Wednesday, November 30, 2005

“The New Odd Couple” Abercrombie Moves To Savile Row

In Women’s Wear Daily today.

“Abercrombie & Fitch will make its European debut with a bang on Savile Row.

Industry sources here say the American retailer will move into the Jil Sander flagship at 7 Burlington Gardens, on the corner of Savile Row.”

Maybe it is my generation but I relate everything to TV. Doesn’t this sound like a setup for a TV Sitcom?

Is John Cleese really that busy, couldn’t he do a show as the stuff but down-on-his-luck tailor that is forced to rent a room to the slacker American manager of the new Abercrombie played by Skeet Ullrich.

I’d watch.

Maybe Tara Reid is the ditzy daughter of Cleese that can’t stop drooling over Skeet. Ok, I’m calling NBC right now, they need to make up for Couples and The Office (American version) and this is their chance.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Window Shopping…….Bergdorf Goodman 11/19

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

On The Street…. 58th Street, Midtown

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

On The Street…. Hickey Freeman Executive, Midtown

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

On The Street….Central Park, Manhattan

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Window Shopping…….Bergdorf Goodman 11/19

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Flea Market Find…..The Portrait

I love finding these old paintings at flea markets: faded, holes, chipped paint, all the better.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Sartorialiste

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Sartorialist Visits Julians In Chapel Hill, NC

I stopped by Julians in Chapel Hill, North Carolina while traveling for Thanksgiving. Great old store with a very long and celebrated history.

I was a little underwhelmed by the selection, maybe I was expecting too much. I guess I was looking for Preppy or Trad to out do Ralph but Ralph’s Rugby store opened across the street and has more energy, color and variety. It is frustrating when a relative newcomer like Ralph (Julian’s has been open 65 years) can out Prep an original.

Of course the sales staff were true Southern Gentlemen.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The New Skate Style….Less Formal Than Before

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Sunday Morning….Brooklyn, New York

Friday, November 25, 2005

Slim Coat If You Can

Friday, November 25, 2005

Window Shopping…….Bergdorf Goodman

Friday, November 25, 2005

Hint ,my favorite online fashion website, has the best fashion-centric links page on the internet. Designers, magazines, retailers and miscellaneous sites that every Sartorialist should have at their finger tips.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Alone In A Crowd

I hope everyone that makes it home for Thanksgiving realizies just how lucky they are. Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

On The Street….Farmer’s Market, Union Square

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Window Shopping…….Luigi Borrelli Shoes

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Coolest Hoodie I’ve Ever Seen

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Window Shopping…….Calvin Klein

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Why Are Fashion Designers Afraid Of Their Own Salespeople.

Why is every salesperson in Jil Sander, Gucci, Prada, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton dressed almost exactly alike? Black suit, white shirt, black or somber tie.

While I was shopping in these stores on Fifth Avenue today, I could not tell the difference between the salespeople and the security guards.

When you consider that these designer brands represent the heights of fashion self-expression, why don’t they let their sales staff join in on the fun ?

I base my choice of which salesperson’s I work with on their personal style (which is difficult to say the least when they are all dress in a uniform). David Anicich from Borrelli is a perfect example, on first seeing him I immediately knew he could help make me look better.

If you ask management, they would say the “uniform” allows the salespeople to wear the clothes without spending a ton of money on designer clothing.

Nice try.

Most of the salespeople work because they love the clothes.
Basically management is afraid their own salespeople just don’t get it.

Granted ,in alot of cases they are right; it is very tough to find great salespeople with equally great personal style to work retail, but some stores have learned how to successfully exploit their staff as walking, talking mannequins and they are reaping the rewards.

Who gets it?

Ralph Lauren

Abercrombie & Fitch

Bergdorf Goodman

Not only do these companies have great ads and store displays, but by dressing the staff in a variety of the clothes, customers can better imagine how real people might look in the clothes. Not that the hotties at Abercrombie are real people but you get the idea.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Window Shopping…….Santoni

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Truth Is Stranger,No..More Fantastic, Than Fiction

The First Official Nominee for Sartorialist Of The Year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Mannequins Time Forgot…Orchard Street, New York

Monday, November 21, 2005

Window Shopping…….Etro

Monday, November 21, 2005

Window Shopping…….Burberry

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Sartorialist At Heart

Sunday, November 20, 2005

On The Street….Flea Market, Sixth Ave,

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Window Shopping…….Barneys New York

Berluti Shoes at Barneys New York.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The New Skate Style….Tompkins Square Park, LES

A little slim, A little color, a little nerdy, a lot of attitude.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Window Shopping…….Polo Ralph Lauren

