Sometime around 2009, I was browsing the Paul Smith store on 5th Avenue in New York City when I sparked up a conversation with one of the employees. “Nice pants” I said. (GREATEST ICEBREAKER OF ALL TIME.) He had on grey trousers that were cuffed perfectly at the ankle. This led to us talking about a couple of things, one being New York tailors. “ I just moved to Manhattan actually, do you know of any good tailors around here?” I asked. The employee simply said one word.
“WILFRED’S”. He then proceeded to turn around slowly and walked away in slow motion whilst putting on his sunglasses as the room exploded into a flaming fireball…
A few days later I decided to go see this place for myself. At the time, the shop was on 23rd between 5th and 6th. I took a small elevator up, and as the doors were opening, a gentleman greeted me. “This must be Wilfred.” I thought to myself. “Welcome to Wilfred’s, my name is Manny”. Weird, I thought. The placed reminded me of any other tailor. Rows and rows of fabric on the wall, three way mirrors in the corner, a few dressing rooms in the back and a cozy seating area in the middle. However, there was jazz playing from the speakers and that made me feel right at home. I brought in a few dress shirts to get hemmed. I left with a ticket and was told to come back in a few days.
A few days went by, here I am in the same small elevator. The doors opened but this time somebody else was behind the counter. “ Hi, I’m here to pick up, the name is Bank”. I handed him my ticket. “I’m Wilfredo, but call me Wilfred”. He brought out my shirts, I tried them on, PERFECTION. Everything was exactly the way I wanted it. These guys knew what they were doing. I eventually came back here with EVERY SINGLE item of clothing I bought from 2009 onwards. It started off with simple things, hemming shirts, jeans, and blazers, to a full-blown Cedars-Sinai-esque surgery on an A.P.C duffle coat. Wilfred and Manny started to remember me by name. As a customer, this means EVERYTHING. Shout out to all retailers that remember their customer’s names.
I’m writing this piece because last night I was online and came across the news of Wilfredo Rosario’s passing. I don’t know when he passed, but all I know is this, the man was great at his job. He built a legacy from the ground up and it was through word of mouth that half the population of Manhattan went to him for help. He was the 911 to your sartorial dilemmas. If you have a good tailor, hold onto him for as long as humanly possible and appreciate him because his only job is to make your clothes look good on you. R.I.P Wilfred, the man with the nicest pants of them all.
/ This was a post written by Bank Tangjaitrong /