Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Men's Fall Fashion Issue | Metropolis

The Long and Short of It

Compact edition

September 12, 2004|VICTORIA NAMKUNG

Census Bureau figures indicate that 30% of American men are under 5-foot-8, but it's virtually impossible for shorter guys to find fashionable clothes that fit to the nines. Jimmy Au, a pioneer in the first extra-short suits by DKNY, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, carries these labels and others at his Glendale Galleria store, Jimmy Au's For Men 5'8" and Under.

The shop, which stocks sizes from 34 extra short to 50 short, offers smaller guys the joys of buying off the rack. A Hong Kong native who immigrated to Hawaii in 1959 to study business, Au began making suits as a class project. "I only charged $50 for a made-to-measure suit," explains the 5-foot-3 self-taught designer. "I had sold 40 suits by the end of the semester, so I quit my job at the Dole pineapple cannery."

In 1971, Au opened his first retail store at Del Amo Fashion Square, catering to big, tall, small and short. But faced with measuring such clients as a 6-foot-3 L.A. Rams linebacker, he decided in 1975 to specialize in smaller sizes. For years considered Santa Anita and other venues' "racetrack tailor," Au still dresses jockeys, as well as famous clients of a certain height. The Glendale shop stocks dress shirts, funky ties, tailored leather jackets and Au's own line of denim jeans.

"When a customer comes out of the dressing room and looks in the mirror, he's so happy," says the affable grandfather of five. "That's what keeps me going."

Jimmy Au's For Men 5'8" and Under, 2168 Glendale Galleria; (818) 243-9898.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|