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Hickey freeman-h.s.m. -jack victor et al.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Howdy all. I apologize for the new handle. Two times over the years I have tried making a"unique" forum  handle and both  times now I have ended up making new ones. SO- I dedicated one specific mail box  and two like sounding types of forum names from now on. You now know the state of the village idiot since my last posts those months back. (Warm smile> I hope all is well with you gents, both seasoned, and new to the forums.  ( Gee mom, no specific tome length emails to A. Harris or Carlo Franco for a change because I forgot my log in name and email address used ... btw Thank you two gentlemen EVER SO MUCH for tolerating me )  Would some of you fine gentleman please explain to me the relationship of Hickey Freeman - Hart Schaffner and Marx ( gold trumpeter- standard H.S.M. and the micron 2000 H.S.M. ) and Jack Victor as far as relationship and relative quaility compared to the others please? No need to go into the lesser companies unless I am missing a major one in comparative quaility.  I realize all ( or I am of the understanding, all) are owned by a parent corp ( Hart ). But I understand that Hickey no longer makes full canvas floating jackets ( unless custom order bespoke) so that would put their offerings in the same class as the Gold Trumpeter now,would it not? Too, Jack Victor is the Canadian side of Hart. I know from seeing personally that all 3 have suit offerings of the EXACT same ( appearing to my examination anyway) super 110s material in at least two suit offereings and/or pant offering I know of.  SO what IS th quaility difference in suits or sportcoats or pant made today by these companies. I assume the fabric is supplied by the parent company since all 3 offer the exactsame fabric on some suits.(?) Where I get confused is with the differences in quailty. For example i have some Canadian made Jack Victor slacks ( I think Black label but I may be wrong. I know it is above the standard line) that I feel is equal or dang close in quaility to Hart Shcaffner and Marx Gold Trumpeter pant though made slightly different and when found on sale a heck of a lot less in price. The Jack Vistor are super 130's for what its worth. I realize that doesnt automatically mean quaility tailoring . I am not overly familar with the different lines of Hickey Freeman. I know they have the bespoke line. The Canterbury collection- the boardroom collection and I have seen the Hickey Freeman collection. Possibly one or tow other lines that escapes me at present.  By personal comparison- I know my "made to measure" Gold Trumpeters seem to be of better quaility than the standard "Hickey Freeman Collection" line and,on minor inspection,better than or at least equal to the hickey "Boardroon Collection." In my Demographic area the Gold Trumpeter is a couple hundred less in retail price as well. Any explanation of comparison or even enlightenment of a more detailed corporate relationship would be GREATLY appretiated. It would also help when shopping on EBay . Thanks in advance good sirs. I tried searching but didnt really find the answers I was looking for. Respectfully,  John G. P.S>> Please settle a disagreement among a friend and myself. Is " Hickey Freeman"  and "H. Freeman of Philadelphia " (or H. Freeman and Son of Philadelphia ) the same company?
post #2 of 11
Quote:
I realize all ( or I am of the understanding, all) are owned by a parent corp ( Hart ). But I understand that Hickey no longer makes full canvas floating jackets ( unless custom order bespoke) so that would put their offerings in the same class as the Gold Trumpeter now,would it not? Too, Jack Victor is the Canadian side of Hart.
Admittedly, I haven't studied Hickey-Freeman jackets very closely recently, but while it is true that H-F does now have a fused line whose name I don't remember just now, the regular-line H-F Collection jackets are still canvas-front and not fused. Every HSM jacket that I have ever seen, Gold Trumpeter or not, has been fused. I've never seen Jack Victor clothing, so I really can't comment on it.
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I know from seeing personally that all 3 have suit offerings of the EXACT same ( appearing to my examination anyway) super 110s material in at least two suit offereings and/or pant offering I know of.
This isn't surprising, and it's not unusual. You can get a $200 suit from Naldini and a regular-line Zegna suit made from exactly the same Zegna fabric. Fabric is only one of the ingredients of a suit, and it's hardly surprising that a clothing conglomerate would offer some of the same fabrics in MTM offerings from their different constituent manufacturers.
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P.S>> Please settle a disagreement among a friend and myself. Is " Hickey Freeman" and "H. Freeman of Philadelphia " (or H. Freeman and Son of Philadelphia ) the same company?
