Bespoke tailor opens shop on Main Street
If you’ve walked by Reeves Bespoke Tailors at 494 Main St. in Beacon and wondered if the proprietor has wildly misjudged the market, have no fear.
David Reeves has lived in Beacon for seven years and has no expectations that his endeavor will supplant his original tailoring house in Manhattan. From those quarters in Union Square, he makes 300 suits a year, a number he doesn’t envision increasing greatly — “though 350 would be nice” — with the addition of Beacon.
That’s about one suit a day; some clients buy three suits a year, some 30. “Often, after a few years, they get more daring,” he says.
Before moving from Brooklyn, Reeves had little work-and-home divide. What originated as a desire to raise his three children outside the city mutated with the pandemic to also working from home. “This is almost an evolution, an expansion,” he says. “I do four days in the city and two days here.”
Of his Beacon outpost, he says he doesn’t expect people to walk in and order a suit. “I have no illusions,” he says. “This isn’t a hobby. There are only about five people in the U.S. who do this. I’m involved with every suit, and each generally takes four months to make.”
A bespoke Reeves suit typically costs $6,000 to $8,000. The goal is always “a harmonious blend of classic elegance and contemporary aesthetics.”
During his 25 years as a tailor, Reeves has made suits for celebrities, of course, including those known for how well they wear suits (Daniel Craig comes to mind), for people with disabilities, for a British field marshal and, on occasion, for women.
By his count, Reeves has created at least 7,000 suits, and says the easiest part of the job is the tailoring. “The business part is harder,” he says. “So much of it is getting people on your side — smart people know what they’re getting. We do well with lawyers and people who work in tech and entertainment.”
Reeves also makes suits that are in far more demand in the U.K., such as equestrian wear, morning dress, military uniforms and English hunting and shooting attire. He says his shop complies with all the specifications of Savile Row, the famed London street dedicated to the fine art of tailoring, except for location.
“We make every suit, and each has 40 hours of skilled work behind it,” he says. “We make individual patterns for every suit, designed and constructed from the ground up. We store those patterns forever. We use Victorian processes to make them, but we’re not austere, though our work is serious.”
Reeves was drawn to the profession by age 19, when he worked at a bespoke men’s tailor in London, Gieves and Hawkes, something his family couldn’t fathom. “Nobody got it, nobody still gets it,” he says. “Even when I was working at Savile Row, people didn’t expect me to stay with it, despite my having a talent for it.”
Reeves was recruited by a headhunter for a small bespoke tailor in New York City. (The first week he arrived, he met his future wife, Carter Spurrier, an artist.) “I always wanted to do my own thing,” he recalls. “I thought ‘I could do this myself.’ I went back to London for a year and returned to New York in 2008 to work in my own shop. I built a website in internet cafes.”
Asked if his British clients differ from those in the U.S., Reeves pauses before answering. “Maybe the British client understands it more, fundamentally,” he says. “It’s still around more in British culture. There’ve always been high-end tailors and lower-end ones. If a working-class guy gets a suit made, he knows it’ll be a different quality of fabric than an aristocratic one.”
What does he wear at home? “I’m not dressing up fancy,” he says. “At home I get ice cream thrown at me and the like, so I can’t go around wearing a three-piece suit.”
Reeves Bespoke Tailors is open by appointment. Call 917-783-2270 Type: News News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.
or visit reeves-nyc.com.
Behind The Story
News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.