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sartoria vacua

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glad i usually saved those green spec slips stuffed in the interior pockets! made for great reading re how a factory cutter executes w/ a set of instructions, more complex than i would have imagined - on the customer side we just usually just get switched on around fabrics once committed to a pattern.
 

nd1nd2nd3

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The REDA hopsack and flexo fabric is all four-season and really excellent. Especially their hopsack... the REDA hopsack is the thing of legends! They priced it well too.

I have to think that they've got some linens and wool-silk-linen blends still on hand, but I'm still waiting on that. I know that things like the Barberis assortment have been largely sold out.
I did see the flexo, but I’m probably looking for something patterned and/or textured - I’m wearing suits/sport coats more for social/arts events instead of work now. I’ll keep an eye out if you hear back on those other blends!
 

clee1982

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Yes, Southwick is wholly owned by the Italian parent company of Brooks Brothers. They also own Garland Shirt Co and the NYC Tie factory.

Brooks Brothers is up for sale as a whole entity. It's all speculation, but the thinking is that they're cutting back on their vertically integrated factories to save on labor costs and liabilities.. thereby making the Brooks as a whole more attractive to buy. I'm not privy to their sales figures, but they're probably not great given the state of physical retail, and the average mall consumer is most likely unwilling to pay a premium for MiUSA. So, as of now, Southwick is going to shut down a good portion of their operations and I believe that the necktie factory is going to close entirely. Not sure what's happening with Garland shirt.

So also.. those awesome US-made ties in our sale section are officially some of the last ties that will be made at the Brooks factory.
What’s the new plan, HF/Samuelson probably will both cost more than Southwick?
 

FLW

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SOUTHWICK CUSTOM CLOTHING ENDS IN 6 WEEKS

Hey guys,

This is a painful one. For the past few months, there have been a lot of rumors flying around with Southwick. They canceled all of their seasonal trade shows and trunk shows. And we typically have a fresh collection of Spring swatches in hand by now.

Well... it sadly appears that there's a massive reorganization and contraction planned for later this year. They're cutting off all of their custom orders after April of this year. And they're no longer doing the vast majority of their wholesale production. The factory will be downsized and only serve as a much smaller in-house manufacturer for Brooks Brothers.

For us, this means that the next 6 weeks are the final opportunity to order our custom shapes with Southwick. That includes the Nuovo and Darthmouth sportcoats, our Quincy overcoat, and all of our trousers (Walt, Rudy, Driggs, Taylor, Gable, Nico).

I was hoping to get promo fabrics and some exclusives, but nothing has come through yet. So we're going to offer 20% off all of the fabrics which are currently online. You can use the code below to get that deal:

southwick20

The code won't expire, but I expect a lot of the fabrics to sell through over the next few weeks. Some larger custom operations... namely Commonweath Proper and Articles of Style share almost all of the fabrics with us. And they're getting cut off as well, there's a good amount of customers who will pull from that inventory before the end dates.

If you've purchased a Southwick item from us in the past and you want to grab something else, then now is the time. We have better prices than our competitors at the factory, and you know our shapes. The earlier you order, the more fabric selection that we'll have. After April, all of the Southwick custom will go through Brooks Brothers, so you'll be restricted to their shapes and their (generally) higher prices.

Here's the links below to our categories. As always, feel free to post any questions here. If you want fabric comparison videos, then chatting on either Facebook or Instagram is preferred, as I can quickly shoot and send the videos through those apps.

MADE TO ORDER SOUTHWICK SUITING

MADE TO ORDER SOUTHWICK SPORTCOATS

MADE TO ORDER SOUTHWICK TROUSERS

MADE TO ORDER SOUTHWICK OVERCOATS
My first reaction was the predictable, "Oh no!"

But then I thought about it...

I've moved on probably 60% of my EPx SW stuff- compared to about 10% of my Hertling stuff and 0% of my Portuguese suiting. It was, honestly, not my favorite EP shapes from all the years.

Two things pop into mind:

1) Cost. I am not an economic nationalist. SW was charging about as much for a half canvas suit as some Italian or Japanese brands were charging for full canvas. Likewise, MTO and MTM from China/India has improved by leaps and bounds. The death of the mid-market is very, very real.

2) Brooks Brothers is shit and getting shittier. Equal to LL Bean, soon to be Eddie Bauer. This is from a guy who still shops at J. Press and idolizes O'Connell's shetlands and embroidered chinos. The brand has become garbage and will be insolvent within a decade. Time for Claudio to grab as much cash as he can and get the hell out of dodge. No surprise that they KO Southwick on the way out.

Would be curious to hear about what production with Hickey Freeman would entail, though...
 

Epaulet

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I did see the flexo, but I’m probably looking for something patterned and/or textured - I’m wearing suits/sport coats more for social/arts events instead of work now. I’ll keep an eye out if you hear back on those other blends!
Very cool.. I'll definitely keep pushing. We already sold 5 more suits today, so hopefully that inspires them to work with us on finding more fabrics to offer.