No. Hickey-Freeman is based in Rochester, NY and is owned by Hartmarx. H. Freeman is owned by IAG, which is the parent company that also owns Oxxford Clothes.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Mr Jcusey, Would you, sir, or anyone else know what the descending order of quality or hand talioring is in the different Hickey Freeman lines or where I may find that information? I didnt find much at the wedsites ? I am familar with the Bespoke- "Boardroom collection"- "Canterbury" and "Hickey Freeman Collection" lines of apparell. Mostly in name only. Most of all...... THAN YOU VERY MUCH ,sir. I have been arguing that H Freeman was a completely different company for two weeks now. I thought it was a divsion of Oxxford itself. but I KNEW it was a different company. His claim was that the salesmanager at L.S. Ayer's said both were the same company but one was for HartMarx and H.Freeman was their "independant"(?) line through a contractual negotiation. Also, he showed me a printout from Ebay, of all places, that a high volume seller stated H Freeman and Son was Hickey Freeman in the header and description. I am VERY grateful. I will do some further web work to substantiate it. You also helped win me a bottle of Grey Goose sir. I will have a martini in your honor. ( warm smile) Btw- thanks for the other info too. I greatly apretiate all of your effort. I am just flying high over winning the discusion. ( eyes gleam with the joy of a little kid swiping the last cookie ) Respectfully, John
post #4 of 11
As far as I know, there are essentially 3 quality levels of Hickey Freeman clothes. At the top is the "Customized Collection" plus a few specific models made, as I recall, for Bergdorf, Neiman Marcus, and perhaps Saks. These garments retain alot of hand sewn details, including a hand-sewn shoulder seam and, I think, hand-sewn buttonholes. The cut of the lapel is reminiscent of the Oxxford lapel, with a bit of a curve rather than a sharp corner at the points of the lapel. These are very nice garments, using superior fabrics and nice construction. You can sometimes find them quite cheap on e-bay and at outlets, as people don't recognize the difference from the standard Hickey products. The main Hickey line includes the Canterbury and Boardroom models; these have less hand-work than the above-referenced, but are still pretty nice garments, IMO. These garments as well as the Customized Collection are made in Rochester. Finally, I've seen some garments labelled Hickey Freeman LTD, some of which may have been made in Italy. These are clearly a lesser quality garment, without a hand-set collar and probably a fused front. There is also a Hickey Freeman sport line, which includes pants, polo shirts, and outerwear; these are made in various locations, as I recall. In the old days, Hickey used to make a second line called Walter Morton, which was the same quality as the Hickey line; this allowed Hickey to offer a unique label to 2 retailers in each city. Later, Hickey re-used this label for a lower quality line, which I think I saw sold at some discount stores. Finally, over the years, Hickey has also had some licensing deals with various European companies, to make products bearing these companies' names, including: Jaeger, Gieves & Hawkes (a blue and white label reading "Gieves and Hawkes, Savile Row" and a "Gieves and Hawkes Bespoke" label in blue and yellow, which was never bespoke but was in fact RTW), and Lagerfeld. I have seen lots of the Jack Victor stuff at Off Fifth but have never been impressed with the quality. Likewise, all the HSM stuff seems to have gone downhill over the last 20 years and seems to be marketed largely through the big retail chains.
post #5 of 11
There are a lot of details here to sort out. Hickey Freeman vs H. Freeman: jcusey is correct: Hickey-Freeman is based in Rochester, NY and is owned by Hartmarx. H. Freeman is owned by IAG, which is the parent company that also owns Oxxford Clothes. I'm not aware of any relationship between Hartmarx and Jack Victor. Hartmarx, however, does have a Canadian subsidiary named Coppley. Hartmarx's other products are all but unknown to me. Historically, one of the Trumpeters was the highest grade HSM suit. A company with as much productive capacity as Hartmarx can probably make just about any quality they want. Pegging one label to one quality of make over time is bound to prove inaccurate, just a expecting any car with a Porsche or Mercedes nameplate to be equal to any other car with the same nameplate. My impression is that Hartmarx is more interested, lately, in licensing labels (like Tommy Hilfiger) than in tailoring good suits. Hickey-Freeman makes a variety of models and qualities: Among the models are Boardroom (big chest and back, square shoulder, Ronald Reagan-esque model), Canterbury (softer, slightly extended shoulder, trimmer coat, Hickey's conservative idea of an "international" model) American Standard (was Regency; soft shoulder, higher button stance, narrower, high gorge lapel)[b]. When you see Boardroom, Canterbury, Regency, or American Standard on a coat's joker tag, it is telling you the shape and contour of the coat. It is possible, for instance, to have any of the models made in two-button or three, double-breasted or ventless. Hickey also has a wide variety of pant models. Each coat has a pant model that typically accompanies it, but a retailer or custom box customer can specify another model. For an ivy league style suit, for instance, you would specify the American Standard coat undarted, with three buttons, and center vent, and a plain front pant. The other designations on Hickey-Freeman garments relate to the