Ric Flair On His Recently Launched Custom Made Suit Collection

Adam Marks, aka Mr. Custom Made, met his idol, wrestling legend The Nature Boy Ric Flair when he was just 13-years-old at a bar the day before Halloween Havoc – one of the biggest wrestling events of the year.

“He was sitting there, just, being Ric Flair,” says Marks. Ric, famous for bringing style and panache to a sport known mostly for brawling, was in command of the room. “He was entertaining fans, telling jokes, looking good, basically, stylin’ and profilin’ the Ric Flair way,” explains Adam. 

Being Ric Flair comes easily to the ‘custom made’ man who was showing off his opulent lifestyle and Rolex collection way before anyone else was. Together Ric, 69, and Adam, now 31, are hoping to make it easier for everyone else to do the same with The Ric Flair Collection – a custom-made suit line featuring fabrics and styles picked by The Nature Boy himself.

Ric Flair at Halloween Havoc
Wendy Barlow, aka Fifi The Maid and Ric Flair

Flair has been a style and pop culture icon for decades since he started wrestling in 1972. A 1975 plane crash that left Flair with a broken back forced him to give up the brawler style of wrestling and invent a more personality driven, finesse-focused style.

“I was out six months,” he was quoted in ‘Ric Flair: 2 Decades of Excellence’. “I was supposed to stay out a year… [but] like every young athlete, I wanted to get back in, you know?” Thus, Nature Boy Ric Flair, arguably the best and most charismatic wrestler in the history of the sport, was born. Ric, the only two-time WWE Hall of Fame inductee and 16 time world champion, became known for his quick wit, amazing showmanship and flashy wardrobe. His robes, way back then, were custom made for him by designer Olivia Walker. 

Through the years he has had his ups and downs, but what remains constant is his popularity, and, of course, his flashy style. Flair, who coined the infamous ‘Wooooo!’ holler, continues to be a hit with his fans across generations and has attained something of a cult status in the rap community.

Offset & Ric Flair
Offset & Ric Flair

“As a kid growing up and watching Ric Flair, he was very inspirational to myself and a lot of other hip-hop artists, because he represented what we wanted to be. We wanted to be Ric Flair. We wanted to be flamboyant and, you know, the kiss-stealin’, wheelin’ and dealin’. We wanted to be all of that. He was a part of our culture and our life. That’s why we love him and we cherish him, and we’ve always held him high in the black community – because Ric is one of us. He’s always been inspirational to us,” Snoop Dogg says in ESPN’s 30 for 30’s ‘Nature Boy’ documentary which aired in November 2017.

Other rappers agree…. Killer Mike‘s 2015 hit “Ric Flair” is filled with Flair-isms and Ric’s voice over. And in 2017, Offset, of rap trio Migos, and Metro Boomin wrote a song about him called Ric Flair Drip – which Cardi B has admitted to being obsessed with. Ric Flair stars in the video and, yes, that diamond-encrusted Ric Flair pendant is real. The song rose to #13 on the Billboard charts just days after the video was released. His autograph signings and appearances are always sold out and you can even dress like Ric Flair for Halloween. Want his style every day? That’s what The Ric Flair Collection is for.

Ric and Adam took over Wrestlecon days before this year’s Wrestlemania 34  to bring The Ric Flair Collection directly to fans with a fitting booth and custom ordering.  Ric’s daughter Charlotte Flair, also a wrestler, was there to show her dad support as were close friends Ronda Rousey, Kid Rock and Steve Austin.

Ric Flair, Kid Rock, Wrestlemania34
Ric Flair, Kid Rock, Wrestlemania 34

“I’ve been custom made my whole life,” Flair tells Haute Living. “Now, the Nature Boy and Mr. Custom Made are taking the clothing world over. From New York to Atlanta. And next to Miami. There is nowhere in the world you are going to meet a better combination than The Nature Boy and Mr. Custom Made.”

The collaboration does make sense and Adam is a lot like Ric. An entrepreneur at heart, he and his dad partnered to start Custom Made Casino years ago and then expanded with Custom Made Golf. The bespoke marketing companies catered to clientele wanting something different and unique in a market where paper cards and hats were the norm.

“When it was time to expand, I took a look at myself, the brand and realized, I am Mr. Custom Made, ” he says. Handcrafted suits were always in the back of his mind as an expansion idea for the brand. He grew up attending art and fashion with his mom socialite Joy Marks and had an early introduction to what great clothes look like. “I had to really define who the custom made man was before diving in.” Ric Flair helped him do that.