@Epaulet Will there be a new home for the Nuovo down the road?
What’s the new plan, HF/Samuelson probably will both cost more than Southwick?
At the moment, i'm planning to move everything to Hickey Freeman in the Fall. We went through the first round of sampling, and things look good. The trousers are basically right on point. The jacket is going to be different. HF doesn't offer that really light construction of the Dartmouth/Nuovo, but their work is super clean and we'll maintain the overall shapes and lines. Pricing is going to be a bit higher, but the product is also made a bit better, so I think it will remain in line for everyone. Loose plan is to travel to Rochester in April/May to see the factory and firm up everything for a Fall launch.

The only drawback is a potentially smaller fabric selection. I'll say that SW was second to none in its breadth of fabric options. Their own line buys were huge, plus they had fabrics from Brooks Brothers, plus I could always find a bunch of stuff on promo and sale. It's pretty incredible how many awesome suits and sportcoats were were able to make over the years. Even though things are pretty Fall-ish in the current lineup, the cotton-cashmere corduroy, winter tweeds, and cav twill are some serious gems. We also made so many pairs of Harris Tweed pants that I couldn't believe it.

My first reaction was the predictable, "Oh no!"

But then I thought about it...

I've moved on probably 60% of my EPx SW stuff- compared to about 10% of my Hertling stuff and 0% of my Portuguese suiting. It was, honestly, not my favorite EP shapes from all the years.

Two things pop into mind:

1) Cost. I am not an economic nationalist. SW was charging about as much for a half canvas suit as some Italian or Japanese brands were charging for full canvas. Likewise, MTO and MTM from China/India has improved by leaps and bounds. The death of the mid-market is very, very real.

2) Brooks Brothers is shit and getting shittier. Equal to LL Bean, soon to be Eddie Bauer. This is from a guy who still shops at J. Press and idolizes O'Connell's shetlands and embroidered chinos. The brand has become garbage and will be insolvent within a decade. Time for Claudio to grab as much cash as he can and get the hell out of dodge. No surprise that they KO Southwick on the way out.

Would be curious to hear about what production with Hickey Freeman would entail, though...
I'm not privy to the inside details, but from what I understand, Southwick was doing pretty well as a standalone entity. They were actively developing new wholesale clients and expanding their custom line. They moved to a larger facility just about five years ago. I think that this change has a lot more to do with the overall weakness of Brooks at retail than it does a hollowing out of mid-market tailored clothing. Vertical integration always seems attractive, but it's been the downfall of many clothing brands.

They have some seriously loyal customers too. There's always going to be a cheaper option and a new start up and someone selling suits on totally desperate markdown,. but Southwick historically offered a solid product at a fair price, so their market position was valid.
 

FLW

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I'm not privy to the inside details, but from what I understand, Southwick was doing pretty well as a standalone entity. They were actively developing new wholesale clients and expanding their custom line. They moved to a larger facility just about five years ago. I think that this change has a lot more to do with the overall weakness of Brooks at retail than it does a hollowing out of mid-market tailored clothing. Vertical integration always seems attractive, but it's been the downfall of many clothing brands.

They have some seriously loyal customers too. There's always going to be a cheaper option and a new start up and someone selling suits on totally desperate markdown,. but Southwick historically offered a solid product at a fair price, so their market position was valid.
That's interesting and, to me, a bit surprising. I always thought of SW as catering to independent B+M men's clothing stores, seeing as 90% of SW labels I have ever seen were usually SW for [Insert Name Here]. Brooks seems pretty lost right now, though, and vertical integration only works if you can sell your stuff at the end of the chain.

It will be fun to see what Hickey Freeman can do to pick up their slack with you guys.
 

clee1982

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Haven’t tried SW and don’t plan to buy, but comment on BB is very real, hasn’t bought anything from BB for at least 6 if not almost 10 years...? Not sure if it was quality, more of a aesthetics issue though...
 

Epaulet

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That's interesting and, to me, a bit surprising. I always thought of SW as catering to independent B+M men's clothing stores, seeing as 90% of SW labels I have ever seen were usually SW for [Insert Name Here]. Brooks seems pretty lost right now, though, and vertical integration only works if you can sell your stuff at the end of the chain.

It will be fun to see what Hickey Freeman can do to pick up their slack with you guys.
They had a pretty huge private label business going for a while too. They were doing Billy Reid, Todd Snyder, R13, Thom Browne for a while, etc.

Their independent old school stores were certainly fading away, but I know that the newer speciality custom accounts, including us, were bringing in really considerable sales volume, and growing with it.

If Southwick made one big mistake IMO, it was spending too much time and effort in trying to create a standalone brand versus going out and finding more people like me and Articles of Style. When you look at the DTC menswear brands in our scene, there's no reason that many of them couldn't offer basic sportcoats and suits through Southwick.

@Epaulet any updates on the eternal chestnut corduroy makeups?
Already cut and in process! I'm going to check on everything today, but shouldn't be too long.
 

Epaulet

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Well they dream to cut of the middle man too...
Yeah, I think that was part of the plan. It’s difficult to do without a really experienced or visionary person on the retail and consumer focused side though.

honestly, the idea of a factory management team making a successful DTC business without very expensive help is like me watching a few YouTube videos on open heart surgery and then telling the patient...“okay, I think I got this. Where’s the scalpel?”
 

Epaulet

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@Epaulet What's the turn-around time for SW trousers?
pretty quick... I’d say about 3-4 weeks till it’s in hand. On the faster side for anyone living on the East Coast as they ship UPS
 

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