When you see one of Ramon Smothers’ custom-made suits, there’s no mistaking it for an off-the-rack design. As the owner of Legacy Lapels, he’s made a business out of making people look good.
Based in Houston, the company lets customers design suits for a fraction of the cost of traditional bespoke tailoring, and the inspiration behind the concept was simple.
“I really love how I feel when I wear suits,” says Smothers. “If I can make people feel how I feel when I put on a suit, I’m content.”
But Legacy Lapels’ audience shifted after just a year in business, and the company found a new market where its lower prices and personalization brought in unexpected customers.
Giving customers a choice
“When I started the brand, I wanted to be unique in the things that are offered,” says Smothers.
Smothers sells the standard options, but he built his business around atypical fabrics with eye-catching hues, including emerald, plum, burgundy, soft yellow and powder blue. Giving customers freedom to design their own styles was something Legacy Lapels aimed to do from its inception, and it’s paying off.
“I’ve noticed that people come to me for that,” says Smothers.
And while Legacy Lapels retains its emphasis on suits, the company has expanded its offerings to include tuxedos, dinner jackets and custom-made shoes.
Ramon Smothers wears one of his designer suits. (Photo courtesy of Legacy Lapels)
Falling into the wedding market
Smothers initially expected his ideal client to be “fashion forward” and looking for business-focused statement pieces, but he soon recognized that his customers were trending toward engaged couples.
The company’s nontraditional designs have attracted a variety of newlyweds, such as LGBTQ+ individuals searching for fashion that reflects their identity, including