Fashion / Style File

18th Amendment Founder Brings Fashion Back to the Prohibition Era With Stylish Twists

Preferential Treatment With Angel Ramos

BY // 11.21.19

As street style still continues its moment in the spotlight, it’s refreshing to see that many men (young and perhaps not as young — that’s my age bracket BTW) are beginning to seek sartorial elegance once again. And many of those said men live here in North Texas.

That fact is being noticed by global men’s fashion powerhouses. Case in point, MR PORTER recently made a trip to Dallas with trunks of clothes with a huge section in their suite reserved for suits. And there are more.

I recently caught up with Angel Ramos while he was presenting a trunk show at the Ritz Carlton Dallas. He shared his fascinating back story which included his college years at Liberty University in Virginia where he played baseball. Post college Ramos explored a few professional endeavors including real estate, but given that fabric seemed to be in his blood (his mother worked in the garment industry and made a lot of the family’s clothing), he made the decision to focus on fashion.

He launched Angel Bespoke in 2012, a line that would cater to his personal desire for distinguished attire that didn’t seem stuffy or overtly dandy (although he agreed with me that “dandy” should never be considered a negative term). Over time the brand grew and he realized that he needed it to evolve to provide more accessibility to future clients through e-commerce platforms.

Ramos met entrepreneur Stephen Schweickart when they played baseball together in college. They came back together after Schweickart sold his tech company and decided to launch 18th Amendment. As with many creative geniuses and the financial geniuses behind them (see Calvin Klein and Barry Schwartz and Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé), they knew that this could be a recipe for success.

“I grew up in Brooklyn and I’ve always been fascinated with the Prohibition and speakeasy era in America, which all started with the 18th Amendment,” Ramos shares.

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Infamous characters, such as Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky, from that time in America, are an inspiration for the collections. 18th Amendment garments are constructed from luxurious fabrics and tailored impeccably, just as Ramos presents himself. (BTW: He has the honor of being named one of Esquire magazine’s Best Dressed Real Men).

The current 18th Amendment holiday collection offers up tuxedos in classic black or plaid with shawl collars, but also a velvet version in a deep blue for the gentleman who might want to veer slightly from the old school. I tried on a few jackets and instantly fell in love with the made to be touched fabrics and spot-on fit.

Given his eclectic background playing baseball and his love of speakeasy-style (he pointedly brings up cigars and whiskey as the perfect accessories to 18th Amendment clothing), I knew that Ramos would be a great candidate to be given our PaperCity Preferential Treatment questionnaire.

This fascinating designer shares everything from the last movie he saw to his dream client to dress.

Where are you right at this moment: San Francisco

The zip code you call home: 10019

Pajamas or in the buff: In the buff.

Early or late riser: Early

Coffee or tea: Coffee

Morning beauty/grooming ritual: Facial scrub, eye cream (I need a more proper one). 

Evening beauty/grooming ritual: Facial scrub, eye cream.

Go-to daytime ensemble: This time of year, exploded Glenplaid Black & White House Blazer

Ideal evening look: Tuxedo

Your happy place destination: Home with my wife and children.

The hotel you call your home-away-from-home: Condado Vanderbilt San Juan, Puerto Rico

Travel bag: Rimowa trunks 

Last person you cocktail’ed with and what was your poison: Client at Ritz Carlton Dallas bar, Lagavulin 16 (Neat).

Dream concert: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong in an intimate small hidden bar.

Store where you wish you had an unlimited charge account: Amazon

Items currently on your coffee table: Several children’s books, Sartorial magazines, and a Ralph Lauren coffee table book with markings on it from my son.

Last movie you saw: The HBO documentary Very Ralph.

Hall pass for a dalliance: The 50-year-old version of my wife, I guarantee you she’s smoking.

Who would play you in the movie of your life (living or dead actor is fine): Benicio del Toro

If you weren’t in your current profession what would you be doing: Owning a baseball glove manufacturing company in the Caribbean.

Secret skill: Opening a bottle cap with my wedding ring.

Guilty pleasure: Baked chocolate chip cookies (more of a weakness). 

Dream celebrity to dress: Brad Pitt 

Item of clothing every man should invest in: Tuxedo 

Ideal international location for your first pop-up: Japan

To order up something for yourself in time to wear to holiday parties or for that boy in your life who needs some sartorial guidance, consider eighteenthamendment.com.

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