Sunday, November 20, 2005

What’s Mory Wearing Today?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

On The Street…. Chinatown, New York

Straw hat, Playboy belt buckle, Dior women’s sunglasses, gold teeth -Priceless

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Favorite Store…Gallagher’s

When I was younger and actually had “me time” ( called BC, before chidren) I spent hours on cold winter afternoons at Gallagher?s. Any magazine or book that could remotely be used to inspire designers, artists, and photographers can be found here. For me it is the thrill of the hunt. Fashion magazines ,especially foreign fashion magazines, have never been cataloged so every turn of the page is a potenailly discovery,

Friday, November 18, 2005

It Is A Black, Black Day For American Menswear…..Robert Burke To Exit Bergdorf Goodman

Some things are just too good to last. On January 15th Robert Burke will leave Bergdorf Goodman to start his own luxury consulting company. Good for Robert! BAD FOR ME! Jim Gold was quoted in WWD saying that “Robert’s primary focus was helping to position the store from a fashion standpoint, in terms of vendor assortment, fashion in the windows, the advertising, the Bergdorf Goodman Magazine and on the mannequins.” THAT WAS ALL THE BEST STUFF!!!
I hope I’m wrong but it will be tough enough to replace Michael Bastian ,the recently departed BG Mens Fashion Director, but to also replace both Michael and Robert will be nearly impossible. I know it seems like I’m over exaggerating but I’ve lived in New York for 16 years and Bergdorf has only been truly relevant since Robert overhauled the fashion direction of the store.
Even The BG Magazine often had better editorial than most “true” fashion magazines.
Bergdorf will be Roberts first client but isn’t that like Michael Jordan playing for the Wizards, it is close but not the same.

What do you think?

Will this make a difference at Bergdorf?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Coffee with Gabor Halmos of Vass Shoes

Telling me that Vass shoes are exquisitely well made is like telling me that Natalie Portman went to Harvard because she is really smart. That’s great, and I’m sure that helps in some way, but I just can’t get past how beautiful they both are.
The great thing about meeting with Gabor Halmos to preview the Vass collection is that he doesn’t have an office in the city. Instead we have to meet at incredibly chic places like Pastis to discuss toe boxes, hidden welts, and the complicated matter of harvesting cordovan from a horse’s ass. Almost every waitress at Pastis came over to our table to advise us on which styles they thought would be good for me. Is it true that the way to a woman’s heart is through your feet?
All kidding aside, it is very interesting to listen to Gabor discuss the challenges of growing a luxury shoe business (on the level of Lobb or a Lattanzi) in the US. I was surprised Gabor said that the perception of a luxury product “Made in Hungary” was the biggest obstacles for some retailers. When you hold the shoe it is so easy to feel and see the quality. Unfortunately I’m shallow, so what makes the Vass shoes on par, if not surpass, Lobb and especially Berluti is the design.
Of course my favorite store, Bergdorf Goodman spotted the potential of Vass and secured exclusive rights for New York City. Vass can also be ordered through another favorite store of mine, Louis Boston
Luckily, as Gabor spreads the gospel of Vass to stores around the U.S., one of the best tools available to him is the incredible book written by Laszlo Vass called Handmade Shoes For Men. It reminds me of the Borrelli booklet on how their shirts are made. Each page of the Vass book makes you appreciate the craft of shoe making, but it also make you want the SHOES more.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Window Shopping…….Luigi Borrelli

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Style Profile…Duckie Brown

I love it when I meet a designer (or in this case, two) and they are as funny, relaxed and as full of personality as the clothes they design. Steven (left) and Daniel’s (right) views on personal style are as quirky as the Duckie Brown collection they design.

Best Sartorial advice from your Dad?
Steven: “sometimes it’s ok not to bother?
Daniel: “be yourself”

I build my daily look around.
S: The mood I?m in
D: My jeans

The first thing I look at in another Sartorialist?s outfit.
S: Face and Jacket
D: Shoes

I splurge when buying.
S: Bags and shoes
D: Shoes

I only buy __________ in Europe
S: underwear
D: Vivienne Westwood

Favorite store
S: Zucca
D: Church Mouse – a second hand shop in Palm Beach

Most stylish city.
S: London
D: London

When I was high school I wore.
S: A Scholl uniform
D: A smiley face t-shirt

Shine your own shoes?
S: Yes
D: Yes

I always dress my best for?.?
S: Nan (Grandma)
D: My Mother and Father

Monday, November 14, 2005

Window Shopping…..Bergdorf Goodman Men 11/12

I love the “Bergdorf Look”. They are the only multi-line store in New York that mixes designers in the display windows in a great way. Bergdorfs shows customers how they feel menswear should be worn as opposed to just displaying the latest from the big name designer’s. Bravo!!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Mutants New York….6th Ave. New York

I love the Burberry hat with the jacket

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Giorgio Armani – L’Uomo Vogue 1974

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Is Diego Della Valle The New Agnelli

The late Gianni Angelli was an Italian style icon. Sartorialists around the world have copied his carefully studied “nonchalant” quirks of dressing. Recently I’ve seen photos of Diego Della Valle ,the Sartorialistic owner of Tod’s, sporting the Agnelli patented no-buttoning-the-button-down-collar look and the suit with sport shoes look. In the photo above he even dares to reproduce one of my favorites, the rarely copied tie-outside-the-sweater look.

