The Definition of a Tailor
‘I have to tell you the translation of a tailor? Ma, you my son you tell me what a tailor is.’
– Mike Vonella on being asked for his definition of a tailor.
When pressed by my father for my definition of a tailor I fathomed the most appropriate way I could express it. Consequently, I reflect on my youth with this unreserved explanation:
‘My father is a tailor.’ I would respond. ‘Oh, I have pants. Can he take them in?’ ‘He could, yes, but I would recommend my mother for that. She’s a seamstress. My father makes clothes: suits; pants; and jackets for men and women, from scratch. We don’t have racks.’
‘He is the conductor of a remarkable orchestra of extraordinary tailors.’
Bouncy is a Vietnamese gentleman who has been with him since the mid 80’s. It may be difficult understanding a word he says, but he and my father speak fluently to each other in ‘Tailor’. He makes immaculately fitting pants. Danny is of Romanian decent – a man of few words and a perfectionist. For 25 years, he and my father have been shaping perfection in jackets. And Fina is the liaison – organizing all the finer details.
I would hang my father’s garments alongside any of the luxurious names in suits. A broad statement…nonetheless a matter-of-fact one. After all, many of them were tailors.
In my opinion the definition of a tailor has been watered down and misconstrued over the years, in large part forsaken with the decline of manufacturing.
A tailor is an advisor, a designer, an artisan, a manufacturer, and a friend.
My father is a Master Tailor, and a teacher.