We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Andres II and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, why did you pursue a creative career?
My entire family is artistic by nature. Most of us gravitate towards music and public speaking. A few of us are involved in cosmetology, but I am the only one who leaned full tilt towards fashion design and tailoring. I became interested in men’s clothing back in 2004. I was stationed in Japan and could not find clothes I wanted, so I started sketching and it took off from there.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I run a bespoke tailoring atelier. I pride myself in doing everything in house (and right now that is literal). Most places that claim to do custom or made-to-measure; take your measurements and send them overseas where half of the jacket or trousers are already made up. The salesmen you met never even touches your garment. The only thing I purchase from overseas is usually fabric. I had planned to open a new downtown office in November, unfortunately 2020 became the year of “The Lockdown” with COVID-19. My Master and business partner passed away in June and our shop in North Miami closed. To be honest I went into a depression for months and nearly gave up tailoring. Close to getting rid of my machine until a friend reached out to me and requested a special project. She was getting married and wanted her groom to have a special tie for the occasion which I agreed to do. The work reignited my passion. So now I am working from home creating unique accessories that I have been able to ship to customers. I will begin creating one-off blazers in January of 2021. My goal is to push the artistic side of our craft. I want to showcase more of a canvas art fashion.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
57th street station – Chica Bayside Mall and Dolphin Mall Havana 1957 Le Chat Noir – awesome jazz North Beach – because there are no tourists The South Beach Strip – when I feel like seeing tourists Las Olas Blvd – if you don’t know why, you’re not from South Florida. Bon Gout – try the brisket Palatino Jamaican restaurant Ball & Chain off Calle Ocho I love my city!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I need and want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The ability to create is given by the Lord and I can never repay him. My incredible, smoking hot wife of 10 years who supports me, puts of with my craziness and trusts me to dream but still take care of us. There is nothing like having someone that believes in you to share a life with. it also adds a little pressure to ensure my success. My family: my mom, dad, sisters, brother and brother-in-law are always supportive and encouraging me to go forward. i can always bounce something off of them and look to get a real constructive response and insight. My Pastors Willie and Karen Felton prayers, advice and experience have been vital to me and the success of my life and marriage. Finally to my master and friend – Master Tailor Locksley Gascott. After 64 years of tailoring, He begrudgingly took me as his last apprentice and gave me the art and love for the trade. What started as a request to just make a jacket became a five year mentorship and a collective dream for The House of the Red Tailor. I lost him in June of this year to a fight with cancer and it has been devastating. But I want to thank him by continuing to pursue this vision.