Master tailor Anthonio Fakeri discusses his craft and how he advises men to dress their best as a personal statement.
Anthonio Fakeri, son and grandson of master tailors, first began making clothes when he was six-years-old. Fakeri says, “I would pick fabrics from the factory and make doll clothes for the girl next door that I liked.”
Fakeri’s infatuation grew into a lifelong love affair with fashion and clothing as he learned the family trade. He studied fashion in school to understand the principles behind creating and fitting clothes. Today, he is the proprietor of Moda Domani (4821 W. 119th St., Overland Park), a boutique specializing in custom and readymade menswear and accessories.
“For 37 years, I have been helping individuals reach the ultimate level with their wardrobe,” Fakeri says.
Master tailor is an earned title. Fakeri explains that mastery requires a level of knowledge about your craft and industry. Despite his expertise, he insists on always learning more.
“Learning should never stop. When you think you know it all, you no longer develop,” he says. “You go into retirement. Fashion is always evolving. You need to understand the importance, impact and effectiveness of the change.”
Fakeri distinguishes between fashion and style. “Fashion is a constantly changing fad. It is the art of clothing at a certain time,” he says. “Style is to define a man’s profession. Clothing is a uniform stating who you are and what you are about.”
When he advises business owners, corporate executives, top lawyers, accountants and men interested in refining their style, Fakeri takes time to learn about each client’s personality, lifestyle and wardrobe needs––anywhere from fashion forward to conservative. Not every clothier takes the time to offer this fundamental customer service.
“In the fashion industry, most retailers have a habit of surging to the direction that is most profitable for them,” Fakeri points out. Retailers push what will sell and make money versus tending to the needs of the individual.
After an initial consultation, Fakeri takes numerous measurements and interviews the customer to determine whether they prefer readymade or custom garments. Custom clothes are about not compromising when choosing the right fabric, color, style and fit.
“Custom is huge today. Everyone thinks about individuality and expressing who they are,” Fakeri says. Do they need a clean look that will be most acceptable and least judged by others?
Do they wish to make a statement and express their personality? Either way, color communicates nonverbally in order to “tell people your agenda.” Fakeri asks, “What case do you want to present to another individual or group?”
Decisions about attire and presentation of self will make a distinct impression on others at an interview, networking event, board meeting or even socializing on the weekend. Fakeri is a believer in the power of first impressions, projecting strength through appearance and the impact of clothing to help people express their style.
“Whether dressing for work or for fun, dress appropriately. If you understand how to dress at any given time, then you are successful,” Fakeri says.
Fakeri sells top-of-the-line ties, belts and accessories off the shelf, but he doesn’t get preoccupied with brands. His clients are not seeking a brand name solution.
“People have a mindset when they come in. They are less focused on name brands,” Fakeri says. “They need to address a more fundamental issue and understand the psychology of dressing. They don’t want labels. They want a foundation of how to dress to fulfill their needs, wants and desires. I offer them building blocks to develop and maintain their wardrobe.”
Fakeri smiles and delivers another point. “In short, people need to begin to pay attention to the way they dress,” he says.