Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by linux_pro, Feb 26, 2005.
THey have RTW lines. As for travel, I don't know. I can ask when I go there.
Sorry Linux_Pro for the mini hijack.
Just to clarify - 'Carlo Franco' is a small business started by Chuck Franke (who I believe was a high-powered consultant/exec of some sort before doing this) as a labor of love as well as a business.
He produces high-quality garments in small batches and is slowly increasing his market and capacity. I don't know if he is yet carried in major men's stores in the U.S., let alone France.
Because so many of the folks on the forum have tried - and enjoyed - Chuck's merchandise, I think that people have shied away from clearly answering your question about why the brand is not 'known in Paris'.
Simply put, this is a 'start up' business that is in its inception and is not yet widely distributed in the US. His work is high-quality and gives good value, hence the devoted fan base on this board.
There is no way that you would know anything about this brand through visiting shops in Paris or even (as far as I know) shops in the US, it is not yet at that stage in its development. It is a 'word of mouth' brand now and that word of mouth has been driven in no small part through imaginative marketing strategies that maximize Chuck's direct take per garment and allow him to keep prices low.
The shirts are sold largely through Ebay and the carlofranco.com and sartorialsolutions websites. Chuck does not tack on the extra mark-up that a men's store would, meaning that you are basically paying the mfr cost and a reasonable margin.
Hope that helps.
May I ask some specific questions about your shirt. Are there hand-sewn details on it? What is the stitch count per inch of the machine made seams? Thank you.
Duveen, you got it right. Chuck is a regular on the AskAndy website (sartorialsolutions) and he is a class act. While his company is still in its infancy, he offers high quality merchandise at very reasonable prices. American business practices plus Italian manufacture adds up to a good deal.
Maybe not to the buyers at Colette, but certainly to you. There are very many niche brands of top quality and styling that I am sure that you have never, ever, heard of.
ernest, I'm at a loss how someone could be a regular around here and not be familiar with at least the Carlo Franco name. Do a search there's bound to be a ton of threads on his ties, etc.
Chuck's company is only a couple of years old. It's a one man and one woman operation. Give 'em time. They'll invade Paris before long, I'm sure. All their goods are made in Italy to the highest standards. He has a great return policy, ernest--give them a try.
Don't look for Chuck to respond here for a couple of days, btw. He's on his way to Italy to pick up ties for the NYC show. There's also been a death in the family that will keep Jill away as well. Pray for them both. It's a tough time.
PS I love my CF shirt. (white double cuff herringbone)
I've had very good luck with my CF shirts, they're comparable in quality to anything I own (Attolini, Lorenzini, Kiton, Borrelli, Barba, and the like) lots of details, nice hand stitching, great collars, nice buttons and placket, but the best thing is the absolutely luxurious fabrics. I especially love the herringbones. Certainly these are comparable to any shirts on the market in the $300 price range.
Will you be changing the collar design of your shirts anytime soon? The shirts sound great, but to be honest the collar looks a bit too "Italian" for my taste - any chance we may get some spreads in the mix soon?
Actually, it was Carlo Franco's ties which eventually led me to this forum (to find out who this Carlo Franco was and if it was any good). It seems I have discovered an as-yet-unknown jewel. Chuck is a member of the forum (Carlo), as is his wife (Jill). I'm not sure why he hasn't piped up yet on this thread, maybe he is being modest and not trying to market his product. If so, Chuck, feel free to pipe up and enlighten Ernest. You might find a new loyal patron.
Their shirts are very nice, as are the ties. I can take a pic and post it here for forum members later.
I'll pipe up for Chuck. He is, as Alan mentioned, in Italy picking up the ties for the Regency event and Jill is dealing with a death in the family.
I have mentioned this before, but I have done a great deal of consulting for RTW manufacturers. During my career, I have taught dozens upon dozens how to reduce production costs while sacrificing a minimal degree of quality.
Only once in my entire career has a RTW manufacturer come to me and said, "Take my shirt apart and tell me how to make it the best it can be. Cost is not important". I was so shocked, I forgot to send a consulting bill. That manufacturer was Carlo Franco.
And let's hope it stays that way. For my own selfish reasons, I'd hate to see Carlo Franco diluted by any taint of Frenchness.
"Although we might one day hope to be at peace with France, we must ever be at war with French principles." -- Horatio Nelson
Yeah, he told me about that on the phone. I think it was really quite exemplary of you to help someone like that, even though he is selling a product in your same market. Obviously, the existence of his shirts will not diminish your market at all, but still it was a very nice thing for you to do. I am sorry to hear about Jill's loss. That is terrible. I shall have to send my condolences. As for Chuck's (www.carlofranco.com) shirts, I can honestly say now that you would have a hard time finding a better RTW shirt on the market, and I've owned many brands. The shirts are worth greatly more than the $119 asking price. My Facconable shirts cost $125, the Zegnas are $250, and I own a few that I paid a bit more. The Carlo Franco shirt "feels" higher quality than most of them (I have a Facconable that is a personal favorite). One thing that really jumped out at me with his shirts was the fabric. I always thought Egyptian Cotton was the cheapo stuff. The fabric in these shirts doesn't feel cheap, and definitely does not look cheap at all. It has a very silky, smooth sort of feel (and has a slight "shimmer" to it), and is very breathable, which I like. I have to comment again how well-fitting his shirts are. Like most on this board, I LOATHE tent shirts (Ike Behar has some real tents out there in this price range). The Carlo Franco shirt fits me extremely well, almost like an MTM. There is no excess fabric at the sides at all when I tuck it in. I will have to post a picture. I think I've said it all before though. Once again, if you don't already have one of these shirts, get one. They are worth much more than the asking price, IMHO.
I asked Chuck once, and hopefully will remember to ask again this coming wknd, but does he do 17/17.5/36?
When I asked last he didn't...
Steve, Steve, Steve. Don't take no for an answer. Here's what you do: buy the 17x35 or 17.5x35, then cut off the sleeves about halfway down. Stitch in a 1" splice, then stitch the remaining half of the sleeve back on. Don't worry about making the stitching look good or about matching the fabric in the splice with the fabric in the shirt: you'll be wearing a jacket all the time anyway. Sorry, just a little bit punchy this morning.
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