In our go-go-go world, speed is often one of the things we prize most. Fast internet connection, fast and easy meals—everything is fast. But for true luxury, “speed” is rarely part of the equation. Fine wines, for example, take time to become fine. At St. Croix Collections we appreciate artisans and craftsmen that take the time to produce quality work and are the very best at what they do—which is why we’re pleased to feature Franco’s Fine Clothier in the Retailer Spotlight this week.
Franco’s path of quality and excellence goes all the way back to 1956, when a young Franco Ambrogi made his way to America from Italy and began to build a life as a tailor. He’d been making suits since he was 11 years old, and he quickly earned a reputation as the best tailor around. After working for other people for many years, in 1972 he finally decided to open up his very own business, providing custom made clothes and alterations for men.
The successful business has had several locations over the years, and they added ready-to-wear items into the mix. Today there are two stores in Richmond, VA: one in Lakeside and one at Short Pump Town Center. And this is a family business, as Franco’s son Mark Ambrogi and his son-in-law Kevin Reardon are now co-owners of Franco’s Fine Clothier. If you think that Franco has retired, think again. He’s still very much a part of the business, primarily focusing on the tailoring shop.
The tailoring shop is how the business began, and it’s still what sets them apart. They noted that what’s different from when the business started is that people want things right away—they want it fast of course! Kevin Reardon noted that “people used to plan out their wardrobe for the season, and they would come in, select things, and know that it was going to take a little while to get it all, because of the labor intensive nature of tailoring. But today, very few people plan that far in advance, and they simply want things right away.”
Luckily for the customers of Franco’s stores, they have a seasoned tailoring staff of 8 experts in the craft. Some of the tailors have over 40 years of experience, which is simply phenomenal. They’ve also beefed up their sportswear collection for those immediate purchase needs, and they have a wide selection of options for both suits and sportswear. As Kevin says, “you can’t sell it if you don’t have it.”
One thing that hasn’t changed, is their commitment to their customer. At Franco’s they take pride in putting together a full package for someone—especially when it all just works. They are able to help customers put together a look that maybe they hadn’t considered, and when they love it, everyone is happy. Happy customers are key to the longevity of the business. Franco’s will never sacrifice fit over anything, whether it’s casual or dress clothing. Fit is king—it’s the most important thing in taking care of the customer. If it’s not the right fit, then it’s not right for the customer. And customers appreciate that approach and that honesty.
They appreciate it so much, in fact, that Franco’s is now serving second and third generation customers. Recently a customer came into Franco’s who remembered his Dad purchasing clothing there when he was in high school. He recently moved back to Richmond, and when he thought about needing some new clothing…he remembered Franco’s, and was so pleased to find it still in business and thriving.
St. Croix Collections Representative, Richard Welmering, can’t say enough good things about the family and the business. “Mark and Kevin are carrying on the tradition of the finest quality menswear in the southeast”, Rich tells us. But more than that, he says, “they are simply a marvelous family. I’d be friends with them even if I didn’t sell them anything…they are so wonderful to be around. And Franco—you gotta love him!”
Loving what you do, and doing it well, has set Franco’s apart for over 44 years, and it’s unlikely that will change anytime soon. “Taking care of the customers is what we do”, says Mark Ambrogi. “We just love interacting with people”.
St. Croix Collections is proud to be part of such a strong legacy business with a true dedication to excellence. Visit Mark, Kevin and Franco at either of the Franco’s locations, and find out for yourself why they’re often on the list of “Best Of” in Richmond. At least you know everything will be a perfect fit.