For as long as I can remember, I've been drawn to fashion and art. When I was young, I would raid my father's wardrobe, carefully curating looks for when I would go out with friends or on a date night. I also spent a great deal of time creating art, inside and outside the classroom, using a multitude of mediums ranging from graphite to charcoal to pastels. Once I reached college, I shifted to digital art. This opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for what I could do with my art, and fashion seemed like a natural subject. And in 2004, I earned my degree in Graphic Design.
As my professional and social circles matured, I found myself needing and wanting to wear suits and sports coats more often. As with all my fashion in the past, I wanted to add my personality and color to these looks. The classiest way to do that was to add a pocket square. But not just any pocket squares would do, I wanted ones that were one-of-a-kind. The best way I could think of to have a unique piece was by making my own. This is where my passion project started and led to the now established Shawn Christopher brand.
While I believed I was creating products that no one else was offering, I was still using popular fabric sources and began noticing competitors offering pocket squares of their own with some of the same fabrics I was using. Wanting to set myself apart, I started creating my own designs and graphics to be printed onto silks and other fabrics to make my pocket squares. This ensured a true one-of-a-kind product. After a few rounds of test prints, I was able to offer my first collection of Shawn Christopher pocket squares using designs that I created. This line was all custom prints, finished with a hand sewn rolled edge. Today, all of the pocket squares I offer follow the same path, from my imagination to your jacket pocket.
As I continued exploring men's fashion, I came across a 7-fold necktie. Unlike a traditional necktie, there is no contrasting fabric used in the tipping. In it's place was a hand sewn rolled edge. There was also no lining added since the necktie is made from a much larger piece of fabric and folded into itself seven times, creating it's own lining. I fell in love with the craftsmanship, how clean the knots made with it looked and how naturally it draped the body when wearing it. I spent the next 2 years making patterns and testing them until I ended up with the high quality product I offer today.
Having perfected my 7-fold necktie templates and hand sewing techniques, I started looking into expanding my product offerings. Soon after, I attended my first black tie event. By the end of the night, my biggest take-away was how similar many of the bow ties were. All the big brand bow ties were unremarkable at best. This inspired me to to create a selection of bow ties of my own in various shapes and patterns. I researched current designers' bow ties as well as ones worn during different eras, form the Rat Pack and President Abraham Lincoln. This intrigue turned into an obsession. After over a year of creating/adjusting patterns and making test bow ties, the result is a selection of twelve different bow tie shapes that can be paired with a wide range of luxurious fabrics.
Bespoke 7-fold neckties, bowties, pocket squares and special event masks complete the collections that I offer today. I appreciate you allowing me to share my journey with you and look forward to continuing to bring you collections for decades to come.
What's in a Name? The Tattooed Tailor.
The nickname "The Tattooed Tailor" came from my lovely, very patient and understanding wife. I started this brand early on in our relationship. Shortly after we got engaged, I moved into her apartment. It was a small 2 bedroom where almost all storage and any workspace were already in use by our combined collections of shoes, clothing and her huge collection of handbags. The only viable option for my work at the time, was to take over the dining room. I set up my sewing machine and serger right there on the table in the middle of our apartment. I spent so much time there that one day while I was in the middle of sewing some pocket squares, my wife said, “you’re turning into a real tailor." Then she paused, looked over my arms (which have quite a bit of ink on them) and said, “you’re my Tattooed Tailor!" The name stuck and the rest is history.