Kentucky Derby fashion boom business for local tailors

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – ‘Two weeks before the Kentucky Derby and all over Alex Mazon’s house hung jackets, dresses, maybe even blouses. Customers rush in with clothes that don’t fit, hoping that Mazon can fix them in time.

in St. Matthews, Mazon is the owner of Alex’s TG Alterations, which can be found near the intersection of Shelbyville Road and Hubbards Lane. Mazon has been a tailor for decades, and his hands have become the memory foam around sewing machines.

“This is my life,” said Mazon. “This is my first house.”

Mazon has become part of the St. His Matthews for the past nine years, calls his shop his second home.

He has been in the United States for 45 years, since a visit to Chicago from his native Mexico ended in an unexpected hospital stay.

“When I got here, I got really sick,” Mazon said. “My gallbladder exploded and I was in the hospital for three months.”

When Mazon recovered, he said he decided to stay and make a living in the US. He went to work as a tailor to make ends meet, jumping from Chicago to Indianapolis to Louisville, all the while earning enough nicknames for himself.

“I’m TG,” said Mazon. “Do you know what that means? TG? Big!”

Mason says he scored the moniker while working at Indianapolis in Nordstrom.

“I was there and an employee in a male suit called me (saying), ‘I want to see TG, I want to see TG’” he explained. “Yes, and I’m here.”

Mazon made sure to live up to his reputation, especially as the calendar turned to spring and the Kentucky Derby approached. During Derby Season, Alex The Great said he increased his workload by about 300%.

That’s why the store is packed from April to May, a testament to the $400 million economic impact the Louisville Tourism Kentucky Derby 148 expects in Louisville.

“God bless me, believe me, every day I have a lot of work all the time,” said Mazon. “But this time, my God, it’s crazy.”

For weeks, he spent hours in his sewing chair, eyes glued to the linens that desperately needed work. The only annoyance is last minute customers, on pins and needles to get their clothes right.

They handed over the fabrics, added to her long waiting list, and watched Mazon sew them to perfection.

“I want to live here,” said Mazon. “I want to live here, and all my prayers, I say, ‘My God, when you take me, I want to die here with a machine.’”

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