By Larry Hightower
Peters Clothiers at 12315 State Line Road has completed the process of bringing their retail store and their wholesale operation under one roof.
The business is named for Peter Arvantakis, who opened a small haberdashery in Raytown in 1963. The small shop moved several times before settling in the Starker’s Reserve area. “Men would get their suits at our father’s haberdashery and then go to the Jack Henry store for accessories,” said Spiro Arvantakis. “Our father became affiliated with Jack Henry on the Plaza. When Mr. Henry retired, his son, a veterinarian in California, had no interest in taking over the store. Dad bought the business and our family still owns the Jack Henry name,” according to Spiro who, along with brothers, George and Jerry, own and operate Peters Clothier.
“Our father realized early on that the American pace of life didn’t allow for the traditional custom tailoring process that involved several fittings and literally took months,” recalls Spiro. “There was a niche for a clothing wholesaler that carries far more sizes that, with minor alterations, can deliver a quality suit with that extra sharp look. We have 200 sizes to achieve a far more precise fit.”
The brothers bought the State Line property three years ago in order to consolidate their wholesale and retail operation. They had hoped to be nearing completion last year, but some zoning issues, construction delays and the pandemic set them back a year. “We have now completed our consolidation,” says Spiro. Peters currently has about two dozen workers.
Peters is a wholesaler for the Byron line of clothing, an upscale brand of fine quality clothing. It supplies approximately 150 of the finest men’s stores all across the country, according to Spiro.
The business uses most of the former strip mall space for its retail operation. It is returning to its roots as a suburban store, having spent over 25 years at College and Metcalf. About 30,000 square feet will warehouse around 60,000 garments and has the capacity to hold up to 100,000 clothing items.
“Men’s fashion doesn’t have the dramatic swings that we associate with women’s fashion,” says Spiro. “We have been using minor variations of a classic look that goes back 300 years to Savile Row tailors in London.”
Certain facets come in and out of style. “Ties are certainly less popular now,” says Spiro. “But they are a way for a gentleman to express a degree of individuality. For formal business or situations, they still complete the look that sets the man apart. Men may now wear pocket squares for a pop of color. Colorful socks can also be a point of departure from the norm.
Still, Spiro believes there is something classic about the suit. “Other accessories come and go,” he says. “When Michael Douglas wore braces (suspenders) in the 1987 movie, Wall Street, they became very popular. We still have many customers who wear braces as their signature look.”
Whether for work, or formal social occasions, a well-tailored suit is a statement of status and success. “We do our own alterations,” says Spiro. “We make the best fitting suits in Kansas City. Tailoring is part of our DNA.”