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"New Republic" clothiers of New York

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have enormous affection for the memory of New Republic clothiers of New York. This was a store in SoHo in the 80s and 90s at 93 Spring Street, with wonderful imported furnishings, plus shirts and suits designed by the owner in a wonderfully eccentric, Anglo-American way, somewhere in the Paul Stuart/Paul Smith orbit but with more open reference to/reverence of previous eras, like the early 60s and the 40s. I have actually paid for this affection in blood:  in the summer of 1989, when my brother were walking down Broadway and had to get to the west side of SoHo, I chose for us to cut across Spring Street so I could look in the New Republic shop windows.  Some steps after we did, a gang overtook us and we were horribly assaulted. The store closed in 1999, at which time I could only afford to buy a few pair of gloves:  one in black leather and lined in plaid wool, and the other of white heavy cotton knit but with black leather on the palms and on the inside of the fingers. But now, on ebay (new slogan: "Worse Than Crack"), I search for items of this label. I think I've found a new one, but I'm not sure, and call upon you rag mavens to help me. The standard New Republic label looks like this: New Republic shirt I recommend it to anyone who takes that size. But now, in my size, I have found this pair of pants: Mystery Pants The pants have a label that reads "New Republic" but of an entirely different graphic design. Every New Republic garment I have seen from the SoHo store had a label like that of the shirt.  Was there ever another design, or are the pants merely made by someone, somewhere who shared the same name?
post #2 of 20
There is a salesman at a store in town who approaches me in much the same manner as mack11211 does above. He tells me about the things he has bought recently or is thinking of buying as a way of suggesting what I should buy. The whole time I wonder if he thinks I don't see through what he is doing.
post #3 of 20
Quote:
There is a salesman at a store in town who approaches me in much the same manner as mack11211 does above.  He tells me about the things he has bought recently or is thinking of buying as a way of suggesting what I should buy.  The whole time I wonder if he thinks I don't see through what he is doing.
I don't get it.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
[/quote]The whole time I wonder if he thinks I don't see through what he is doing. What am I doing? I'm not trying to sell anything. I'm just trying to gain information that may help me buy something.
post #5 of 20
If you do searches in this forum and AskAndy, you'll see some threads re: New Republic, including answering the mystery of what happened to the store owner and designer Tom Oatman. I rather doubt the pants are Spring Street's New Republic to be frank. Doesn't look familiar, although I can't blow it up big enough.
post #6 of 20
The photos for the pants are too small to tell. Can anyone read what it says at the bottom of the label? I know they made pants with a hollywood waistband. These look like they may have a hand top finish. Stitching curtain of waist band by hand. I think all of the factories they used finished by machine. I have not spoken to Thom in a while. I will give him a call and try to email him this link for the definitive answer.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Dear Shirtmaven and Magoo:  I have found your post on this forum (Magoo) and on AskAndy (both of you), so I guess we're all fans, though you two clearly know far more than I.  Oh, to be sitting in one of those armchairs from the store. Or to be in the store.  If only I'd been born a little earlier, I might have had a good clothes-paying job by the time the place closed...or perhaps not. For those of you who wonder what NR was about, check out this interview with the designer: Table of Contents of Urban Desires Magazine He was interviewed in the May-June 1997 issue.  Do a search on "New Republic" and you'll find it, and also a picture of strange Western-styled suit in corduroy. Johnapril, I still don't understand what you were insinuating.
post #8 of 20
Mack The clothes at NR were about style, cut and fabric. Their shirts were made in two excellent factories in NJ. One presently does the custom work for Paul stuart. The other one makes shirts for every up and coming better designer who hasn't taken his work to Italy. the suits and pants on the other hand did not have a great deal of hand work in them. They were not fused. Most of their sportswear and outer wear was made in a defunct factory on west 38th street, that mostly made samples for POLO. Polo's sample production was larger then the total production for NR. Jim silverman was the other designer at NR. He had the most amazing memory for fabrics. They both had great ideas.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
The clothes at NR were about style, cut and fabric. Their shirts were made in two excellent factories in NJ. One presently does the custom work for Paul stuart. The other one makes shirts for every up and coming better designer who hasn't taken his work to Italy. [quote] I have a couple of NR shirts. I only wear them occasionally. They hold up quite well. One question: Who did NR's knitwear? I have just won on ebay a blue long sleeve sweater with a polo neck and a button placket all the way down. The lable says it is made in England, "Peculiar to New Republic." It is now being shipped to me, and the pix are no longer on ebay, so that is all the info I have. PS regarding the Mystery Pants, I have solicited a larger pic of the label. But even if they aren't Oatman NR, I may buy them anyway because I, like he (judging from the interview and his designs), love certain styles of the past and am willing to wear them today.
post #10 of 20
The Knit wear was made by John Smeadly in England. The knit wear usually had the Smeadly label and not a NR label.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Score.... I love Smedley.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Here is a blowup of the label: Note that the word we could not read is  'clothiers.'  Also note that the waistband shows no sign of age, and the 'Dry Clean Only' tag is quite contemporary. Perhaps this is just contemporary garment in a vintage style... The seller said she bought the pants, in Seattle, at a vintage store.  So she does not know their origin. I doubt anyone would have knocked off a NR garment, considering the size of their production, so might this be genuine NR pair of pants?
post #13 of 20
looks like the real thing to me. The garment just looks old.
post #14 of 20
Hey Mack11211 -- I can vouch for the authenticity of those pants. I just got one of those Englsh striped scarves Thom used to sell and it has the identical tag. I, too, miss that store. Apparently, other's do, too. I found this guy, here: http://www.rosengrouppr.com/staffhooper.htm who's writing a bio about him. Amazing. In the event that you were interested, btw, I have a pair of white buck boots, size 11, that I got from the store when they were closing. They've never been worn and they're too big for me... Drop me a pm and let me know.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
The trousers arrived from the seller recently. They are quite lovely, finished in what seems to be a very exact reproduction of a 40s cut. They are fairly well finished. There is the Hollywood waisband, and the split yoke [the term?] in the back. My favorite part, as with all trousers of this type, is the deep pleating leading to a fullness of the thigh that gently tapers to the ankle. The biggest difference between a garment from the period is the fabric weight. The other pair of trousers I purchased from the seller at the same time is a genuine vintage garment, and weighs about twice as much.
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