Ray Montalvo has collected more than his share of clothing over the years. He's also discarded a lot of it. No, he's not a clotheshorse on steroids, he's a former personal tailor - and all that clothing has gone into or come out of other men's closets.
Montalvo is one of a growing industry of private fashion consultants and personal tailors who make their livings updating the closets of busy executives with more talent for stock trading than suit shopping. Not only do they bring the store to their clients' homes or offices, their services allow busy professionals to shop for clothing they need without interrupting their harried work schedules.
The idea dates back several centuries, when gentlemen used personal tailors to make their clothing and valets to organize it. Now, with the time demands on today's executives - and the increasing role of CEO as company celebrity and television star - the idea of calling in an expert to keep your closet updated no longer seems like a blast from the past. New job? Too busy to shop? Hate to shop? Pick up the phone.
"If you're going to redo your offices, you wouldn't do so without hiring an interior designer," notes Jack Simpson, a former designer for Alexander Julian Couture and now a personal tailor to busy clients such as TV personality Stone Phillips. "So why would you consider changing your wardrobe without consulting a personal designer?"
Once upon a time, businesspeople were told to own three gray suits and one navy, and mixing these with shirts and accessories would serve any occasion. That rule is hopelessly outdated, Simpson says.