Wednesday, 17 February 2010

NY pt 2 - Menswear

Though my visit last year to NY wasn't a business trip, I did manage to sneak in a few menswear stores for a good look at what other brands and stores are up to. It also provided a good opportunity to compare what we do here, and see how it stacks up.
For the most part it was very heartening to see that our Cloakroom concept is as good as anything I saw. But most importantly good to see that the level of service we try and offer is up there.

Barneys - Madison Ave
Department stores have never been my cup of tea, but Barneys was a great place to see the full collections of brands such as Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Maison Margiela and Richard James.
Here in Aust it's a bit disappointing as we only see snippets of their ranges in stores, but never a fully presented story.

The blogger from What I Saw Today had been in at Barneys and done sketches as you can see above the rack.

From the right it is Jil Sander, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and Margiela.

The customer service and demeanour of the staff at Barneys was really fantastic.
Some interesting stand alone sections within the store included gems such as the LaLabo stand alone bar.

Lord Willy & Duncan Quinn - Nolita
Wandering in Soho and Nolita I came across stores such as Duncan Quinn and Lord Willys. Their concept of a small store with an off-site team of tailors was not disimilar to the way our business is set up. Though much of what they do is quite conservative with a strong focus on suits for working guys.
When I came back to take some pics they were both closed unfortunately.
Tailored suits were US$2000+.

Freemans Sporting Club - Rivington st
This quirky store incorpates a small range of off the rack pieces, a tailored service (suits & jackets) and a barber shop, which occupied the back half of the store. They also sold ties, gloves, shoes and bikes.
These guys also used a lot of 'deadstock' fabric that they sourced in NY. This included some really interesting wools that were a decade or more old.

I walked away with a tie in 'deadstock' wool and a pair of canvas PF flyer sneakers.

Yigal Azrouel - W 14th st
One of the more interesting shops I saw was the Yigal Azrouel store in the Meatpacking district. It contained an eclectic mix of mens and womenswear and a really interesting fitout.

Probably the biggest disappointment was Opening Ceremony. I'm sure they do some great stuff, but we must have caught them on an off day. The service was very cold and prices very high.

Monday, 15 February 2010

New GQ - Cloakroom / Pistols at Dawn coverage

The 1st Aust GQ of 2010 hit the newstands last week, and it's looking good.
Inside you'll find some great menswear incluidng a few of our pieces.

Our olive linen suit has been one of our Summer favourites, and great to see it snapped in a sharp business context.
Nice work by Howard Steevs with the styling, the story is very sharp.

We've taken a few suit orders, but lots of guys have ordered it as a lightweight summer jacket. Great with denim.

Also the Grensons continue to attract attention. This time it is the Noble in tan - one of our best sellers.

Grenson Fred boots in black

On the Winter theme we have started receiving client orders for the new season of Grensons. The Fred boot is a shoe built to last, and the handful of guys who've ordered them in the last 12 months have all raved about them. This season they're offering the brown grain and tan as well as a new one - black. Finished with a brown sole and light brown trim (which will darken over time) they are sure to be a winner.

Put me down for a pair.

Mohair 'flannel' - Double Breasted

With the cooler months just around the corner we've turned our attention to designing some new pieces for Autumn & Winter.
Grey flannel is a great look, and when done properly this style of fabric makes a fantastic suit. Unfort due to our climate it's difficult to use a decent weight flannel as the weather simply doesn't allow it. English and US labels will often use a flannel that is 12 oz+ and the fall and drape of a fabric this heavy is hard to match.
As an alternative we've found an interesting mohair that has been woven in the UK, it is a lighter weight and far more practical. The weave does give a 'flannel' look, but in a fabric that is much easier to wear.

This peaked lapel, double-breasted jacket has just arrived and we've had the pockets jetted in a charcoal mohair and the jacket finished with our horn buttons.

Friday, 5 February 2010

The Australian - Executive Lifestyle

The Australian is currently running a piece in their online section Executive Lifestyle which includes office fashion tips for guys. The story includes ideas for guys to help make dressing corporate a little more interesting. We were fortunate enough to be asked for our thoughts and came up a with a few Cloakroom contributions.

The story also features a pic of Brisbane architect (Owen & Vokes) and Cloakroom customer Paul Owen looking particularly sharp in his new tailored grey suit that he picked up last month.

Check out the link HERE

Thursday, 4 February 2010

new shirt style

It has been some time in the sketching but it's now here. A new style of shirt that's a paired back version of what we would normally do. #3#3 collar, 1button round cuff, single classic pocket.

We've done away with the sleeve placket, instead continued a flat seam from the cuff to the shoulder. Potentially something that could be layered with t-shirts and a coat coming into cooler weather. The fabric of the sample is quite sheer as you can see from the pics, though Im sure it will translate in heavier fabrics. As with most things at the cloakroom there will be limited numbers. Expected to arrive early March.