A new shop on Johnson Drive in Mission could become the center of men’s fashion for Kansas City and far beyond because Tom Paolini chose that location for the Paolini Garment Company, which provides custom-made suits, shirts, sport coats, overcoats and tuxedos.
Paolini has been in business as a designer and clothier since 2009, offering concierge service for men who are looking for luxury, custom clothes. His clients come from all across the United States and Canada as well as across the metro. For that reason, Paolini says he didn’t need to “pay Plaza prices” when it came time to open his own store, which serves customers by appointment only. And, he and his wife live in Mission. “I feel Johnson Drive can regain some of its old glory,” Paolini says.
Paolini counts among his clients businessmen, young up and coming leaders and athletes and coaches from professional and college sports, including KU and Sporting KC. In fact, Paolini’s work will be on the runway at a fashion show Tuesday in the Power and Light District showing his collaboration with Sporting KC player Aurelien Collin. Paolini also made the team suits for Sporting KC.
Paolini grew up in Denver and came to Kansas City with IBM when he worked in the tech industry. Making the jump to fashion and the clothier’s profession might have come naturally. His grandfather worked in the New York garment district and his great-grandfather was in the business as well. Paolini did the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Fast Track Program in 2009 with the intention of using it for a tech company, but transferred the learning to the garment business.
“I want all of my clients to look awesome,” Paolini says, “I can get them the information and knowledge about what works.” His fabrics come from around the word and his tailors, except for post-fitting, are scattered. “I would love to make garments locally in the future.” At one time the Kansas City garment district was second only to New York, he says.
Paolini doesn’t handle the “needle and thread” but does the measurements and works with clients on fabrics, style and design. His clients are looking for luxury, quality and exclusivity, he says, but he also likes to work with customers who may not be able to afford custom luxury and he can provide a made-to-measure product.
Paolini Garment Company also will offer accessories such as ties and cuff links. The shop is at 5732 Johnson Drive and appointments can be scheduled through the website or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.