macro photography of sewing needle

Meet the tailor: Rich Freshman

macro photography of sewing needle

“It wasn’t tailoring at all the beginning. I was a great sewer. It was almost like a bad-boy thing that I was hiding from my family. I had a fashion show when I was 19. All the pieces were made by me. It took 13 looks. It was amazing. I spent a lot of time making these pieces and it was worth every penny. It was amazing. It’s amazing that you could make those pieces. I didn’t sell anything. I thought that this was not the place for that. I thought, “How else can you make money with the sewing machine?” My dad once had a problem with a tailor. He had taken his suit to the tailor, and they had cut it. He was so mad. He talked about it for years. It was obvious that there were many poor alterations. Because I’m a skilled maker, I believed I could also be an expert at altering things.”

“I went to a tailor to apprentice. He told me I would not be successful as a tailor when I told him that I wanted to become one. He said, “Do something else.” This is not the industry for you. This is not an industry for young men’s. He gave me all the reasons why it was impossible for him to do it. I am one of those people who will do anything if I tell you why I can’t. I will also take photos. I said, “All right, cool. I’m going be a young tailor.” It was my thing. I felt like an anomaly. My city was full of young tailors doing the same thing, and I was the one who was unique.”

“I worked for Zegna my first year in Los Angeles, in sales. It was my first time selling clothes and not suits. I was their top-selling salesman. I thought, “Oh, wow, I can sell clothes.” They don’t even know I can make them. And I am an incredible tailor. Fast a year ago, I quit my job and started my own custom suit business. Because they were cheaper, they were made abroad. It was not something I could control. Rich Freshman was the brand. It was a four-year-long process. I didn’t have a clear idea of what to do.  I decided that if I had another opportunity, whenever I got out from the shelter, I would start another brand. I would name it Rich Fresh, and make it luxurious. Rich Fresh was launched in 2018 exactly as I had promised it would be: luxurious; all products are made in Los Angeles.”

“I don’t buy clothes. All of the clothes in my closet have been made from Rich Fresh. It was something I committed to a few years back. All my clothes, including all my shirts and suits, as well as my outerwear and tracksuits are Rich Fresh. There are many shoes in my closet that aren’t Rich Fresh.”

“I like to think that I have the Steve Jobs approach, that I wear the same thing every day. It was something I had always wanted to do, but I found it so much more fun to make other things. But I’m super comfortable. {I’m big on comfort, but tailored comfort. Even if I am wearing joggers I cannot wear anything that isn’t fitted. I cannot wear a tee that is too small or sweatpants that are too big. Swimming trunks that are too small for me will not fit. I am very particular about how my clothes fit me. But I also care about how comfortable they feel. This is my vibe. It’s luxe leisure.”

“I started calling myself a celebrity tailor to put myself in the mind of being a celebrity tailor even though I didn’t have celebrity [clients]. I began to get celebrity clients. The brand grew steadily as I continued to do the work. We created tracksuits, which were a huge success. It was a brand that has become a legend. Every award show I attended was my honor.”

“When the pandemic hit, I think people thought that it was probably the end. It wasn’t. It was just a new start. My brother and I took our time, and decided to start another company. Rich Fresh was not really doing anything at the time. We knew that our staff needed to be making money. Henry was our last name and we started a mask business. It took off and did incredible things.”

“I decided to roll out some more Rich Fresh. I felt very inactive so I created the Binghampton Collection. Amazing things started to happen. The Justin Bieber music video featuring the peach suit. Video by Kodak Black. Campaign after campaign, the world has just opened up again. Rich Fresh seems to have had a better time than ever.”

“My process is super collaborative, but it’s easy. It’s complicated, people think. We don’t do multiple fittings. {We don’t do all that crap. They just come to me and have a great conversation. What’s the vibe? What is the level of comfort? They provide all the information they can. Karla [Welch] said, “Yo, we need to have a really sexy outfit.” You can do what you want. Only thing we ask is that it be peach. Please make sure it is peach. I didn’t ask why. I was just like, “You want peach?” You got peach.” {Once I have a concept, I sketch it out, I send it over. They may have notes. But, most of the time it’s just like, “Oh my God, it’s amazing!” So we can get things moving, I am the owner of my factory. Because I am a perfectionist, I have taken over a million measurements before we even started. It’s finished when it’s over. I don’t have to go to you, and I hope that I will see you again. “No, I will see you in a couple of days. When I see you, I will have a masterpiece.”

“I’m a Bottega junkie. Bottega Veneta. When I see that construction in detail, like how is that woven so cleanly? Where do the seams go, you ask? I lost my mind. The Bottega mules. They are so comfy. One day, I was in Houston with my mom. I walked into the store and said, “Oh my God!” I purchased a pair loafers and some mules. I wore the mules almost every day after that purchase. I then bought another pair of loafers and have been searching for every color I can find. They have discontinued them, and it’s heartbreaking. All of these sneakers are custom made for me.”

“I read Calvin Klein’s biography, and Ralph Lauren’s. It was then that I knew why I wanted to go into fashion. When I was in high school, I started shopping for clothes and bought my own clothes. I had a huge closet of Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. The clothes were so comfortable. It was like I was a different person when I put on those clothes. I felt like my posture changed. {That’s how I noticed what clothes can do. When I wore those clothes, I noticed a change in my posture, how I spoke to people, and the way they spoke to me. I admire Tom Ford. He is a very influential person in fashion. I met Tom Ford in person, and it was clear to me that Tom Ford’s brand is a continuation of Tom Ford himself. It was like I could never lose if I create a brand that is an extension of myself. Rich Fresh was the result.

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