Don Morphy Sets Men’s Luxury Standard for the Holiday Season

This time of the year, the weather outside could be frighteningly cold, giving rise to those warm, sentimental feelings that go with Yuletide bliss. Those Yuletide memories conjure up images of family, good food, and cheer. Not far behind these images are all the colors, textures, and glam and glitz of the holiday season. Add to that, memories of holiday parties and great fashion.

The 2023 holiday season should be the season that you stand out from all others. And if you are a male consumer there is no better way to grab attention than in a Don Morphy luxury suit.

If you don’t know who Don Morphy is, you should. In the ever-evolving menswear market where menswear glitz and glam is becoming the order of the day, Don Morphy is setting a luxury standard.

Daniel Morfo

From the brand’s 2019 Fashion Group International menswear win, this exciting menswear brand is enjoying great success and gaining brand recognition in a very saturated market. Fashion Reverie was fortunate to visit the Don Morphy store in New York City and talk with creative director Daniel Morfo about his exciting men’s luxury brand.

Fashion Reverie: How did you get started in the fashion industry?

Daniel Morfo: I am originally from Cameroon, and I moved to the United States to attend Texas Southern University (TSU), majoring in computer engineering. When I graduated from TSU, I started working for Walmart in Arkansas as a computer engineer. I worked at Walmart for 13 years. Later, I quit my job at Walmart to follow my dream of becoming a menswear fashion designer.

FR: That is a very brave move, how did you find the courage to quit a stable job and work in a field as unstable as the fashion industry?

Daniel Morfo: I was very successful as a computer engineer, but I wasn’t happy. I didn’t know if I would be successful as a menswear designer, but I took the risk. I did have a bankroll to finance my dream, but it was all or nothing, so I took the plunge.

I quit my job and moved to Dallas, and it was very difficult the first couple of years. My first clients were the Los Angeles Lakers’ Dwight Howard and Televangelist/Author T. D. Jakes. Acquiring these clients gave me a lot of confidence and I knew I was on my way. Additionally, I was the Fashion Group International menswear award winner in Dallas and New York City in 2019.

FR: How did you come up with the name of your company, Don Morphy?

Daniel Morfo: Back in Cameroon, friends called me ‘The Don,’ because I love to wear hats and I was the best dressed guy in the class. When I started my company, I wanted ‘Don’ to be a part of the name. My last name is Morfo, so I conjured up the name ‘Don Morphy,” which is a play on names. It sounded just right!!

When I dress my clients, I want them to feel like ‘The Don,’ because a don is a boss.  The word don also means to dress. When my clients get dressed in my menswear they are morphing into ‘The Don.’

FR: Your design aesthetic is men’s luxury suiting. Why that direction for your company?

Daniel Morfo: Men’s luxury suiting is a niche. Every man can dress casually, but luxury dressing is something special. I learned about luxury suiting while studying menswear in Naples, Italy. And suiting is what I love to do.

FR: And why did you choose Dallas, Texas to start your company?

Daniel Morfo: Dallas was a much better menswear market than Arkansas and a more affordable place to launch my business than New York City or Los Angeles. There is also a large African population in Dallas, and African men love to dress and show their personal style.

FR: How did you come to open your menswear boutique on the Upper Eastside in New York City?

Daniel Morfo: As my Dallas boutique was doing very well, I was contemplating opening another store in a major American city. I considered Houston and Los Angeles. New York City was actually third on my list.

That said, my good friend Ese Azenabor was opening her bridal boutique on Madison Avenue and East 91st Street. When I came to check out her boutique, I fell in love with New York City and more importantly the Upper Eastside. I wondered if there was a space available on Madison Avenue, the luxury shopping center of the world, and behold there was a space available right next to Ese Azenabor’s bridal boutique.

So, I decided to take the blunge. I knew it would be tough; however, I have survived tough times before and I knew I could do it.

FR: What makes your luxury suits and jackets stand out among similar brands?

Daniel Morfo: We stand out because we know how to play with colors and patterns. We are confident in our abilities to mix and match colors and patterns to the best effect. Normally, men are afraid color. To be a Don Morphy man, you are not afraid of color because we demonstrate to our male consumers how to wear color in a way that suits their personal style and taste.

FR: What would your attribute to male consumers current embrace of color and embellishments?

Daniel Morfo: The expansion and injection of social media plays a huge role in this embrace of color and embellishments in menswear. Everyone wants to stand out and be different.

A have consumer who owns about 100 of my suits because each time he wears a suit and puts it on social media and gets a great response, he wants to show something different. Men’s fashion is usually very basic, unlike women’s wear which has a huge array of colors, textures, and fabrications. Now, because of social media, a basic suit gets you no likes or followers. You need something that catches online consumers’ interest.

FR: Do you believe that hip-hop culture is adding to this widening acceptance of more color. In other words, a new definition of masculinity?

Daniel Morfo: With the music videos and a wider embrace of style and distinctiveness, there is more of a demand for garments that are eye-catching. For male consumers who are bombarded with so many images every day, you cannot keep their interest with the same basic silhouettes, colors, and patterns.

Remember, so many boundaries have been broken down and the world is now one place. Distance and time no longer divide people. And social media gives exposure to so many things quickly and globally.

Africans love bold colors and instead of the embrace of bold color being something that African embraced on the African continent, that aesthetic is now shared around the whole world.

FR: Who is your customer?

Daniel Morfo: My customer is that guy who is very stylist and wants to look different. We also make high-end menswear for grooms. And many potential grooms come to us because they don’t want to diminish next to the bride who is getting all the attention. They want to stand out also. They want to keep up with the bride, not outshine her. What should also be noted is that we also dress the entire groom party.

FR: Does your customer need deep pockets?

Daniel Morfo: We make garments for a variety of male consumers at different price points. Our price points for our basic suits are at an affordable price point and as the embellishments are added, the price point goes up.

We have 20,000 fabrics to choose from, so eighty percent of our business is custom made garments with 20 percent being off the rack. Depending on a consumer’s budget, we can match style and fabric to the price point.

The average price point for a groom’s tuxedo is $1800. And, if you want to add crystal embellishments, the price point could go up to about $3000.

Images courtesy of Don Morphy

FR: What’s next for Don Morphy?

Daniel Morfo: We are thinking about stores in Houston and Los Angeles. The most important thing right now is to get more traction in the New York market.

—William S. Gooch

 

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