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Harry Rosen is a real gentleman

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by EL72, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. EL72

    EL72 Senior member

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    I met Harry Rosen this weekend and thought I'd share the story and some observations:

    I have a great Samuelsohn navy sportcoat in very soft wool/cashmere from Rosen that happens to be unlined. The absence of a lining means that there is very little stitching attaching the side pockets (only on top), which continually pull at the seams from the weight of stuff in the pockets (another great reason for patch pockets but I digress). So the fabric at the top edges of the pockets has begun to tear and unravel and I decided to go to the store so they could fix it.

    I was wearing said jacket and was going up the escalator (in the Bloor St. flagship) when I notice an older man who nods at me. I recognized Harry and smiled so he introduced himself and shook my hand. He then complimented me on my jacket so I took the opportunity to tell him that the reason I was here was because of an issue with the jacket and he asked to take a look. After seeing the problem, he said they would definitely take care of it. He called the head tailor right away (in the midst of a busy sat. afternoon no less) and discussed ways to repair the jacket. He wrote out a repair ticket and handed the jacket directly to the tailor and told me that since he had bypassed the regular computer system, he would follow-up himself with the tailor and call me directly when the jacket was ready, and gave me his card.

    We chatted a bit about the origins of my name and some of the people he knew of Sephardic heritage. He also lamented the fact that he could not find any tailors to replace the few aging Italian gentlemen who are left and how no one in North America wants to be a tailor, compared to Naples where it's viewed as a higher status profession and is still attracting new recruits...

    Harry was very pleasant and it was comforting to see a man, in a store that bears his name, who still cared enough about service to help someone out with a jacket that needed mending. He was a real gentleman throughout so I thought I'd share. He also made me want to buy stuff so I browsed a bit and here are a few observations of interest to SF:

    Zegna has a new suit cut (Savile fit) that features A LOT of waist suppression, much more than their Milano (or of course Roma) cut. The shoulders are however relatively soft, though not as soft as the Milano. It's a nice hybrid sort of cut but I could barely button the 38R so it will be a tough sell imo.

    Tramezza have jacked their prices again and the shoes I saw at Rosen were now $1,300+!! WTF?! They are great shoes and I love Tramezzas but thought it was nuts when they went from $650 to $900+ but $1,300 is just insane imo. I don't know whose paying those prices but the shoes are still the same construction as five years ago so I don't see how they can justify the increase since I don't think the market will bear such a price.
     
  2. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Ask Harry to wear them around the block once first and discount them as floor models.
     
  3. Albern

    Albern Senior member

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    Great story, thanks for sharing. It's too bad the nice things you said about Mr. Rosen cannot be reiterated to a number of his sales staff; especially the ones at Bloor Street.
     
  4. hypostatic

    hypostatic Well-Known Member

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    Cool story.

    Re: the Zegna suit. Go to the first floor (down the stairs), and take a look at the two shade checked black evening suit on the rack to your right. Stunning.
     
  5. somatoform

    somatoform Senior member

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    Great story, thanks for sharing. It's too bad the nice things you said about Mr. Rosen cannot be reiterated to a number of his sales staff; especially the ones at Bloor Street.

    My thoughts exactly, except Bloor has nothing on Yorkdale.
     
  6. hypostatic

    hypostatic Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts exactly, except Bloor has nothing on Yorkdale.

    It's really hit and miss. They can be great, but they can also be rude. I've had my fair share of both. One thing that annoys me is that all of them, regardless of how nice they are, push sales. I usually find it frustrating and leave (and then walk the 20 steps to Holts).

    As an aside, the sales staff at Nomad at Bay/Bloor are great!
     
  7. Albern

    Albern Senior member

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    My thoughts exactly, except Bloor has nothing on Yorkdale.

    You mean the sales associates at Yorkdale are even worse?

    I usually find it frustrating and leave (and then walk the 20 steps to Holts).

    [​IMG] I do this too actually if I happen to have some time to kill but I haven't bought anything from either location for almost a year now with the exception of shoe polish or shoe trees.

    I've been noticing however that the sales associates at Holts are on average much more respectful these days. It's moreso the "kids" that shop there that annoy me the most, but that's a whole other story.
     
