“I’m getting too old for this…,” is an often heard grouse from film crews shooting late into the night. For Cheryl Kilbourne-Kimpton and Tommy Boyer, the remark opened a conversation about creating an alternative business. Working on apple boxes on the back of the wardrobe truck while filming “You’ve Got Mail”, they wrote a business plan for an enterprise to offer “one stop shopping” for the wardrobe community. No longer would valuable time and manpower be lost going from store to store for thread and detergents and hangers; one call to Manhattan Wardrobe Supply and your shopping list would be satisfied.
After graduate studies at Florida State University, Cheryl headed to Atlanta where she worked in Theater and Styling for commercials, eventually segueing to film work in 1978. In 1987, after doing a job based from New York City, she decided to take the plunge into the New York market. She quickly assimilated and was soon a sought after Costumer. Today, Cheryl is a Wardrobe Supervisor as well as Manhattan Wardrobe Supply co-owner.
Tommy Boyer, a singer and dancer, began performing in plays and recitals as a child. After a show Tommy was performing in closed he was given the opportunity to be a Star Dresser on Broadway. Enjoying the challenges and security the wardrobe department offered, Tommy hung up his dance shoes and went on to dress Broadway stars including James Naughton in City of Angels and Keith Carradine in his iconic performance in Will Roger’s Follies. In 1989 he left the basements of Broadway and touring companies for film work. Tommy rose through the ranks from Costumer to Wardrobe Supervisor where his partnership with Cheryl began. Since the business opened he has returned to his first love, star dressing, most recently being a key member of Richard Gere’s Team.
With the creation of MWS, both Cheryl and Tommy have reined in their film careers to accommodate their responsibilities to the business. One of them is always at the store.
The doors opened one month after those late night, apple box, brainstorming sessions, on August 1, 1998. In the beginning the store was four bookshelves, a single desk and computer housed in a 300 square foot 10th Floor space on West 29th Street. For the first year there was only Tommy and Cheryl manning the store.
Today, Manhattan Wardrobe Supply is housed in the same building at 245 West 29th Street, only now they occupy all 6,000 square feet of the eighth floor and employ a staff of six . MWS is the preeminent purveyor of wardrobe care products for film production internationally as well as Broadway, Regional Theater, Las Vegas, and academia.