When people think of "taking New York by storm," it could look a lot like Brian Mazza's seemingly charmed life. He's tall, dark, and handsome, fit, has a fashionable paprazzi-adored girlfriend (Tinsley Mortimer), helps run the wildly popular Manhattan hotspot The Ainsworth, and just launched his latest venture, Windsor Custom, an exclusive bespoke suiting service for stylish New York men (or men from any city, as long as they have an appointment). While it may seem easy to hate him out of pure jealousy, Mazza defies expectations with his ability to seem geniunely in awe of his own blessed luck, and he posseses a good-natured disposition. His suit may fit perfectly, and he may display just the right amount of foppish elegange, he still seems decidedly outside of the realm of your typical obnoxious fashion obsessive. We caught up with Mazza (a quick Google search will yield many swoon-worthy pictures, for those interested) who paired up with Ralph Lauren alum Ryan Grayson (above, right), to create gentlemanly goods for those in the market for a perfect suit.
For more information on Windsor Custom, or to book an appointment, click here.
How did you first become interested in fashion? What led to the launch of this Windsor Custom?
I really started getting into fashion when my father would take me shopping with him--to various stores like Brooks Brothers or Mitchell's and Richards--every week growing up. I would have soccer practice, then go to lunch with him, and then go shopping. My mother is a hair stylist so she worked a lot on Saturdays so we bonded a ton like this. Once I was turned on to fashion and dressing, I had this dream to open a store or a custom shop. Since we had the space available under The Ainsworth, I thought it would be the perfect place to create a great experience and open a "custom living room" under such a great venue.
What do you think the difference is between the way men shop and the way women shop? What things will you be providing to make this experience different and/or special from other men's shops?
Well, women have so many different options. Women also really get catered to when they go shopping. I feel men really aren't catered to at all when they shop. Plus a ton of men aren't into shopping at all--period. They'd rather be with their buddies watching a game and drinking beer. So when we created Windsor Custom we totally wanted men to have an easy, laid-back process but for it to still feel exclusive and manly. Since we are under The Ainsworth we also offer a limited menu with all food and beverage provided at no cost. We have a pool table and a 50-inch flat screen recessed in the wall so it becomes your own private "man cave"--the one your significant other probably won't allow you to have.
How did you learn about tailoring and bespoke suiting?
I was really getting tired of the way shirts and pants were fitting me for the longest time and I was introduced to a tailor uptown and really became addicted to it. I would constantly go buy my own fabric and bring them up to his studio and just hang out with him and I started to learning the process of what really went into making a special garment. I really enjoyed going to pick out fabric and envisioning how amazing it would look when finally completed.
What do you think the most important aspects of custom-tailored clothing are?
There are so many important aspects of custom tailoring that we could sit here for days. I truly believe in the motto the more information the better. Some tailors become cocky and rush through your measurements, thus making your suit basically fit like it were off-the-rack. My director, as I call him, really spends a significant part of your appointment measuring and taking note of the fine details. Like, we care which wrist you wear your watch on so that we can make the arm and cuff a little bigger so the fabric lays nicely over your accessories. I also firmly believe that your tailor should offer you a cup of coffee or a beverage so they can get to know your lifestyle--it makes a huge difference when you're creating a unique and significant masterpiece.
Who do you think are particularly stylish men from the past and now?
I always loved the way JFK dressed. I recently was watching the movie Gladiator and was very intrigued by the costumes they had. The King and the Senate all had super cool outfits...especially what Joaquin Phoenix is wearing in the scene before the last fight. I think David Beckham dresses really well--even when he's dressed down he has a great look. Then there are my icons such as [Simon] Spurr, Tom Ford, and the legendary Ralph Lauren. Also, I'm so happy that athletes are starting to care about the way they dress and are becoming more in-tune with fashion.
What things should a man think about before making an appointment with you?
I want the process to be super easy and fun even though it's by appointment only. We are here to offer guidance and tips at a relaxing pace. Every man who comes into our living room should know that it's only about them and they should walk out with more knowledge about the way they should dress. Also, they should definitely drink up and take advantage of the perks we offer.
What's the number one thing a man can do to update his look?
All guys need to work out and start feeling more confident about themselves. Confidence is the number one rule when pulling yourself together!