  8. oneeightyseven

    oneeightyseven Senior member

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    Seeing as I do not wear suits often, I've never really liked anything from Harry Rosen. That being said, the man himself sounds like a great gentleman.
     
  9. oneeightyseven

    oneeightyseven Senior member

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    It's moreso the "kids" that shop there that annoy me the most, but that's a whole other story.

    I'm a Holt's kid [​IMG]
     
  10. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    Zegna has a new suit cut (Savile fit) that features A LOT of waist suppression, much more than their Milano (or of course Roma) cut. The shoulders are however relatively soft, though not as soft as the Milano. It's a nice hybrid sort of cut but I could barely button the 38R so it will be a tough sell imo.


    Is that just in suits or odd jackets to? Why didn't it fit? They didn't narrow the shoulders?

    The Tramezza are the Zefer ones? Are they better or worse then Zegna labeled ones?
     
  11. Albern

    Albern Senior member

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    I'm a Holt's kid [​IMG]

    Well present company excluded of course. [​IMG]

    Unless you are one of those loud and obnoxious patrons I typically see on the lower level. I'm not hear to judge of course.
     
  12. oneeightyseven

    oneeightyseven Senior member

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    Well present company excluded of course. [​IMG]

    Unless you are one of those loud and obnoxious patrons I typically see on the lower level. I'm not hear to judge of course.


    I'm not loud, but I do shop on the lower level. That's where they keep the Lobbs[​IMG] and other SW&D items. Never really been higher than the main entrance; what's upstairs?
     
  13. somatoform

    somatoform Senior member

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    You mean the sales associates at Yorkdale are even worse?

    In my experience, yes.


    I wonder what the going rates are for custom stuff down in the basement. I remember inquring about getting a custom made leather jacket at Harry Rosen on Bloor by the Italian tailor they have down there who makes a wicked espresso. Tons of swatches and what not. But I can't remember the price they quoted me. Andrew Marc simply was not working for me: nice leather, but very billowy at the waist, so they recommended custom.

    They did let me try on Eric Lindros' half-complete suede blazer (at least this is what they said). He must be a big boy because I'm big but this was quite big one me. Nice jacket to. This was in 2003.
     
  14. GucciKid

    GucciKid Senior member

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    Even if the salesman are a bit douchey, Harry's kicks the crap out of Holt's for high-end menswear. To me Holts seems like it's becoming more of a high-end streetwear type of place lately, with its massive jean section, a whole section downstairs dedicated to diesel, and another streetwear-y section with brands like BOO.

    Holt's doesn't carry RLPL anymore, and don't have much RLBL at all. While at Harry's you've got brands like Cucinelli, Loro Piana, Borelli, Kiton, Tom Ford etc.

    I was in the Holt's at Yorkdale the other day and they didn't have ONE solid necktie. Not even in their house brand.
     
  15. somatoform

    somatoform Senior member

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    Even if the salesman are a bit douchey, Harry's kicks the crap out of Holt's for high-end menswear. To me Holts seems like it's becoming more of a high-end streetwear type of place lately, with its massive jean section, a whole section downstairs dedicated to diesel, and another streetwear-y section with brands like BOO.

    Holt's doesn't carry RLPL anymore, and don't have much RLBL at all. While at Harry's you've got brands like Cucinelli, Loro Piana, Borelli, Kiton, Tom Ford etc.

    I was in the Holt's at Yorkdale the other day and they didn't have ONE solid necktie. Not even in their house brand.


    I haven't been in Holts bloor or Yorkdale for a while, but by the looks of the suit section and outerwear section at Holts Last Call there's no shortage of high-end meanswear: Loro Piana, RLPL, Canali, Cuccinelli, Zegna, and all that. Then there's the shoes which are far superior to Harry Rosen's over-valued reliance on Allen Edmonds.
     
  16. hypostatic

    hypostatic Well-Known Member

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    Even if the salesman are a bit douchey, Harry's kicks the crap out of Holt's for high-end menswear. To me Holts seems like it's becoming more of a high-end streetwear type of place lately, with its massive jean section, a whole section downstairs dedicated to diesel, and another streetwear-y section with brands like BOO.

