SWQ – Who got the idea for the upscale apparel?
My business partner Robert Miller and I founded FashionFitted®. The initial product was the FeatherFitted®, a custom-made fitted hat with a tailored band and feather design. It was invented as the solution to a problem, actually — the problem being most clubs don’t allow patrons to wear fitted hats (think New Era-style cap). Robert created a way to elevate the fitted hat and put it on par with other iconic hats that aren’t shunned at the door. The store at 642 South Avenue is our first brick and mortar. One of our future goals is to franchise this (general) model.
Who makes the hats and where?
Our uniquely constructed signature hats — the Classic Fitted; the Suit Fitted; and the Fitdora — are all made in Istanbul, Turkey. The custom tailoring of one of these hats into a FeatherFitted® is done here in Rochester. We learned early in the development of the company to appreciate and respect quality, a notion instilled by our master tailor.
Who are your most famous customers?
Famous customers include: Lebron James, Drake, Bruno Mars, Pitbull, Snoop Dogg, and Trey Songz.
Your website looks terrific – who’s the genius who designed it?
Tim Winter, one of the area’s highly celebrated graphic designers, is responsible for the look of the website. Tim and I come up with concepts and do the writ- ing. The award-winning photographer Grant Taylor has been behind the lens for the Tie Hoodie photography.
Are your store hours by appointment only?
For us, it’s all about the customer. So to ensure a great customer experience, we request making an appointment (scheduled in 15-20 minute increments). This way, our customer can relax, indulge their inner fashionista, and be tended to properly, especially in the event a hat or garment being purchased requires ironing or steaming.
Although FashionFitted® is an extension of us and the good energy we try to bring to the world and into our products — it’s a spiritual thing, material from the immaterial, so to speak — the brand isn’t really about us. It’s about delivering the power of “I Can!” to people. To our community in Rochester. And to the world at large. It’s about setting fashion trends here, as opposed to following them. We’re dreamers and creators, and so the brand is meant for like-minded people who push those dreams and ideas, who persevere through self-belief and the unwillingness to give up no matter how difficult the chal- lenge, no matter how many times they were told “no,” “you can’t” or “that’s impossible.” There’s an exclusive/inclusive duality in the brand that we’re proud of. Exclusive because we literally offer clothing you can’t find anywhere else; inclusive because we’re a brand for everyone. Age, race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and so forth...none of it matters. We’re all human beings with the same fundamental needs and desires. We say our brand is innocent, in that there’s no bias, neither on it nor against anything in particular. Which is ex- actly how two guys from totally different walks of life were able to get together and make a go at this thing. And what better place to do so in Rochester than the South Wedge?