Meet the Man Selling Portland’s Most Luxurious Suits
In a plush, century-old parlor, Joseph Mueller outfits customers in the finest silk and wool.
By Eden Dawn
The tailoring space sits in an enclosed six-story, 123-year-old brick alleyway, with a giant skylight filtering sunbeams. Walk inside, and a walnut-paneled lounge and fitting area brims with supple leather furniture and local artwork, while a bar stocked with scotch abuts a wall draped with bolts of smart wools and shiny silks. It’s all part of the experience at downtown’s Wildwood & Company, where the process of developing a bespoke suit is as important as the impeccable clothing you walk out with.
Founder Joseph Mueller spent time in New York City and Seattle as a commercial litigator before returning to Oregon and inverting his career from suit-wearer to suit-maker. Along with his small fleet of tailors, the Banks, Oregon, native guides clients through the process of three fittings over a 10- to 12-week period. Beginning at around $3,000 for a two-piece suit, each creation is designed and fabricated from scratch—clients often bring in sketches scribbled on cocktail napkins for inspiration. And despite the designer price tag, Mueller’s clientele is steadily expanding, as fans are more willing to pay a premium for the Old World craftsmanship and small-business work ethic. “It’s people who want the best and believe this is the way,” says Mueller. “Plus, here, fit is king.”
Even if you don’t splurge on a custom suit, anyone can add some finishing touches to an ensemble in Wildwood’s small storefront, with items from dozens of local craftspeople, from dress shoes to ties to watches. Mueller hopes to train more tailors and increase his production to around 75 suits over the next year. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to start those napkin sketches.