At the height of textile and apparel manufacturing in the U.S., New Bedford, Mass., was home to one of the largest concentrations of mills in the country. Its cut-and-sew labor force was highly skilled, and the products turned out were considered to be of the highest quality.Today, many of the mills still stand — as relics. There is only a handful of apparel-makers left in the city, which includes Joseph Abboud Manufacturing. Another facility, Darn It Inc., was a family run apparel maker that, in 1996, transformed its business to meet the needs of retailers, wholesalers and brands that sourced products overseas and required repairs and repackaging for the U.S. market.Today, Darn It continues to offer repairs and repacking as well as relabeling, inspections, returns process and mold remediation. It also has a large dry cleaning and laundering facility as well as on-site pressing. The company has expanded by offering logistics, warehousing and distribution. High quality and speed are the hallmarks of the company, said Darn It chief executive officer Jeff Glassman.[caption id="attachment_10970404" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Heat transfer relabeling at Darn It.[/caption]“When I graduated from college my dad [Norman Glassman] said there’s really no way we would talk about me joining the business until I have some experience outside of the manufacturing plant,” Glassman told WWD. “He was a clothing contractor, and he was supplying the labor and thread to make garments for manufacturers all over the country. Back then there were about 120, 130 clothing contractors here in New Bedford. It was a major sewing town and he had around 450 sewing operators. He started the business in 1968 and by the 1980s had a very large plant. I was always excited to go into business with my dad, but he told me to go get some experience.”Glassman went off to work at some prominent retailers, including the-then May Co. By the early Nineties, Glassman said a confluence of factors was impacting the market — including the onset of “casual Fridays.” As he entered the family business, Glassman said the U.S. apparel industry was in a steady decline, and then when NAFTA took effect sourcing shifted overseas. He gave his dad notice, and was about to leave when a client who had sourced products from another country pleaded for help. He had 40,000 pairs of pants that needed inspection.“There were some open seams, and there were some oil stains. And crooked labels. And the pressing was not great,” Glassman said adding that the client needed him “because we had the skill set and the people to do it.” As a result, Darn It was born, and as retailers and wholesalers expanded their overseas sourcing, Glassman got busier and busier.“We solve problems,” Glassman said. “We are a solutions company. When products are made overseas problems arise. And we can help fix these, and get product onto the store shelves quickly.”The ceo said the bulk of the work is done by the firm's sewing department. “Mostly, minor repairs,” Glassman said. “A lot of the time customers ask us to inspect garments because there may have been a skipped stitch in the side seam and we can replace that as well. We do a lot of hemming for customers. We do a lot of label change. A lot of folks also come to us with private label product.”Glassman said one notable job was when 30,000 children’s polo shirts came in and needed the buttons replaced because there was too much lead in them. Three buttons on each added up to 90,000 button changes.“We have a plethora of machines, all relatively new. We just upgraded all of our machines last year that can handle any minor repairs,” Glassman said. “But when it comes to major repairs, I’m very honest with the customer and we’ll tell them it might be better if you get these remade somewhere else.”The ceo said the fulfillment side of the business grew out of customers asking if Darn It could simply ship the products directly to the retailer after the repairs and refurbishments were done. Again, Glassman said it was about identifying a need in the market and offering a solution. "That's what we do," he said.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews