I have always had a love for clothing and the craftsmanship of a good suit. In every phase of my life I thoughtfully defined my style. From my years at Georgia Tech to the start of my consulting work in 1998, I did the best I could to dress in a way that was true to who I was and how I wanted to be perceived.
As a tech professional, I began shopping at fine men's clothing outlets and other department stores. But off the rack options offered little to satisfy my specific frame or stylistic fit. I wanted suits that were right in the shoulders, right at the waist and came right from the heart–as if I had assembled the ensemble myself, seam to seam. I kept searching.
In the summer of 2010, I attended a conference where I encountered a custom clothier who was expanding his business. I was intrigued.
Everything about his appearance was intentional and exceptional. If there was ever to be found a sage in the ways of presence, perception and stylistic excellence, it was him. I browsed his fabrics, selected materials, gave measurements, and ordered a custom suit from him on the spot. And, being an entrepreneur at heart, I also agreed to become a franchisee and sold custom suits for him.
It was through this opportunity that I began to learn about the clothier business. Consuming facts of fabric origins, makes and mills filled much of my time until I felt confident enough to begin selling to close friends and family. And while I had a head full of suit making know-how, it was actually the strength of personal relationships and trust that moved people to place orders with me. An unexpected and most valuable lesson.
That company was a misfit, but I knew there was something to the model. Never could I return to off-the-rack offers, having come so close to an affordable, modern-day tailored suit solution. I began shopping, studying, and ordering from other custom clothiers around Atlanta.
Regardless of company size, it seemed like every clothier I tried was motivated by one thing alone: pushing product and increasing revenue. None took time to exhaustively measure my physique or understand my preferences. None cared to understand my individual tastes in order to produce a truly tailored suit. It was disheartening until I realized it was an opportunity.
Understanding I probably wasn’t alone in my attempt to find a masterful custom clothier, I returned my focus to the needs of my like-minded client friends. Clients like me in search of a clothier who would consider my unique garment preferences, classic proclivities and left-handedness. Clients of a distinguished taste who want a clothier to be as interested in what they want as they are why they want it.
Named for my two sons, I founded John Gabriel to serve these client friends with attentiveness and excellence. I hope I can count you among them.
John G. Durden IV
Proprietor of John Gabriel