Monday November 20, 2017

Why style guru Pedro Mendes wrote about century-old Canadian tailors

Pedro Mendes is a Toronto-based writer, broadcaster and men's fashion enthusiast who stresses the importance of dressing well.

Pedro Mendes is a Toronto-based writer, broadcaster and men's fashion enthusiast who stresses the importance of dressing well. (thehogtownrake.com/Figure 1 Publishing)

Listen 3:14

Pedro Mendes is a very well-dressed man. The writer, broadcaster and men's fashion expert believes in the beauty and artistry of a well-tailored suit. Now he's written a book about Canada's oldest tailor. Walter Beauchamp: A Tailored History of Toronto, co-written with Terry Beauchamp, details the 100-year history behind Toronto's oldest and well-known custom tailors.

Lead by example 

"I got interested in men's style after becoming a father. I remember when my son was quite young, he looked up at me in that soul-searching way babies do. And I thought to myself, 'I'm going to be his role model. I'm going to be his example of what masculinity is, what manhood is.' I honestly did not know what that meant at the time, so I started changing the outside in the hopes of changing the inside. One of the things that I did was to change my wardrobe and to start dressing how I thought a grownup should dress."

A history of Toronto through suits

"This book is subtitled A Tailored History of Toronto because I see it as a history of Canada's oldest custom tailor. But as that story is told, you're also finding out about the development of Toronto, from a secondary town at the turn of the last century to Canada's biggest city centre in terms of population and economy. You see that happening to the city through the stories of the people who come into the tailoring shop."

Pedro Mendes's comments have been edited and condensed.