CMH Fashion Week Bridal Runway Show Spotlight: Gary Jones

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

CMH Fashion Week, Columbus' official fashion week, kicks off Oct. 12. We caught up with the six designers and boutique owners participating in the second annual bridal runway show to chat wedding-day fashion and more. Here, custom tailor Gary Jones tells us why the suit makes the man.

What's your suit-making story?

I got my start about 10 years ago. When I was at Independence High School, when I put on a suit for my senior pictures, I noticed I went from "Gary" to "Mr. Jones." And all the females were saying "hello" in a different way.

My two mentors-including my uncle, who was an engineer-were always wearing suits. I realized that people who are successful wear suits. So I reached out to a tailor in Los Angeles and started working with him for about three years. Then I worked with someone in Washington, D.C. I started making suits part-time, working a third-shift job to make it all work. I'd take customer calls from a coffee shop at Easton and do trunk shows around town.

In 2012, I did Phoenix Fashion Week and was one of the only male designers there. Then I came home and did CMH Fashion Week.

How'd you get into Phoenix Fashion Week?

Everything happened fast. I did my first tuxedo for a wedding and my groom loved it; it was a hit. I have a friend who knew about the fashion week, and told me I should try to get in. You have to send in examples of your work, so I had to ask my client to borrow his suit! I got it, boxed it, put together some branding materials and shipped it out there. And they loved it.

Describe your aesthetic.

I like my looks to be extremely classy but modern at the same time-nothing too cutting-edge. For me, it's about having transitional pieces that just fit well and create a well-tailored looks. From twill to velvet to oversize bowties … it's about having some nice color without being too over-the-top.

Who is your typical customer?

You know, you have to be a chameleon. You have to be able to design for whomever. But my typical client is a successful businessman who's a modern, classy dresser. Someone who wants a piece he can wear for the next 10 years.