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classicalthunde

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Hello everybody!

Aaron here, writing from New York City.

Now that we are in this strange, unprecedented time, I want to tell you how we're doing, what we can do for you and what we can't.

First, all members of the KW team are well. We live in many places across North America and Europe, so we are working a great distance apart from each other already.

The New York shop has been closed for over a week. This makes me sad, because I like seeing you, but the shop will be shut for as long as the government directs.

Otherwise, we are open for business. We remain at work and at your service. Our small warehouse in Texas is still shipping out orders and, more remarkably, our makers in most countries are still making. Over in China, where our suits are tailored, they are seeing the downward slope of the pandemic, and production & shipping proceed on schedule.

This season we have a larger than ever range of fabrics and options I will be showcasing in this thread, starting tomorrow.

For now, I would just like to remind you of some of our offerings to make our current home-focused life more enjoyable. For example:

comfy socks

cozy wool cardigans and cashmere V necks

classic minimal-style sneakers

and of course

our essential polos and rugbys

Check back tomorrow for more about the new MTM fabric offering.

And stay well.
Aaron, hope you are doing well amidst the craziness in NYC, my sister on the LES said that every day these days looks like 4pm on thanksgiving day

on a brighter note, I'm excited to see what fabrics you guys are offering this season - is it a wider range from the same producers or additional merchants/mills being brought into the portfolio
 

aaronatKW

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Aaron, hope you are doing well amidst the craziness in NYC, my sister on the LES said that every day these days looks like 4pm on thanksgiving day

on a brighter note, I'm excited to see what fabrics you guys are offering this season - is it a wider range from the same producers or additional merchants/mills being brought into the portfolio
Both! :)

For first chapter of the details, please see below...
 

aaronatKW

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ECONOMY

As you know, the Kent Wang Co does not believe in sales or discounts. This allows us to keep staffing, overhead, and prices as low as possible all the time.

But we also know that times are tight right now, and we want to make the starting prices of our great made to measure services as accessible as we can.

As a benchmark, our traditional starting price was the A level -- the fabric of the trial suit. This meant the jacket and trousers were $795 together, or $615 and $255 if ordered separately.

But now that's lower.

Let's start with cottons and linens. I'll do these more deeply in a later post, but first, let's look at the starter sets.

Previously, in Cotton twill, Corduroy & Velvet (still available mostly) we were doing stretch cotton twills at the B level -- $830, $645 and $280 for the 2pc, the jacket and the trousers respectively.

Now, at the new low PS level, we can do a 2pc suit in these fabrics at $675, a jacket at $495 and a trouser at $195. I have a stretch cotton suit I can't wait to wear again, but a lot of people use these stretch twills for trousers only. Your choice. The LY fabric code stands for Lycra, also known as elastane or spandex.

Here are the cottons:

IMG_7489.jpg


And here are the linens, or rather the cotton-linens. Again, we have many ranges of such fabrics, but I'm just doing the lowest priced ones in this post.

IMG_7490.jpg


We know that most of you still use our services for classic business and interview suits, wedding suits, and tuxedos.

For these we have always had good fabrics at the A range (again, 795/615/255) But now we have a great set at the lower-priced AA range (735/570/230). These are from Filarte, a mill weaving in China with Italian design and heritage already on the fabric page with some cut-length books. The range includes all the solids, fancy weaves (sharkskins, tonal herringbones, nailheads etc) and some stripes and plaids. For now, here are the solid blues:

IMG_7493.jpg


And here are the solid grays:

IMG_7492.jpg


The next range is classic suiting and blazer fabrics from Vitale Barberis Canonico and Reda. These are woven in Italy.

The former VBC range is on the website as VBC Four Season, with classic suiting at the C level (890/685/315) and flannels at the BB level (850/660/295)

Now we can offer all of these at the A level.

Here are the blues. Note the new denim shade.

IMG_7495.jpg


And here are the grays.

IMG_7494.jpg


This range also includes great textured solids designed for blazers, in blue, tan and grays, from Reda:

IMG_7497.jpg



And here are the new A level flannels:

IMG_7498.jpg


But I saved the biggest price drop for last.

