William Wilson: Impacting Fashion and the Community 10

Local Entrepeneur Adds a Touch of Style to Charlotte

“At the end of the day people may never see what you drive and they may never see where you live, but they will always see what you wear.”

These were the words spoken by William Wilson, the CEO of William Wilson Clothing located at 1200 S. Graham Street, which expresses the importance of taking great pride in your appearance.

After reading this breathtaking and inspiring quote, it may be hard for one to grasp the fact that a passion for fashion was not at all in Wilson’s DNA.

After Wilson was repeatedly approached over and over by others regarding his wardrobe he had an epiphany that sparked the birth of his now successful company; this epiphany became part of the defining moment that encouraged him to start William Wilson Clothing.

After Wilson decided to start his own company, he knew it was imperative that he research and study the market so he could gain a completive edge, so he began conducting online research on high-end luxury brands, such as Rolex, Bentley and Rolls-Royce; he also visited alteration shops just to sit for hours and watch suits be taken apart and then put back together to learn how to tailor various types of clothing.

In his not only spectacular, but elegant showroom, you will find a plethora of items, including suits, t-shirts, ties, bow ties, neck ties, socks, cufflinks and tie clips; his tailored suits can range anywhere from $900 to $40,000, depending on the material used to create the suit and his accessories range upward from $20.

The purchase of a tailored suit includes the pants, a jacket and a pocket square that matches the lining of the suit, he says.

Wilson feels that most men do not dress for success for various reasons, including not being able to afford a tailored suit, but he still encourages them to dress for success within their budget.

Men can accomplish looking successful by staying well-groomed and going to a lower-end place to purchase suits and then to an alteration shop to have someone tailor the suits to fit their body structure, he says.

As a designer, Wilson does not only cater to men, he has also created exclusive designs for women.

Recently, he expanded his brand by offering custom-made jeans that will typically range from $300 to $400.

Women were my inspiration when deciding to offer custom jeans because most of them have a hard time finding jeans that fit them, he says.

There is no comparison between Wilson and other designers and one reason is because his one-on-one consultation sessions are nothing short of intimate and exclusive.

I love to innovate around the client and I am able to do this by providing a private one on-one session with them to find out who they are as well as their goals and objectives because as a clothier I want to make sure that my clients are comfortable in their clothing, he says.

As a designer, Wilson has definitely been blessed to have met and worked with a diverse selection of individuals.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with many celebrities and athletes over the years, including D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin, George Lopez, Ray Brown as well as James Anderson and complete projects for the Grammy’s and Oscars, he says.

Although he has had and still has many celebrities as clients his target market has been and will always be business people.

“I’ve always said that I’d rather have ten people that worked at Bank of America Corporate Center than ten guys who play at Bank of America Stadium.”

His reasoning for this philosophy is because individuals who work in corporate America and their peers are going to wear a suit five days a week while athletes and their peers will tend to buy fewer suits.

Brandon Williams, a former Panthers and now Tight End for the Miami Dolphins, contacted Wilson at the end of his rookie year with the full intentions and aspirations of “stepping his game up”.

Williams had met with other designers and felt as though they were extremely expensive and that he would be wasting his money.

When I consulted with Wilson and viewed his suits I knew that I would be getting my money’s worth, he says.

Williams was originally wearing suits from Men’s Warehouse that didn’t quite fit is physique, which further prompted his initial contact with Wilson regarding his fashionably designed tailored suits.

“His suits are really unique and I like how he tends to keep up with the trends”, he says.

Williams considers himself a trendsetter and always accessorizes to enhance his custom suits to include his own style.

I try to make sure that the tie goes with the shirt and that everything coordinates.  The type and color of the watch that I will wear will depend on the color of my shirt or suit, he says.

Whether you need a tailored suit or even accessories that fits not only your body type but your needs, Wilson is a designer that you should consider consulting if you want to be like Williams and “step your game up”.

Wilson is not your average businessman simply because his motivation to be successful has not only impacted the fashion industry, but also various communities.

Wilson is a passionate advocate for domestic violence and loves to bring awareness to the topic with the hopes of breaking the cycle.  He feels strongly about this topic, especially since he constantly witnessed the abuse of his mom as a child.

“I remember when I was 13 years old I made a decision that my mom was going to have at least one man in her life that she was proud of and I said if that has to be me then it’s just going to be me, Williams says.

Wilson hopes to continue expanding his brand throughout the Charlotte area as well as other locations and to continue to leave a positive, lasting impression on individuals in various communities.