Custom clothier briggs doherty jr. dies at 77

by Karen Alberg Grossman

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.”

10 Replies to “CUSTOM CLOTHIER BRIGGS DOHERTY JR. DIES AT 77”

  1. Briggs, full of enthusiasm and conviction and style to go with it. I will miss the vote of confidence he always gave me.

    1. I met Briggs 20 years ago and remember it like it was yesterday. He was wearing a canary yellow sport coat and his signature red plaid pants. I loved him from that moment on. What a wonderful and colorful character. I will miss him dearly.

  2. Briggs had it all, his style was elegant, flamboyant, his quality unsurpassed and could he sell.
    I will miss long ago days hanging in front of the Main St store smoking cigars and drinking coffee
    until Paula told him it was time to go to work. Briggs RIP

    1. In a world where larger than life characters are few and far in between, and a time where conformity to the mass is rewarded we have lost a larger than life “genuine” outspoken boisterous and wonderful man. The world is a little less fun, stylish, and missing something without Briggs!

  3. A man I will never forget. You left a mark on me for life and longer. My encounters were few but I recount each and every one as vividly as it was yesterday and with the same excitement as when it first happened. The loss of a true legend in the world of menswear. RIP Briggs, you were certainly B.A.D but I loved you for it.

  4. What a larger than life personality!
    Dennis and I saw Briggs the last number of years at Trade Shows in Chicago. Both Briggs and Dennis were using mobility scooters to simply make it around the big show easier. They would have races down the aisles !
    I was a New England rep for many years…many years ago….. and called upon the WONDERFUL Briggs Ltd clothing store. Not many individual merchants out there have multi levels with elevators…but Briggs Ltd. did. Wildly successful for many years. He will be remembered in the better clothing business for his great style and taste…..his eye on quality….and his distinctive personality that would fill a room. I also knew and worked with his brother Dan at the House of Doherty in Wocester, Ma. What an interesting family!
    We will miss you greatly, Briggs. Heaven will now be much better dressed with you there.
    RIP !

    Joan (Allmendinger) & Dennis Dann
    Dann Clothing, Indianapolis http://www.Dann-Online.com

  5. A friend, a mentor, loud, opinionated, with a huge heart of gold, had a style all his own. I will miss you buddy and our candid talks offline. You were special, and for all you’ve done, for all you were, to so many, rest in peace. Always. Prayers to Paula, and the family.

    1. In a world where larger than life characters are few and far in between, and a time where conformity to the mass is rewarded we have lost a larger than life “genuine” outspoken boisterous and wonderful man. The world is a little less fun, stylish, and missing something without Briggs!

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