    Holt's doesn't carry RLPL anymore, and don't have much RLBL at all. While at Harry's you've got brands like Cucinelli, Loro Piana, Borelli, Kiton, Tom Ford etc.

    I was in the Holt's at Yorkdale the other day and they didn't have ONE solid necktie. Not even in their house brand.


    I see what you're saying about the whole streetwear thing, but I hardly think the corner room with BOO and Burberry Prorsum can be categorized the same way. It's regrettable that they've stopped carrying some of the more exclusive brands like Dior Homme, which, as far as I know, no one else in the city sells. Don't forget, they have a huge men's suiting section on the main floor, with Etro, PS, Prada, etc....

    I like Harry Rosen, but anything above the main floor is way out of my budget, and I doubt they sell very much of it. The Tom Ford section looks almost identical at the end of the season as it does at the beginning.
     
  17. Recoil

    Recoil Senior member

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    Even if the salesman are a bit douchey, Harry's kicks the crap out of Holt's for high-end menswear. To me Holts seems like it's becoming more of a high-end streetwear type of place lately, with its massive jean section, a whole section downstairs dedicated to diesel, and another streetwear-y section with brands like BOO.

    Holt's doesn't carry RLPL anymore, and don't have much RLBL at all. While at Harry's you've got brands like Cucinelli, Loro Piana, Borelli, Kiton, Tom Ford etc.

    I was in the Holt's at Yorkdale the other day and they didn't have ONE solid necktie. Not even in their house brand.


    Holt's carries PL at the Bloor store, and that's really the only store that counts because every other store is just a pared down version of Bloor. BL didn't have many new offerings this season that weren't streetwear so there wasn't much for Holt's to bring in. I think they got seriously burned last season with the amount of BL product they had to discount, heck, there is a 40R Navy Blazer at their outlet store in Vaughn that hasn't moved yet, so I think they cut back on the suiting for this season. You are dealing with a very American product being sold in a very Canadian city. RL suiting doesn't have the appeal in Toronto that other major comparable brands have. They tend to sell more of the casual wear. Torontonians want big Italian name suits.
     
  18. oneeightyseven

    oneeightyseven Senior member

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    Torontonians want big Italian name suits.

    This. In Toronto the consensus is that Italian = best.
     
  19. oneeightyseven

    oneeightyseven Senior member

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    Then there's the shoes which are far superior to Harry Rosen's over-valued reliance on Allen Edmonds.

    totally agree since they began selling Lobbs (IIRC this is their second year doing so). They also sell better sneakers, i.e Lanvin ([​IMG]).
     
  20. Albern

    Albern Senior member

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    I'm not loud, but I do shop on the lower level. That's where they keep the Lobbs[​IMG] and other SW&D items. Never really been higher than the main entrance; what's upstairs?

    It's perfectly fine if you shop there but just from my casual observations there are a lot of annoying people there; more than Harry's to some extent.

    The upper levels are all women's clothing and the mezzanine (?) is full of women's shoes and overcoats if I remember correctly. I only stay on the main and lower levels if I'm ever there.

    In my experience, yes.


    I wonder what the going rates are for custom stuff down in the basement. I remember inquring about getting a custom made leather jacket at Harry Rosen on Bloor by the Italian tailor they have down there who makes a wicked espresso. Tons of swatches and what not. But I can't remember the price they quoted me. Andrew Marc simply was not working for me: nice leather, but very billowy at the waist, so they recommended custom.

    They did let me try on Eric Lindros' half-complete suede blazer (at least this is what they said). He must be a big boy because I'm big but this was quite big one me. Nice jacket to. This was in 2003.


    When was the last time you've been on Bloor? They did a massive renovation about 2 to 3 years ago and as far as I know all the MTM / bespoke stuff is done on the 4th floor now. The basement mainly has all the lower end stuff like Boss, Zegna Sport, etc...

    From what I've seen prices for bespoke are identical to other true bespoke master tailors in the city (which are very few from what I've been seeing / reading). $3,500 to $4,000 to start if I remember correctly.
     

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