Chatting With William Wilson, The Stylish Visionary Behind Charlotte’s Custom Clothier

QC Exclusive talks to the Queen City’s very own personal clothing consultant William Wilson, otherwise known as The Clothier,  about his reinvention, the naysayers, Twitter, cliches, and Warren Buffett.

THIS MAGAZINE IS OUR REINVENTION. HOW HAVE YOU REINVENTED YOURSELF?
(Laughing) It seems like every year is a reinvention. I owned a high end residential framing company, then inspiration really came from someone asking me to help out with their closet. I started learning more about it and I realized that it was something that I really liked doing. I’ve always liked to dress well anyway. Now, I get paid for my hobby.

WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER CLOTHIERS IN CLT?
Exclusivity is my cornerstone. Other clothier’s take as many clients as they can. I only take three or four new clients a month, period. With Prada, Gucci, anyone who can write a check can wear those brands, but not everyone who can write a check can wear William Wilson.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS WHO ARE REINVENTING THEMSELVES?
Believe in yourself. No matter what it is that you’re looking to do there’s always going to be more people telling you why you can’t do it then people that will tell you that you can. Usually the people telling you that you can’t do it are the people that can’t even do it themselves. It tends to be the untrained talking to the unqualified about the unnecessary.

WHAT OTHER BUSINESS PURSUITS DO YOU HAVE NOW?
Public speaking. I’m a country boy from Arkansas so I really like to talk. Starting my non-profit, the William Wilson Foundation, and mentoring. Mentoring has helped me to stop focusing so much on trying to make money and instead has lead me to give other people a platform. I’m also working on more brand building that I call Clothier 3.0 and you’ll find out what it is soon enough.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO COME OUT WITH YOUR OWN CIGAR SINCE YOU DON’T SMOKE OR DRINK?
It fits my clients’ lifestyles. They like golfing with a stogie or getting together to celebrate a win with a smoke. I wanted my clients to have something even more exclusive than a Cuban.

William WIlson

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE PERSON TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER?
My favorite is J. Alexander Martin, founder of FUBU. His Twitter name is @jalexanderm. He tweets on fashion, education, business and its all informative. Other than that I like following my mentees because I like to see their progress. I follow @RobbReport, @HauteLiving, and a lot of other luxury blogs, @QCExclusive too.

WHAT’S THE NUMBER ONE QUOTE YOU LIVE BY?
I live my whole life by cliches. The thing that sticks out the most is “Broke people give broke advice” and I don’t mean broke monetarily. Its a state of mind, that defeatist attitude, that brings you down.

WHAT’S YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TIP TO BUILDING A BRAND?
Establish what you want to be seen as. If you say, ‘Ok William, we’re going to meet you at your place, how do we get there?” The first thing I’m going to say is ‘Where are you?’ Because if you’re in Monroe or in Pineville, there’s two different ways that I’m going to tell you how to get to my house. The point is, you have to find out where you are and what you want to be. When I get clients that want to change their brand I ask them who they want to be seen as. I tell them to find somebody that they really emulate, that they really respect, and to study that person.

WHO’S THAT PERSON FOR YOU?
It’s a combination of people. I like the way Bill Clinton can just work a room. I like Colin Powell’s statesmanship. I like the relentless drive of Diddy and Barbara Corcoran’s tenacity. I tell my clients to emulate one person and gradually pepper in different attributes from other people to help build that whole piece. You know, because a house isn’t just walls, there’s windows, and there’s doors, and there’s tables, and there’s floors, but all those different pieces together form one main function.

IF YOU COULD DRESS ONE PERSON ALIVE OR DEAD WHO WOULD IT BE?
Jesus. What better endorsement can you get. If he likes your stuff and he speaks up for you, you’re good. Warren Buffett too. I just have so much respect for him. The guy’s lived in the same house for 35 years, he just bought his first new car, he doesn’t own a computer, he’s donated billions to charity. He’s consistent and he uses the value of his brand to help others.

DO YOU THINK BUFFETT NEEDS IT?
(Laughing) Everybody needs a William Wilson suit, I dont care what they wear, they need a William Wilson.

For more information visit www.williamwilsonclothing.com