If you think Duncan Quinn is merely in the bespoke suit-making business, think again.The NYC-based tastemaker has built a clothing brand championed by some of the biggest sartorial enthusiasts, yet there’s more to Quinn than skill with a measuring tape.
Perhaps that’s why the entrepreneur has managed to “make a lot of lemonade out of those 2020 COVID lemons,” he says with his signature wit. “We are lucky in that our business is unusual in the first place,” he continues. “It is difficult to explain as we are not really the store many think us to be. More of a private members club… where the entree is acquiring beautiful pieces of clothing from us.”
Quinn’s success stems from “an absolute focus on quality,” he explains—sourcing materials from the finest mills, producing unique patterns for each client and entrusting a small in-house team to craft every suit by hand. The results are impeccably tailored works of art— “very English, structured, waisted and rock ’n’ roll,” he says, adding that each suit is finished with a trademarked pocket flap and smoking skull-printed lining. The skull logo embodies his brand and is even featured on the bottles of his Quinn Rosé.
However, Quinn has collected his discerning clientele not only because of his talent, but also his aura. The bon vivant lives for “shenanigans of the first order,” he says, citing “4-by-4 car rallies across Africa to save elephants, ridiculous trips to Monaco to party it up at the Grand Prix, private dinners with ex-cellar wines from some of the finest vineyards in the world and racing 100-year-old classic teak sailing yachts all over the world.” It’s all very 007, and that’s part of the allure. “Our clients look to us as much as an arbiter of taste, curator and fixer of things as a bespoke tailor,” he says. “We love beautifully cut and exactingly made bespoke suits—don’t get us wrong—but that is not our raison d’etre. We just believe dressing the part makes a difference, and makes for a richer, more memorable experience for everyone involved.”
When he’s not racing yachts in Nantucket or jetsetting with the glitterati (in non-COVID times, of course), Quinn enjoys the peace and quiet offered out East. You might be able to spot him: Just look for red socks. “I used to wear them so much in the mid-1990s that several of my girlfriends from the legendary private bar Momo on Heddon Street simply called me ‘Red Socks,’” he reveals of his sartorial secret weapon. “But the real secret is to dress every day as if for a role in a movie. Inhabit the character you are going to be in that movie. And dress accordingly."