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Meet Ellen Ford and Tony Soto of Sharpe Suiting

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ellen Ford and Tony Soto.

Ellen and Tony, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Sharpe was started by our founder and CEO, Leon Wu, who was always the go-to person among his friends for shopping, style, and suits. Back then, he was identifying as she, and his friends were masculine-presenting women who needed a suit with dignity.

Not a “cute” version of a suit, or something of the men’s rack that wasn’t designed for the female body in the first place. So he created Sharpe, a made-to-measure suit company that fits any gender, presentation, size, shape, and style.

Five years later, we’ve designed and styled high-profile clients, celebrities, musicians, weddings, red carpets and more. We’re flourishing not just within the LGBTQ community, but in communities of anyone—women, men, and everyone in between—who want a different suit-buying experience, without compromising on design, fit, and personalization.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Any company has growing pains and is always morphing and evolving as the consumer evolves. The fun and joy of being a part of a small team and business is that if you take good care of it, you get to see it grow. Putting someone in a suit for the first time that fits them, inside and out, makes whatever struggles we had in getting to this point seem so minor. I can’t even really think of any.

We are always trying to grow organically and develop in a way that better serves our customer. Our strategy is to keep creativity and design at the forefront of our brand and never forget where we all came from.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Sharpe Suiting story. Tell us more about the business.
We specialize in custom-designed, made-to-measure suits for the LGBTQ community and beyond. We’re known for being a stylish, tasteful brand of formal wear that fits you.

I think we’re most proud of the fact that our clients are proud of us. They refer their friends, come back to us, they ask us for styling tips, and they bring us into their family.

We’ve been a part of many cool projects, and dressed and styled some really well-known people, but it’s our clients who we’re really grateful for, we’re here to fit them, and that’s centric to our business.

What sets us apart is our design. We have designers that can guide you through the process, even if you’ve never bought a suit for yourself or can’t tell the difference between a peak and a semi-peak lapel!

As designers, we are also educators, stylists, and cheerleaders for our clients. We create shirts, jacket, and pant designs that compete with mainstream brands, that fit our community better. People demand our suits faster than we can produce them.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t think there was a huge windfall of luck that set down the path for success. Leon is a smart businessman and an excellent leader. We’ve always just been dogged workers and committed to the brand. This team is so determined I don’t think good luck or bad luck would have any strong influence either way.

I think we offer products people want, and we care about our clients deeply. And we’re nice. To ourselves, our clients, each other, and our business partners, everything else just falls into place.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 6121 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
  • Website: https://sharpesuiting.com/
  • Phone: 323-985-8895
  • Email: bespoke@sharpesuiting.com
  • Instagram: @sharpesuiting
  • Facebook: @sharpesuiting
  • Twitter: @sharpesuiting


Image Credit:
Peter Leal www.peterlealphoto.com
Molly Adams @mollyktadams
Alexandria Monette @alexandriamonette
Vanessa Adams @vanessaadamsphoto

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