Christopher Schafer is a man with many titles and talents—Baltimore Fashion Alliance board member, proprietor at Christopher Schafer Clothier, and Condor-Like the Bird’s drummer—whom I had the pleasure of interviewing recently. The fashion forward, passionate, business guru just celebrated a birthday which he spent in Jamaica with his lovely wife and family. Not only does he design custom clothing and fit men and women in high-quality designed suits, he also has a niche for philanthropy and giving back to the community. The Baltimore Fashion Alliance partnered with Living Classrooms Foundation’s Mentoring Academy to create Sharp Dressed Man—a program that helps prepare less fortunate individuals enter the workforce by providing recycled professional attire. The organization is holding an open house event today at its new home in Mount Vernon. For more information on the event, check out Corrine Gasiorowski’s blog post here.
When: Wednesday, March 20th. (5pm-8pm)
210 W. Madison Street Baltimore, MD 21201.
What exactly is Christopher Schafer Clothier?
CS: Basically, in this business, we make custom suits, ties, sport shirts, tuxedos, and more. We also do business attire for women. I got married about six and a half years ago and my wife took me to London with her. There, I was taught how to custom design clothes. I knew that I loved doing it, and that I could possibly make a living out of it. I have my clients that I design for and there’s my team that works with me. It’s not just about measuring and designing the clothes; a big part is getting to know the person.
You were in a band a few years ago, how is that going?
CS: I was doing that at the Hour Haus music studio in Station North. However, I’m in a new band, it’s called Condor-like the Bird. I’m putting out a new record in the beginning of June—look out for it!
How do you have the time to do all this?
CS: I wonder that at times myself, but coffee helps to keep me going. Let’s see... I’m a father, I’m married, and have an awesome career. When you enjoy what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work. I’m really fortunate that I like what I’m doing and have the freedom to do it. I’ve found my calling; Rock-and-Roll Tailor. My passion is music and tailoring.
What’s the Sharp Dressed Man event about?
CS: As you may have figured out, we make custom clothes for people, and they love the way the clothes fit. Typically, the old clothing doesn’t fit right anymore, therefore people want to get rid of it. My non-profit organization, Baltimore Fashion Alliance, and the Living Classrooms Foundation started Sharp Dressed Man, which is a program that recycles suits and other clothing in order to give back to the community. The clothing boutique is for people that need nice professional clothing. This program serves its mission to aid the guys that are coming out incarceration or similar events who can’t find a job. There’s another organization, Suited to Succeed, that has a similar vision, but more geared towards helping women. My vision is to start the new season with a new program. People are encouraged to come and donate clothing and in exchange, we’ll give them a tax receipt. The idea is to get the word out there. At the end of September, we’ll be doing another big fundraiser for Sharp Dressed Man.
You’ve won numerous awards. Are there any other projects or events that we should be looking out for?
CS: I won Baltimore’s Best Tailor from City Paper in 2009 and 2012, Baltimore magazine in 2012, and Fashion Awards MD & City Paper in 2012. I’m also nominated for the 2013 Baker Artist Award. However, the big thing that I’m focused on this year is being nominated for Man of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. As far as events, I’m having a block party right outside the studio in Fells Point in the beginning of June. The fundraiser is to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and I’ll also be releasing my new record. There will be lots fashion and bands playing.