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Shifting styles spell end for SF suit seller Courtoué

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Courtoué, in San Francisco, is closing:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...AGL4L2KK01.DTL
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DandySF
Courtoué, in San Francisco, is closing:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...AGL4L2KK01.DTL

Can't say that the pics of Mr. Fong inspire me to go out and spend $4,000 on a suit with him. How do you even pronounce the store name? Anyway, it sounds like he had a sucesful enough business where he'll have an enjoyable retirement, which is always good to see.
post #3 of 12
That tie should be burnt
post #4 of 12
He's also wearing Black shoes with a Charcoal suit!!!!

At least they appear Black on my monitor.

Sadly, he seems a very nice man with beautiful products, but a bit of a dinosaur.
post #5 of 12
I'm actually surprised to learn that they're still around. I never saw the store in its heyday, but it's really been s.thing of a relic for at least the last twenty years. The name, as edmorel points out, was a hurdle in itself. Last time I was in there was probably 1991-2. I seem to recall that they had a lot of Brioni and Versace, which struck me as a slightly odd business plan since Wilkes Bashford is just a couple of streets over and the Versace boutique is just a bit farther. Oddly enough, I think part of Courtue's problem stems from Mr. Fong's tailoring. I have no doubt that Walter Fong is a skilled tailor, but he sort of hewed to an antiquated Shanghai cut which gave even the nicest Brionis an instantly dated look; much better bet to buy Brioni at WB. Anyway, I'm still sorry to see him go and here's to hoping that the building at least gives him a nice comfortable retirement.
post #6 of 12
So, what's happening to all those bolts of cloth?
post #7 of 12
I did some financial work about 6-10 years ago for a retired tailor in SF. He had emigrated as a boy from Shanghai where he had apprenticed at an early age. During our meetings he wore the most beautiful suits.

When we met he was somewhere in his 70's. And he owned far more than one building in SF. Interesting fella. He said he never bought a building that his CPA would recommend. The CPA wanted the building to pencil out on a cash flow basis and this gentlemen always bought the best possible location and paid way too much for it. Of course over time in SF that makes him a financial genius. Buy the absolute best and let the value come later. Don't know if that works with a depreciating asset but it sure does with an appreciating one.

Perry
post #8 of 12
Sad to see him go. His son, had he apprenticed, could have taken over the business and revamped it a bit.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
I'm actually surprised to learn that they're still around. I never saw the store in its heyday, but it's really been s.thing of a relic for at least the last twenty years. The name, as edmorel points out, was a hurdle in itself. Last time I was in there was probably 1991-2.

Yep, me too. I've been there more recently, and wasn't very impressed with the merchandise. With Bullocks opening back up, and Barneys coming, stores are going to have to fight for survival. I'll be surprised if Saks sticks around.
post #10 of 12
The old Shanghai style is rather like the Old Hollywood style with lots of built shoulders, and double-breasted silhouettes.

Apparently there was a 50% off sale; I wonder if it's still going on.
post #11 of 12
"Fong himself always wears Brioni clothes. "Clothing is my hobby,'' he said. "Brioni is the best clothing in the world.''

He is partial to the Italians: Canali, Armani, Versace, others. "They have the best workmanship, the best style,'' he said. "
post #12 of 12
Sorry to see another bit of San Francisco go.
I bought a sportcoat from Mr. Fong in the '80's.
Still have it.
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