There’s a brand new tailor on the town, and whereas he realized his commerce in Brooklyn, the items he crafts are sometimes impressed by the Maine outdoor.
Since 2014, Tony Parrotti has owned and operated Tony Shirtmakers, a bespoke shirt and jacket enterprise that he and his spouse, Laura Fraser, dropped at Damariscotta in July 2021.
One thing like a tattoo artist, every shirt or jacket Parrotti designs is custom-made in collaboration with the person shopper, making every garment a one-of-a-kind piece that displays their very own tastes in addition to Parrotti’s inventive model.
Very similar to a top quality tattoo, the worth factors for bespoke garments are steep and the wait time for a garment can span months, however for a lot of it’s definitely worth the wait.
“It’s simply … (a) very discerning, thought-out manner so as to add items to your closet and never have a closet crammed with issues. It’s simply the issues that you simply love, and you’re keen on them since you have been capable of construct them from the beginning,” Parrotti stated on March 29.
Previous to shifting to Maine, Parrotti and Fraser each labored within the New York style business for years. Fraser labored for a reputation model style enterprise whereas Parrotti operated Tony Shirtmakers in Brooklyn.
Round six or seven years in the past, the 2 of them started taking street journeys to Maine and shortly determined that they needed to maneuver to the state.
“Our plan was to go to all these completely different locations however we simply stored going again to Maine and exploring Maine as a result of it’s so huge and delightful,” Parrotti stated.
They’d initially thought that they’d solely personal a summer time house in midcoast Maine and work in New York the remainder of the 12 months. Nonetheless, when the pandemic started in March 2020, the pair realized that they not needed to stay in New York to do their jobs remotely. They started to search for a house within the Pine Tree State and have been fortunate sufficient to discover a house near downtown.
“We’re like … pinching ourselves that we stay right here on daily basis as a result of … we’re so used to a really completely different every day way of life,” Parrotti stated.
When the pair made the transfer to Maine, Fraser had reached 16 years in style retail, merchandising and artistic route with a ladies’s design home, and he or she determined that she needed to step away from the world of trend-based style to companion with Parrotti full time.
“I used to be simply able to do one thing new, which was very scary for me,” Fraser stated. “There’s one thing actually interesting a few small enterprise and figuring out everyone.”
In New York, Parrotti had workers who centered on manufacturing work for personal label manufacturers to herald extra income, however throughout spring 2020 quarantine he realized that he actually needed to concentrate on making each garment himself and interesting with every buyer he was making a shirt for.
“I noticed how necessary really bodily making the shirts was to my happiness as a enterprise proprietor,” he stated. “Clearly there’s a ceiling to that as a result of I can solely make so many shirts per 12 months, however I additionally suppose that’s what makes it particular.”
Effectively earlier than he’d even considered making garments, Parrotti was considering making a dwelling together with his artwork.
“I at all times needed to have my very own enterprise doing one thing creatively, and it didn’t floor that it was going to be style till in a while in faculty,” he stated.
He began making shirts together with his mom’s stitching machine when he was attending the Parsons Faculty of Design in New York as a result of he couldn’t discover garments that he needed to put on elsewhere.
Nonetheless, Parrotti didn’t merely learn to make shirts from another person, he realized by systematically deconstructing a shirt with a seam ripper, taking pictures and notes each step of the best way. He would then put collectively a shirt primarily based on that course of, time and again, till he seen enchancment.
After Parrotti earned a enterprise diploma in design administration, he labored within the enterprise facet of style earlier than he took a place with a tailor who helped him study the fantastic finishes and abilities related to being a proper shirt maker.
“For 4 years, I used to be basically stitching three, 4 shirts a day. That’s the way you get actually … good,” he stated.
After 4 years because the lead shirt maker, Parrotti began Tony Shirtmakers in 2014.
Parrotti’s normal model very a lot represents a mix of New York style and Maine-inspired, outdoor-oriented utility. His garments are designed to be liked and worn in, relatively than displayed or cherished.
“My shirts are heavy, weighty, they will take a beating,” he stated. “When folks purchase it, we’re at all times like, ‘Don’t be treasured with it. You bought this, put on it on a regular basis. That’s what it’s for.”
Whereas Parrotti’s garments are made to be overwhelmed up, he nonetheless makes use of the entire methods which might be sometimes used to make a proper shirt and he applies them to way of life items like shackets, barn jackets, camp shirts, fly fishing jackets, and the rest a shopper may fee.
“It may be worn someplace the place you wish to look polished however not too dressed up, and it may also be worn … on a hike,” he stated.
Fraser stated that Tony Shirtmakers sources the best high quality materials from all around the world, usually specializing in what a rustic is well-known for. As an illustration, they supply moleskin and corduroy from London, wool from Italy, and denim and flannel from Japan.
“We’re selecting the most effective of the most effective for every particular sort of material, and that’s I feel what elevates the whole lot,” Parrotti stated.
Parrotti additionally makes use of deadstock cloth, or cloth which is not produced, for plenty of his clothes. Deadstock cloth may be very distinctive, outdated and really restricted in its availability, making it notably helpful for those who need a jacket or shirt that couldn’t be replicated anyplace else.
Parrotti and Fraser stated that they’ve shoppers that may come to them from up and down the east coast that they linked with in New York, however they’ve additionally been happy to discover a marketplace for their companies in Maine as nicely.
“We’ve been tremendous shocked and really grateful and excited that so many individuals in Maine have been considering coming and getting shirts made,” Fraser stated. “We principally have somebody coming from Maine each week a minimum of.”
With the summer time months forward, the couple is worked up to welcome again seasonal Lincoln County residents and introduce them to a brand new manner of discovering garments. Fraser stated that some have already scheduled appointments months forward of time.
“We simply really feel actually grateful proper now that we’re dwelling off of creating shirts and that we stay in lovely Maine and [that] folks preserve asking us to make issues,” she stated.