They say the key to always looking good is to have a fabulous tailor.
For me, my search started with a black Gucci suit I bought, thinking it was a rite of passage as a New Yorker and a magazine editor to have a super-chic black suit from the revered Italian fashion house.
The only problem was, I’d lost some weight over time and the suit didn’t look the same.
“Victor will fix this,” said another tailor who wasn’t game for the job.
So I found the small storefront next to Lombardi’s pizza joint on Spring Street between Mott and Mulberry and paid him a visit.
Victor Perez was busy at his sewing machine. He didn’t look up until my dog — a longhaired Jack Russell terrier named Bear — barked.
I showed Victor the suit and he asked me to try it on. He felt the fabric and carefully examined each angle as though it were made of ermine. In his strongly accented English, he declared, “OK, one week.”
When I returned, the once-baggy suit fit the way a gorgeous Gucci garment should.
I was hooked.
A beautiful white 3.1 Phillip Lim lace dress bought me to Victor a second time.
(Confession: I buy clothes that I know I’ll have forever, and that’s exactly how I felt about this Lim dress, but it wasn’t being produced any longer. I even called the brand, begging them to search in their archive — nothing.)
I was in Mood Fabrics with my daughter, Sea, looking for material for her school project when I came across the most beautiful lace.
A light went off and I put Lim, lace and Victor together in my head. I immediately called Victor and let him know that I was bringing something over for him to make — and that’s when the real magic began.
Victor created an ode to Lim that was equally as beautiful yet a tad longer (which I requested) — but pretty much perfect.
I later learned that Victor had tailored Calvin Klein’s pants at one point. Of course he did.
Victor, I trust you and adore you — and I’m grateful for how great you’ve made me look.
Follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyBensimon or visit kellykillorenbensimon.com