Tatsu Ogata, Icon Suit Cherry Creek North
Our series Trend Report is a style spread featuring clothing brands and stores. This month, Culture & Style Editor ANNIE BLOJ interviews Tatsu Ogata of Icon Suit Cherry Creek. Tatsu wears clothing from Icon Suit in Cherry Creek North.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY CAROLINE MILLER
CLOTHING: ICON SUIT
Annie Bloj: Tatsu, I enjoyed our chat at the showroom during the shoot. You have had an interesting journey to Icon Suit, can you give us some insight into your background in music and your life before Icon Suit?
Tatsu Ogata: Well for a majority of my young adult life I was a touring Producer/DJ for electronic dance music. I did that for about 13 years and performed my last show in 2014 along with announcing my retirement from touring. That was probably one of the biggest decisions of my life, but it had to be done. The politics in the music industry just became overwhelming and was no longer enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, I still produce music. I just don’t tour anymore and now I can do music on my terms. But a few years before I got out of the music industry, I dived headfirst into fashion. Fashion has always been a passion of mine but it was my older brother that put me in my first suit and from that day forward I was hooked! I have three major passions in my life: music, art, and fashion. All of which is just a creative expression of one’s self. I’ve been an artist my whole life and in every way possible. So the sartorial lifestyle fits right in with my personality and creativity and now nine years later here I am designing suits.
AB: What made you make the pivot into custom suiting and how did you partner up with Dmitriy (Metsaev, Owner of Icon Suit)?
TO: After years of being in the men’s suiting industry, I got tired of not being able to give my clients exactly what they were looking for. So I started looking for a place that would give more freedom not only in fabrics but in the fit. That’s how I found Icon Suit and after waiting months to finally sit and talk with Dmitriy, I’ll never forget the day I met him. He came into the shop wearing pink pants and a blue jacket, sat down and said I got one question for you, “If you could be number one in anything what would it be?” I responded, “I would like to be the number one stylist in Denver.” His immediate response was, “Great answer. I like you. Bella will get you set up and I’ll see you soon.” After that, he walked out and I’ve been here at Icon Suit ever since.
AB: What inspires you and how do you guide your clients through the infinite possibilities of custom suiting and building a wardrobe?
TO: When clients come to see me before I start the process, I first like to sit down and get to know a little about them and what it is they are looking for. After that, I’ll be able to narrow down the search for the fabric and color they want. Most of my clients come in looking for something super conservative and all they need is a little guidance and sometimes a nudge in getting the perfect fabric for them that breaks away from the typical office drone suit. It is my job to not only help my clients look good but to also feel confident and blown away by how good it can feel to wear a suit. More often than not, I have clients that put on their new suit and just want to stay in it, hang out and have a drink. Those are the moments that inspire me, the moments I helped change the way they see themselves. I tell all my clients, you don’t buy a wardrobe you build one. That’s how I approach each suit that I design, that this is only one of the many pieces to come because I know they will be back for more.
AB: You and Dmitriy both have such amazing camaraderie and appreciation for what you each bring to the table. How do you make the relationship work?
TO: By knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we help each other out. Like Dmitriy always says, “I’m not a fashion expert, Tatsu is, I’m just a lawyer.” And I say, “I’m not the brains of the operations. I just make it look good.” But the bottom line is we both respect each other’s opinions and we don’t sugar coat anything. We say it how it is and we are honest with one another. Dmitriy has helped me learn a lot about business and I like to think I have helped him learn a lot about Coloradans. But who knows, I’m just honored to work with him and to be a part of it all.
AB: Thank you for sharing your story with me, I’ve loved working with you and getting to know more about Icon Suits and what you guys do! It’s always so interesting to gain insight into all the amazing businesses in Cherry Creek North, particularly in fashion!