Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brooks Bros flagship store: 346 Madison

A couple of weeks ago I heard from a trusted source that the Brooks Bros flagship store is closing due to a lease issue. This is the historic store at 346 Madison that the firm moved into way back in 1915. The plan is apparently to consolidate their retail in their other stores in NYC.

I haven't gotten a second source to confirm this but the tip comes from a reliable source. In addition, there are other indications that a move is imminent. Exhibit A is the recent "warehouse" sale - the first such sale at least since the 1960s. If you can confirm or disconfirm, let me know!

Updated 04/01/09: I heard from an employee that BB will not be moving. Check the comments section of this post.

Additional links
- Ask Andy thread on BB warehouse sale

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Edward Green & Alfred Sargent unplugged

Styleforum member manton visited Northamptonshire last year for an article he was researching on English shoemakers.  He posted photos of his Edward Green and Alfred Sargent factory visits in this Styleforum thread.  

I'm posting this partially for the very informative photo essay above but also because Alfred Sargent has been under some financial distress recently. However, it appears that Sargent is continuing to make shoes and delivering to customers. They make for Brooks Bros Peal line of shoes, among others.

Additional links
- Styleforum thread on the state of Alfred Sargent
- AskAndy thread on Alfred Sargent

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Giacomo Trabalza and Hollywood tailors

Giacomo Trabalza, a tailoring fixture in Los Angeles, passed away last week. I was traveling last week and learned about it in this Styleforum thread. This leaves only a handful of old school bench tailors who can legitimately be called "Hollywood" tailors.

I am not sure whether his shop will continue on in some form. When I spoke with Trabalza in 2006 he did not have an apprentice or working tailor in place to succeed him.

We've seen the passing of Hollywood tailors like Anthony Gasbarri, Carmen LaMola (described by Chicago tailor Chris Despos in this Styleforum post) and Eddie Schmidt of Schmidt & Galuppo.

However, in the next few years I think there is a real opportunity for a new generation of tailors to set up shop in LA. Given the opportunity, it just might be the right time for an enterprising tailor to fill in the gap.

Additional links
- Sleevehead posts on Trabalza

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Winter looks: Between Savile Row and Burlington Arcade

Before springtime finally arrives, I'm putting up some parting winter photos of Savile Row from my most recent trip to London back in February:

Gieves & Hawkes

Gieves & Hawkes

Maurice Sedwell

Maurice Sedwell

Maurice Sedwell

Richard James

Richard James

Richard James

The camouflage jacket on the right reminds me of a story a tailor shared with me recently about a customer who ordered a dinner jacket (i.e. tuxedo) in camouflage. Certainly not the first choice of a tuxedo if you're building your formal wardrobe. But there might be a satiric, albeit esoteric sense of humor at work here - a sartorial inside joke. After all, black tie is really about conformity to a standard - blending in so to speak. And camouflage is the ultimate fabric for blending in, isn't it? This is the sort of thing a dandy might do to "creative black tie" - live dangerously in the night.

WH Giddens / Schnieder

Giddens & Schnieder BootsGiddens & Schnieder Boots

Just off Savile Row is the bootmaker WH Giddens owned by Herr Schnieder. I dropped by and had a pleasant chat on boots, vintage crocodile luggage trunks, riding and equestrian events.

Budd Shirtmakers

Budd window

A trio of formal chamois gloves in the three traditional colors: white, pearl/lt grey and cream.

Additional links
- SavileRowStyle on the "surprisingly upbeat" mood in the Row