Tailor made: Houston designer offers new Houston style perspective

A great sense of style is one of the great qualities that come with being a southern gentleman. Houston native Manfred Spencer is dedicated to embodying Southern gentility through his company GandR, a tailoring company he founded in 2013. The name is inspired by his mother and grandmother, Gladys Spencer and Rhonda Spencer, with whom he shares a close relationship.

Spencer initially started his brand as a handmade bowtie company, but began looking to expand his ideas to something more. He decided to talk to his grandmother, a seamstress by trade, for tips on how to cut and sew fabric so that he could make his first bowtie. His first creation sparked a passion in Spencer to expand his talents into custom tailoring.

Spencer stays true to his mission of offering elegance in design by offering his clients alteration services, custom suits and creating sample pieces for start-up brands. He found a niche in Houston, a city lacking the panache of yesteryear. To Spencer, tailoring is surely an art and something that every classic man could use when they want to look and feel their customized best.

“I did feel like at one point that tailored clothing was a lost art but as far as young people, it’s finally coming back around,” Spencer said.

Currently, Spencer attends Houston Community College where he is studying fashion design. His long-standing aspiration to become an entrepreneur made him realize that in order to be successful, he would need to learn about the professional aspects of the fashion business. His passion for fashion extends beyond the fine art of tailoring. For the last six years, Spencer works as an optician at an eyeglass store.

“To be in the position to help someone find glasses that suit them and for it to be something that they wear for 365 days of the years is a good feeling,” the 25-year-old said.

He takes pride in making a difference in people’s lives while finding what works for them best. His mission of giving Houston’s modern man access to suits that are specifically tailored to fit them, which in turn will give them the confidence they need to succeed no matter what they are wearing. Still, he doesn’t take himself too seriously in terms of his style and his vision for men in the city. In fact, Spencer plans to create collection that speaks to the urban Houston man. 

“The southern gent-in-a-suit side is a big part of my brand but I’m also pretty versatile when it comes to clothes, I like to wear ripped jeans sometimes too,” Spencer said.