Carlton Dixon used to be an athlete. Now, he makes suits for them.
The UT basketball alumnus quit his job as a high school athletic director in 2015 to pursue sports in a new way: fashion. Dixon said he knew nothing about the industry when he first started Reveal Suits, a business that tailors custom suits.
Recently, the company partnered with Texas Athletics as its newest corporate sponsor.
Reveal Suits started as an idea Dixon said he couldn’t quit. He would watch NBA or NFL Draft nights and see athletes wear creative suits that often represented their colleges, so Dixon decided he would distribute personalized suits with officially licensed lining before a big name like Nike or Under Armour could beat him to it.
“I was kinda talking it up with some buddies … but we were just like, ‘What if this could be a viable product?’” Dixon said. “Nice classic suit on the outside, and you see your t-shirts and your caps and your sweats, people rocking their alma mater and their favorite team on the inside.”
Dixon doesn’t do any of the tailoring, but he is the brain of the operation. About two years after he founded the company, he sold the idea to Baylor and Florida State football, and he has dressed numerous athletes since.
Reveal Suits is partnered with the Big 12, the Ivy League and the NFL Alumni Association. The company has also secured business with some of the Longhorns’ rivals, but the deal with Texas was hard to come by.
Ivan Wagner, Dixon’s former Texas teammate who had business connections to the University, said he wanted to help his friend in any way possible.
“As far as ambitions go, we’ve knocked at the door for a number of years,” Wagner said. “This year, we actually had a crack in the door that allowed us to walk all the way in. For what he does and what Reveal Suits does, it only makes sense that we want to partner with our alma mater.”
In August, Texas Athletics announced 4EVER TEXAS, a new program dedicated to professional development. LEVERAGE, another program that launched in August, is committed to helping Longhorn athletes build their personal brands.
Arin Dunn, director of student-athlete development, said Texas began looking into companies that could provide professional attire for student-athletes pursuing jobs or internships.
“It’s such a great thing for our student-athletes to be able to have and also to be able to connect with Carlton,” Dunn said. “He’s obviously a former student-athlete who has had great success in the business world and forming his own company. Those are things that we want to teach our student-athletes how to do.”
The timing of the Texas partnership couldn’t have been better for Dixon, who said business slowed as a result of the pandemic.
“We knew that things would come back around, and this was about the time that we knew we’d be having suit conversations again, which we are, so very grateful for that,” Dixon said. “But yeah, those five to six months, it was tough.”
After years of not being able to even get the UT license for his suits, Dixon said the partnership was a situation where “the stars just kind of had to align.” He already has his sights set on who he’d like to see in one of his pieces.
“Let’s get big Sam (Ehlinger) hooked up,” Dixon said. “I want to get big Sam taken care of for when he goes to New York for the Heisman ceremony. … We want to have Sam ready.”