Q&A with Columbus suit designer Ethan Weisman

Sherry Beck Paprocki
Columbus-based suit designer Ethan Weisman is a fan of the well-coordinated look.

'Zeke' Elliot's fashion designer looks back on his 'red carpet statement'.

Former Ohio State University running back Ezekiel "Zeke" Elliott made the 2016 NFL Draft's most conspicuous entrance, thanks to his customized suit created by local designer Ethan Weisman. We wanted to meet the Grove City native who set Twitter afire with his unique flair for design.

Weisman, 25, lives in a sparse Italian Village apartment that he says also serves as his studio for Pantheon Ltd. While many Central Ohioans veered toward more casual dress over the years, Weisman was growing up watching his father wear custom suits to work in the family business, Meyers Jewelers, coupled with his mother's chic sense of style.

It turns out that Weisman's been customizing suits for athletes long before he designed the crop top that put Zeke's renowned six-pack on national display in a last-minute rush just days before the Cowboys made Elliott their No. 1 pick.

How old were you when you ordered your first custom-made suit?


What color and style was it?

I ordered a two-button, notch-lapel suit that was blue with a red-wine colored windowpane print with buttonholes in the same red-wine color for a sleek, coordinated look.

Where do you get your fashion sensibility?

My fashion sensibility has been shaped by both of my parents, who have always inspired me. My mom, Esther Weisman, is active in the fashion world, owning a Columbus-based rhinestone clothing company, which has served as a great inspiration over the years, especially when I started Pantheon Ltd.

What do you say to men who buy their suits off the rack?

Purchasing suits directly off the rack often doesn't offer longevity, as the quality and fit can wear due to the mass production. Opting for a custom suit that is perfectly tailored and crafted from the highest quality materials will last a lifetime. This is the foundation to what we create and deliver at Pantheon Ltd.

How did you end up designing Ezekiel Elliott's now famous crop top for the draft?

During his time at Ohio State, Elliott was known as the "Hero in the Half-Shirt." When it came to dressing Ezekiel for the 2016 NFL Draft, we discussed creating a memorable look. When we were brainstorming ideas that would turn heads to have that moment, we drew from his past with the crop top to make a statement.

Are you pleased with the way it turned out?

Ezekiel's final look was a strong red carpet statement. We envisioned this look together to stay true to his style and I wouldn't do anything to change what we created.

Are you pleased with the buzz it got?

The great buzz that Ezekiel's look created negated any of the questions we had going into that evening. When creating such a bold fashion statement, there's always a thought in the back of your head if the public will react positively or negatively, but Ezekiel's crop top and suit combination was positively received, and we were thrilled.

Has it helped business?

Ezekiel's look was well received and it grew awareness for our brand. The positive reception grabbed the attention of those in the fashion and sports worlds and has introduced new clients to Pantheon Ltd. growing our brand and reach.