quality of the make and to the conditions under which it was made. (I hope this information still applies this season; Hickey changes things around constantly.) Hickey offers three levels of made-for-the-individual detailing. The higest level is Hickey's approximation of a custom, tailor-made suit. You can specify anything your heart desires; Hickey will cost it out and make it for you by hand. I don't know what it's called, and I've never encountered it. The next level down - I think it is called "Customized" on the sleeve tags - allows you a fixed range of "custom" options (the ever-popular surgeon's cuffs, etc) and made-to-measure. Except to the extent that your customization requires hand work, the make is the same combination of hand and machine as the off-the-rack specimens. This second option is available through the custom box procedures offered in many Hickey accounts. If you see "Customized" garments at the Rack or Off Fifth, remember, they are probably non-stock sizes that the person ordering did not buy. The level of customization just above suits made for stock is stock singles. Again, you can select fabrics from the custom box, but you must accept the standard features of a model. Where is the benefit over buying from hanging stock. First, you can buy mismatched sizes of coat and pant, like buying suit singles at Brooks Brothers. Second, the range of fabrics available is expanded by the contents of the custom box. Third, you can choose from a wide range of models, add a vest, a second pant, and so on. This level is run through the regular production line and carries the black "Collection" label. The stock ranges are split by quality and handwork. Regular Hickey also bears the "Collection" Label. It is the make you see at most retailers such as Saks, Nordstom, etc. The lesser make has had a couple names, "Options" was one, but I think is now "Hickey-Freeman Ltd." and has a white sleeve tag. It has a floating canvas chest piece down to the closure button. From there down, the skirt is fused. There are other production shortcuts that differentiate it more by cost than function from the better line. The Ltd. line was intended, I suspect, to attract a younger customer with a lower price. You'll see unscrupulous merchants mix it into their stock and pass it off as regular Hickey-Freeman. In addition to the Burberry and Bobby Jones licenses that Hickey holds, Hickey-Freeman also markets furnishings (shirts from Royal Shirtmakers of Canada, a Hartmarx company, ties from Italian and domestic contractors) and a line of sportswear that is sourced all over the world. A preppy line called only "Hickey" debuted at Bergdorf-Goodman last year; I don't know whether it has branched out. And, for the diminutive among you, there's the boys line. My familiarity with the Hickey-Freman line arises from buying custom box clothes from my local merchant. Next year I'll be able to tell you all about another company because my local merchant had a tiff with Hickey and replaced them with Samuelsohn.
post #6 of 11
Wow, I'm glad I read this topic. I have two H. Freeman suits that I was about to put on ebay. I assumed that they were Hickey-Freeman. The construction seemed very good - fully canvassed - and the fabric was also nice. So, H. Freeman is a division of Oxxford?
post #7 of 11
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So, H. Freeman is a division of Oxxford?
No, they are "sister" companies of their parent, IAG. IAG has put together a broad stable of clothing companies, of which Oxxford and H. Freeman are two.
post #8 of 11
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P.S>> Please settle a disagreement among a friend and myself. Is " Hickey Freeman"  and "H. Freeman of Philadelphia " (or H. Freeman and Son of Philadelphia ) the same company?
I believe Son of Philadelphia is (or was) a separate entity from the others, no? That label's been around for years, as I recall.
post #9 of 11
I am also grateful for clarification of the H. Freeman and Hickey-Freeman distinction. So, where does H. Freeman fit in the hierarchy of quality?
post #10 of 11
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I am also grateful for clarification of the H. Freeman and Hickey-Freeman distinction. So, where does H. Freeman fit in the hierarchy of quality?
Well, I have a H. Freeman suit, as I previously stated, that is destined for eBay. The suit is fully canvassed, fabric is really nice (soft pinstriped charcoal flannel with a terrific hand), real horn (or whatever the material used on better suits is) buttons, and nice roll to the lapels. The quality is not as good as Oxxford. However, I would put the styling in the same category as Hickey Freeman, Oxxford, and the other American makers. Quality seems on par with my Canali suit. I think it's a little better than Hickey-Freeman's main line (but perhaps not as good as their top-end line...is it Boardroom?). Keep in mind, though, that this H. Freeman I'm looking at is a custom suit. I'm not sure if they manufacture RTW suits, but if they do the quality might not be as high.
post #11 of 11
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Keep in mind, though, that this H. Freeman I'm looking at is a custom suit.  I'm not sure if they manufacture RTW suits, but if they do the quality might not be as high.
They do. I have run across a few in my thrift store circuit and they are around the same quality level as Hickey-Freeman (thus adding to the confusion caused by the name). I should mention that I haven't seen many of these (vice H-F, for example), and most of them appear to be from the 80s and early 90s.
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