For years, many men have ordered shimmering wool-mohair tuxedos from Italian Spring/Summer Luxury Solids which is special-order fabric from Vitale Barberis at the E level, or $995 for a 2pc suit. But now we have it at the A level, for $200 less:

IMG_7496.jpg


As ever, please write [email protected] with any questions you may have.

And check back Saturday for the next installment:

STRETCHY, COMFY, COZY -- FABRICS THAT MOVE
 
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patliean1

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Spurious

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Awesome news on the price drops!

I have another, but related question:
Is the manufacturer capable of creating a morning dress? I am in dire need for one.
 
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Kent Wang

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Howdy from Malaga, Spain. I'm writing from my motorhome parked on the beach. I reckon it's one of the safest places to be right now as it's very isolated and we have supplies for weeks.

An upside to being cooped up inside is that I've had time to do more research on pocket squares.



I've just found a series of art deco murals from the New York Telephone Company Building. My favorite is the Chinese carrier pigeons above.

Which would you like to see as a pocket square?
 

aaronatKW

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ECONOMY Part II

One other popular group of suiting has been VBC Luxury — our edit of super 110s and super 150s VBC suiting; for a fuller selection, check Gladson's Legacy for 110s and Revenge for 150s

These are wonderful fabrics but in the past a bit steep: G level ($1120) for the 110s, and I level ($1265) for the 150s.

I believe we can now get them at the C level ($890) for the 110s, and D level ($935) for the 150s, a major savings.

May not have confirmation until Italy reopens for business, but this could be a very big (and very good) deal.
 

SmoothLefty

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Does anyone own the KW aviators who also has owned American Optical's version? If so, please provide a comparison. The measurements are similar but the AO's seem a little bulkier. Based on pictures around the interwebz, it looks like KW's are a bit more fashion-forward and less utilitarian, which is a good thing.

I have a five-year-old pair of AOs-- when they were $44, I can't believe they're up to $99 on Amazon--that I like but I want a pair of squared aviators with polarized lenses. I have the KW clubmasters which I am pleased with.
 

aaronatKW

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STRETCHY, COMFY, COZY -- FABRICS THAT MOVE

This will be a review of both old and new. Some great options have been hiding in plain sight, while others are fresh for the season.

Let's start with jacketing.

IMG_7386.PNG


We have three stock groups of stretch or knit jacketing.

The first is a lighter weight stretch twill with a milled (soft) finish. Not sure of the mill. In the past it was C level ($685) now it's A level ($615). 262 grams/meter, 83% wool 17% poly. There are six colors:



1
TRE1258 charcoal twill
2
TRE1257 grey twill
3
TRE1256 navy twill
4
TRE1255 black twill
5
TRE1254 d.grey twill
6
TRE1253 khaki twill

It's perfect for spring jackets. This is what it looks like up close, in blue and grey:

IMG_7516 (1).jpg



Next, two groups from Gruppo Dondi, Italy's foremost maker of jersey (knit) jacketing. The Zegna group so values their skill that they bought Gruppo Dondi last year.

The first group is cotton pique, the same type of material that makes up our great polo and rugby shirts. All the blues are still available. The weight would be heavy if it was wool, but for cotton it's springlike.

IMG_7395.jpg



1
TRE1621 mid blue micro hopsack stretch
2
TRE1620 aegean blue macro hopsack stretch
3
TRE1618 newport blue hopsack stretch
4
TRE1617 navy ground/abstract houndstooth stretch



I don't have one of these yet, but I want one!

The last group is Gruppo Dondi's knit flannels, in blue and gray:

1
TRE1679 navy flannel stretch
1
TRE1678 grey flannel stretch

These are a bit softer and heavier, 353grams/meter. 74% wool 26% poly. C level, so $685 for a jacket. This is the most sweater-like of the three stretch or knit jacketing groups.

IMG_7515.jpg


Tomorrow: stretch suiting.

 
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aaronatKW

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And here are some things you can make with them. