Monday, 31 January 2022

J. Press to Reopen Store in New Haven / VIDEO:Ivy Style Video Walk-through with Richard Press

J. Press to Reopen Store in New Haven


The Ivy League retailer was founded in the Connecticut city in 1902.




JANUARY 28, 2022, 2:16PM


The preppy retailer, which was founded in New Haven, Conn., in the shadows of Yale University in 1902, is reopening a store in that city this spring.


J. Press operated a store at 262 York Street in New Haven for over a century until 2013 when it was severely damaged by a storm. It has been operating in temporary spaces since then, but the company, which is owned by Onward Kashiyama in Japan, has secured a new permanent location adjacent to the old one at 262 Elm Street. The 1,780-square-foot location is scheduled to open in May.


The two-level store is designed with a classic yet modern aesthetic intended to bridge the gap between a traditional haberdashery and a contemporary clothier. Over the years, J. Press has defined Ivy League style with its Shaggy Dog Shetland sweaters, oxford button-down shirts and blue blazers. The new store will house the Heritage and Pennant collections along with sportswear on the first floor while tailored clothing, the made-to-measure department, custom shirts and a tailor shop will be upstairs. The building will also house the J. Press e-commerce distribution center and administrative offices.


“J. Press has a long history in New Haven and we are thrilled to find a permanent home for our store in the city of our founding,” said Jun Murakami, president of J. Press USA. “We look forward to continuing the rich tradition of classic American style for years to come.”


J. Press was founded by Jacobi Press, a Latvian immigrant, who opened a store on the campus of Yale University, and has been owned by Onward Kashiyama since 1986. It currently operates units on 44th Street in Manhattan as well as on L Street NW in Washington, D.C. There is also a freestanding store in Tokyo and 83 shop-in-shops in Japan.

J. Press is a traditional men's clothier founded in 1902 on Yale University's campus in New Haven, Connecticut by Jacobi Press. The brand also has stores in New York City and Washington, D.C.. In 1974, the Press family sold the rights to license J. Press for the Japanese market, making it the first American brand to be licensed in Japan. In 1986, J. Press was acquired by the Japanese apparel company Onward Kashiyama, who had previously been his licensee for 14 years. Japanese licensed distribution is roughly six times larger than the American-made J. Press. J. Press is currently part of the Onward Group (Onward Holdings, Ltd.).


Founder Jacobi Press in New Haven, CT.

Jacobi Press immigrated to the US from Latvia in 1896 and founded the company six years later.


Since its founding, J. Press' clothing has remained much the same. For example, the company produces the vast majority of its off-the-rack jackets in the traditional "three-button sack" style rarely found today in America, and for the most part, only produces plain-front trousers, for which the company suggests a traditional 13⁄4" cuff. Fabrics are generally subdued, except for traditionally bright-colored items such as casual trousers and sweaters. Its neckties bear traditional repp stripe, foulard, and paisley motifs. They also carry scarves and ties featuring motifs and colors for Ivy League schools, including Yale's Skull and Bones Society. J. Press dress overcoats are of lambswool, cashmere, or camel hair, or of herringbone tweed with a velvet collar in the Chesterfield style.


New Haven Store


Ties from the J. Press spring/summer 1962 catalog

J. Press is said to carry on a traditional Ivy League style of men's clothing.J. Press caters most to an old-fashioned preppy subculture that eschews popular culture trends. The company makes an effort not to outsource the production of its clothing to developing countries or to use synthetic materials in its line.



The New Haven store was originally built in 1863 in the French Second Empire style as a residence for Cornelius Pierpont, a prominent local grocer. It was irreparably damaged by Winter Storm Nemo in February 2013; the company is temporarily renting a store at 260 College St., across from the Shubert Theatre.


In 1912, the company opened a store in New York “appropriately equidistant from the Yale and Harvard Clubs.”


In May 2007, J. Press moved to 380 Madison Avenue in New York City,[1] which closed indefinitely in 2014.


J. Press opened another store in New York on March 1, 2013, located at 304 Bleecker Street, which carries a younger subset of its line initially named “York Street,” called by the New York Times “a faint outline of the original,” and later renamed “J. Press Blue.”


In October 2017, J. Press closed the York Street store and opened a new store in midtown Manhattan, in the same building as the Yale Club. The store was expected to generate 25% of U.S. sales. J Press has been constructing a new larger four story retail storefront at the original 260 York St., New Haven location.


J. Press formerly had branches in Cambridge, Massachusetts (closed in August 2018 after 86 years),San Francisco, California and Princeton, New Jersey.

Put This On Episode 5: Tradition (J. Press and Thom Browne)

Friday, 28 January 2022

The Gilded Age | Official Trailer | HBO / Two "The Gilded Age" reviews.

‘The Gilded Age’ Review: Dime-Store ‘Downton’


Ten years in the making, this Julian Fellowes period drama set in New York is a pale echo of the original that inspired it.


By Mike Hale

Jan. 23, 2022

The Gilded Age


Julian Fellowes chased his new series, “The Gilded Age,” for a decade. Call it his white whale. Beginning Monday on HBO, you can watch it drag him and a large, talented cast beneath the waves.


What would become “The Gilded Age” began in 2012 as Fellowes’s idea for a prequel to his “Downton Abbey,” the upstairs-downstairs British costume drama that was a monster hit for PBS in the United States. The early years of “Downton” were a smooth, charming blend of family melodrama and pastoral comedy, but charm faded and contrivance grew over the course of six seasons, and by the time the series ended in 2015 the idea of a spinoff had lost some of its luster.


Fellowes persisted, though, even as he wrote other series, like the highly entertaining Georgian drama “Belgravia” (2020). “The Gilded Age” hung around, switched networks (from NBC to HBO) and, when it finally started filming, underwent a pandemic delay. After all that time, it’s sad to report that the show, while no longer a “Downton” prequel, looks like a slacker and more superficial rehashing of character types and situations familiar from the earlier series. (Five of nine episodes were available.) Perhaps all that time had something to do with it.


Set in New York in 1882 (about 30 years after “Moby-Dick” was published there), the series opens as a new-money family, the Russells, move into their Stanford White-designed mansion on Fifth Avenue, across the street from the less luxurious but more respectable house of the old-money sisters Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski) and Ada Brook (Cynthia Nixon).


George Russell (Morgan Spector) is a Vanderbilt-style railroad tycoon and robber baron, and his wife, Bertha (Carrie Coon), is fiercely dedicated to forcing her way into New York society. Their arriviste status is established right away, with the appearance of wagons carrying crates of statuary presumably ransacked from European homes and churches.


This is Henry James and Edith Wharton territory, and Fellowes doesn’t shy away from comparisons. A scene set at the Academy of Music, once New York’s primary opera house, directly invokes Wharton’s “The Age of Innocence”; a scene in which a mercenary suitor is sent packing is straight out of James’s “Washington Square” and its theatrical adaptation, Ruth and Augustus Goetz’s “The Heiress.”


And there is an ingénue, Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson), the niece of Agnes and Ada, who is reminiscent of many young women in James’s and Wharton’s novels, though she’s neither as innocent, as tragic nor as compelling as those models. She arrives at her aunts’ house to serve as audience surrogate and provide some romantic interest in counterpoint to the genteel yet brutal social and economic warfare that make up the central story. Through highly improbable circumstances, she also brings with her an aspiring writer, Peggy Scott (Denée Benton), a young Black woman who becomes Agnes’s secretary and allows Fellowes to account for race alongside class and gender in his portrait of 19th-century New York.


It’s a muddled and slapdash portrait, though — a thin gloss on its superior sources that consistently dips into caricature. Fellowes’s heart doesn’t seem to have been in it; certainly his ear wasn’t: “They own the future, men like Mr. Russell,” we’re told, and, “You’re a New Yorker now … and for a New Yorker anything is possible,” and on the other hand, “You belong to old New York, my dear, and don’t let anyone tell you different!”


The shopworn dialogue jibes with the largely one-note characterizations, seen most egregiously in the hidebound widow Agnes, who seems to have no thoughts beyond her distaste for the nouveau riche. In general, the conservatism and provincialism of the old guard is so overdrawn, and presented with such little context, that the society women seem like they’re from outer space, and the actresses playing them can’t do much to make them human.


One of the glories of “Downton,” of course, was the excellence of its performers, many of whom were not well known in the United States beforehand. For “The Gilded Age” HBO has assembled a starrier cast, but most of the actors fall victim to the obviousness of the material. Baranski’s usual brilliance is muffled; she’s the designated zinger deliverer, like Maggie Smith in “Downton,” but the effect isn’t there. Nixon tries hard but can’t find anything consistent to play in Ada, who’s always on the verge of hysterical-spinster caricature. Bertha is a slightly more rounded character — the story is generally more sympathetic to the people of the future — but her grim social climbing isn’t that much more interesting than Agnes’s snobbery, and Coon seems as uncomfortable as her castmates. Other performers go straight to mugging, like Nathan Lane as the social arbiter Ward McAllister.


There’s an awful lot of talent onscreen, though, and some performers register in smaller roles. Kelli O’Hara is good as a society wife trying desperately to straddle the gap between old and new. Audra McDonald conveys strength and compassion as Peggy’s concerned mother. And Sullivan Jones jolts the show to life in a brief appearance as the editor of a Black newspaper that publishes Peggy’s writing.


In “Downton,” Fellowes succeeded by cutting out the larger world and grounding his story in the daily rhythms of one family and one estate. In “The Gilded Age” he lets the world in, and yet everything seems smaller. The domestic workers go through the same soap-opera motions we enjoyed in “Downton” but feel superfluous to the story; New York’s social circle is called the 400, but here it feels more like the 12 or 15. And while the costumes and interiors are lavish, the Fifth Avenue streetscapes are now backlot constructions fleshed out with computer graphics — you don’t even get the authentic glory of the manor house. As the countess of Grantham said, things are different in America.


The Gilded Age review – Julian Fellowes’ stinky rich New Yorkers are sheer agony


All of human life is here. Not in any credible way – just here … The Gilded Age.

Forget Downton … here’s the new and definitely not improved Brownstone Abbey – and these posh Americans spout nothing but drivel. Does Fellowes actually write this stuff in his sleep?


Lucy Mangan

Lucy Mangan


Tue 25 Jan 2022 22.35 GMT


Boost your vaccinations, don whatever PPE you have to hand – the new variant Julian Fellowes has breached our shores. This time, his typing is set in late 19th-century New York. Yes, it’s Brownstone Abbey. Its official title is The Gilded Age (Sky Atlantic), but we all know what we are dealing with. There are posh people – the old families who have been in New York since it was a glint in a Dutchman’s eye. Then there are the upstart types who made buckets of stinky new money building railroads and are now busy building mansions all over Manhattan and trying to lay down tracks into smart society. We’ll call them the Shamderbilts. And then there are servants, who live beneath these posh people and bitch about them whenever the restraining influence of the butler is absent.


We lay our scene in Central Park. It is 1882 it’s full of sheep. They turn and run from the camera. It is a wise move, all things considered.


The first note struck is a sorrowful one. Miss Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson, who is still young and will survive the dialogue that is soon to come her way) learns that the death of her father, Henry, has left her penniless and that she will be thrown on the mercy of her two aunts. “Don’t worry, Mr Riggs,” she says, smiling bravely at the handsome young solicitor who has had to break the news. “I’m not beaten yet!” “At the risk of impertinence,” he replies, because Fellowes knows “impertinence” is a very 1882 word, “I’d say you are a long way from being beaten, Miss Brook.”


Get used to this kind of drivelling redundancy, folks, because there is an awful lot of it. Also, everyone is using that strange voice Americans do to indicate that they are posh in the past – it mixes precise diction with a strained tone, as if they are all having a hard time on the loo. Which, actually – well, never mind. We needn’t labour the point.


Marian’s aunts (or “auurahnts” as it is pronounced in 1882) are Cynthia Nixon as Ada Brook, presumably as punishment for letting And Just Like That … go ahead, and Christine Baranski – who must have a very persuasive agent – as Agnes van Rhijn. ’Tis Agnes who holds the purse strings and is most conscious of the standards to be upheld by her and her peers. She and they are aghast at the arrival of the Russells. Mr George (Morgan Spector) is a robber baron (“I may be a bastard, but you are a fool” is a thing he says) and has built his castle opposite Agnes’s elegant home, much to her displeasure. His wife (Carrie Coon) is a social climber who has her finger on the pulse. “We cannot succeed in this town without Mrs Astor’s approval, I know that much,” she tells George when he is taking a brief break from intimidating aldermen and crushing rivals under the weight of his fortune.


All of human life is here. Not in any credible way – just here. Marian acquires a young black woman, Peggy Scott (Denée Benton), as a friend on her journey to her aaughuhaunts. She is taken on as a live-in secretary by Agnes so Fellowes can develop as nuanced a portrait of race relations in turn-of-the-century New York as he does of class. It is agony, but no more so than the rest.


There is a younger set – indistinguishable apart from Agnes’s son Oscar and John Adams (John Quincy Adams’s great-grandson, dontcha know), who have a shared feature that will upset Mama no end when she finds out – who care not a jot for convention, so that love across the new/old money divide can play out. “I only ask that you never break your own moral code,” says Aunt Ada, whom I suspect should not be allowed to cross Fifth Avenue unaided. “How wise, Aunt Ada!” says Marian. I will have to look up whether taking the piss had been invented by 1882. And there are secrets among the servants. Miss Turner hates Mrs Russell and is bidding for an affair with Mr Russell. The Van Rhijn butler Bannister (Simon Jones) says he has nothing to hide, which makes me suspect he has something to hide.


In short, it’s just what HBO ordered from the man who by now is surely actually churning this stuff out in his sleep rather than simply giving the faultless impression of it.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Holocaust Memorial Day: 91-year-old survivor meets Prince Charles - BBC ...

Royal Editor Reacts To Prince Andrew 'Demanding Trial By Jury' In Virginia Giuffre Case | GMB

What could a jury trial mean for Prince Andrew? - BBC Newsnight

Prince Andrew denies being co-conspirator of Epstein and insists on jury trial


 Duke denies Jeffrey Epstein ‘trafficked girls to him’ and demands trial in Virginia Giuffre’s sexual abuse lawsuit


 Victoria Bekiempis in New York

Wed 26 Jan 2022 20.33 GMT


 Prince Andrew has denied that he was a co-conspirator of Jeffrey Epstein, and insisted on a jury trial in Virginia Giuffre’s sexual abuse lawsuit against him, his lawyers said in court papers filed on Wednesday.


 “Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint,” his lawyers wrote. The Duke of York also denies that Epstein “trafficked girls to him”, the attorneys said in their legal filings.


 These statements were filed as part Giuffre’s ongoing legal proceedings against the Duke of York in Manhattan federal court. Giuffre has long alleged that Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell forced her into a sexual encounter with the senior British royal 20 years ago, when she was 17.


 Giuffre has alleged that Andrew engaged in sexual misconduct with her on other occasions. Her 9 August lawsuit cited alleged battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.


 Andrew’s denials were part of his “answer and affirmative defenses” to Giuffre’s civil complaint against him. In the 11-page document, Andrew denied wrongdoing, but he did say in this document that he met Epstein “in or around 1999”.


 Andrew’s lawyers said that he “lacks sufficient information to admit or deny” Giuffre’s prior allegations that Epstein was a “widely renowned as a billionaire who used his vast connections to powerful individuals, and seemingly unlimited wealth and resources, to create a web of transcontinental sex trafficking that served himself, his coconspirators, and some of the most powerful people in the world”.


 His counsel also said that Andrew lacked “sufficient information to admit or deny” Giuffre’s contention that Maxwell was “the highest-ranking recruiter in Epstein’s sex-trafficking enterprise”.


 Epstein, a convicted sex offender, was apprehended in July 2019 for sex trafficking girls as young as 14. He killed himself about one month later in a Manhattan jail, while awaiting his sex-trafficking trial.


 Maxwell, daughter of the British press baron Robert Maxwell, was found guilty of sex trafficking and related charges in December for luring girls as young as 14 into Epstein’s abusive orbit.


 Prince Andrew has denied all allegations of misconduct.


 In the prince’s response paperwork, his lawyers also listed some reasons why they believe Giuffre’s case should not stand.


 They reiterated their unsuccessful claim that Giuffre’s 2009 settlement with Epstein – which included a release for third parties – shielded Andrew from litigation. They also repeated their position that Giuffre brought her complaint too long after the alleged misconduct, barring her from suing.


 Andrew’s lawyers also listed “consent” and the “doctrine of unclean hands” – which is an allegation that Giuffre has acted unethically related to the accusations – among his defenses. “Giuffre’s alleged causes of action are barred in whole or in part by her own wrongful conduct,” they wrote.


 The new filing came amid seemingly mounting legal woes for the embattled prince.


 Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled on 12 January that Giuffre’s suit could go forward. Shortly thereafter, a woman who may have seen Andrew with Giuffre at a London disco the night he allegedly abused the then-teen said she was “willing” to provide testimony.


 “I am proud to represent Shukri Walker, who has bravely stepped forward as a witness and encourages others who may have information to do so as well,” the woman’s lawyer, Lisa Bloom, said in an email. “She is willing to do the deposition Virginia Giuffre’s team is seeking.”


 Giuffre’s lawsuit, coupled with heightened scrutiny on his ties to Epstein and Maxwell, has proved disastrous for Andrew.


 Buckingham Palace said in a 13 January statement: “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”


 Asked for comment on Andrew’s filing, Giuffre’s lawyers said in a statement: “Prince Andrew’s Answer continues his approach of denying any knowledge or information concerning the claims against him, and purporting to blame the victim of the abuse for somehow bringing it on herself.


 “We look forward to confronting Prince Andrew with his denials and attempts to blame Ms Giuffre for her own abuse at his deposition and at trial,” their statement also said.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

The Fall of Abercrombie And Fitch / Can Abercrombie And Fitch Make A Comeback? / History of Abercrombie & Fitch

SEE also de two following posts below

History of Abercrombie & Fitch

The Founders of Abercrombie & Fitch


David T. Abercrombie


Ezra Fitch

The history of Abercrombie & Fitch began in the nineteenth century and extends into the twenty-first century. Key figures who changed and influenced the course of Abercrombie & Fitch's history include co-founders David T. Abercrombie and Ezra Fitch, Limited Brands and Michael Jeffries, the former Chairman and CEO.


David Abercrombie founded A&F in 1892 as an upscale sporting goods store. Forming a partnership with Ezra Fitch, the company continued to expand in the new 20th century. After Abercrombie left the company, Fitch became sole owner and ushered in the "Fitch Years" of continued success. Shortly after his retirement, the company continued to develop under a succession of other leaders until its financial fall and closing in 1977. Limited Brands purchased the ailing brand in 1988 and brought in Mike Jeffries, who revolutionized the image of Abercrombie & Fitch to become an upscale youthful fashion retailer.


The company was originally established as Abercrombie Co. by David Abercrombie on June 4, 1892, in a small waterfront shop at 36 South Street in downtown Manhattan, New York. Wealthy New York businessman Ezra Fitch became one of the store's regular customers. In 1900, Fitch bought a major share in the growing Abercrombie Company and thus joined as co-founder. Aberr 2010}}


The partnership between Abercrombie and Fitch did not end happily. The two men, with different visions for the future of A&F, quarreled frequently, although the company continued to prosper. Fitch wished to expand the company's appeal to the general public, while Abercrombie wanted to continue selling professional gear to professional outdoorsmen. As a result of the disagreement, Abercrombie sold his share in the company to Fitch in 1907 and returned to manufacturing outdoor goods. Fitch continued the business with other partners and directed the company as he pleased.


The Fitch years

In 1909, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. mailed over 50,000 copies of its 456-page catalog worldwide (a staggering and costly amount of publication at that time, since each cost a dollar to produce).[4] The catalog featured outdoor clothing, camping gear, articles, and advice columns. The cost of the catalog nearly bankrupted the company, but the catalog proved to be a profitable marketing device. Within the store, the catalog was available to customers for free. By 1910, the company began selling women's clothing, and became the first store in New York to supply clothing to women as well as men.[citation needed] In 1913, after moving into Reade Street, which was not a convenient shopping location for women, the store relocated to a more fashionable and easily accessible midtown address near Fifth Avenue at 55/57 West 36th Street, expanding its inventory to include sportswear. In 1917, the store moved again into a twelve-story building at the corner of Madison Avenue and East 45th Street. The store occupied the entire available space (12 stories).


The Madison Avenue store included many different amenities. The basement housed a shooting range while on the mezzanine (main floor) paraphernalia for skiing, archery, free diving, and lawn games were sold. The second through fifth floors were reserved for clothing that was suitable for different climate or terrains. On the sixth floor were a picture gallery, a bookstore (focused on sporting themes), a watch repair facility and a golf school (fully equipped with a resident professional). The seventh floor included a gun room with hundreds of shotguns and rifles, decorated with stuffed game heads, as well as a kennel for dogs and cats .[5] The eighth floor contained fishing, camping, and boating equipment and included a desk for a fly- and bait-casting instructor who gave lessons at the pool, which was located on the roof. The fishing section alone was stocked with over 48,000 flies and over 18,000 fishing lures.


Abercrombie & Fitch Co. became the first American store to import Mahjong.[6] Ezra Fitch imported the game after a female customer looked for the game that she had played in China. He went to China for the game and translated the instructions into English. Mahjong became a fast selling product, and Abercrombie & Fitch became the epicenter of the Mahjong craze.[4] The company sent emissaries to Chinese villages to buy as many Mahjong sets as possible and eventually sold over 12,000 sets.


In 1927, Abercrombie & Fitch outfitted Charles Lindbergh for his historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean. It also attracted the business of other prominent figures.


Post-Fitch era

In 1928, Fitch retired from the company and sold to his brother-in-law, James S. Cobb. Under Cobb, A&F acquired Von Lengerke & Detmold, a well-respected New York dealer of fine European-made sporting guns and fishing tackle, as well as that company's Chicago branch, Von Lengerke & Antoine. Cobb also acquired Griffin & Howe, another gunsmith company. Merchandise from both Von Lengerke & Detmold and Griffin & Howe was carried at A&F's Madison Avenue store.[4] By this time, A&F was also selling equipment for polo, golf, and tennis. By 1929, sales of US $6.3 million were reported with net profits of US $548,000.


During the Great Depression, the company's revenue decreased and it stopped paying dividends. Sales plunged to $2,598,925 in 1933. A&F recovered in the following years and resumed paying dividends in 1938. During that year, guns accounted for 40% of sales at the Madison Avenue store.[4] Clothing, shoes, and furnishings accounted for 45%, while inventory was valued at about 40% of annual sales (reflecting A&F's readiness to meet customer demands).[4] Ten percent of the business was attributed to mail orders from the catalog.[4] Abercrombie & Fitch Co. continued to expand. As early as 1913, A&F had adopted the slogan, "The Greatest Sporting Goods Store in the World".


A&F's record net profit was $682,894 in 1947. The company opened a large branch in San Francisco in 1958. It soon added small winter-only shops open from November through May each season in Palm Beach and Sarasota, Florida, and summer-only shops in Bay Head, New Jersey, and Southampton, New York. to complement a shop in Hyannis, Massachusetts, it had operated since the end of World War II. Guernsey succeeded Cobb as president.[4] He remarked, "The Abercrombie & Fitch type does not care about the cost; he wants the finest quality."With so many locations now under the control of Abercrombie & Fitch, the Madison Avenue store remained the flagship store.[4] In the 1950s, the main floor of the flagship was remodeled to include heads of buffalo, caribou, moose, elk, and other big game, stuffed fish of spectacular size, and elephant's-foot wastebaskets.


In 1960, net sales rose to $16.5 million, but net profit fell for the fourth straight year to $185,649.[4] By 1961, net sales dropped to $15.5 million, and net profit to $124,097. Guernsey's successor as president, John H. Ewing, paid little attention to the decline in sales.[4] In 1961, he told an interviewer of Business Week that Abercrombie & Fitch enjoyed a special niche "by sticking to our knitting; by not trying to be all things to all people." A&F would open a year-round resort shop at The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs (1962) and its first suburban store at the Mall in Short Hills, New Jersey (1963). Under the leadership of Earle K. Angstadt, Jr., Abercrombie's continued to expand in upscale locations such as the Bal Harbour Shops near Miami Beach, Florida (1966), the Somerset Mall in Troy, Michigan, outside Detroit (1969) and in boutique-style shops in other department stores.


In 1964, Abercrombie and Fitch achieved a notable early example of the "brand integration" form of product placement by providing the venue for part of the Rock Hudson / Paula Prentiss romantic comedy film Man's Favorite Sport?.


Abercrombie and Fitch held a warehouse sale in 1968 and early 1970 and presented offbeat newspaper advertisements that reflected a measure of desperation. The company's revenue continued decline, with a loss of about $500,000 in its previous fiscal year. Noticing the effect that the ads and sale-days had upon the Abercrombie & Fitch customer base, the next president William Humphreys, a former Lord & Taylor executive, halted the measures. He focused on improving A&F's inventory control and credit practices and cutting the company's expenses.; changed the store design to present a different image, focused on expansion into the suburbs in 1972 with a location in Oak Brook, Illinois, 1972 in hopes of recapturing customers who no longer patronized its store in downtown Chicago's Loop. Noticing that the offbeat advertisements were bringing in customers that management considered "not of classic Abercrombie & Fitch material," A&F ceased its mis-directing ads and sale-days in October 1970.[4] Presentation within the flagship changed as well to provide a newer look. Expensive sailboats were moved from the main floor to an upper floor, a discount clothing section was introduced on the tenth floor, sportswear lines were expanded, and new buyers for woman's apparel were hired. However, the changes did not improve sales and the company continued to decline financially under Humphreys and his successor Hal Haskell, who was a major stockholder of the company. After losing $1 million in 1975, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 1976 and finally closed its doors in November 1977.


Oshman's, a sporting goods retailer, acquired Abercrombie & Fitch Co. in 1978 for $1.5 million ($5.2 million in 2013 dollars). It opened an Abercrombie & Fitch store in 1979 in Beverly Hills, California, and another in Dallas, Texas, which was bigger and sported $40,000 USD elephant guns and an "Abercrombie Runabout sports convertible" worth $20,775 USD.Stores continued to open in South Street Seaport and Trump Tower and catered towards contemporary interests of golf, exercise, and tennis. Clothing collections for men and women carried business and casual dress, and sportswear. Forbes described the merchandise as "a hodgepodge of unrelated items" and that "sometimes it is better to bury the dead than to try reviving them." Abercrombie & Fitch continued to struggle as Oshman's struggled itself to develop a strong identity for the company.


Modern image

1988 through 1999: rebranding into fashion retail

In 1988, Limited Brands acquired the ailing company for $47 million after having success in popularizing Express and Victoria's Secret. Headquarters was moved to Columbus, Ohio, and all inventory was cleared out.[4] The new president of Abercrombie & Fitch, Sally Frame-Kasaks, placed a strong emphasis on apparel. Michael S. Jeffries, a clothing executive, took over as president in 1992. He popularized the brand to a teen apparel merchandiser from an ailing sports brand. He believed that focusing the A&F brand towards the American teen market would be financially beneficial as that sector of retail economy was said to be growing at a record rate at the time.


The new Abercrombie & Fitch reopened shortly afterwards with a preppy outdoors theme reminiscent of the company's original roots. Jeffries desired to have Bruce Weber, known for his sexual beefcake photography, as the photographer for the brand, but could not do so until the company gained financial success. The apparel consisted of woven shirts, denim, miniskirts, cargo shorts, wool sweaters, polo shirts, and t-shirts. Its prices were unprecedentedly high in the teen apparel industry. Sales rose $85 million in 1992, $111 million in 1993, and to $165 million in 1994. 49 stores were opened by 1994, and a 102 store count was aimed by the end of 1995.In 1994, new records for merchandise margin rate and profitability were established by Abercrombie & Fitch for its parent, The Limited.[16] To maintain popularity and to keep up with teen trends, Jeffries hired executives to keep up on popular teenage clothing, music, and entertainment.


By the mid-1990s, there were dozens of Abercrombie & Fitch stores in the United States.[17] On September 26, 1996, The Limited, Inc. took Abercrombie & Fitch public on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol "ANF" and with the per share offering as $16.[18] In late 1990s, the company began to opt building stores only averaging between 8,000 and 20,000 square feet (700 to 2,000 m²) in high-volume retail centers around the country. It also launched the canoe store prototype of white facade and interior gray walls to accommodate the growth of its brand.


In 1997, Abercrombie & Fitch launched A&F Quarterly. The publication included photography, interviews and articles about sex, pop culture, and other teen interests.[16] In 1998, the company introduced its first subsidiary, abercrombie. The concept was designed as the Abercrombie & Fitch for a younger clientele between the ages on 7-14. In 1999 began a 3-year-long class action lawsuit in which Abercrombie & Fitch was one of several American retailers involved for its sweatshops in Saipan. Revenue recorded for Abercrombie & Fitch at the end of fiscal 1998 was at $805.2 million USD. By 1998, Abercrombie & Fitch became an independent company, and Mike Jeffries assumed the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. As the brand regained its prominence, industry analysts began to speculate how long Abercrombie and Fitch would be able to retain its popularity.


Analysts predicted that A&F would fall from popularity, but sales continued escalating after a provocative Christmas 1999 in which the A&F Quarterly issue of the season featured sexually explicit content that drew angry complaints. In 1999, the A&F also launched "A&F TV", which featured young people engaged in sports and leisure activities. A&F TV was originally developed to run on cable television and on monitors in Abercrombie & Fitch stores. It was soon removed. Revenue for fiscal 1999 was at Increase $1.030 billion USD.


The overall approach of Abercrombie & Fitch, by the end of the decade, to its customers seemed to please male shoppers more than females, who shopped more frequently at competitor shops.[16] Throughout the 1990s, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. enjoyed sales of over Increase$400/ft2 (Increase$4300/m2). By December 1999, Abercrombie & Fitch operated a total of 212 stores nationwide.


From 2000 on

Entering into the 21st century, Abercrombie & Fitch was rated as the sixth most popular brand before Nintendo and Levi's by teenagers. The company introduced its third brand, Hollister Co., in July 2000. The third concept was based on Southern California surf lifestyle, and was targeted towards high school students. After Hollister lowered the revenue of Abercrombie & Fitch, the company launched the Ezra Fitch collection, and began producing A&F clothing with higher grade materials, increasing the prices. In 2001, the company moved into a new 300-acre (1.2 km2) home office in New Albany, Ohio. Headquarters were further expanded by 2003.[22] Also in 2003, the company released its last issue of A&F Quarterly after amounting complaints.


 The trademark slogan, Casual Luxury.

After successfully launching Hollister, the company introduced its fourth brand RUEHL No.925 for older consumers, 22 through 35, on September 24, 2004. Revenue continued to escalate as sales are reported at $2.021 billion for 2004. In November 2005, the company opened doors to its first ever flagship store (located in Fifth Avenue). By this time, the company begins to uplift its image to near-luxury status after introducing the trademark Casual Luxury for promotion. Revenue reported for 2005 was $2.021 billion.


Abercrombie & Fitch began its Canadian expansion in January 2006 when the company opened two A&F stores and three Hollister Co. stores in Toronto and Edmonton. By fall 2006, a third Canadian Abercrombie & Fitch store opened in the Toronto Eaton Centre. Also in the year, the brand opened a west coast flagship in The Grove. Revenue reported for 2006 is $3.318 billion, an increase of over $1.297 billion from 2005.


Beginning 2007, the canoe stores were revamped with dark louvers (see right image). On 22 March 2007, Abercrombie & Fitch opened its first European flagship in London at 7 Burlington Gardens in Savile Row.[citation needed] The store generated a volume of $280,000 (around £140,000 GBP) in its first 6 hours of operation. The flagship remains one of the most profitable A&F locations. Revenue reached record heights in 2007 with an overall sales of $3.749 billion.


On 21 January 2008, Abercrombie & Fitch introduced its fifth concept, the intimate apparel brand Gilly Hicks. Inspired by "Down Under", it is officially labeled as the "Cheeky cousin of Abercrombie & Fitch." In April 2008, A&F relaunched A&F Quarterly for release in the UK flagship On August 31, 2008, the "bright and insightful" company director Allan A. Tuttle died. By December 22, corporate announced that it had produced a new employment agreement with Mike Jeffries set to expire in 2014. For the first time in its recent history, A&F suffered a financial decrease to $3.540 billion revenue for fiscal 2008. The blame was to the current economic recession, and also to the fact that the company refused to lower price points and offer sales citing brand image-protection that doing so would "cheapen" its near-luxury image.

As the late-2000s recession continued, A&F noticeably suffered financially for its refusal to lower prices or offer discounts. Early in January 2009, the company reported its worst drop in sales and shares. By the end of the month, 50 employees lost their jobs and many positions were still unoccupied. 170 more employees were dismissed in May. A&F announced on 17 June 2009 the closure of its ailing Ruehl No.925 brand by January 2010. By October, A&F launched its official Facebook page. Despite financial downturns, A&F opened its second European location, a flagship store, in Milan on October 29. On its official Facebook page, A&F called it the biggest consumer reception for a flagship opening in A&F history: "like nothing the world has seen before". On December 15, another flagship store opened in Tokyo, Japan. Marking the first ever A&F location in Asia, the opening became the biggest retail event in history, was noted as a "spectacle of consumerism" by the Japanese, and made around JP¥50 million (US$550,000) that day alone.


In January 2010, A&F launched its A&F Cares feature highlighting its philanthropic efforts. Keeping to its commitment, the company shut down on January 22, and closed doors to all final Ruehl stores by the end of the month. Analysts began noting encouraging signs of financial progress, in March, for the company, citing A&F's successful international expansion and better inventory management. Also around that time, a historical fishing line dryer, made by A&F in the early 1900s, was sold to an A&F model for $590 USD.[44][45] As a marketing move, A&F announced the relaunch of the A&F Quarterly on 17 July 2010 as a part of its "Screen Test" Back-to-School marketing campaign designed to attract more consumer attention and sales.[46] In August, CEO Mike Jeffries announced that Abercrombie & Fitch would close roughly 60 stores in 2010. Later that month, CFO Jonathan Ramsden said another 50 stores could close in 2011. Profits began to pick up by September 2010 to larger than predicted results (attributed to the result of the major "Screen Test" campaign and numerous sales held throughout the season). By October, the company was stated as being well ahead its competitors (a first since the economic turndown).[49] The brand opened a flagship in Copenhagen and Fukuoka in November 2010, and another one in Paris by May 2011.


On February 15, 2012, A&F announced plans to close 180 more underperforming U.S. stores by 2015 while continuing to expand in Europe and Asia.


In 2013, the company's trendy, upscale image took a hit when comments made by Jeffries in 2006 that disparaged customers with body types that do not resemble Abercrombie & Fitch models resurfaced. The resulting backlash launched a viral internet campaign called "Fitch the Homeless", which aimed to subvert and mock the company's carefully manicured image of "exclusionary" style by distributing used Abercrombie & Fitch clothes to homeless and needy persons.

Sorry chaps, Abercrombie & Fitch simply doesn't fit Savile Row


This article is more than 9 years old

Sorry chaps, Abercrombie & Fitch simply doesn't fit Savile Row

Gustav Temple This article is more than 9 years old

The Row has been the heartland of English bespoke tailoring for 200 years. This is not the place for T-shirts and cargo pants

Tue 24 Apr 2012 15.49 BST


A modest band of immaculately dressed chaps and chapettes descended upon Savile Row on Monday to protest against the opening of a children's store by Abercrombie & Fitch. We felt rather strongly that Savile Row is not the right sort of street for the sale of T-shirts, cargo pants and thongs with suggestive slogans on them.


The Row is the heartland of English bespoke tailoring, source of the most beautifully crafted suits in the world. It was here that tailors made the uniform worn by Horatio Nelson when he was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar; it was here that Edward VII invented the dinner jacket. Savile Row is where the 20th century's most iconic fashion moments were dreamt up: production on Hollywood movies would be halted while actors from Rudolph Valentino to Frank Sinatra were flown over to the Row to have a waistcoat cut properly. Anderson & Sheppard made Fred Astaire's tailcoats, and kept a section of carpet loose, to be peeled back during his fitting so he could ensure the tailcoat flowed around his body correctly by dancing a few steps.


Savile Row has maintained its excellent reputation for over two centuries, surviving hard times and boom times and even occasionally moving with the times. In the 1960s, Tommy Nutter opened a shop on Savile Row and made flashy flared tweed suits for Mick Jagger and Elton John; but he made them with as much care and professionalism as he would have made a morning coat for the Prince of Wales.


You can go to practically any street in any city in Britain and buy the sorts of clothes peddled by Abercrombie & Fitch. You cannot, however, go to any street in the country to get a bespoke suit, and this is why the trade should remain where it is – so that when the time eventually comes that we can afford Savile Row's prices, we know where to go.


The opening of an Abercrombie & Fitch store could well sound the death knell for the Row. The Kooples, another trendy clothes chain not offering a bespoke service, has already lodged an application to open a store at No 5, Savile Row. Within 20 years, the Row could easily become just another London street full of the sorts of global brands that have branches in every major European city.


It isn't as if bespoke tailoring is in decline. There has been a recent regeneration of the trade and many Savile Row tailors are doing very well. Richard James and Ozwald Boateng both moved into the Row in the last decade, and their arrival was greeted with suspicion by the established tailors. Yet they have both proved that Savile Row can be modernised in keeping with its ancient traditions and that bespoke tailoring can continue to flourish as a trade. The cost of a bespoke suit is high – as much as £3,500 on Savile Row – but there are many luxury stores on Bond Street that will charge you similar amounts for an off-the-peg number.


One of the few connections between Abercrombie & Fitch and Savile Row is the huge mark-up. In traditional tailoring houses, this is because a bespoke suit takes up to 10 weeks to construct, over 60 hours of labour and numerous fittings. In the case of Abercrombie & Fitch, it is because it has used aggressive marketing campaigns to attach a high premium to the letters A and F, especially when cut from frayed bits of denim and glued to a T-shirt.


What reverence has Abercrombie & Fitch for the tradition or heritage of Savile Row? It is only interested in the street's iconic status on the tourist map. Its flagship store on Burlington Gardens, which abuts the Row, has already spoiled the ambience of old-world gentlemanly charm. Endless queues of teenagers spill along Savile Row, blocking the entrances to tailors and giving traffic on the Row even less room to manoeuvre.


In a deeply ironic twist, a source in the tailoring trade has revealed that Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, has his suits made on Savile Row. So the man whose company wants to desecrate the Row clearly values its product much more highly than he values its origin. If you had enjoyed a fine lunch at Le Gavroche, would your response be to open up a McDonald's next door?


If Abercrombie & Fitch is allowed to open its store on Savile Row, others will follow: eventually, the Row will become like any other street in the world, full of chain stores selling clothes that can be bought in Madrid, Dubai or Tokyo. Where will Jeffries get his suits made then?


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The Future of Saville Row ...

We need more British investment on Savile Row
Asian investors are quietly taking over Britain's home of bespoke tailoring. Are we about to lose another British success story to foreign ownership, asks David Gandy

