TailorByrd is branching out. The line was started 12 years ago strictly as a shirt brand, but over the years has expanded into a full sportswear collection. For fall, it will take the plunge into tailored clothing, and it has brought former Adolfo executive Stewart Golden onboard to spearhead the effort.
“We’re going to bring forward a new look for the middle market,” said chief executive officer Larry Stemerman. “We tested it in some stores for spring, but the real launch will be for fall.” The collection will be shown at the MRket show.
Suits will retail for $595 to $795, depending upon fabric, while sport coats will be offered at $299 to $499. The model is soft with a sloped shoulder and a fuller armhole for a comfortable fit. The silhouette is not super slim, but modern and tailored. It’s not targeted to the young hipster, but to a more classic customer looking for an update. Dress shirts will also be offered in 100 percent cotton and non-iron fabrications.
“We think there’s a void for luxury products at the entry level,” Stemerman added. Many of the offerings have retro features, such as buckles on the side of flannel pants or vests with an opening for a pocket watch. Most of the fabrics are from Italy and the garments feature a lining with the brand’s signature bird printed on it. More than 100 fabrics will be offered, but key looks will include sport coats in brushed cotton or double-face fabrics and a high-performance travel blazer in blue or black. A waffle-knit blazer will be offered in a variety of colors, and there’s also a sweater-blazer, which is a key piece, according to Golden.
Although there will be a selection of suits, “most of the business will be in sport coats,” Stemerman said.
The tailored clothing is licensed to Greystone International Group, a subsidiary of a large Chinese hedge fund. It will be manufactured by Dewhirst in London, a 134-year-old brand that has worked with Marks & Spencer and Thomas Pink, among others.
— JEAN E. PALMIERI
GAMARELLO/YANKEE DOG DENIM
Nicholas Gamarello is an overachiever. He’s a designer, painter, illustrator and, now for fall, he’s launching not one but two new men’s labels at Liberty Fairs.
The first will be called simply “Gamarello” and is being described as a “timeless, new, traditionally modern, lifestyle-driven luxury men’s wear collection.” It will include jackets, trousers, printed woven shirts, three-in-one neckwear, hats and handmade leather bags. The pieces are designed to stand on their own but at the same time fit into a man’s existing wardrobe.
“My goal is to find the balance between unique editorial pieces that are functional, wearable and that have a sense of utilitarian purpose,” Gamarello said. “The thought is to take fashion pieces that are familiar, yet evolved; pieces that look very simple, but on further inspection are quite complicated.” For example, he explained, what looks like a simple, single-breasted blazer is designed to have the comfort of a worn-in denim jacket. “When you put it on, you immediately know that this is anything but typical,” he said.
Prices for Gamarello include tailored jackets for $900 to $1,660 and shirts for $290. Pants start at $900 and ties are $120.
Then there’s Yankee Dog Denim, a collection that pays homage to American workwear. “It’s a tribute to the working man, the blue-collar worker who made America,” he said. “It’s about the artistry, craftsmanship and handiwork that was required to build America. It’s what I consider a cornerstone of American fashion today.”
The denim is loomed by hand in North America and key silhouettes in the jeans include regular, skinny and vintage-relaxed, all a bit fuller than the slim styles that are prevalent today. They’re available in a basic wash called “rinse,” which looks like a rigid, natural indigo denim but without the stiffness, and the “vintage,” which Gamarello describes as “more of a mid-range wash.” In all models, “there will never be artificial bells and whistles, no whiskers or streak marks on knees or bottoms. Yankee Dog is just a believable pair of jeans, with a beautiful wash, a little heritage and character.” There is, however, a patented branded belt loop on the back of each pair.
The logo of the collection is an amalgam of two terriers, Lulu and Winnie, who serve as “the gatekeepers and heart of our denim,” he said.
In addition to the jeans, Yankee Dog has also transformed his original art onto screen-printed T-shirts and fleece, and there are also casual woven work or ranch shirts, footwear and hats. Sweaters and bags are planned for the future. Prices for Yankee Dog range from $180 to $270.
Both collections are targeting better specialty and department stores.
Growing up on a New Mexico ranch meant that Cambria Harkey spent most of her time sewing together leathers, creating halters for horses and perfecting a saddle stitch.
“It was mostly something to do since I had a lot of time on my hands,” she said.
Little did she know that years later, she’d repurpose those childhood skills into a full-fledged business. Today, the Austin-based designer, who moonlights as a photo director for the music festival production agency C3 Events, has created a growing hand-sewn leather goods business.
“It started out as a hobby for me, creating custom leather bags for my friends. People would always say, ‘Oh, it’s Cambria’s bag,’” she said of the unofficial launch in 2011. The name stuck, and the business began to thrive as local Austin boutiques like By George asked to pick it up.
Today, the brand is sold in specialty stores across the U.S., including Bird in Brooklyn, and the line includes leather weekenders or messenger bags, wallets, and card and iPad cases. Prices range from $184 for a card case to $1,954 for a weekender.
All of the products are locally made by artisans Harkey has trained to sew and stitch, with leathers like bison and sheepskin.
“What makes our designs so special and different is that it’s simple and clean, nothing too extravagant,” she said. “A lot of the leather I use doesn’t have too much finish. I keep it natural.”
For the new season, Harkey, who will be showing at Project New York, will continue to create her best-selling products while attempting to grow the brand at a steady pace — she only produces 30 bags per style.
“I’d love to keep adding more people to the team, but for now, the brand is simple: it’s very pure luxury out of Austin,” she said. “I want to always keep the custom side of the business as well and make sure that quality is always the best.”
— DAVID YI
Most new brands, if not all, strive to eventually become an entire lifestyle label. Grover, a small company based out of Los Angeles, refutes that notion.
“I don’t want it to be a lifestyle brand, no,” said Matthew Jung, founder of the basics line, which will be shown at Capsule. “If you pretend that a T-shirt is a lifestyle, then you’ve already lost your vision.”
Jung, who started the surfwear line Wellen while he was a junior studying business at Whittier College, decided he wanted to stick with a foundation when creating his new line. “I wanted to create something that was easy, wearable and a staple in your everyday,” he said. “We’re not a vintage Americana brand nor are we a contemporary Japanese brand, either.”
The brand, which focuses on T-shirts, henleys and underwear, is a passion of the Wellen team that works on Grover as well, Jung said. “We’re not profitable, but we believe in this.”
Price points start at $58 for a T-shirt, $90 for technical sweatshirts and $120 for fleece.
“We’re making good stuff — not in China, but in Los Angeles — and not selling it for an ultra-expensive price,” he said.
The name of the brand, as Jung explained it, comes from a friend’s friend. “He’s awesome and lives this rad life. The name’s also unique, and it’s hard to imagine or figure out who he is,” Jung said.
For the next season, the brand will introduce a weekender bag made out of old postal service bags with leather accents. There will also be acid-washed items, prints and the introduction of a gold Grover bear imprinted on items.
The brand is sold at Steven Alan, American Rag and multiple specialty boutiques across the country.
While the brand continues to grow, Jung said he aims to expand slowly and cautiously.
“We’re not building a simple brand as an afterthought,” he said. “We’re building something as a foundation.”