
    the workshop. My assistant hand sews the lining and labels. I sew most of the
    buttonholes as do the final pressing of all garments. My assistant applies the
    curtains and waistband to the trousers and cross stitches the hem with silk
    thread.

    Two hole horn buttons are then sewn on before being hand delivered to
    the client. It typical takes up to eight weeks for the first suit and
    4-6 weeks for each suit there after.
     
    2 people like this.
  14. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Well-Known Member

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    It's good to see a new, young tailor striking-out on his own.

    It's a tough business in a competitive market. But everyone had to start somewhere.

    About the price. Low price is not his selling point. This can be a good thing in that he is not under-pricing himself as did a well-known "Savile Row" tailor.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  15. Montauk

    Montauk Well-Known Member

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    After discussing with me the criticism (constructive and otherwise) he's received in this thread, Rory has reconsidered his pricing. $5000 will now buy a truly handcrafted suit, made entirely by Rory in Brooklyn. This is the level of craftsmanship that folks will be able to observe for themselves in my upcoming web video series about the coat I've commissioned. Rory will continue to offer the partially "Made In Ireland" bespoke as described in detail above (analogous to Savile Row's own process) for $3900. Both prices include premium cloth (i.e. with cashmere).

    As you say, Mark, this is indeed a tough business in a competitive market, and Rory's only acknowledging that he may need to start a few rungs further down than he'd anticipated.

    So on top of being the real deal, he is now--by any knowledgeable measure--a very good one.
     
  16. gegarrenton

    gegarrenton Well-Known Member

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  17. Montauk

    Montauk Well-Known Member

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    No. It's the internet. Even worse, it's Styleforum. Don't you have something more important to do?
     
  18. gegarrenton

    gegarrenton Well-Known Member

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    There is no way you can sit there with a straight face and tell us that it seems remotely normal that a tailor just lops a grand off his price because someone who is purporting to just be a "customer" says so. That's patently ridiculous. And it isn't even taking account the misleading post at the beginning of this thread or your whine over at LL that no one was taking you seriously and the resultant responses that are inline with the ones in this thread.
     
    2 people like this.
  19. poorsod

    poorsod Well-Known Member

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    The thing you don't understand is that there is inherent risk in bespoke. You have to be willing to loose the deposit. There are all sorts of things that can go wrong and the risk is even greater for a 1 man show. He could get sick, injured, jailed (e.g. Des Merrion), abscond and etc., and there is no back up. $5k is a lot to bet on one guy with no track record and there are many options, particularly since the major tailoring houses visit NYC.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013

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