The Fairest

Over the past week, we had a chance to catch up with one of our very first, prominent clients, John Fair. We talked fashion, life, and him being one of the very first to experience the 1701 process. Draped in a bold blue, John immediately captures the room. 

You notice John Fair. You just can’t help it. “I like bold and I like to be different,” he says. “This is my identity. If I get up on stage in front of people at work, they know it’s me. They can say, ‘That style right there? That’s John.’”

As director of strategic architecture at InHouse Realty, part of the Quicken Loans family of firms, Fair says his distinctive style has helped him stand out on the job and in the city. In particular, his penchant for bow ties has set him apart from many of his peers in the tech industry. 

“I always kind of stood out,” he says. “I wasn’t the normal type of technology geek, wearing whatever you consider the stereotypical geek wears, covered in Mountain Dew and Cheetos. That just wasn’t my thing.”

Living for six years in Chicago, Fair became “obsessed with designers and labels” from Burberry to Brooks Brothers. “When I came back to Michigan, I had a crisis of who I was stylistically,” he says. “I didn’t know what to do. Picture cargo pants and sweaters. It was not good.” 

That’s when Fair began to get into bow ties and now has more than 70, a collection that continues to grow. “I never turn down a bow tie because I think they’re frickin’ awesome. I did the long tie thing for a while and it just didn’t feel right.”

Returning to Detroit, Fair developed a passion for individualized style, embracing fine detail, bold colors, one-of-a-kind cufflinks and distinctive collars and cuffs. “I like things that contrast really hard,” he says. “I’m into anything where there are two things that look like they shouldn’t go together and then you bring them together and make them work. Because that is the difference between fashion and style.”

It was that bold sense of style that first brought Fair and 1701 Bespoke together. "I was stopped in the mall and greeted with the words, ‘I love your style and I want to make clothes for you.’”

From here, our great client-craftsman relationship was born. “What I love about 1701 Bespoke is how much they care about what they’re making,” Fair says. “That quality and customer service and then the garments themselves are all second to none.” 

That is one of the reasons he continues to bring his ideas to 1701 Bespoke, working with the team to bring his distinctive sense of style to life. “If it’s a Monday and I’m feeling just awful, I’m going to put on a suit like the one I’m wearing today because I know it’s going to bring me up again. Because I know I have to go into work and perform. I don’t have a choice. I have to be on. To take my style and lean on it, it’s an asset. It’s going to help change my mindset. That’s something that’s absolutely affected who I am.” 

The afternoon ended with a dazzling photoshoot to commemorate some of John's most detailed additions we've constructed for him. We had an amazing time recanting the journey and look forward to meeting new people who push us to deliver much like John did. 


Want to follow in John's footsteps?