Jacob Ryer is totally sold on the concept of his employer Alton Lane, a Dupont Circle store that offers tailored apparel in suits, blazers, tuxedos and shirts for men.
Located at 1506 19th St., N.W., one of 12 locations, Alton Lane is the brainchild of Peyton Jenkins and Colin Hunter who offer “custom garments at a fraction of the cost.” Ryer, who’s been with the company for six months, says the key difference to what Alton Lane offers comes with the 3D body scan they use for 300 points of measurements.
“How the shoulders lay, how the collar lays, if there is a collar role or gap, we have so much more knowledge through these points of measurement than a traditional tailor has,” Ryer says. “It allows us to create a personal pattern for each client catered to their taste.”
Custom suits start at about $600 and fabric is a big factor in cost. Ryer was drawn to the company after several years working in department stores.
“I knew I wanted to make a change to something that was more modern and innovative,” he says.
Ryer, a 28-year-old Dallastown, Pa., native, came to Washington six years ago. He’s engaged to Anderson Wells and the two live together in Dupont Circle. Ryer enjoys documentaries, Kylie Minogue, laundry — which he credits to his Amish ancestry — reading and entertaining in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I am very blessed. I have always been out. I grew up in one of the reddest counties in central pennsyltucky but I come from a very open/loving accepting family. I do not have a “coming out” story because I was raised in an environment that just let me be me with no pressure.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
That’s a hard question. Across the spectrum one of my absolute greatest heroes is Eleanor Roosevelt. I wish she had lived in a different time when she could have been so much more. She was a brilliant, funny, charismatic woman and so much of what I have read on her makes me feel a kinship with her soul. As far as someone who did have the option to live out? Sia. I love her so much. She lives her life with so much integrity. She does not just survive, she thrives.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
The 9:30 Club is always a fun time. My fiancé and I love to eat out. We never cook, so I love sitting outside at Barcelona for a few hours.
Describe your dream wedding.
I’m going to have it! It’s important to note, I think, that I’m divorced. My first wedding was very traditional and a total mistake. This time I am very much in love. We are getting married at Studio Theatre next October. I love the space — beautiful and nontraditional. We’re going to be married in a ceremony we are creating that will be preformed by one of our best friends. It will be in the atrium there on the third floor as the sun sets behind the buildings across the street. It will be black tie cocktail. I’m not feeding people — everyone just wants to drink anyway.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
It’s such a toss up between climate change caused by man and the cycle of generational poverty. If hard work actually translated to wealth, this would be a completely different country.
What historical outcome would you change?
Just one? The assassination of Robert Kennedy. Of all the progressive men in the middle of the last century, I would be most interested to see how this country would be different if he had gone on to do so many things.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Britney and Justin Timberlake’s matching denim outfits.
On what do you insist?
Never wearing socks that match your trousers.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
A video of Lana Parrrilla, the evil queen from “Once Upon A Time,” wearing a Nope Trump T-shirt.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Condemn them Mother, for They Know Exactly What They Do”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Wonder what right-wing white devil funded it. Then destroy the research.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
The universal power of human kindness. The energy loving your fellow man can create, an energy that transcends time and space. Something that shows up in the collective human unconscious.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Remember we are more than just the white 20-something gay men who are easy to market to. We are poor at times. Black. Latin. Asian. We are trans. We are a people who have survived a plague. We are resilient. We need to take that energy and continue to being the voice for every member of our community.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
A dinner party with Courtney Love, Donna Karan and Ryan Murphy.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
The 20-something saying, “OMG why is that OLD man,” — who’s maybe 45 — at xyz place. Why do you care how old the room is?
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Please don’t bless me when I sneeze. My soul is not escaping. And I don’t want to thank you for doing it.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
The Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
Don’t tell your mom when you have crabs. She will bleach the walls convincing herself they are everywhere.
It is a beautiful, wonderful, vibrant city. I was sitting outside with friends today actually saying that D.C. is like a giant small town. We were walking from Soul Cycle on 14th to lunch on 17th Street and we ran into a half dozen different people we knew. I love that about D.C. It’s very transient but I love that you get to meet new/different/dynamic people all the time. I want to have kids, my future husband is set on just one, and I know I want to raise them here. I want them to be surrounded by as many different walks of life as possible.