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A couple hours with Ian Daniels

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I'm still looking for a custom shirtmaker in LA, but in the meantime, I decided to buy a Barba shirt, as I heard they run slim. I was familiar with Ian because I had seen his auctions over the years on ebay, and he's a highly recommended seller here and AA. If you notice his auctions, they all invite potential buyers to visit his store to see his items, so I thought I'd give him a call to set up an appt. I arrive promptly, and after I introduce myself, he leads me over to his warehouse, which is two blocks away. The warehouse consists of two rooms, which I'll call the studio side and the storage side. As soon as the lights came on, my jaw just about hit the floor. The studio side houses his computer, measuring table, photography equipment, and mannequins, as well as about a dozen stacks of Borrelli shirt boxes that literally reach the ceiling. As anyone who's seen a Borrelli box can attest, they are really nice boxes...to see so many of them at once was nothing short of awe-inspiring. The storage side is essentially a naked room that consists of racks upon racks of high end clothes. It was like being a kid in a candy store. Slacks on one side, suits on the other, with sportcoats and shelves full of knitwear and ties in between. Attolini and Borrelli everywhere. Theworldsfinest is an apt name. I tell him I'm pretty much only in the market for a shirt, and he immediately starts unfolding neatly packed shirts for me to try on. I tried on a bunch of Barbas as well as Borrellis...all the while talking about clothes. His only reaction to my nitpicking the sleeve lengths is to immediately seek more shirts for me to try. He even lets me try on things I have no intention of buying, eg an "˜American' Borrelli v. an "˜Italian' Borrelli; or things he knows I can't afford, eg an Attolini suit. It was the most fun I've ever had in a clothing store. He also showed me some shoes that he's importing from Italy, that are supposedly comparable to Lobb. I can't remember the name, but he mentioned he might post here about them to get some more information about the maker. He did show me the shoe trees that they came with...they are very unique. They look to be made of cedar, but the forepart is completely hollowed out - they look like a work of modern art. It supposedly takes a day to make a pair of trees alone. He's also working on a deal to get some Finamore and Fray shirts in the near future. Ian's a really cool, laidback guy, never once pressuring me to buy anything or rushing me...and when it comes to clothes, I'm slow. We spent about two hours together, even though I was only expecting to stay for 20 minutes. The only thing he asked of me was to tell my friends, which is the only reason I decided to write this. I was very tempted to keep this a secret, but he deserves the recognition. To anyone in the LA area, or even if you're just visiting, I highly recommend that you take him up on his invitation to visit his store.
post #2 of 33
Thanks for the write-up.  Did you end up buying the Barba shirt?  And if so, did you have to go up a size from your usual because of the slim fit?
post #3 of 33
I think if most of us walked into that room, it wouldn't be all that hard to be convinced to stay for a couple of hours....
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Thanks for the write-up.  Did you end up buying the Barba shirt?  And if so, did you have to go up a size from your usual because of the slim fit?
I ended up buying a Barba and a Borrelli shirt. I like the shoulders to fit on the slim side, so I just bought my regular size. Even though it fits slim, it's still far too large around the stomach area. I really need to go custom, but I needed a properly fitting shirt (at least in the neck) for this weekend.
post #5 of 33
Sounds fun and...very, very dangerous...
post #6 of 33
I can add to your recommendation of Ian. My only complaint is that he does not have even more goods, and that I find his web store quirky (from the interface standpoint). But he is first rate.
post #7 of 33
Just wanted to add that I really enjoyed reading about your visit to Ian's showplace-- I can only imagine, must have been fun. The majority of my best stuff comes from him and honest*goods
post #8 of 33
Renault, Where exactly is it in LA? And, what's the number again to make an appointment?
post #9 of 33
It's good to see Ian getting kudos. I just had my first transaction with him, for a Barba. Great communication and follow up too - I commented on something with my shirt that I didn't think was quite right (minor and not worth returning the shirt over); Ian checked other shirts and said some others were like this and was willing to check on a piece-by-piece basis whenever I wanted another. That's great service, the type one received in the past from a local merchant. That Ian was willing to do this not for a regular but for someone that has made only transaction speaks volumes. Now, if I could only get that much feedback onto eBay.
post #10 of 33
Ian is a wonderful seller with fantastic items, a first class guy. koji
post #11 of 33
Renault78law, How would you rate Attolini and Borrelli suits that Ian selling. How are the suits kept? Thanks
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Renault, Where exactly is it in LA? And, what's the number again to make an appointment?
Santa Monica on Main.  See his website (or auctions) for contact info.
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Renault78law, How would you rate Attolini and Borrelli suits that Ian selling.  How are the suits kept? Thanks
The suits are kept hanging on racks. The Attolini I tried on was absolutely superlative. The sleevehead is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen...the perfect amount of puckering (forgive me if this is the wrong terminology), ever so slightly roped. And I thought that the way the shoulder slopes was very elegant as well, combined with the sleeve head, the appearance is very slimming...a very 'smart' look. Overall, the coat was very comfortable, you get the impression that you're wearing a light sweater as opposed to a suit. I thought that a 40 fit me perfectly in the shoulders. My only criticism was the fabric. Although it was very high quality, it was lighter in weight than I would have preferred. Probably perfect for year round use in Los Angeles, but I like more substantial cloths...so not really a criticism, more of a difference in preferrence.
post #14 of 33
I went to Ian's wearhouse on Wednesday to try on some suits. I was intending to buy something fairly conservative, perhaps something in a grey wool, but I ended up buying a navy blue Irish linen suit with patch pockets. I'll post some pictures after the tailoring is done, but it is really a beautiful suit. The jacket fit me perfectly off the rack. The linen is heavy enough to work in the springtime as well as summer (and there are summer days all year around in LA anyways.) And I rarely need a suit for business, but wear them far more often for festive occasions, so this one will get lots of use. And, at $895. it was quite a bargain. Like Renault, I ended up spending well over an hour in there. I didn't even start looking at shirts because I had to leave. I did buy a cashmere-silk blend sweater, and I tried on about a dozen suits. I was torn in the end between the blue linen and a light grey flannel number. I may go back for that one soon. It's really worth the visit. You'll never see so many beautiful pieces - all at 60%-70% off - in one place anywhere else.
post #15 of 33
ian rocks
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