One of the most unique hidden gems in Chelsea is the men’s boutique clothing store “Conquete” owned and operated by the men’s clothing designer Richard Cohen.
(Iconic Men’s Fashion Designer Richard Cohen)
Richard Cohen started designing women’s wear contour “made to measure” for about three years, than he gave it all up and went into the restaurant industry for 15 years, but his love and passion for designing clothes compelled him to return “with a whole new line of men’s wear custom made for club goers, special parties, carnival, and vacations.
(Model: Samir Arboleda)
When I asked Richard why he chose to do men’s wear he said: “because I wanted to wear my own clothes, I don’t wear the women’s clothes that I made, so I do men’s wear. First I was working on consignment for about five or six boutiques and things were not moving fast enough for me, so I realized I had enough inventory to open my own store; I tried to work with other people, but they turned me down so I opened my own store for my men’s clothing line, it was easier to show all my designs in one space.”
Richard first opened a small store on 8th Ave and 22th street back in 1998, he than closed that store in 2000 and opened at his current location in 2001. “I had a show in between the two stores doing designs for private clientele, special orders, shirts, pants, and bathing suits.”
Richard likes items that are “odd and different” and used to sell exclusively only his designs, now he sells his and a mixture of other choice designers that he deems unique and not produced by others. He specializes in men’s pants, shirts, and swimwear.
Richard’s designs are inspired by the things that he would wear himself and the”touch and feel of the fabric. I don’t follow trends, I don’t even look at magazines” he added.
(Sale Associate/Model: Samir Arboleda)
What really unique about Conquete is that you will always find “special items” that you can’t find anywhere else especially in department stores. “I offer a lot more choices for my customers”. After my interview with Richard he had a young designer by the name of Daniel Merat come in to see him for help with his FIT portfolio. He had to design a jacket and needed some help, so Richard invited me (to my delight) to his work shop downstairs in the basement to watch and learn a little about men’s fashion designing.
(Richard helping young designer Daniel Merat with his design for FIT)
As I watched this master craftsmen work in his studio I was awestruck at the ease and perfect way he designs as well as the fine fabric that he is ever so selective about, only the finest fabrics and stitching will do for Richard.
Richard is most proud of his loyal and long term clients that he has made happy for so many years, “you get something in return when your clients come back and thank you for great custom garments.”
Conquete is located at 257 West 23rd Street New York, NY (646) 638-2646.(or log on to Conquete.net). If you’re into men’s fine fashion styles, stop by the store and get that favorite man in your life something great, or treat yourself to a fashionable holiday gift.