Sam Scherer is a familiar face at the Hawthorne Fred Meyer. He’s worked as a greeter at the superstore for almost a decade—his 10th work anniversary is coming up in October.
But if you didn’t know any better, you might think you as you walked past him you were entering a luxury hotel, or an upscale East London haberdashery.
As the saying goes, “don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” If that’s true, Scherer, 30, is aiming high. He often comes to work sporting a brightly colored suit that rarely adheres to conventional design, a fresh flower fixed to his lapel opposite his nametag. He sometimes dons a classic fedora, with large gold chains draped around his neck, or, when the temperatures dip, a faux fur coat. He says his style is influenced by everyone from Tony Montana to his late grandfather.
“I was really into style and fashion as a little kid, so I used to dress up,” says Scherer, who has cerebral palsy. “I grew up looking up to my grandparents for their style, and I’ve just been really classy ever since.”
In time, his closet grew to include more than 100 unique outfits. And while his current gig isn’t exactly fashion-related, his sense of style hasn’t gone unnoticed. In March, a Fred Meyer regular launched a crowdfunding campaign in Scherer’s name in hopes of sending him to fashion design school. Publicized through local news and Reddit, the campaign has raised $8,200 so far.
Soon, Scherer will use the money to enroll in local fashion design classes. But he doesn’t plan to quit his day job just yet.
“It makes my day when I get to wear my own stuff,” he says. “That’s called ‘freedom’ when you get to do that.”