|
|
The Suburbanite
  • What I do: Steve Antoniades's tailor-made career

  • A first-generation Greek-American, Steve Antoniades spent a good portion of his childhood at his parents’ tailor shop, and has been running the place since 2000.

    • email print
  • A first-generation Greek-American, Steve Antoniades spent a good portion of his childhood at his parents’ tailor shop, and has been running the place since 2000.
    While his father, also Steve, died in May 2011, his mother, Athena, continues to be a full-time employee at Steve’s Tailoring & Men’s Wear at 1325 Cleveland Ave. NW, the business his father founded in 1950.
    Here, Antoniades, 41, a GlenOak High School grad with a bachelor’s degree in clothing and textiles from the University of Akron, talks about his experiences in the world of alterations and men’s apparel.
    Q. What was the best piece of advice your dad gave you about the business?
    A. “He said, ‘Stevie, anybody can wait on the easy customers. It’s the hard ones that make you good at what you do.’ I think of him every time I’m challenged, whether it be tailoring or dealing with a difficult customer.”
    Q. Who do you tailor for?
    A. “Almost every professional you can possibly think of. Of course, most of my customers are from Canton, but I have them all across the U.S. I have Secret Service, State Department, mayors, governors, NBA, NFL, police, fire, bankers, lawyers, CEOs, you name it.”
    Q. What are the most common alterations you do?
    A. “By far it’s hems, about 50 percent plain hems and 50 percent cuffs.”
    Q. Has the move toward business casual hurt the tailoring business?
    A. “Yes and no. We went to dress casual through the ’90s. Comfort was king, and still is for that matter. So we get a lot more jeans and khakis for tailoring now than in the past. But there is an uptick I’ve been noticing in the last three or four years. Younger people are starting to buy tailored suits where you feel the suit on your body and don’t swim in it. We still have a long way to go, though.”
    Q. What do you do with bodybuilders who have upper bodies much larger than their lower bodies?
    A. “These guys are probably the most challenging of the bunch. Money permitting, I would recommend custom-made suits for these guys. If that’s not in the budget, then I would look at separates and tailor the jacket where needed.”
    Q. How do you fit pants on guys who have no butt?
    A. (Laughs) “Well, I would go down a size and let the waist out, or take in the seat and crotch. On occasion, I have to take in the hips as well on the really butt-less gentleman.”
    Q. What was a super-challenging alteration you’ve had to do?
    Page 2 of 2 - A. “One that sticks out is a customer of mine who works for the State Department on Hillary Clinton’s detail. He spilled ink on the jacket of a brand-new custom suit we had just made for him. We had to come up with a way to hide the ink, so we created a new pocket with the flap over the ink spot. In this line of work, we have to be very creative at times.”
    Q. Any tailoring emergencies?
    A. “Oh yeah! The best ones are the guys that blow out the seat of their pants and call me up late-morning in panic mode. ‘Steve, can you help me?’ They will come to the store and read a magazine in the dressing room until I finish the repair. This has happened many times over the years.”
    Q. Any touching stories?
    A. “Any time I get camouflage from a young man or woman in the military to sew name tapes on, I say a prayer because I know those tapes are there to identify a soldier who is not identifiable due to the war. So I do my cross and pray hard that they come back alive in one piece.”