There is a pattern emerging on Savile Row, and I'm not talking about Prince of Wales check.
The world's most renowned and celebrated street for bespoke suits and tailoring, the street that has dressed the world's richest, most famous and most stylish men for generations, is going through a transition.
It seems that, slowly, this most British and historic of sites is being acquired by Asian investors. Gieves and Hawkes, Hardy Amies and Kilgour are now under Asian control and I'm sure more and more of our most revered tailors and suit makers will succumb to the temptation of Asian backing before long.
This development may seem a little troubling at first, but as Ambassador for London Collections: Men, a close admirer of the above-mentioned tailoring houses and also a regular frequenter to Savile Row, the immediate effect has been extremely positive.
Hardy Amies and Gieves and Hawkes both showed at LC:M earlier this year and their range of off-the-peg and bespoke tailoring were among the most admired, stand-out collections of this season's shows. Gieves and Hawkes' famous No 1. Savile Row address is under going a multi-million pound refurbishment and I'm sure Hardy Amies and Kilgour will follow suit, so to speak.
I have to be honest, I believe heavy investment and redevelopment is what Savile Row desperately needs. Perhaps James Bond, David Beckham, Justin Timberlake and a host of other extremely famous and stylish men love wearing Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren, but if you are looking for a bespoke suit cut by the finest cutters in the world with hundreds of years of experience, you will appreciate why a Savile Row suit is the pinnacle of style and grace. That said, how many bespoke suits do men buy a year? Not many and thus Saville Row is not exactly the most bustling of streets in London.
And yet, Savile Row should really be the ultimate men's shopping street. It badly needs to entice more visitors, bringing with them the custom and support that these tailoring houses need. But how? I believe the area needs to incorporate an array of mens stores, including Hackett, Belstaff, Burberry, Tods, Church's, even Topman. And how about M&S too? (Following on from their incredibly successful 'Simply Food’, why not a 'Simply Men' store?)
Instead of the above retailers moving in, though, someone has granted Abercrombie Kids approval to open a store on the Row. This is a sad decision which will likely have the opposite effect of what needs to be achieved here. Most likely, it will force up rental prices for the rest of the Row, leading to either more foreign investments or takeovers for the smaller or struggling tailoring houses. Some, unfortunately, might face closure altogether.
Of course what we really have to look at here is why it takes foreign investment and foreign shops to start this transition in the first place. We have to ask ourselves, where is the British investment? According to the latest stats, Britain has the fastest-growing economy in western Europe, but investment into some of our most famous British brands, products and exports (something desperately needed by all accounts) is slow to emerge. Ot looks like Savile Row could become another victim of that.
A prime example of what happens when British money is not invested into well-regarded British brands is our car industry (or what used to be our car industry). World famous names such as Mini, Bentley and Rolls-Royce are all German owned and I hear that Aston Martin may be next. I can almost hear the Bentley Boys and Sir Alec Issigonis turning in their graves.
Mini, Rolls-Royce and Bentley are all recording record profits and the latest example of a brilliant British brand enjoying success in foreign hands is Jaguar Land Rover. Bought six years ago by Indian steel giant Tata from Ford, the company has just announced that its profits more than doubled in the last quarter of 2013, to £842m. All of this proves what exceptional British designers and engineers can achieve with the necessary investment.
Of course, it is very easy for me to say that companies and individuals should invest millions of pounds into traditional tailoring houses and brands. And obviously it's not just Savile Row businesses - I could reel off a long list of young, exciting British designers and brands that are producing world-class products and are crying out for investment.
In reality it is us, the consumers, who could also assist, preserve and transform these British labels, brands and products, and that's by actually buying British. So the next time you get out of your Audi or BMW, in your Zara casual wear to go and buy that Armani or Tom Ford suit, perhaps you should think twice. Perhaps you should consider going to see Simon at Henry Poole, for example. You will experience a service like no other and you will find yourself in the very finest suit, something so special you may even want to hand it on to the next generation. Henry Poole has been a family-run business and a stalwart of Savile Row since the early 19th century. If we are not careful, true British-owned businesses like that may soon be very rare indeed.
David Gandy is represented by Select Model Management

Follow David on Twitter at @DGandyOfficial


( … ) “While the Gieves and Hawkes assessment of the repugnant installment of Abercrombie & Fitch and Abercrombie Kids on the Row certainly rings true, we can’t help but also think that the real problem of Savile Row may not just be the « Abercrombie and Fitch Affair » (with all the noise made around the issue by our gently-crazed friends of the Chap and their now infamous « Give Three Piece a Chance » campaign).
In reality, the Abercrombie and Fitch affair is merely a tree, even if a big and smelly one, that hides the forest…
Friday night, after a wonderful event at 39 Savile Row, we had the pleasure to share dinner with our dear friend (and occasional contributor) James Sherwood, with whom we had the opportunity to exchange our feelings about the recent evolution of the Row, the current marketing orgy there, and the misuse of the name Savile Row.
For those who are not regular readers of PG, let us remind you that James is the author of the bestseller « Savile Row, The Master Tailors of British Bespoke », published in 2010 at Thames & Hudson, as well as a worldwide acclaimed and recognized figure known as “The Guardian of Savile Row” (see the cover of The Rake magazine hereafter). James worked for many years in the caves and dusty cupboards of Savile Row in order to reconstitute, protect and save the precious archives of iconic houses like Henry Poole & Co and Gieves & Hawkes (during the era of Robert Gieves).

Saville-Row T&H

He was also the curator of « The London Cut », the first retrospective Savile Row exhibition ever organized for Pitti Uomo (2007). This one-of-a-kind exhibition gathered together for the first time, a display of iconic houses of the Row –a move certainly not typical in the 21st century in the highly competitive arena of current fashion and style. This London Cut exhibition of seminal Savile Row houses has also been also shown in Paris and Tokyo.
In short, if there’s one man on earth who has been working tirelessly for the worldwide recognition of Savile Row, it’s Mr. Sherwood. And it’s about time, at a point where the legacy of Savile Row is on the verge of being pushed aside with a shrug of the shoulders, to pay tribute to James and credit him for his unique input that has helped to catapult  Savile Row’s power of attraction, specifically in a time when classical menswear is witnessing a global renaissance with billions of British pounds being invested in the sector.
London Cut 2

