Issue 3 Patrick Johnson

Words & Photography: Arjun Sohal
Location: The Melbourne Patrick Johnson Tailors Showroom

I remember talking to Seth about P Johnson (aka PJT) ages ago. It was probably around 2012 — Instagram had just taken off — I remember people posting heavily filtered photos of their food, cringe selfies in a #yolo hat or some bait holiday sunset photo. Oh what a time.

My feed was probably not too dissimilar to yours; however, I did get myself into a habit of following everything Rapha related, the cycling brand that birthed story telling - the target market being middle-aged men with a high net worth and a lot of disposable income. I was obviously not one of these guys, although, looking back, I’ve always had interests similar to a 50-year-old white male dentist from New York.

One of the guys I followed called himself Wongolini, a guy based in Sydney who shared his love for the finer things in life: Italian bikes, exotic cars, amazing holidays and a banging wardrobe. I remember him posting a photograph of a Saint Laurent shopping bag, saying something along the lines of his local tailor does a way better job and that he is taking this suit back to get a refund. That local tailor was P Johnson.
I’ve been hooked on the brand ever since, even your podcasters’ favourite podcaster Lawrence Scholssman keeps banging on about them, even getting married in one of their tuxes, and mentions them whenever tailoring comes up. Admittedly that’s is wayyyy less considering the #menswear 1.0 Pitti Uomo look died not long after the podcast took off - but can you get a better seal of approval? You can’t.

What is it that PJT do so well? I genuinely think it’s something to do with being Australian. If stereotypes are based in some sort of truth then you could assume the team approach menswear in a relaxed way, have a laugh while doing it and don’t take themselves too seriously. A far cry from the perceived notions of Savile Row and the like. 

When I relocated to Melbourne I knew I had to check out the showroom. Will, a guy who I befriended whilst working here at Rapha, also was a keen follower of the brand, also a keen photographer. We had discussed a few different things we could do, then Covid fucked everyone’s plans of doing anything. When that died down over here I slid into Tom Riley’s [Director at PJT] DMs, pitching the idea of 502 Bad Gateway visiting the two showrooms here in Melbourne - so this is that. 

If you feel ‘it’s time’ for a bespoke or made-to-measure suit they would most definitely be in my top 2 (and they ain’t number 2). Along with tailoring, PJT offer ready-to-wear pieces, sunglasses, fragrances and jewellery made in India. Everything is on point. I have my eyes on pretty much everything but I may pull the trigger on one of those tactical vests - Ace Ventura meets Miami Vice - madting.