Sewing machines are in high gear and every stitch is perfectly placed at Tuxego in Latham. Owner Anthony Commisso, makes sure every tux or suit fits like a glove.
“We always fine-tune everything because we don’t want anything going out the door that we wouldn’t go out the door ourselves,” said Commisso.
Business is booming at the tux shop, which has been a staple in the Capital Region for decades. As weddings and proms make a big return, Commisso is seeing a huge influx of customers, this after more than two years of cancellations and uncertainty in the industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commisso was impacted by those cancellations as both a business owner and a father.
“I have triplets who were class of 2020, so they missed out on their whole last part of high school,” he said. “That was really disappointing as parents, but it was really painful to watch our kids, you know, they were involved in musicals and all sorts of things. Those are rites of passage, the proms, the graduations.”
He’s been an integral part of the community for more than three decades, making men look their best during life’s biggest moments. His shop made it through the highs and lows of the wedding industry and even the uncertainty of the pandemic. He said it was a scary time for everyone in the wedding industry when COVID-19 hit.
“I was in panic mode,” he said. “We refinanced our house to be on the safe side. We had no idea there was going to be relief money, how the PPE was going to work.”
COVID-19 completely changed the wedding industry and wiped out proms for high schoolers for nearly two years. More than 82% of weddings were canceled in 2020 and 2021. But this year, roughly 2.5 million weddings are expected to happen, which is the most on record since 1984.
But, Commisso said one of his busiest years was 2016. And with his experience and with a newly renovated shop, he’s more than ready to handle the surge. Even throughout the busy season, he says he will continue to provide his one-on-one consultations with future brides and grooms to make sure their wedding vision comes to life. Antonio Lanzi and Rachel Mcnair are just one of Commisso’s many 2022 couples, making sure they have a picture-perfect day, for their wedding in October.
“We’ve been booking wedding after wedding day after day and the prom kids are starting to come in,” he said. “So pretty much excited for how this year is going to go.”
Meanwhile, in Saratoga, Megan Mosca is new to the wedding industry. She purchased a dress alterations shop, WillfitUin, from her former boss, during one of the businesses’ most challenging times. Mosca’s love for sewing began as a passion project and quickly evolved. She graduated from fashion school during the pandemic, and never looked back.
“My mother was always encouraging of crafting and art,” Mosca said. “And when we would go visit my great grandmother, we’d always be quilting alongside her.”
It’s her first full wedding season, and she’s already feeling the crunch.
“Right now I think we’re at 285 [brides], so it’s already a record year for us,’ the owner said.
And it’s no easy feat to make sure the perfect dress has the perfect fit, all in time for the big day.
“Lace beading zippers, everything that you see that makes up the gown has to be removed to then be put together for the perfect fit,” said Mosca.
She says a big help was creating a digital reservation system that allows her clients to book their appointments right online on her website. She says it’s an especially important feature, as she suggests starting alterations earlier than usual.
“We used to recommend starting alterations two-to-three months in advance and now we have people starting six to eight months,” she said.
She says this is the start of a rush that will last years, it’ll definitely be one to remember.
“I think we’re just at the tip of the iceberg with it,” said Mosca. “So we’re just kind of rolling with the punches and it’s been great. I mean certainly a better year for us to get into the industry and really make a name for ourselves.”