YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – From the windows of his downtown Youngstown salon, Joseph Z. Guerrieri overlooks the center of the city’s nightlife district.
It’s an interesting and ever-changing view that serves as a perfect backdrop for his business.
Guerrieri is the owner and operator of Private Stash Atelier, located on the second floor of the building at 101 W. Federal St. that houses the Whistle and Keg bar.
It’s a stylish place where Guerrieri measures customers for custom-made clothing, and then makes the garments.
He can make full suits, sport coats, overcoats, shirts and just about any other item of clothing for men. Guerrieri will also custom-make clothing for women, and does alterations and style consultations.
The shop includes a lounge where clients can select fabric samples amid comfortable furniture, audio and video equipment, a bar, a fitting room, a show room and a workshop, where his sewing machines and patterns are kept.
All work is custom-made; made-to-measure suits start at $898; bespoke suits start at $3,500. Ready-to-wear pieces will be available next year.
“You can spend $500 or $600 for a suit off the rack, but for an extra couple hundred bucks you can get a fully tailored suit,” Guerrieri says. “You will get a lot more wear out of it and will never want to wear off the rack again.”
The creation of a made-to-measure jacket begins with a garment that has already been made by Guerrieri. After the client’s measurements are taken, the jacket will be altered until it is custom-fit.
Bespoke suits – which means they are made expressly for one person, from scratch – start with the client selecting the fabric, cut, collar, buttons and all other features and styles. Guerrieri then creates the patterns and makes the clothing.
Subsequent fittings are required as work progresses.
Guerrieri opened his shop in February, and sees customers by appointment-only – a practice he will continue through the holiday season.
“I keep it to word-of-mouth,” he says. “I want their first impression to be that they are blown away and excited to have something like this in Youngstown. And appointment-only gives me more time to work one on one with clients so they get the full experience.”
With the holiday gift-giving season nearing, Private Stash Atelier is selling gift cards, for specific amounts of money or for a complete suit. Call 330 623 6772. Items that are trending in Guerrieri’s shop include overcoats and also pants, shorts and trousers made from four-way stretch fabric.
A native of Youngstown’s north side, Guerrieri is a 2005 graduate of Canfield High School. After moving to Los Angeles in 2012, Guerrieri immediately started working as a DJ and at several other jobs.
He had an interest in fashion design and tailoring and discovered he had a talent for it. After learning the craft from a resident in his apartment building, he was hired by Klein, Epstein & Parker, a made-to-measure fashion clothing store chain.
Guerrieri would help KEP reopen its San Francisco store and then decided to go out on his own.
He moved back to Youngstown in 2018 to open his own shop, while regularly returning to LA to do fittings and make suits for his clients there.
“I could stay in LA and spend 8 grand a month on rent, or come here and spend a fraction of that, and still go back to LA [to serve my] clients,” he says.
Guerrieri flies into Los Angeles at regular intervals, rents a hotel room, does fittings for clients who had been secured by his agent, and then returns to LA in four to six weeks with garments for a second fitting. His goal is to build additional client bases in New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago
Another reason Guerrieri started his business in Youngstown is his desire to see the city succeed and be part of the downtown renaissance.
“Everybody talks about how great Youngstown is, but the nitty gritty of it is that everybody wants to move out of Youngstown to Canfield or Boardman or Poland,” he says.
“I want to keep something in the city. The only way it will grow is if people like myself will stay here, and we have something other than another bar or restaurant. There needs to be retail down here.”
Pictured: Joseph Z. Guerrieri opened Private Stash Atelier on the second floor of the downtown Youngstown building that houses the Whistle and Keg bar.