As a fashion designer, Shao Yang felt outnumbered by men in the suit industry and as she searched for suits to wear herself, she realized there was a gap in the fashion industry: the idea that suits weren’t for everyone. This realization encouraged Yang to make the ultimate career leap. She quit her job and started the Tailory New York, a place where everyone, regardless of gender and body type, can have a custom-tailored suit.
Now, the Tailory comes to Miami for a weekend during which anyone can schedule an appointment to have their dream suit tailored and personally designed by Yang.
“I’d been working in custom suiting for many, many years, and all of the companies I worked at only specialized in men’s suiting,” Yang tells New Times. “I was always the only woman on the team. I’d been expected to dress like the boys, if you will, but there was never anything for me.”
With her degree from the Parsons School of Design and her knowledge of men’s suiting, Yang birthed her brand in 2014, before the rise of gender-neutral clothing. The Tailory became a staple for gender-nonconforming people, women, and anyone who wanted to break out of the stigma of what a suit was “supposed to be.”
“I pitched this to all the companies I worked at. Everybody told me this is a bad idea, there was no need for this, and that suiting has a very specific place and that place is in the workplace worn by men,” she says. “That didn’t jibe with me and I felt the only way for me to do it and to break that barrier was to do it myself.”
Every Tailory suit is designed and tailored to meet each individual customer’s needs. There are no set patterns, meaning no two suits are the same. Want a traditional suit in a classic color? The Tailory’s got it. Want a bright, two-toned suit with a wide leg? The Tailory’s got that, too.
This personalized experience carries over well to any pop-up event. At both the New York City location and at this weekend’s Miami pop-up, customers will be able to choose among a wide range of fabrics and colors. So far, Yang has attended every pop-up the Tailory presents — and there’s one every two weeks — demonstrating that she believes in the power of inclusive suits and in the quality of personalization.
Another stigma the brand is trying to unravel is the idea that suits are bulky, made only of wool, and create one type of shape. Conscious of the South Florida weather, Yang is highlighting suits made of bamboo fiber as well as linen-bamboo blends that create the perfect summer suit.
In a consumer-based world where people long for experiences, the Tailory focuses on creating a memorable experience for the customer. There’s no admission charge at the Miami pop-up, but it’s also one-on-one by appointment, meaning it’s completely customer-focused. Clients are encouraged to speak freely and relax during the consultation to truly be able to express themselves through their new suit. And five to six weeks later, the personalized suit will be ready.
Not interested in a suit? Custom jumpsuits and dresses can also be made to order.
Suit prices start at $995, jackets $795, pants $295, and shirts $175, extremely competitive price points in the market for custom-tailored suits. Recognizing that for many gender-neutral and queer individuals, these prices may be out of reach, the Tailory created the Tailory X, which features the same customized experience with a narrower range of fabrics, with prices starting at $595.
The Tailory Pop-Up. Friday, July 9 through Sunday, July 11, at the Mandarin Oriental Miami, 500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami; 305-913-8288; mandarinoriental.com. Appointments are available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m every day. To schedule a virtual or in-person appointment, visit thetailorynyc.com.