Originally posted in the Denver Post.
Interview with Ron Wagner, founder
Q: How did you get involved in this business?
A: I spent the better part of my career in a traditional men’s shop with off-the-rack clothing. But in the past five years or so, men have really been shopping differently. There is a clear trend toward men wearing custom shirts and bespoke suits, and guys want to have more control over the fit and style of their clothes than ever before. So, my two sons and I decided to adapt and better serve how the modern man is shopping.
Q: What distinguishes you from other businesses in your category?
A: My experience. I’ve been helping men look great in their clothes for 37 years now, and what has kept my interest all these years is that I’m always working with a diverse group of men. We have younger Denver guys in their 20s and 30s who are looking for an affordable, slim suit and want to design a dress shirt with a unique contrast collar. On the other hand, I have seasoned customers who are looking for a very distinguished suit made of the finest fabrics available — something to match their confidence and style. Regardless, when my customers put their trust in me, I can act as a mentor to help guide them. That’s what I’ve learned: What men are really looking for today, is that they want someone to introduce them to custom clothes and show them the ropes. It’s really been fun to show guys that custom is now moving into the mainstream.
Q: What do you like best about your line of work?
A: The grin. Really, it’s a big smile, but it begins as a grin. That’s when a new customer puts on his custom shirt or bespoke suit for the very first time and realizes that fit is the single most important thing in menswear. Knowing this, guys can make educated decisions, whether they shop with me or someone else in the future, they’re going to be OK.
Q: What is your business’ biggest challenge?
A: Since we don’t have a physical store, we operate by appointment in a customer’s home or office. We’re set up this way because it’s the best way we can respect our customers’ time and make the Bespoke Edge process convenient for them. However, it does present a challenge because without a storefront, it’s tough for men to find us. But when they do learn of our services, we’ve had several people tell us how happy they are to have finally found someone who can guide them in their search for clothes.
Q: Something people might be surprised to learn about you or your business:
A: We are a family business. My older son, Ryan, is formerly trained as an aerospace engineer and my younger, Brett, is a web designer. As you may imagine, we have three very different opinions on men’s style, but this has really given us a unique perspective on our business. I think this is why we are so well-prepared to serve such a range of customers. Also, men are always surprised to learn that yes, they can design their clothes. Guys don’t really realize that our affordable custom clothing is just that: custom.
Business: The Bespoke Edge
Address: Your home or office
Hours: By appointment