The problem today is that the Guardian of Savile Row probably does not know precisely what it is that he should be looking after (except perhaps Poole’s archives), because in less than five years since the completion of Mr. Sherwood’s exhaustive labour, the golden mile is more and more resembling a scene reminiscent of any other high street gathering of luxury shops found in most every major city in the western and oriental world.
To put it more succinctly, the long-guarded spirit of Savile Row that so many of us love and revere, is evaporating in front of our eyes. And the gesture of placing a few historical uniforms in display windows as trophies of the past in houses whose DNA is no more British, will certainly not suffice to retain the spirit of a craftsmanship that is unique in the world.
The new “masters” of Savile Row have not exactly been subtle in the way that they have been disregarding tradition : Gieves & Hawkes decided, for example, to shut down its archive room in which James invested so much effort, expertise and research –a work apparently deemed as useless and not modern enough to remain on the Row. Even the Gieves and Hawke’s Wall of Fame has been quickly removed by the new house designer/art director for whom these historical figures seemed too passé and out of line with hype marketing and current merchandising paradigms.
And what about Kilgour’s new boutique–of which fashion magazine editors swoon to the point of orgasm in describing the new design as being the epitome of what a contemporary boutique should be (with the overuse of the word ‘contemporary’ yielding a total loss of meaning), while in reality, it is a store with endless white walls not unlike hundreds of other designer shops in the luxury world.
The recent rise of London’s Fashion Week — ” London Collections : Men” has likely played a part in the leveraging of the Row, since this fashion week is basically a clone of the Paris, New York and Milan Fashion Week, complete with typical catwalks, contrary designers and conceptual installations….
That being said, don’t misunderstand what is written here. Our purpose is not to advocate for the blind protection of an old craftsmanship that remains difficult to be profitable because only a limited number of gentlemen in the world understand, appreciate and are able to afford bespoke.
We totally agree that it is time to promote the indisputable British know-how in this field, as well as to soften the legendary staunchness of the Savile Row tailors who struggle with the idea of mass communication and promotion.
What we really disagree with, is the way that the Savile Row name has been diluted and thrown into brand-communication-sauces as a way to fool the public with products that are in fact less and less British and artisanal.
While not going as far as to claim that certain garments are still made in the UK (when in fact the vast majority of them are not), the current marketing gimmick used by deceitful marketers is to place a label onto garments that states that they have been conceived and designed by authentic and legendary British master tailors. This is an ultimate lie that anyone even slightly interested in our field can detect. Many of the new masters of Savile Row are no more British…but Italian designers. And their collections, as everyone knows, are designed where they are crafted, i.e. in mostly very professional and high quality Italian factories. So the infamous « Designed by the master tailors of Savile Row » that one can find on the labels (and the website) of The Kooples, probably the most industrial and least British brand you can dream of, is nothing short of a marketing abuse…
Among this permanent marketing noise within Savile Row, in the midst of a massive usurpation of a name which has become the Eldorado of the speculators of many countries, we should for once give credit to Abercrombie & Fitch : at least they don’t pretend that their gross tee-shirts are made, much less designed by Savile Row; and, they do not pretend that the ridiculous body-builders who guard the entrance of their shops have been trained by British master tailors !
Thankfully, in this Roman invasion, a few incorruptible British villages still resist and relentlessly try, with talent and courage, to keep the spirit and the artisan know-how of Savile Row alive : Joe Morgan (Chittleborough&Morgan), Henry Poole and Co., Dege & Skinner, Richard Anderson and Steven Hitchcock (St. George Street, Mayfair) are among the last bastions of the dream of an elegant British gentleman.
In this context, the opening of Gaziano and Girling on 39 Savile Row is fantastic news : Tony and Dean are indeed two authentic British craftsmen and the Savile Row name fits them like a bespoke pair of Oxfords. They bring a definitive breath of fresh air to a Golden Mile that recently turned into a « Gold Mine » for realtors and wind sellers….
We, who have had the vulnerability to believe that in this 21st century, there are still things that money cannot buy, have to admit that maybe we were wrong. Savile Row will likely never be the same and the heritage that is heavily advertised by people who have no idea what they’re talking about, is about to die.
We live in a strange world don’t we James ?”
London’s Savile Row Tailors Strive to Stay a Cut Above

AUGUST 23, 2013
London’s Savile Row Tailors Strive to Stay a Cut Above

Visitors to 10 Savile Row in London are greeted by photographs of the current Sultan of Oman in full military regalia. Deeper inside the shop of tailor Dege & Skinner, above a rack of silk handkerchiefs, hangs a smaller picture of Prince William. There’s a reason for the sultan’s exalted status: Half of Dege & Skinner’s revenue comes from outside the U.K., and that share is growing.Savile Row shops are struggling to stay relevant in a global marketplace where British clients increasingly buy tailored offerings from Italian luxury powerhouses such as Ermenegildo Zegna. Dege & Skinner, Savile Row’s first maker of bespoke (or tailor-sewn) shirts, this year began advertising for the first time in its 148-year history. It’s also taken to communicating with potential clients by e-mail. The fashion quarter, synonymous with British suits since 1733, has outfitted notables from Emperor Hirohito of Japan to Charles Dickens, and it’s showing its age. There are approximately 17 tailors now on the street, about half as many as 50 years ago. And there’s newer competition, such as Burberry Group(BURBY), which is offering its own bespoke tailoring in 70 of its stores globally.
The Savile Row Bespoke Association lost its battle to keep Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) from opening a children’s clothing store at the Beatles’ former London headquarters at No. 3 Savile Row, site of the 1969 rooftop concert that was the band’s final live performance. The U.S. retailer has agreed not to have promotional events, models at the entrance, or loud music or crowds outside the store. Still, the Bespoke Association said the retailer is “out of keeping with the Row and its iconic status,” according to Gieves & Hawkes Chairman Mark Henderson, a spokesman for the group.
And with midmarket clothiers like Suitsupply offering personally tailored suits for $899 in numerous countries, outlets like Dege & Skinner are simultaneously modernizing and touting their bona fides. “We’re true, proper Savile Row tailors as opposed to those who call themselves ones, who wouldn’t know scissors from shears,” Managing Director William Skinner says. The appeal of the tailor is its nod to “male pride,” he says. “Our job is to bring out the peacock side in men.”
Dege & Skinner, a family business founded in 1865, is steeped in British heritage. It outfits cadets at Britain’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, including Prince Harry and brother William. Skinner spends three months of the year outside England, setting up shop in hotel suites in cities such as New York and Houston for invitation-only fittings, or jetting off for one-on-one sessions with wealthy customers in the Middle East and Asia.
Demand for bespoke suits has out-paced the growth of the overall menswear market, driven by demand from Asia, says Mintel retail analyst Richard Perks. (The U.K. menswear market climbed 2 percent last year, according to Mintel.) But it’s not easy money. It takes about two months to make a £3,500 ($5,410) suit. That includes 55 hours of labor—and at least two fittings—by various members of Skinner’s team of 21 cutters and tailors.
Dege & Skinner, whose dressing room contains a blocked double-barrel shotgun for sportsmen to hold while trying on its £2,000 hunting blazers, isn’t the only tailor relying on overseas customers. Demand is increasingly coming from young Chinese men, some attending schools in Britain, who “aspire through reading literature to the finer things in life,” says Simon Cundey, director of Dege & Skinner’s Savile Row neighbor Henry Poole. The number of Middle Eastern shoppers, particularly from the wealthy emirate of Qatar, is also growing, while Russians and Ukrainians have provided a strong market for more than five years, Cundey says.
“They tend to look for the finest quality,” Skinner says of his foreign customers, who favor fabrics like cashmere-silk blends, which can push the cost of a suit up to £11,000. In contrast, Britons tend to buy for the “long term,” choosing classic-cut suits in woolen or cotton fabrics.
To lift demand for his sport coats, shirts, ties, and cuff links and bring back more Britons, Skinner has broken with tradition and e-mailed invitations to the tailor’s latest trunk shows rather than sending them by post. Dege & Skinner’s first ads—in publications like U.S. riding journals—come after over a century of building the business mainly by word of mouth and referrals. Skinner has even resorted to celebrity endorsements.
He says he’ll make suits at “an agreed rate,” lower than his normal fee, for men who are in the “right circles,” in exchange for knowing they’ll recommend Dege & Skinner to potential clients. That has included a young banker who recommended his boss and some professional athletes Skinner is loath to name. Some things don’t change: On Savile Row, discretion, as always, is of the essence.
The bottom line: On London’s Savile Row, custom suits can cost more than £11,000. The number of foreign customers is growing fast.