Community leaders suit up for Sacramento tailor's benefit show

To celebrate one year in his downtown Sacramento showroom, Ryan Hammonds, owner of R. Douglas Custom Clothier, is putting on a fashion show Saturday night.

The 7 p.m. program will be outdoors on K Street near 12th Street and will feature a runway as well as other attendant details of a professional fashion event. The models, however, won’t be the smooth-walking, pose-for-the-cameras and spin-at-just-the-right-moment types. Instead, they’ll be loyal customers, 50 of them, wearing their own custom clothes from R. Douglas.

Among them will be Steve Hansen, a Sacramento city councilman, who enlisted Hammonds to make a black herringbone suit for his City Hall swearing-in ceremony in 2012.

“Ryan and his business are the exact kind of thing we need in Sacramento, particularly downtown,” Hansen said.

Referring to his star turn on the runway, Hansen said with a chuckle, “I’ll have to practice all week. Make sure I have the strut down. I like to think that confidence comes from within.”

Christopher Cabaldon, the mayor of West Sacramento, will also be on the runway on K Street. Cabaldon owns a custom shirt, blazer and pants from R. Douglas.

“I went there last calendar year and I learned a lot more about what I should be wearing and what options are out there, all in a very comfortable environment,” Cabaldon said.

Before opening his brick-and-mortar location on 12th Street, Hammonds’ business was built on visiting his customers at work or home to take measurements, pick fabrics and zero in on specific details for the clothing – the type of lapel, the stitching on the buttonholes, the lining, cuffs or no cuffs – all the little things that go into the bespoke look.

Launching R. Douglas more than a decade ago, Hammonds, 33, has emerged as a major player on the local men’s fashion scene. His business appeals to men seeking serious fashion and fit without breaking the bank. The suits start at $799.

Hammonds combines old-fashioned customer service with a high-tech approach. Once the measurements are taken and the fabrics are selected, the information is put into a database and sent to a factory in China. Orders typically are filled in a few weeks.

R. Douglas suits tend to have a more modern look, with a slimmer overall silhouette, shorter jacket, higher armholes and slimmer, shorter pant legs.

“Good Day Sacramento’s” Mark S. Allen is set to emcee Saturday’s event, which is free to the public. VIP ticket sales and a mini-auction will benefit WEAVE, a nonprofit that serves victims of domestic violence, and its “Suited for Success” program. R. Douglas encourages clients to donate their used suits to the organization.

Hammonds said spectators at the fashion show should expect serious clothes presented in a not-so-serious way.

“The event will be highlighting our clients’ sense of style,” he explained. “The runway show is not your typical show. These are garments that they wear every day. Part of the entertainment is they are not runway models.”

Sonny Mayugba, co-founder of The Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar, owns 10 R. Douglas custom shirts and five suits. He recently gave custom shirts to three business associates. Hammonds took the measurements at a pool party in Mayugba’s backyard.

“I first hooked up with Ryan in 2009,” Mayugba said. “Here it is in 2014 and he’s outfitting celebrities, has a beautiful showroom and he still came over to my house on a Friday night to do a fitting. ... That guy could pick up his shop and make it successful anywhere in the world.”

Mayugba said he was still trying to decide which R. Douglas look he will show off on the runway Saturday.

“I know nothing about modeling, but I’m always happy to do it for Ryan because I love to represent what he is about,” Mayugba said. “It’s totally an honor and I’m stoked to do it.”