Monday, December 14, 2009

Hong Kong Trip pt. 1 - Hackett does Rugby

Our Kinkade Rugby from Fall 09

The Hackett version -release date TBD

I saw it immediately as we walked into the Chinese factory showroom. Our rugby shirt. My rugby shirt (my college colors that is). My first thought was that we don't make our rugby shirts in this factory, but Hackett does. I guess imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hong Kong Hiatus

I'm off to Hong Kong tomorrow for my first factory and sourcing trip. Won't be back until the 12th. The following video documentation should keep you occupied in the interim. Enjoy and I'll catch you all when I get back.

Gino Iannucci in Trilogy

Peter Smolik in Fulfill the Dream

Fred Gall in Timecode

Guy Mariano in Video Days

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Borrelli, De Corato & Attolini - A Tale in Neapolitan Tailoring

I have always appreciated having a Borrelli store in the building where I work. Its easy to become completely immersed into the culture here and Borrelli's tailored Neapolitan aesthetic has continuously served as a reminder of my own identity and allowed me to keep my own design sensibility in check. On a recent visit I noticed that the sign above the door had changed. Upon entering, I realized that the name wasn't the only difference. David, the store's head buyer, explained that Fabio Borrelli's recent arrest just prior to the spring Pitti Uomo had forced the brand to cancel most of their orders. With the Borrelli company's future in limbo, the decision was made to take the boutique multi-brand. The newly named De Corato's current line-up now includes, among others, a made to measure shirt program by Finamore as well as tailored clothing by the unrivaled Neapolitan masters Cesare Attolini. The acquisition of Attolini is a true coup for De Corato as the move forward to encompass the entirety of the Neapolitan tailored lifestyle.

Enrico Libani of Cesare Attolini

Attolini's history in American menswear has been a brief one. Until recently, it was only available through Domenico Vacca, but the retailer and the suitmakers severed ties a little over a year ago, leaving the New York market wanting.

The boat shaped breast pocket

"We have a small but loyal following here. They understand that no one can match our quality," said Enrico Libani, the company's U.S. spokesman. Cesare Attolini, the company's namesake, developed and fine tuned his current manufacturing techniques with longs stays at Isaia and Kiton. Every single stitch is sewn by the hands of Neapolitan master tailors and their attention to detail is unparalleled. "Notice that the 'boat-shaped chest pocket' is curved. That is because your chest is curved. It takes an extra 45 minutes to baste this pocket so that it follows the curve of your body with more integrity. We have over 100 master tailors but we only produce 30 suits a day. Its our attention to detail that separates us from the others," said Libani.

The 2-button-tongue waist closure

Without knowing who I was, Enrico spent a similar 45 minutes with me, detailing the rest of the manufacturing process, fit and history of his company. This was done not as a sale or PR tactic, but because of the love and conviction he has about his product. "Its all about education," he told me as he guided me through a lesson on the interior construction of their tuxedo pant.

The shirt sleeve insert shoulder

Just like their tailoring process, Attolini educates their consumer the old fashioned way - the undertaking is longer and more tedious but the end result leaves a substantially more lasting impression. Congratulations again to David and the whole team at De Corato. You have made the best of an unfortunate situation and turned the excellent into the exceptional.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

13&W Approved - Gino & Guy

Gino Iannucci

Guy Mariano

For as long as I can remember, my family has chosen its favorite sports teams based on the vowel at the end of name of its star players. Despite being from Philadelphia, Dad's whole neighborhood rooted for the DiMaggio's Yankees. When I was growing up in Vermont everyone always found it odd that we were Miami Dolphin fans. When Marino retired Dad switched to Testaverde. Despite my marginal interest in team sports it carried over to me as well. I've been skating Girl & Chocolate boards for close to ten years now, mainly because of the two guys above. Like DiMaggio, Marino & Testaverde (in college at least) these fellas' skills transcend their ethnic background. The vowel doesn't hurt though.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Things Found - A J. Peter MAN

All illustrations borrowed from J. Peterman

End of Summer Waxed Coat - $192
Irish Sweater - $250
Annapolis Shirt - $149
Moleskin Pants - $129
Hoof Pick Belt - $98
Dominican Bay Rum - $18
Handsome Thug Cap - $119
Leather Trolley Case - $2,600

I didn't even know J. Peterman still existed but, thanks to my good buddy Kip, I do now. All Seinfeld jokes aside, the writing and illustrations in Peterman's Owner's Manuals are top notch. I put myself on the mailing list ten minutes ago and you should too.