We have men like Tomas Romita to thank for the return of the well-dressed gent in our fine city. Founder of MADE Clothing Co., a Toronto start-up that collaborates with their customers to tailor suits that are, well, “suitable” for any man’s daily needs. Romita is one of the reasons Toronto has looked more dapper in recent years than ever before. A perfect suit isn’t just about the fit or the material; it’s about how it suits the man who’s wearing it. Perhaps you’re a frequent traveler. There’s a fabric and a passport pocket perfect for that. See what we’re saying? MADE literally tailors a suit to a client’s lifestyle, educating him on the custom-made process the entire time. Sure, the jury is still out on whether clothes make the man, but we decided to find out more about the man who makes the clothes…
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
Passionate entrepreneur, style enthusiast and a bit of a self-professed renegade – the culminating effect of all of those traits have been poured into MADE. Originally conceived as a solution to the lack of options available to enable men of Toronto to dress better, I wanted to prove that you don’t have to simply trade off quality for astronomical pricing and lackluster style; to offer custom clothing that can balance modern trends with traditional tailoring, all the while maintaining the unique personality of each customer and without breaking the bank. It’s a perfect equation and really an untapped market. I also have a strong belief in Toronto and the idea of locally sourced and Canadian-made goods. One of our long-term goals is to contribute to the elevation of Toronto as an epicenter of fashion and culture, among many other things.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it’s on the verge/cusp of greatness. Toronto is a world-class city that still feels local and true to its roots. Each neighbourhood has its own vibe and feel, yet they all harmoniously work as one.
How did MADE Clothing get off the ground?
Born out of necessity, launching MADE was driven by a desire to deliver better clothing and style to the people in my immediate network – colleagues, friends, etc – men like myself who would have loved to access a better suit if it was available, but were under-served by the lousy selection. MADE originally started as a medium to satisfy the need for better dressed men in the city. Over time, it has gone far beyond the basic business suit and has established itself as an experience. MADE is about educating and empowering the clients in an effort to deliver confidence and, of course, custom clothing that fits.
Some might argue that made to measure clothing is out of their price range. How do you respond?
Great question. MADE actually comes in at a price point that’s on average 30% less than traditional luxury suit brands that are not custom, while still maintaining premium fabrics and unparalleled locally-sourced tailoring. In our mind, inexpensive suits end up costing the same, if not more, to make the garments remotely serviceable and stylish. You may purchase a suit at a lesser cost and quality, but you will still need to invest (often more than $100, plus your time) in tailoring before you wear it.
In addition, we take into consideration what our customers’ time is worth. Most people don’t have the time or desire to go through rack after rack and find a size then go back to a tailor for a fitting. Time equals money, and we work to give our clients an investment, both in the product that they are receiving and in the experience that they have. Custom suits are actually quite accessible to the modern Toronto man, and this is something we work hard to communicate.
What are three things you simply cannot live without?
Music: I literally can’t live without music and carry my big fat eclectic iPod with me at all times (with heavy emphasis on the hip hop, old and new school). My Nona’s ragu sauce: the very definition of culinary perfection. My passport: If I don’t get on a plane every couple months, I start to go stir-crazy.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
The Saint (227 Ossington Ave). Awesome food every time. I love the attention to detail they paid to the design – interior décor, menu, the furniture, even the cutlery! They nail it from brunch to dinner and both the staff and late-night hours are amazing.
What’s your favourite drink/cocktail and where do you go to get it?
Depends on the season. If it’s summer, which I extend generously on either end, I love trying lots of the different beers we have going on from the city and Ontario – from Devil’s Pale Ale to Steam Whistle. If I’m out, then I like to keep it to vodka water. I often like to start my night off at Nyood as a launch point.
Who’s your favourite designer/brand and why do you sport their fashions?
I’m going for a classic on this one. Vintage Persol shades a la Steve McQueen from the original Thomas Crowne Affair – not to be confused with Pierce’s rendition. The sartorial swagger of McQueen in that film is second to none, so wearing them makes me feel badass by association. Other than that I keep it simple while casual: slim-fitting Levi’s Original 501 Jeans, and a crisp, white V-neck and I’m good to go.