San Francisco Bay Times - Thursday, February 6, 2014 - Page 8:
Kipper Clothiers is a new San Francisco-based design firm offering custom clothing for our community, and especially for women seeking fine tailored menswear. The Bay Times recently caught up with Kyle Moshrefi, who co-owns the business with Erin Berg.
BT: How did the two of you meet and decide to become business partners?
KM: Erin and I worked together at a fashion start-up and got the entrepreneurial spirit. We worked really well together and felt as though we had the right amount of drive and commitment to be able to start our own business. With my background in fashion and Erin’s ability to manage the operations side of the business, we knew we would be an effective team that could not only build a business, but be innovators in the industry.
I have 5 years previous experience as a stylist for J.Crew and on the production/merchandising side for retail start-up, Everlane. I felt as though I had really honed my creative and styling skills and was ready for the next step. When I met Erin, he was working at a law firm and was looking to change careers. He quickly became interested in the project and because we got along so well, deciding to co-found Kipper Clothiers together seemed like the natural next step.
BT: Did you consider creating other businesses together or was Kipper Clothiers your first concept?
KM: Kipper Clothiers was the first business we considered creating together, and we don’t have any foreseeable plans to start any other future ventures. Kipper Clothiers is our passion and we are 100% focused and committed to serving our community. We saw the new burgeoning market in the fashion industry, specifically in menswear for women, and we saw the repeal of Prop 8 as a sign for us to launch this business. The idea has always been thrown around amongst friends, but Erin and I decided it was finally time for the idea to come to fruition.
BT: What’s the goal or mission behind Kipper Clothiers?
KM: Kipper Clothiers is a custom suiting and shirting venture founded on the notion that women want formal menswear clothing that fits and looks great. We’re reaching beyond the minimum acceptability of placing individuals in masculine styled suits and shirts by providing true fit along with expert styling.
While a majority of our clientele is part of the LGBT community, we do cater to anyone and everyone. We provide quality and true fit to anyone who comes through our doors.
BT: Tell us about your immediate plans for the business. What is the “pop-up” concept as you use it and do you plan to create a permanent store?
KM: Our immediate plans are to take things slow. We really want to build trust and confidence within our community. Once we feel that we are solidly embraced within San Francisco, we will look to expand. Currently, we have been taking appointments only out of a temporary location in the Financial District. We held a pop-up shop for one week during the month of December for people who were coming from out of town, etc. We do plan on creating a permanent, centrally located store and are actually in conversations right now with a location that we hope is “the one.”
BT: How do you describe the style of clothing that Kipper offers? Who sets the tone for your style and how do you see it evolving?
KM: Kipper Clothiers offers custom-made suits, suit separates, and shirts. We build garments to fit the specifications of each client’s unique measurements, and in that way we are able to provide superior fit to off-the-rack garments. Our suits and shirts are timeless, classic, and are tailored to each individual’s style. We can do anything from vintage to modern day with just a few measurement and customization tweaks. With our Put-Together Promise, we like to think of ourselves as the one-stop-shop for all of your needs.
We follow all the latest fashion and menswear blogs, we look at street style blogs from all over the world, and also follow all the various fashion weeks. Most recently we were very inspired by the latest Pitti Uomo trade show in Florence. We look up to designers such as Thom Browne
, Sid Mashburn
, Tom Ford
, and Michael Bastian
, and we like to follow the sartorial doings of icons such as Lino Leluzzi
, Sam Lambert
, and Nick Wooster
— these guys are doing it right. Obviously, we draw inspiration from all around us and hope to be the ones setting the tone in the future.
As Yves Saint Laurent once said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” We are striving to help individuals find their inner, personal style. We want all of our clients to put on our garments and feel like they are their best self.