Hardwick Clothes is staffing up.
One and a half years after the Tennessee-based tailored clothing company was rescued from bankruptcy by businessman Allan Jones, Hardwick has brought Jeffery Diduch on board as chief creative officer to oversee design, technical development and creative services for the company.
Diduch is the winner of five International Design Awards and has held various positions in design and manufacturing at Samuelsohn, Peter Millar, Kenneth Cole and Tommy Hilfiger. He also writes a technical men’s wear blog at Tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com. Most recently, Diduch was vice president of technical design at W Diamond Group where he worked with Joseph Abboud on the Hart Schaffner Marx line. He also worked with Todd Snyder on his White Label tailored clothing line.
“We are completely overhauling our manufacturing process with a real emphasis on quality, as well as improving the overall selection and taste level of piece goods,” Diduch said.
Since being acquired in July 2014 by Jones, one of the 20th wealthiest Tennesseeans, Hardwick has invested enough in its factory to allow the company to produce half-canvas garments for the fall season. Several million dollars more will be spent over the next three years to add more new machinery.
Hardwick is also increasing its workforce by nearly 40 percent this year and each new hire, as well as existing employees, will undergo an average of 140 hours of training. To oversee the manufacturing effort, Hardwick has hired Sabah Algiburi as director of quality and production. He had previously worked in factories for Brooks Brothers, Hart Schaffner Marx and Southwick.
In addition, John Parenti has joined the company as director of product and merchandising. Parenti worked in the past with Christian Dior, Krizia and Hart Schaffner Marx.
“There is a strong existing basics business, from blazers to separates, that we will continue to build on,” Parenti said, adding that the current products will get upgrades in trim and fabrics. “We went to the European fabric shows this season with a focus on newness and fabrics that you don’t traditionally think of when it comes to tailored clothing. Tech-driven fabrics are a strong theme throughout the line, as well as beautiful Italian piece goods that will make up a new, softer segment of our collection.”
Hardwick is based in Cleveland, Tenn., and will celebrate its 135th anniversary this year. Jones paid $1.9 million for Hardwick’s assets through Jones CapitalCorp LLC.