P. Johnson’s bespoke suits are all about comfort and convenience.
Entering the Spring Street showroom of P. Johnson (917.533.5879, pjt.com) feels like being transported to a lavish coastal home. The space is enveloping, with big white couches, raffia carpets, floor-to-ceiling windows, and large photographs of Australia’s beaches. The only indication that it is a shop offering tailored clothing is a sparse selection of suits hanging against one wall—and this is precisely the intention of Australian-born Patrick Johnson. He created the brand and its easygoing shopping environment in Sydney, and last year he opened the Spring Street location in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.
“A bespoke tailor shop is often a dark, formal space, and we want to freshen up the process and make it a place where men want to hang out,” says the 35-year-old, who grew up on a sheep station. In the second-floor salon of his SoHo shop, Johnson’s team measures clients; helps them select fabrics, silhouettes, and details; and presents the bespoke suits in just 6 to 8 weeks.
Johnson employs more than 40 tailors in his workshop in Italy’s Tuscany region, where the suits are made by hand. Johnson himself learned the tailoring trade while working for brands on London’s Jermyn Street, and after 6 years there he returned to Sydney in 2008 to establish his own shop. “Tailoring as a trade hasn’t changed much in more than a century, but the clients have changed,” he says. He notes that although men are dressing more casually, they still want well-fitting bespoke jackets and trousers—even if they forgo the necktie. His answer is comfortable, ultralightweight suits that incorporate fabrics from top suppliers, including Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis Canonico, and other fine textile mills.
The average P. Johnson suit is priced from $1,850 to $2,200, and made-to-measure shirts and superfine merino-wool sweaters are also on offer. It is in the brand’s slightly more relaxed and looser tailored clothes that Johnson’s easygoing Australian sensibility really comes through. “Men,” he says, “want to feel a little bit sexy in a suit.”