The custom clothing industry has lost an icon: Briggs Doherty Jr. left this world at age 77 after fighting cancer and other health issues.
He had two clothing studios, one in Providence, Rhode Island that he ultimately sold to Marc Streisand (now Marc Allen Clothiers), and the other in Chicago where he and his beloved wife Paula moved to be near their grandchildren.
So many tributes on social media and a wonderful article in the Providence Journal describe a terrific merchant with an enticing larger-than-life personality. Recalls reporter Mark Patinkin, who first met Briggs years ago in his Providence clothing studio, “He had a twinkle of hell-raising in his eye… After sizing me up and down and in the loudest voice I ever heard from a salesman, he said ‘Oh my God, for Chrissake, look at ya. We have to do something!’”
Boisterous, over-the-top, but caring with an innate sense of style (and a fondness for velvet slippers), Briggs was not one to be ignored. Said his friend and colleague Peter Antoniades, “If you were at the same convention, you could hear him from 100 booths away.” Seattle custom tailor Gian de Caro found inspiration in Brigg’s “Irish sartorial flamboyance. I love the way he took control of a room. He was a showman and bombastic with a strong sense of propriety. He wanted to be an oasis of propriety in a sea of dishevelment.”
Briggs was proud to have continued the legacy that his dad had established in 1941 with a Providence haberdashery, and got a kick out of using his own initials to name his studio B.A.D. Custom Clothiers. Sums up colleague Fred Derring from DLS buying office, “Briggs was a character with enormous style and attitude. Yes, he was opinionated but most of the time he was right on! He was very much loved and will be greatly missed.”