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This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Taavo Somer Dresses Up

Chances are, you’ve heard of Taavo Somer, the entrepreneurial trend- soothsayer who inspires cultish devotion. His expanding empire—Freemans Sporting Club for menswear, F.S.C. Barber, the newer Isa restaurant in Brooklyn—now includes FSC Benchmade Bespoke, an atelier hidden (one literally must pass through a swinging bookcase, Sherlock Holmes–style) on the second floor of his original Freemans restaurant on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Like most of his projects, it’s a group effort, with Kent Kilroe handling the business end, Alex Young managing the day-to-day and master tailor Felix Aybar completing the equation. “We do not take the term ‘bespoke’ lightly—we’re not trying to capitalize on a trend,” Kilroe says. Aybar alone measures clients, and suits are made completely by hand in this space, requiring 45 to 60 hours of labor. “The benefits we’re seeing from this program are inspiring us to bring other manufacturing and craft in-house,” Somer says. But has it inspired him—the beard-and-plaid-shirt guy who launched a thousand beard-and-plaid-shirt guys—to dress up? “Eventually,” he says. “I’m on a wait list to get my first bespoke suit. They tell me in December.” Bespoke suits start at $3,950; 212-673-3209; shop.freemanssportingclub.com.

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