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|Articles - May 2011|
|Wednesday, April 20, 2011|
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Abraham Lee, who claims to be Portland’s only true bespoke tailor because he makes custom suits by hand using patterns based on the client’s own measurements, says his Northeast Portland business has been improving as well. But he pegs the beginning of his turndown to an earlier date, Sept. 11, 2001.
Now, says the native of Seoul, “I feel things are picking up.” He’s back to making a few hundred suits per year for customers as far away as New York and Alaska, although, he says, “It was much better before 9/11.”
Lee charges $1,000 to $4,000 for a custom suit that is hand-basted by his two assistants and mostly sewn by machine after at least two customer fittings. Certain details, such as buttonholes, are always sewn by hand.
It takes as long as eight weeks to complete a suit, dating from when Lee takes 18 measurements on a customer’s body. Lee has another income stream, however. He also operates the dry-cleaning shop next door.
Hanover points out that for the discerning gentleman, bespoke suits and made-to-measure suits have their own merits. Mario’s specializes in made-to-measure suits from prestigious designer labels. The difference is that made-to-measure begins with a try-on garment, rather than a unique pattern. But custom details for a made-to-measure suit are “close to limitless,” he says.
That goes for the price, as well, particularly for top Italian brands, such as Brioni and Kiton. “You basically can spend as much as you want,” says Hanover. “You can spend a down payment on a house in their upper register of options.”
Spear says Este’s offers high quality, sans the designer labels. Prices for suits, made to order at a Baltimore factory, range from $1,295 to $3,500.
Helmer says custom suits account for only 10% of his business, which is known for its hats. “But we’re kind of a wooly-tweedy type store,” he says. “And we carry some labels no one else in town does.” Suit prices range from $695 to $2,200.
Helmer says what his customers are mainly looking for in a nice suit is the confident feeling that wearing it brings.
“Confidence is huge,” he says. “That may well be the driving engine that the economy needs.”
Friday, August 22, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
When business intersects with family, a host of situations can arise. Without a clear vision and careful planning, hard-earned investments can become stressful burdens.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Tom Cox interviews Pete Friedes, author of "The 2R Manager," about becoming a Best Boss.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE
I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
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