Ric Flair & Adam Marks
Ric Flair & Adam Marks

“His energy, his persona, his drive, all that stuff stood with me. He was a huge inspiration well before we started this relationship. And, he has never been sorry for ‘being custom made’. The jets, the cars, the attitude, the clothes. All that is what the Custom Made man is about. When you look good, you feel good and can do anything.”

Based on that belief, Adam started Mr. Custom Made three years ago. He spent the first two years catering to an exclusive line of clients like Ferrari on a by-appointment-only basis. When traveling to clients around the country became too much, he opened a boutique in the swanky Garden State Plaza. “We still travel for our VIPs, but now, they can come to us, too.”

The boutique features advanced 3D Suit Fitting Technology – which takes hundreds of measurements in just 40 seconds – combined with old-school tailoring that allows Adam to get a complete body fitting for the perfectly tailored suit. “It’s definitely the most accurate way to get a full body composition for tailoring.”

With the business growing, Adam still had an itch to scratch when it came to Ric Flair.

Mr. Custom Made Boutique
Mr. Custom Made Boutique

“About two months ago I reached out to Ric, told him I thought that we could do some great things together and if at the very least, let me make a suit for him.” Ric’s fiancé and manager Wendy Barlow responded and a connection was made. Within weeks, the collection was created, crafted and born. “It’s the perfect partnership,” says Ric. “Adam and the company he created are visionaries. They are young and with his background, it just works.” 

The Ric Flair Collection features everything from the classic navy pinstripe suit to leisure looks (like a brown and tan plaid print), as well as a black tie tuxedo collection. When clients place an order, they can choose from a selection of Flair approved linings (think camo lightning) and buttons. Customers can even get their initials or a phrase monogrammed on the inside of their jackets. For true Flair style, there’s a swanky satin trimmed ”Red Dragon” dinner jacket. Celebs including The Rock and Jamie Foxx currently have suits in the works as well as Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley II and rappers Ja RuleOffset, and Bad Bunny –  who featured Ric in his latest music video and asked him to perform with him at Latin Grammy Awards last month.

ric flair collection

“I’ve always been custom made from head to toe,” says Flair. “Now anyone can have a chance to style and profile like me.” 

Adam Marks and Ric Flair spoke exclusively to Haute Living about creating the collection and what will come next.

What is the process for fabric selection?

ADAM MARKS:  We brought in fabrics from around the world for Ric to choose from. Ric has always had a great sense of style. One that is his own and doesn’t rely on the latest trends. He knew immediately which fabrics he liked and we talked about how he chose based on what he would wear for all different occasions including a casual dinner to a red carpet event. We both wanted a diverse line that can range from an athlete or entertainer to a professional to anyone that wears a suit to work everyday. But ultimately Ric chose and knew exactly without any hesitation what he wanted for the line. From your classic navy suit for the office to a bright red blazer for a big red carpet event, we wanted everyone to be able to find something they can ‘Style and Profile’ in.

RIC FLAIR:  Easy. Adam brought a ton of fabrics and I quickly went through and picked the ones I wanted.

What do you see next for the line?

ADAM:  Ric Flair has always portrayed the ultimate custom made man. He says it himself in his promos from the 80s and 90s that he is ‘custom made from head to toe’. My goal is for everyone who wants to look good and feel good to be able to get the Mr. Custom Made Experience. While we offer high end fabrics for your celebrities and entertainers, Ric Flair wanted to give everyone the chance to ‘Style and Profile’ at an attainable level in the custom made world. Currently our goal is to make the Ric Flair x Mr. Custom Made line a global brand with new products we will be releasing in next few months. I am currently looking to open my store in new markets starting with New York and Atlanta and then LA and Miami. RIC: We are going global. The Ric Flair Collection by Mr. Custom Made will be in every store. And we are working on our accessory line with pocket squares, ties, cuff links. All part of my look.

Who is the Mr. Custom Made Ric Flair Collection man?

ADAM: A Mr. Custom Made man is stylish all the time. Whether he is in jeans or a suit.  Ric: A man who wants people to notice him and to be seen. He is immaculate in his appearance each and every day. He catches people’s eye. People notice his style. Man, he knows how to trick it out.

Ric, are you enjoying your second act as much as your first?

RIC: I feel humbled to be given an opportunity to do this, to have my own fashion line. I am looking at this as I did my wrestling career. I have been given the opportunity to accomplish something in the same way I accomplished my matches and my wins. I approach it like that. I am going to do this as well as I did wrestling.