Gentleman, listen up. If Q Clothiers wasn’t already on your rotation for sophisticated menswear, you no longer have an excuse. Q has moved to bigger digs in West Village, and it has spawned a sibling named Rye 51.
The concept was born in Houston in September 2011. Owner Raja Ratan was already opening a store in Houston, and he had the concept nailed down, so he debuted it there.
But the 3,000-square-foot West Village store is a little bigger and better — the flagship, if you will. Not that we are biased.
Pictured here, owners and brothers Raja (left) and Ravi Ratan.
On one side is Q, the custom clothier existing customers know and love, where they choose fabrics from the world’s finest mills and let these experts go to work designing suits, slacks, shirts, sport coats or cashmere sweaters.
Every piece is hand-made based on 30 body measurements.
Connecting Q to Rye 51 is a well-stocked zebra-wood bar with a plush, high-backed purple banquette and funky chandelier. “Our bar is a little place where guys can hang out, relax and have a cocktail while they shop,” Raja says.
“Traditionally shopping is not a great experience for guys, so we try to make it more pleasurable by providing a bar, pool table, TVs — stuff where guys can have a good time and relax,” Raja says.
And relax they do. But they also shop, and at Rye 51 that’s for denim and more casual sportswear, much of it from the Rye 51 house brand.
True to form, the Rye side also does custom clothing. “Most guys think of custom clothing as solely for suits, but we offer a program called Rye Reserve, which is fabrics we’ve hand-selected that have a more casual look,” Raja says. Think sportier long-sleeve shirts and soft jackets.
“We want to train guys that you can do casual stuff in custom too,” Raja says. “A lot of guys don’t have anywhere to shop that can fit their build.”
The addition of Rye 51 suits the neighborhood; Raja admits his clientele at the West Village store is younger and trendier than those who shop the Highland Park location. To introduce these young, trendy bachelors to custom clothing, the store offers 50 percent off a custom shirt with a denim purchase.
After that, they’re usually sold. Prices start at $150 for a custom shirt, and clients’ measurements are kept on file, making reordering easy. They can call it in or stop by for a drink and simply select their fabrics.
Raja says the juxtaposition of the two concepts, welcoming atmosphere and carefully edited selection set apart his store from other retailers. “At department stores, you have to sift through a bunch of nonsense to get to the good stuff,” he says.
But he’s quick to add the importance of staff knowledge and customer service.
“Staff knowledge is one of the most important features,” Raja says. “To us, everyone needs to be thoroughly trained in tailoring, garment construction and fabric types to work here.”
And the staff knows how to pour a good drink.