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Harry Rosen is a real gentleman

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
I met Harry Rosen this weekend and thought I'd share the story and some observations:

I have a great Samuelsohn navy sportcoat in very soft wool/cashmere from Rosen that happens to be unlined. The absence of a lining means that there is very little stitching attaching the side pockets (only on top), which continually pull at the seams from the weight of stuff in the pockets (another great reason for patch pockets but I digress). So the fabric at the top edges of the pockets has begun to tear and unravel and I decided to go to the store so they could fix it.

I was wearing said jacket and was going up the escalator (in the Bloor St. flagship) when I notice an older man who nods at me. I recognized Harry and smiled so he introduced himself and shook my hand. He then complimented me on my jacket so I took the opportunity to tell him that the reason I was here was because of an issue with the jacket and he asked to take a look. After seeing the problem, he said they would definitely take care of it. He called the head tailor right away (in the midst of a busy sat. afternoon no less) and discussed ways to repair the jacket. He wrote out a repair ticket and handed the jacket directly to the tailor and told me that since he had bypassed the regular computer system, he would follow-up himself with the tailor and call me directly when the jacket was ready, and gave me his card.

We chatted a bit about the origins of my name and some of the people he knew of Sephardic heritage. He also lamented the fact that he could not find any tailors to replace the few aging Italian gentlemen who are left and how no one in North America wants to be a tailor, compared to Naples where it's viewed as a higher status profession and is still attracting new recruits...

Harry was very pleasant and it was comforting to see a man, in a store that bears his name, who still cared enough about service to help someone out with a jacket that needed mending. He was a real gentleman throughout so I thought I'd share. He also made me want to buy stuff so I browsed a bit and here are a few observations of interest to SF:

Zegna has a new suit cut (Savile fit) that features A LOT of waist suppression, much more than their Milano (or of course Roma) cut. The shoulders are however relatively soft, though not as soft as the Milano. It's a nice hybrid sort of cut but I could barely button the 38R so it will be a tough sell imo.

Tramezza have jacked their prices again and the shoes I saw at Rosen were now $1,300+!! WTF?! They are great shoes and I love Tramezzas but thought it was nuts when they went from $650 to $900+ but $1,300 is just insane imo. I don't know whose paying those prices but the shoes are still the same construction as five years ago so I don't see how they can justify the increase since I don't think the market will bear such a price.
post #2 of 44
Ask Harry to wear them around the block once first and discount them as floor models.
post #3 of 44
Great story, thanks for sharing. It's too bad the nice things you said about Mr. Rosen cannot be reiterated to a number of his sales staff; especially the ones at Bloor Street.
post #4 of 44
Cool story.

Re: the Zegna suit. Go to the first floor (down the stairs), and take a look at the two shade checked black evening suit on the rack to your right. Stunning.
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albern View Post
Great story, thanks for sharing. It's too bad the nice things you said about Mr. Rosen cannot be reiterated to a number of his sales staff; especially the ones at Bloor Street.

My thoughts exactly, except Bloor has nothing on Yorkdale.
post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by somatoform View Post
My thoughts exactly, except Bloor has nothing on Yorkdale.

It's really hit and miss. They can be great, but they can also be rude. I've had my fair share of both. One thing that annoys me is that all of them, regardless of how nice they are, push sales. I usually find it frustrating and leave (and then walk the 20 steps to Holts).

As an aside, the sales staff at Nomad at Bay/Bloor are great!
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by somatoform View Post
My thoughts exactly, except Bloor has nothing on Yorkdale.

You mean the sales associates at Yorkdale are even worse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypostatic View Post
I usually find it frustrating and leave (and then walk the 20 steps to Holts).

I do this too actually if I happen to have some time to kill but I haven't bought anything from either location for almost a year now with the exception of shoe polish or shoe trees.

I've been noticing however that the sales associates at Holts are on average much more respectful these days. It's moreso the "kids" that shop there that annoy me the most, but that's a whole other story.
post #8 of 44
Seeing as I do not wear suits often, I've never really liked anything from Harry Rosen. That being said, the man himself sounds like a great gentleman.
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albern View Post
It's moreso the "kids" that shop there that annoy me the most, but that's a whole other story.

I'm a Holt's kid
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by EL72 View Post
Zegna has a new suit cut (Savile fit) that features A LOT of waist suppression, much more than their Milano (or of course Roma) cut. The shoulders are however relatively soft, though not as soft as the Milano. It's a nice hybrid sort of cut but I could barely button the 38R so it will be a tough sell imo.


Is that just in suits or odd jackets to? Why didn't it fit? They didn't narrow the shoulders?

The Tramezza are the Zefer ones? Are they better or worse then Zegna labeled ones?
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneeightyseven View Post
I'm a Holt's kid

Well present company excluded of course.

Unless you are one of those loud and obnoxious patrons I typically see on the lower level. I'm not hear to judge of course.
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albern View Post
Well present company excluded of course.

Unless you are one of those loud and obnoxious patrons I typically see on the lower level. I'm not hear to judge of course.

I'm not loud, but I do shop on the lower level. That's where they keep the Lobbs and other SW&D items. Never really been higher than the main entrance; what's upstairs?
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Albern View Post
You mean the sales associates at Yorkdale are even worse?

In my experience, yes.


I wonder what the going rates are for custom stuff down in the basement. I remember inquring about getting a custom made leather jacket at Harry Rosen on Bloor by the Italian tailor they have down there who makes a wicked espresso. Tons of swatches and what not. But I can't remember the price they quoted me. Andrew Marc simply was not working for me: nice leather, but very billowy at the waist, so they recommended custom.

They did let me try on Eric Lindros' half-complete suede blazer (at least this is what they said). He must be a big boy because I'm big but this was quite big one me. Nice jacket to. This was in 2003.
post #14 of 44
Even if the salesman are a bit douchey, Harry's kicks the crap out of Holt's for high-end menswear. To me Holts seems like it's becoming more of a high-end streetwear type of place lately, with its massive jean section, a whole section downstairs dedicated to diesel, and another streetwear-y section with brands like BOO.

Holt's doesn't carry RLPL anymore, and don't have much RLBL at all. While at Harry's you've got brands like Cucinelli, Loro Piana, Borelli, Kiton, Tom Ford etc.

I was in the Holt's at Yorkdale the other day and they didn't have ONE solid necktie. Not even in their house brand.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by GucciKid View Post
Even if the salesman are a bit douchey, Harry's kicks the crap out of Holt's for high-end menswear. To me Holts seems like it's becoming more of a high-end streetwear type of place lately, with its massive jean section, a whole section downstairs dedicated to diesel, and another streetwear-y section with brands like BOO.

Holt's doesn't carry RLPL anymore, and don't have much RLBL at all. While at Harry's you've got brands like Cucinelli, Loro Piana, Borelli, Kiton, Tom Ford etc.

I was in the Holt's at Yorkdale the other day and they didn't have ONE solid necktie. Not even in their house brand.

I haven't been in Holts bloor or Yorkdale for a while, but by the looks of the suit section and outerwear section at Holts Last Call there's no shortage of high-end meanswear: Loro Piana, RLPL, Canali, Cuccinelli, Zegna, and all that. Then there's the shoes which are far superior to Harry Rosen's over-valued reliance on Allen Edmonds.
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