Carlo Franco Shirts

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by TommyX4437, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. TommyX4437

    TommyX4437 Well-Known Member

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    The new collection of Carlo Franco ties has been introduced. I am wondering when the new shirt collection is coming out. Can I get a sneak preview? How will these shirts compare to the $500 dollars shirt on the market? If anyone hasn't had a first hand experience with Carlo Franco first collection shirts... they are extraordinary. The quality easily bypasses Borrelli and Lorenzini (IMO even Kiton). So... When is the new collection coming out?
     
  2. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    May I ask how exactly CF shirts ... quality easily bypasses Borrelli and Lorenzini (IMO even Kiton)? In workmanship? Fabrics? Pattern design (are you comparing it to US market shirts by the above brands)? Just wondering...
     
  3. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    Tommy:

    Thanks but I have to step in and say that Borrelli and Kiton shirts are better than our last collection in terms of construction. That is why the next collection is taking a long time to come out. I've been through 5 prototypes on the next collection and am still not quite where I want to be with them.

    We'll be in Napoli in a few weeks and we hope to have the final prototype taken care of at that time. Some things we just have to iron out (no pun intended) in person.

    I do thank you for the kind words but in all honestly the Kiton and Borrelli and while I am at it - Barba are much better currently.... of course the Kiton's are going for $600-$700 so it is an apples to oranges comparison. In that price range you go to Alex Kabbaz.

    Developing new collection has been a maddeningly slow process, especially this winter since the weather has been unusually snowy in Italy. Part of that is also my fault - we're going to more expensive fabrics and I have a huge paranoia about letting them get cut until the shirts are precisely what I want. Before we hit the 'go' button I will be asking some questions here about collars and some other details but the new shirts will have:
    Better (finer) seams
    Tighter foot
    Finer stitching around the collar
    better stiffness in collar/cuffs
    longer tail

    and a few other minor changes in the sewing that will improve overall quality in tiny amounts. With so many shirts out there essentially identical in construction we looked for a lot of small changes that add up to a significant difference.

    Thanks to those who are asking, they're coming but it's a little bit slow.

    Chuck
     
  4. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You might have answered this previously, but what are you doing about sizes? I was somewhat between standard sizes on your last range, but would have bitten on one if that were not the case.
     
  5. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    Concordia - you mean aside from pulling my hair out?
    In all honesty it depends on a few factors. The wonderful thing about ties is that each pattern equals at MOST 4 SKU's - lined, unlined, regular, long.

    With shirts... One pattern times 10 collar sizes times 2 cuff types = 20 SKUS before considering sleeves... so each sleeve length is another 20 SKUs per fabric. Previously we did two lengths per pattern or 40 SKU's per fabric. Then of course to keep a decent inventory you need to look into your crystal ball and decide how many of each pattern to make.... then Murphy's Law dictates that demand (actual) will equal the inverse of demand (predicted) and you restock accordingly.

    Sigh.

    To make a long answer short, when we finalize all the details on the next set of shirts we will take two weeks or so to show the construction and fabrics available, allow all existing customers and others interested to pick out their prefered size and then do a standard sizing array after that. We are also working out made to measure details but it's slow - if a regular size does not fit I can exchange it for the right size, if a made to measure does not fit I have to eat it - they look pretty but taste like crap so I have to have complete confidence in the tailors to get it RIGHT.

    On several of these issues the choice is 'just do it.' or 'wait until everything is exactly how you want it and piss people off because it takes so long for new collections'.

    The latter can be overcome if the quality is worth the wait, the former either works out ok or bankrupts you. I don't do high risk... heck, even in a casino I stick to the one game where the odds are in my favor and I know the precise odds on every hand. LOL

    Sorry for the long answer, I know some find it intriguing to look behind the curtain at the issues that come up on the production side and how we address them.
     
  6. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Clear enough.

    FWIW, I take a 36 sleeve, and something like 18.25 neck (depending on how you cut, and how badly it shrinks).
     
  7. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    Concordia ... 18.5x36? Clearly the wise thing for us would be to do what you say. Now if you were 13x32 we could risk making you angry.

    Speaking of which, I gotta get off here and finish shipping before the weekend hits lest I make folks mad for being late. See you all tomorrow.
     
  8. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    Speaking of Carlo's ties, I recently purchased one and managed to get a spot on it damned near immediately. I took it to a trusted dry cleaner, who removed the spot, no problem. When I went to pick up the tie, the guy wanted to know who made it, he had never heard of the brand. I explained. He said that most ties fall apart after a few cleanings, but that Carlo's tie was the best made tie he had ever seen. He seemed to hesitate when giving it back.
     
  9. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    John... please tell me I sent you some business cards with the tie :)

    Thanks for the kind words. We've been doing a few little things over time to make them more solid as we go. The latest was moving the label so folks would not use it as a tie keeper and going up to a slightly thicker thread for the closure and slipknot.

    Back to shipping...

    Oh, important side note - I close up our boxes with hot glue before taping them, note to all.... this stuff is very very well named. Anyone know how long it takes for hair to grow back on your hand?
     
  10. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    You should have sent me some business cards. I will wear your tie in to Raleigh Limited, an independant in Indianapolis, and tell them about you. They could use some nice 7-folds, from my perspective. I'll let you know what they think. Their high-end tie is by Zegna ($130, nice, but not as nice as your ties).
     
  11. PITAronin

    PITAronin Senior member

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    Echoing Johnapril's comments on the Carlo Franco ties (sorry for the jump from the Carlo Franco shirt discussion), I was in the Atlanta Brooks Brothers a week ago being measured by Martin Greenfield for an MTM suit and was wearing the "blue and pink ninja stars" tie I got from Chuck and Jill at Satrorial Excellence earlier in the month. Both Mr. Greenfield and his assistant were very complimentary of the quality of the tie and - yes - I shared one of the Carlo Franco cards I'd gotten in NYC.
     
  12. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    :)

    Thanks guys.

    More later but if I don't finish shipping then
    A. Customers will be pissed off and hate me
    B. Grandchild will be delivered late to Grandfather tonight and I will be in deep sh...tuff.

    Note to self: Get those two customer service jobs filled next week no matter what.
     
  13. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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  14. TommyX4437

    TommyX4437 Well-Known Member

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  15. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    You've answered your question in part. Right now, Carlo Franco has no PR except by word of mouth. And Chuck and Jill do not have a large corporate backer (by choice, I believe) the way that some other designers have had

    As for the question as to why anyone would prefer Prada, Gucci, Versace, et al. to Franco ties and shirts in some situations, it's simple. Chuck makes buisiness shirts and business appropriate ties. I really like Chuck's stuff, and Chuck personally, but I wouldn't wear his shirts or most of his ties out for a night on the town. They are just not designed for that in mind.
     

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