MR MAGAZINE: Making Plans for Nigel Curtiss
By John Russel Jones - read the full story here
Custom tailoring might normally conjure visions of tufted leather couches and heavy oak cabinetry with a distinctive Savile Row vibe. Leave all but the British accent behind, though, when visiting the shop of New York City Meatpacking District clothier Nigel Curtiss. The location alone — steps away from the Apple Store and Soho House — puts the store on par with designer brands like Diane Von Furstenberg and Rag & Bone. The interior of the boutique feels like a jewel box of sorts, with the polished concrete floors and white walls one might expect of one of the neighborhood’s art galleries, offset by glowing antique Japanese screens hung high on the walls, and a rich blue den in the rear of the store for one-on-one consultation.
Curtiss comes to the world of retail from the celebrity dressing and styling milieu. His star-studded client list still includes Derek Jeter, Simon LeBon, Lily Aldridge, Kyle McLachlan, David Schwimmer, Maryna Linchuk, and Jeff Gordon, as well as captains of industry and technology. When his selections grew beyond customizing typical tailored clothing into sportswear, he saw an opportunity to bring his talents to a wider market via his own shop. In November, he expanded into ready-to-wear alongside his wife and business partner, Monica Mitro, who was the former executive vice president of brand communications and events at Victoria’s Secret.
He began his career working with Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garcons, as well as with Yves St Laurent and Kenzo, so he brings a disciplined, creative, rarified eye to the design process. Curtiss remains committed to the simple idea of small, limited editions of elegant, highly wearable garments for men and women. Curtiss has created pajama-like gender-fluid garments like easy-to-wear floral and leopard-print silk track pants ($395 for the pants, $645 for a set), that are ostensibly sleepwear, but that can be easily worn out on the town (apparently a favorite of Micky Rourke), and indulgent cashmere tracksuits (around $950). He also sells a pair of Italian cotton poplin boxers ($125) that are so comfortable we’re expecting to see them being worn out and about this summer paired with a simple white cotton shirt. One of Curtiss’s sharkskin suits retails for $3,500, an unstructured cashmere jacket, $2,695, and men’s wool Positano pants, $450.
Beyond men’s and women’s clothing and custom, Curtiss also has the ability to create custom alligator bags: oversized women’s purses and some small leather goods were on display in the store, but he’d just created a black alligator duffel for a client. Another unexpected, yet delightful surprise in the shop is a display of high-end bedding: The shop will custom order sheets from Peter Reed, holder of the warrant for bed linens for Queen Elizabeth.