To his credit, Della Valle is trying to create a few memorable “items of flare” for himself. At Italian football games Della Valle has taken to wearing his sweater over a color-coordinated cashmere scarf.

Should we name this look? What have you got?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lismore Hosiery…Closing Day

An appointment cancelled the other day so I decided to wonder around the Lower East Side. Lismore Hosiery ,which I had shot in the past, somehow looked different. When you considering that everytime I passed it in 15 years it always looked exactly the same, I knew something was up….Closing Day. Lismore had occupied the same address for 68 years, I don’t think they ever changed the window display in all that time. Inside was just an empty shell of the once flourishing business but like most of the garment businesses in the LES they simply cannot keep up the the times. What amazed me inside were all the little details like the roll top desk in the back room, the wheel covers on the rolling ladders, the ancient adding machine and the smell. It was the exact same smell of my grandma’s house. I don’t know if it is the smell of old wood, old buildings or old people. I felt really lucky to have been there to record the last day of that business. One day I will show these photos to my daughters and show them how New York use to look.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sunday’s Best….Harlem, New York

Friday, November 11, 2005

Window Shopping…..Domenico Vacca

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Coat Stands Alone…. Midtown, Manhattan

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What The F&%@! Does It take To Make It As A Young Designer In Menswear!

What the F#%@! does it take to make it as a young designer in menswear? Easy, HAVE A TAKE!!

HAVE A REAL AND UNIQUE POINT OF VIEW. Don’t mistake “having a take” though, with creating a watered-down “just for sales” driven product. And not having a “serious” product does not mean not having a dead serious plan for how to grow your business.
Let’s look at one of my favorite men’s collections Duckie Brown

The first time I saw Duckie Brown was in Barneys a few years ago. It was a beautiful, simple jacket, until you looked at the back, which had a huge, colorful, felt house appliqued on the back. The other day at Barneys, I fell in love all over again with a red plaid sportcoat, with all of the colors of the jacket echoed in tiny beads sewn around the hem of the jacket.

Steven and Daniel, the “Duckies” of Duckie Brown, have not played it safe. What has it gotten them? Only some of the most prestigious accounts in the world, like Barneys, Fred Segal, Harrod’s and Harvey Nichols; a cast of Hollywood hunks, like Jude Law (do we really need to add anyone after him?), and pages and pages of press. I have so much respect for people that know they are doing it the hard way, do it anyway, and still succeed.

Duckie Brown is winning, not because of big pockets full money, but pure creativity, vision and a little humour. Notice that’s “humour” with an extra British “u”; humour like “The Office”.
Checkout their website, the photography is great.

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

A Certain Man, A Certain Style….Harlem, New York

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

On The Street…. Midtown, Manhattan

David is the manager for the Borrelli store in NYC. I know a lot of guys in the business and he is easily one of the most articulate on issues of style, quality and design. There are very few salespeople I would ask their opinion, he is one.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Best Design Article I’ve Ever Read.

Jonathan Ive, Head of Design at Apple, is a modern master of design.
The recent Time magazine “What’s Next” issue reminded me of a great article I read years ago in Fast Company about Jonathan Ive’s approach to design. Why We Buy explains Ive’s rules on how to create “design with power, passion, and purpose”.

Monday, November 7, 2005

Brunello Cucinelli website

When you get to the Brunello Cucinelli website skip right by the intro and go straight to the section called Solomeo. The images and story of how Mr. Cuncinelli recently bought and is currently restoring an old villa in Umbria for cashmere production are absolutely beautiful and inspirng.

Monday, November 7, 2005

Old Man Style….4th Avenue, Brooklyn

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Window Shopping…..Bergdorf Goodman Men

Sunday, November 6, 2005

The Most Important Strategy of Tom Ford’s New Men’s Collection.

The most important element of Tom Ford’s strategy for his new men’s collection will be the introduction of the line through a group of Tom Ford wholely owned stores. Ford will be able to control the customers first impression of his collection; this is so important. How many times have I read about a “hot new designer” and then had to literally search racks, rails, 4-ways ,or worse, a soulless shop-in-shop just to find a safe and underwhelming presentation. Not only will Ford be able to control the size and depth of the buy, but through all the little details of his boutiques. he will be able to clearly differentiate the new Tom Ford man from the Gucci man.

