ABOUT BROOKLYN TAILORS
In 2007, Daniel and Brenna Lewis founded Brooklyn Tailors with a simple mission: to create the suit that Daniel could never find – one that combined the traditional hand-craftsmanship of European tailoring with a modern cut and a progressive aesthetic informed by New York’s music and art scenes at a price one could afford.
Daniel and Brenna started Brooklyn Tailors out of their small apartment selling custom suits entirely through word of mouth. By 2008, publications caught wind and Brooklyn Tailors began offering off-the-rack products online and through wholesale partners in the USA and Japan. In 2009 they opened their first retail location in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. Setting up shop in South Williamsburg, an area with no tailoring shops or high-end boutiques, but home to artists, musicians, chefs, and writers, was illustrative of Brooklyn Tailors’ unique place within that artistic community. GQ Magazine put it to words in 2014 when they dubbed Brooklyn Tailors “Tailors to the Creative Class.”
As they built and expanded on that community of devotees, they stuck to their original goal of creating suits, shirts, and other tailored essentials that match the tastes and needs of the modern man. The Brooklyn Tailors collection is about being an individual – never wearing a uniform. Whether their clothes are worn on stage, in the office, or walking down the aisle, they should make one say, “I’m wearing this suit because I want to, not because I have to.”
With that sense of purpose, Brooklyn Tailors has grown to be established fixture in New York City and a top destination for menswear worldwide. In 2014, Daniel was named Best New Menswear Designer in America by GQ Magazine. In August 2016 Brooklyn Tailors closed their original location and opened an expanded flagship location at 327 Grand Street, across the street. And in 2017, that store was named one of the Best New Stores in America by GQ Magazine. Brooklyn Tailors also sells to world-renowned retailers including Barneys New York, and Beams, Hanku, and Isetan in Japan.
The common thread throughout my life has been my need to make things. From drawing cartoons as a kid and starting a punk band as a teenager, to going to art school and becoming a painter and photographer, my drive to create and invent has been innate.
Eventually I started making clothes – not because I fell in love with the fashion world, but because I loved the craft of making wonderful things that were not only beautiful to look at but were also things that had a function. I wanted to make clothes because there were clothes that I was not able to find. That’s where it all began, and to this day, I still use that as my guiding compass with each new piece we design.
I didn’t grow up around the fashion world, tailoring, or anything even remotely related to dressing up. I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. Surfing and skateboarding was the lifestyle and shorts and t-shirts were the dress code. I earned my degree in fine art at the University of California Santa Barbara and my plan was to become a painter. At the same time, I was playing in rock bands. That was what first got me interested in clothes – specifically tailored clothes. I wanted to look like some of my musical heroes. The Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, Nick Cave – these guys wore suits and they looked like the coolest guys on Earth. Where could I find those suits? I started to teach myself how to sew, create patterns, and I started to build a vocabulary of what I wanted and how to create it as a reaction to not finding what I wanted in the marketplace.
After college, it was LA or New York. New York seemed like the most exciting place on Earth and we packed out bags. As I dabbled in making art, music, and how to turn all of that into a way of supporting myself, I couldn’t get clothing out of my mind. Before I knew it, I was working in the industry, learning the ropes, and educating myself on how to turn a passion into a career that combined my creativity, love of craft, and need to create.
I have no business running a business, but I do a damn good job of it. I was born and raised in Southern CA, graduated with a degree in sociology from the University of California Santa Barbara, and moved to NYC thinking I would wind up in either publishing or academics, but sometimes life has other plans for you. Danny and I have been together since 1998, and when he started tinkering with suits nights and weekends while we both had day jobs, I offered to help him by handling the business end for a year. If at the end of that time we had a real business – great! But, if things weren’t clicking at that point, we needed to stop killing ourselves and find other hobbies. After a year of working an ungodly number of hours, our little project worked, and I had a very steep learning curve to a brand-new career. When I’m not working on spreadsheets and projections, I spend my time reading, cooking things from Bon Appetit, traveling through Portugal and Japan, and buying vintage furniture (Danny and I designed, built out, and furnished our flagship store ourselves). I hope to start my own line of home goods some day soon.