Sleevehead: Oxxford Clothes: The "quiet American" suit                                                          

Oxxford Clothes: The "quiet American" suit

    Oxxford Clothes is a Chicago-based RTW, MTM and "modified" bespoke manufacturer of men's clothing. It is arguably the last remaining large-scale manufacturer of hand-tailored menswear based in the US (I look forward to being corrected on this point!).

Below is a recently released video of their history and production philosophy.

Oxxford is well known for their stable of traditional, natural shoulder suit models that have not changed for years - the Onwentsia "sack" suit (see photo below), the Gibbon and the Radcliffe. These traditional models feature the highest level of handwork and start at $4000 retail. Recently, the company has ventured into slimmer updated silhouettes such as their 1220 Collection, which starts at $2500 and features less handwork.

Below is a Crain's Chicago video feature on the state of suitmaking between local brands Oxxford and Hart Schaffner Marx, now known as Hartmarx (which owns Hickey Freeman):

[Video no longer available]

The video cites some interesting developments - an attempt to reinvigorate the Hickey Freeman brand by hiring Joseph Abboud - as well as the business results of these two Chicago-area brands. Oxxford sales have increased 10% in recent months and total sales should reach $20 million this year (compared to $50M in the 1950s when Oxxford suit production presumably reached its peak). Total suit sales in the US hovers around $2.4 billion.

Additional links -
Styleforum thread on Oxxford video - Oxxford Fall 2010 catalog

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