For the second installment in the ICONS series, I popped into the Alan Flusser Custom Shop for a chat with the master himself. Like Leonard Logsdail, Mr. Flusser’s shop is housed above street-level in Midtown Manhattan, and from the moment you step out of the elevator it feels more like a Deco gentleman’s club than a place to buy suits.
Alan’s a much-talked-about legend in the menswear world. He’s taught multiple generations of men how to dress and is showing no signs of slowing. Very upfront about the fact that he’s not a tailor himself, Alan is just as focused on the cerebral aspects of dressing as on the physical. When it comes to learning to dress there are lots stupid questions, and Alan’s goal is to provide his followers with smart questions with even smarter answers.
Through books, an iPhone app, and of course the Custom Shop itself, Alan and his cadre of taste mongers pull no punches. For our meeting, Alan walked in with his jacket cuffs rolled up and his glazed croc Belgian Shoes gleaming. The volume here is turned up to eleven, but tastefully so. There’s quiet elegance, and then there’s “Flusserized” elegance, a term his team threw around to describe Alan’s own person brand of in-your-face style. Colors are a little brighter, details a little more pronounced, and the propensity for aggressive styling a little less reserved.
But, it may surprise you to hear, the color and glamour is all secondary to Mr. Flusser’s approach. First are fit and proportion. He starts most of his clients off in a plain, dark suit, with reserved accessories and trimming to teach them to perfect the basics. Without a basic understanding of what shapes and sizes make you look your best, the rest is a wild goose chase.
He might be most famous for dressing Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street, but Alan’s whole philosophy centers around livable style. It’s about always looking your best, your most appropriate, and most importantly about having your clothing serve you and not the other way around.