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Lichenstein & Co. Tailors’ Trimmings

Lichensteins has been in the same spot on Delancey street since 1903. I’m amazed how much has changed outside that door since Lichensteins has opened and yet how little has changed inside that same door. The owner still works the front measuring hair canvas, counting out buttons and selling shoulder pads for local custom tailors while the wife works the books in the back.

Saturday, November 5, 2005

L’Uomo Vogue 1974

Armani modeling his designs for Umberto Ginocchiette. This is from the last collection he created as a freelance designer.

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Is It A Rule If No One Knows About It?

I’ve heard that it is a “rule” of menswear that a double-breasted jacket should ALWAYS remained buttoned. Unfortunately no one seems to have told some of New York’s most stylish men. Personally I don’t think it is a big deal but some guys get really worked up about it. Does wearing a vest make the rule null and void or is it a worse offense to wear a vest with a DB jacket?

Thursday, November 3, 2005

The Pictures Armani Didn’t Want You To See…Again

I’ll come right out and say it. Giorgio Armani is the most important designer of the 20th century. Chanel and Dior were masters but had no menswear; YSL another master but a minimal effect on what was then an emgering “designer menswear” market. No one before or since has had as much impact on both mens and womens design at the same time as Armani did from 1982 to around 1995. Like Chanel, Dior,and YSL, Giorgio Armani truly created his own design vocabulary.

It is sometimes hard to remember that, at one point, Armani was just another young designer struggling to create a name for himself. To be honest though, Armani was never just a struggling unknown designer .

Below I have retyped (from the English translation in the back of the magazine) an article on Armani that was printed in L’Uomo Vogue in October 1974. Giorgio had just shown his first collection (Spring ’75) under his own label but, as you will read, Giorgio was already a well known and highly regarded member of the Milan design community. In the coming weeks I will discuss some of the other very unique elements that helped make Giorgio Armani into GIORGIO ARMANI.

In the meantime please enjoy the photo of Armani modeling clothes (nice twinset) that he designed for Umberto Ginocchietti and Barba’s in the final collection he designed as a freelance designer. I will be posting more from this editorial in the next few days.

L’Uome Vogue October/November 1974 “The New Man of Italian Fashion”

This year Giorgio Armani is the main topic of conversation even if, when a definition is required, no proper term is available; Stylist, designer, dressmaker? No, either too loose or too limiting definitions. Perhaps the best definition is: the new man of Italian fashion, The man representing a new international establishment for our ready-to-wear clothes. No doubt, this is the year of his debut, even if, strange as it may sound, when thinking of him that for years now is going full swing. Until yesterday, after all, he never showed his collection with his name. He kept away from the show-window. He allowed his collection to be shown with labels of the firms with which he collaborated. But he could not miss a date with Milan, the new center of men?s fashion. Finally he decided: he joined all his collections and introduced himself personally in the halls of the extremely old Carminati restaurant in the Piazza del Duomo for the spring dress rehearsal

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Style Profile…Massimo Caronna

Massimo Caronna is the owner IMC Group, one of New York’s leading distributors of Italian luxury brands. Massimo is one of “those” Italians, born with a natural panache for great style. He has already built a successful American business with top tier retailers for Brunello Cucinelli, and is currently working his magic on newer Italian brands like P Zero for Pirelli, Boglioli, Coat, and Roda. Trust me, you will be seeing more about these brands soon on The Sartorialist. Massimo will also be deeply involved with Michael Bastian’s (former Fashion Director Bergdorf Men’s) recently announced men’s collection. The Sartorialist asked Massimo about his personal style.

Must have items for FW05?
Cashmere Garment-Washed Jacket

Favorite store?
Bergdorf Goodman

Style icon?
Giorgio Armani

Most cherished item?
Vintage watch

Favorite fashiony movie?
American Gigolo, The Aviator, Cotton Club

Describe your personal style?
Sporty chic

Most stylish city?

Favorite fashion magazine?
Mens Cargo, Harper’s Bazaar

Cologne and skin care?
Comme de Garcon 2

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Lismore Hosiery…Lower East Side, New York

This store is still open..occasionally.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Brunello Cucinelli Resort 2005/6 Preview

I stopped by the Cucinelli showroom the other day for a Resort ’05/06 preview. I am a really big fan of Cucinelli’s brand of casual elegence and this Resort collection just gives me more of the same. Cucinelli is focusing on the “little twists”, I loved the linen sportcoat with all the great quality details and the completely quirky suede elbow patches. Another standout was the “soft” dress shirts with the “only I know” contrast binding at the neck.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

The Orchestra Leader…West Village, New York

Michael is the leader of the Blue Orchid Dance Orchestra. I hardly ever stop someone on the street and ask to take their photo but how could I pass this up!