Wednesday night — the evening before the much-hyped NFL draft — 29-year-old Jenkins and savvy business partner Jay Amin, 32, opened their 3,000-square-foot Washington Square specialty store for happy hour, and the spot quickly filled with the city’s elite menswear community, including Mens Style Pro blogger Sabir Peele and fellow local clothiers: suit specialist Rob Fung and owner of Old City’s Charlie’s Jeans, Sebastian McCall.
Sports fans were able to shake hands (and take selfies) with Eagles players Brandon Brooks, Chris Maragos, and Jaylen Watkins.
Bourbon-based mixed drinks -- Jenkins' favorite-- flowed. And of course, we were able to inspect a half dozen mannequins clad in Damari Savile skinny suits that featured wide lapels with funky linings. My favorite: the blue camo. Suits range in price from $599 to $1,500.
Before the party, I was able to catch up with Jenkins, who was comfortably dressed in a black-and-red checked Rag & Bone shirt. On his wrist were a collection of beaded bracelets, including several from thoughtful accessory company Lokai.
Catch the whole story on Damari Savile and the emerging men’s retail scene in my Wednesday column.
Elizabeth Wellington: Why do you think another custom suit store will work in Philly?
Malcolm Jenkins: We will be able to cater to a bigger audience. Our store will include ready-to-wear, too. But what will make us different is that we will put style over fashion. I don’t have a fashion background, but I have a bow-tie company, Rock Avenue Bow-ties. I know what I like and what I want to wear. We aren’t following rules. We aren’t following trends. We are adding a new twist on an old thing.
EW: Since you don’t have a design or fashion background, who will do the design?
MJ: We [Jenkins and Amin] are. When it came to ready-to-wear, Jay and I sat down and talked about what we wanted to look like. We want to add flare that’s a little bit different and obvious.
EW: Where will you manufacture your suits?
MJ: We have a manufacturing partner in New York.
EW: I’m assuming you think that dressing the part is important. Why is that?
MJ: We want people to feel like themselves. The one thing about Philly: We have the rebel mentality. You can do that with a sports coat and jeans. You don’t have to fit into a box. You can be who you want to be.
EW: There will be so many stylish events this weekend. For guys who don’t have a Damari Savile suit yet, how should they dress?
MJ: I’m never one to be too formal. [But guys should] add a twist to their look. If you put on a blazer and jeans, though, you will be fine. It’s not a full suit kind of weekend.