The Limatus Story
By Devin Castleton | June 2019
hen visiting the?Limatus?Bespoke showroom,?which is?quietly tucked away in the basement of the historic and immaculate Roosevelt Library, one might find it quite odd that?Limatus?Bespoke began in a place so drastically different.? A dramatic departure from the elegant trappings of our current location, our story began in a shop that sits on the corner?of?one of the busiest, noisiest, bustling thoroughfares in the massive urban jungle?that is?Bangkok, Thailand.???
As a wide-eyed 19-year-old?volunteer?from rural Idaho living in Bangkok, I was excited about the prospect of getting my very first custom, tailor-made suit.??My dad wore suits and dress clothes every day as a lawyer and a judge, so?I always had an affinity for?dressing up?and I was eager to begin my own collection.? What I was expecting was a nice, tailored suit at a Bangkok price.? What I was not expecting was an experience that would eventually change not only the way I thought about dress clothes, but the way I thought about business.???
When I entered the modest, tiled tailor shop with florescent lights abuzz overhead, I was warmly greeted with a smile and a cold drink and for a moment I wondered if my appearance was somehow mistakenly projecting the vibe of important business executive rather than the barely adult farm town kid that I actually was.? Before I knew it,?all?their?attention and care was on me?as they showed me?reams of fabrics based on my personal preferences?and taught me?new things like how the canvassing inside the suit jacket is the single-most important ingredient in any custom suit.? I was advised on everything from jacket lapel to pant cuffs and pant pockets to the font for my name that would be embroidered into my jacket.?
By the time I returned a few days later to try on my new masterpiece, I didn?t even feel like a teenager from the other side of the world; I felt like a welcomed and distinguished guest whose total satisfaction was the sole objective of literally everyone in the room.? The suit – a classic charcoal gray with a subtle pinstripe – turned out beautifully, but?now?sadly is long gone.? What stayed with me (and what eventually inspired the early iterations of what is now?Limatus?Bespoke) was that?unforgettable?experience?in a Bangkok tailor shop that?changed everything for me.???
That indelible experience was the catalyst for building a small business around this concept of?custom clothing with?as much focus on the experience as the product itself.? Once I?d returned home and built enough buzz with my friends and family, I flew the tailor from Bangkok to my small college town and spent the next two weeks fitting people and taking orders.??During?college and well into the first decade of my professional career, my side gig went from?a?sporadic?venture?to?a more regular?opportunity to actually putting some real strategy and?planning?behind it.?
In order to?mitigate as much risk as I could,?I decided to start slowly and?in 2015 I launched a concept focused only on men?s custom shirting.? This would allow me to ease into the business side of things while not being overwhelmed operationally with things like more complex jacket designs and tough, expensive alterations.? This way,?I could grow with the business at a manageable speed while keeping?my?risk low.? By the time the business had built up a modest clientele, I joined with the partners that would allow the company to transform into what it is today.?
Creating an unforgettable, ideal client experience is not something that comes quickly or easily.? There is so much that goes into a reliable supply chain that intertwines some of?the highest quality fabrics on the market with first class craftsmanship, a warm and inviting environment, and a sterling reputation that precedes anything you?re trying to sell.? But, most of all, a human element?that?brings it all together.? Nobody knows it better than part-owner and director of operations, James Castro.? Once a?microbiology major and comic book store manager, James came by his unlikely passion for custom clothing after we met through a mutual friend.? James and I almost immediately connected and before long, James was running day-to-day operations of what was then a very new and struggling start-up.???
James is now essentially a self-taught master tailor, and while he does not make the suits, he knows every detail of how the clothing is constructed and what?s required to make a premium quality garment that?perfectly?fits the individual for whom it was designed.? James knows how to cross-weave a fabric, he knows how to chalk up alterations with pinpoint accuracy, he knows the difference between shark skin and hop sack,?hound?s-tooth?from herringbone.? But the thing he?d already mastered was how to be perhaps the most personable, approachable, engaging, witty and genuine individual?I?ve ever met. James is tirelessly devoted to each client and has an unfettered commitment to his clients? satisfaction.?There is just?nobody better.??
With James at the helm, we could now focus on finding the final missing piece of the equation: our company needed an identity and a personality.? The day Haley Rico was brought on as a partner and creative director is the day that Limatus Bespoke changed from being a company that sold nice clothing with excellent service into a brand that burst with personality and had something to say about fashion; a?brand that influences and?incites almost as much attention to what?s being said as much as the clothing that is making the statement.? Haley started a creative culture internally that was focused on fashion being about personal style and individuality?and it?has naturally spread to our clients.? To this day, we?ve never hired a professional model for any of our branding.? We only feature our actual clients because nothing is more authentic and fashionable than the individuals you actually serve.???
Haley has breathed life and personality into our clothing by associating?it with things?that?we love and?inspire us.? Inspiration for our collections has come from Hollywood movies, the west Texas desert, women in our community,?and the equinox and the duality of day and night. Haley has been our creative director in the truest sense by shaping and growing our evolving identity in a way that illustrates not only what we do but who we are.
The day Haley Rico was brought on as a partner and creative director is the day that Limatus Bespoke changed from being a company that sold nice clothing with excellent service into a brand that burst with personality and had something to say about fashion; a brand that influences and incites almost as much attention to what?s being said as much as the clothing that is making the statement.
When I think back now to that first experience in Bangkok and I see all that has evolved from it, I can?t help but feel so fortunate?and proud?to have?founded?a team that has brought this all together.? Our focus and goal is to always let our passion drive our business and base it around a client experience that meets the quality of the clothing itself.? As we continue to grow and evolve,?we will always endeavor to serve our clients with the same excellence that is befitting the very clothing?Limatus?Bespoke has become?known?for.??