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Famous fabrics

DUAL+THREAT+Dixon+displays+two+of+his+intricate+college+suit+designs%2C+one+for+SMU+and+one+for+Baylor.
PHOTO/ WINSTON LIN
DUAL THREAT Dixon displays two of his intricate college suit designs, one for SMU and one for Baylor.

He’s received calls from the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, Hockey Hall of Fame, PGA Tour of America Hall of Fame and over 80 colleges. His work is world- renowned, yet his name is unrecognizable. He keeps to himself, working intently out of his remote office, located across the freeway from where he was raised. In his mailbox sit hundreds of emails all requesting the same thing: a suit. 

Carlton Dixon, former St. Mark’s student and the owner of Reveal Suits, has taken his company nationwide and worked with many big name brands and companies; however, this was not always the plan. In 2015, Dixon had an entirely different career working as an athletic director. That same year, while talking with a friend about the draft, he had a life-changing realization. 

“The athletes were starting to get very creative with their suits and adding designs on the inside of them,” Dixon said. “One thing many of them paid tribute to was their alma mater. I saw it again the following year and it kind of just clicked with me. This could be an actual garment.”

With nothing but an idea and a strong work ethic, Dixon set out on his journey to create Reveal Suits. 

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“I really was self taught,” Dixon said. “I taught myself about fabrics, fashion and suits. Not only how to make them, but what they were made of. I was also aware there was a trademark and licensing component as well and had to figure out the process. That was the most strenuous piece in the development of the company.”

A year later, Dixon had finalized his licensing with the NCAA, and what had once been a simple idea had now become reality. 

Next, Dixon was able to approach individual schools. As a former University of Texas basketball player, Dixon had important contacts at his disposal. 

“I started asking some of these coaches, just outright, if they would mind purchasing these suits for their boys or young ladies as well,” Dixon said. “I was able to get connected to the right people and our first two purchases were Baylor football and Florida State football.”

Learning to fit an individual was one thing, but an entire team was a very different experience. For Dixon, this was the last piece to the puzzle. 

“Once we got that down, it was off to the races,” Dixon said. “As we grew, we were able to attract the attention of many different schools and professionals as well.”

Although Dixon and Reveal Suits had already achieved considerable success, one phone call in particular propelled the company to new heights.

“When I looked down at my office line and saw who was calling, I couldn’t believe it,” Dixon said. “It was the Basketball Hall of Fame, and for them to say that they had noticed us and wanted  to discuss us becoming their provider was surreal.”

While Dixon was overjoyed to be entrusted with such an important national event, he knew this call was just the beginning of the work ahead of him. 

“It wasn’t time for me to throw a parade because I felt like we made it,” Dixon said. “It’s still a business and I have to lead. One slip up on a stage like that could ruin you.”

Dixon and his team tirelessly worked to create the best product possible. Their impressive work with the NBA opened up doors to multiple other professional leagues as well. 

“Shortly after, we were able to partner with the NFL,” Dixon said. “We also created partnerships with both the Pro Soccer and Pro Hockey hall of fame. The PGA of America established a partnership with us as well, and I believe it all came from the platform that the Basketball Hall of Fame placed us on.”

While Dixon is grateful for the level of success his company has achieved, he finds his true joy in giving back to others. 

“The Hall of Fame stuff and pictures with athletes is all fine and dandy,” Dixon said, “But if you’re not having some type of impact on a community, perhaps one that needs a helping hand, your business is not reaching its fullest potential.”

This story was originally published on ReMarker on September 18, 2023.