How a red bank Tailor keeps alive the fabled art of bespoke clothing
Bespoke is a term applied to anything commissioned to a precise specification. The opposite of ready-to-wear, bespoke clothing is custom made for a particular individual with their conditions in mind, suiting them exactly in even the toughest-to-fit places. This concept is a daily occupation for Vincent Sciortino, owner of Sciortino Tailors in Red Bank.
With two tailors as parents, Sciortino was born into the creative, intricate world of custom clothing (his father owned a shop in Sicily, later one in Rome). The proud son, Vincent became the head tailor at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, and in 1997 joined his Dad at their Manhattan shop. In time, he opened a shop in Brooklyn. At breakfast one day with his wife and a friend, the latter commented to Sciortino that Red Bank would be a great location for a custom tailoring business. He took the comment to heart, and in 2001 opened his eponymous business.
“This is a true relationship type of industry, which I love,” the owner explained, “My customers become my friends in this often fun and crazy business.” With a team of tailors, Sciortino creates custom pieces for his customers, and often finds himself out with clients…fishing, golfing, and otherwise socializing.
The bespoke process begins when a client calls to make an appointment or just walks into the shop. Customer and tailor choose fabrics together, multiple measurements are taken, and in just shy of three weeks typically, the first fitting is done. A couple of weeks after that, a final fitting is completed. (Sciortino has been known to get the job done faster if need be.)
Custom fabrics are available in a range of prices and brands, Loro Piana, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Scabal, to name a few. Men and women’s suits are priced from $2,000 and up, though even higher-end pieces are available, as are custom shirts, jackets, pants, coats, and casual wear. In addition to these custom pieces, the business also carries some off-the-rack specialty pieces—from a new private label suit line that embraces affordability ($700-$1,500), to Barker Black Shoes (hand-made in England), to private label shirts and ties.
Sciortino spends his Saturdays in the shop meeting clients for appointments and catering to walk-ins. The other days of the week, he is at the shop for appointments only, typically because he is on the road meeting other clients.
“I know how busy my customers are, so I go to them to make their lives easier; wherever they are, I will drive or fly,” the owner explained. “I’ve travelled everywhere from Vegas to DC to Virginia for clients…it’s the luxury of convenience.”
Those clients range from A-list celebs, to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company who wears a different custom suit to work everyday, to a man who’s never owned a specialty item like that, but wants one for his daughter’s wedding. That customer diversity can often be an unpredictable ride for Sciortino but, naturally garrulous, glad-handing comes easy to him.
“I love meeting new clients and visiting my regulars, and I’m very happy when they receive their finished pieces and I see their faces light up,” he offered.
As for the future of the business, the owner sees the possibility of becoming more internet-based, a virtual world where clients will have the luxury of designing pieces online when it’s convenient for them.
“If any of my three kids want to join the business, I’m sure they can make that happen,” Sciortino added. Even in that brave new realm, the owner will be travelling, measuring, choosing fabrics, and building relationships…because at the end of the day, he loves crafting every minute.
3 East Front St., Red Bank / 732.933.8448 / sciortinotailors.com