Adolescence – the transitional phase between the ages of 13 and 19 – usually signifies the development of a person’s social, romantic and professional conscience. For Patrick Henry, a Los Angeles-based tailor and founder of a luxury fashion brand, it encompassed exactly that. While his self-taught tailoring business at 13 was driven by his desire to pick up “pretty girls,” this led to his passion for fashion, which is now exemplified by his custom suits worn by stars such as The Weeknd and Justin Bieber.
“The term luxury itself is evolving,” Henry said on the latest Glossy Podcast. “[For clothing,] it’s all in the details: it’s the sewing, it’s the precision, it’s the place where the garment is produced, the material with which it is produced and the small finishes.
Richfresh, best known for his bespoke suits, many of which are characterized by Henry’s iconic runway stripes, has since become synonymous with the term ‘luxury-leisure’, a term coined by Henry himself to describe the ‘version of luxury of athletics ”. And his pieces have been sported by stars such as Kodak Black, Barack Obama and Reese Witherspoon.
While the Richfresh business remains 95% personalized, Henry’s business has not been spared the tribulations of Covid-19. But challenges paved the way for the Binghampton collection, Henry’s first ready-to-wear line limited to 25 pieces. Going forward, Henry’s iconic stripe, which he considers the closest thing to a Richfresh logo, will be available on a host of men’s and women’s silhouettes in 2022, he said.
“It’s important, as we move on to ready-to-wear [and] potentially open stores, do it right and get the right funding, ”he said.
Below are additional conversation highlights, which have been edited slightly for clarity.
Say goodbye to “the outsider outsider” and kiss “the top dog insider”
“I didn’t go to LA with fashion friends, and I wasn’t part of a fashion clique. I connected with [Harlem’s Fashion Row founder] Brandice Daniel because we’re both from Memphis. And she was doing a show in Memphis and reached out because she saw on social media that I was in town. She asked me if I would support her fashion show, and I had a few pieces that I had brought with me to show off. I did not know [it would] lead to New York Fashion Week. You can keep the title of “outsider” and “outsider” forever, but what does that do? It’s feeding something that in my opinion doesn’t need to be fed any more. Now is the time to go from underdog and underdog to top dog and insider. I don’t have to be outside of fashion, I am fashion. So why don’t I come in and introduce myself? “
From rags to riches
“When we moved to California, we moved to San Diego first. It was one of the toughest times… And I said, ‘Dude, I went out. I’m going to Los Angeles. [Ermenegildo] Zegna called me for an interview [in their Los Angeles store], and I was in a nice suit that I had changed. They hired me to do sales, and I ended up being # 1 for sales in my store and it was a cinch. It gave me the confidence to [think], ‘Oh man, you can sell a luxury item easily. Even if you are rough around the edges, you still have a look. And you have a way to connect with people. … Then it was time to go and make my own way, and I left in 2014 and started my first business in LA, which was called Richfreshman. It was cheap costumes [that were] $ 600 or $ 800, and made in China. [There were] orange, pink and blue suits. In LA, as much as you might think it’s a colorful place, [everyone still wore] a black, gray or navy suit. I was going out and doing something different.
On the power to protest
“John Legend and Kevin Hart are my two biggest celebrities [dream clients] that I had when I started Richfresh. I [had] write their names on a whiteboard before starting; a list of 12 celebrities I must have had… I might have them all now. But I reached out to their stylists and said, ‘Hey, here’s who I am. That’s what I do. You should connect with me. And they did. The rest is history.