Inherent Clothier is a Colorado Springs-based Custom Men & # 39; s Clothier dedicated to making men not only look good, but also feel good. (Video by Katie Klann)
It was a difficult time for Taylor Draper and his wife.
The relationship was strained, their marriage at a crossroads – "a situation in which you have to stay or leave," says Draper.
They decided to put the work in to save their relationship – and today, he says, they have "a great marriage and two beautiful children". But therapy was difficult. Sharing thoughts and emotions was not a matter of course for Taylor. He had been taught to "man" himself in a crisis rather than releasing his emotions.
One thing that helped him get through this time a few years ago: his fashionable wardrobe.
"During that period of rebuilding and therapy," he says, "I realized that the only thing that gave me confidence was my clothes … When I put my suit on in the morning, I said," Yes I can conquer anything I need. & # 39; ""
He commissioned some research and found studies that link dressing well with overcoming problems such as depression and anxiety. And so the seed was planted for Inherent Clothier – a draper with a mission to make men not only look good, but feel good too.
"We chose the name Inherent," says Draper, "because we believe that there is trust in every man, and what our clothes want to bring to life is trust in themselves."
Draper, 32, came to Colorado Springs from Alaska as a teenager. With a longstanding interest in design, he received a degree in graphic design from Pikes Peak Community College. He moved to Denver and worked in graphic and web design and marketing. There he met his wife, Lynn. After they got married, they returned to Colorado Springs, where they both had families. Draper went into business with his brother-in-law and they founded Wolf & Key, a digital marketing agency. He sold his part of the business to create Inherent Clothier.
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While he was already interested in menswear and "the gentlemanly lifestyle", he had a lot to learn in the months between his registration in October 2019 and its founding in May 2020.
Draper delved deep into the industry, taking courses and having zoom sessions with Italian tailors.
“I still study every day,” he says, “but I've learned a lot about the tactile side of tailoring, the different fabrics. I owned a cloth mill that zoomed me in for four hours; he sent me a box of cloth and really took me through them all. "
Inherent Clothier started as an online virtual customization business. Unfortunately, it started at a time when the pandemic was coming, when men were more likely to stay home than go to the office, wearing sweatpants rather than suits.
"It was hard to get off the ground," said Draper. "At the same time, the pressures of the pandemic have brought mental health to the fore – and people, he says, have taken an interest in the idea of clothing and mental wellbeing.
One such person was Janie Bryant, an Emmy Award-winning costume designer best known for her televised work on Mad Men and Deadwood. Bryant saw a press release about the opening of Inherent, was intrigued by his mission, and contacted Draper. That contact became a collaboration with the publishing of Inherents Bryant Draper Collection.
It's just a lucky coincidence that Draper shares his last name with Don Draper, the protagonist Jon Hamm plays in AMC's "Mad Men". But it was also "a big selling point" for Bryant, who could use the name Draper in her line without violating TV rights.
Bryant, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, cited her work on "Mad Men" and "Deadwood" as influences on the clothing line, as well as on 1930s and 40s styles and Hollywood filmmaking. One offer is the $ 1,295 Bogie Dinner Jacket.
"Taylor is such a huge 'Mad Men' fan and I'm a huge menswear fan," Bryant told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's like a dream come true for both of us."
Inherent Clothier opened its first stationary location in downtown Colorado Springs in March. It's the first in a plan to open six stores in seven years, including one in Los Angeles, where Bryant can stop by. "Then in New York," says Draper. "Maybe Atlanta. Then we would really like to be in London and France and also in Milan."
These places are big cities; Colorado Springs is not. But he thought, "If I can get this to work, it'll work everywhere. And this is my backyard; I love this city to death."
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Inherent largely sees two types of customers. One, Draper says, are finance and real estate men who are used to wearing suits and regularly updating their wardrobes. "Then younger people come in and say, 'I didn't know you could wear a suit like this or that a suit could look this cool.'" "
Men rebelled by not wearing suits; Now it's almost the opposite, says Draper. "There was a big movement going on against 'the man' in the 1970s. The suit got such a bad rap. If you wore a suit, you were a corporate, stuffy guy, portraying & # 39; # 39; the man & # 39 ;. "
In reality, he says: "A suit is the most versatile piece of clothing a man has at his disposal." You can dress up – "I love the look of a blazer and jeans, and a t-shirt and sneakers" – or you can shine in a full suit.
When he first donned a bespoke suit, "I felt like a superhero," said Draper.
And he knows that others think the same way.
"Every time someone goes shopping with us, I can see how their entire behavior changes when I put this jacket on," he said. "Your chest goes a little higher, you sit straighter, you have a big smile on your face. It can only be said that trust only flows out of you."
"It's your armor, if you will," says Noah Bartron, general manager. "It just makes you feel more confident and chase what you want in life."
Draper's goal is to make shopping at Inherent not just a transaction, but an experience.
"We don't like it," he says, "when someone comes in and buys something without talking to us and leaving. We actually want to build a relationship and get to know them and help them build a permanent wardrobe."
Bartron, who was previously Connecticut's shop director, shares this goal. He enjoys helping men figure out "what they could and should wear" based on their lifestyle and goals. Barton was also drawn to Inherent's mission to provide and empower men with bespoke menswear and accessories "to raise awareness of the spiritual wellbeing of men". (The Inherent website deals mostly with mental wellbeing and mental wellbeing, avoiding the terms mental health and mental illness, terms that some find threatening or too narrow, says Draper.)
Ten percent of Inherent Clothier's sales go to the Inherent Foundation, a nonprofit that Draper helped set up last year. The vision: "To see a world where men are not restricted by the stigma of what it means to be a man in the struggle for spiritual well-being." The foundation's programs include Dollar Dudes, where men donate $ 1 a week to a fund that helps others with the cost of therapy or other mental wellbeing resources. The foundation also hosts "Huddles," an opportunity for "guys to meet and just hang out with other like-minded people."
"Our only rule for this is that when asked how you are, you have to be authentic," says Draper. "You can't just say good or good."
The idea is to create a safe place to talk that Draper hopes can also shop at Inherent. While he says that women are generally open to therapy and talk about their problems, he believes that men are more inclined to bottle things up. Speaking to your tailor while being measured is an opportunity to share your problems with the bartender in your neighborhood bar.
"I really hope the guys just feel like this is a place they want to be and hang out in," says Draper. "Second, they can trust the quality of our clothing … and feel confident." . "
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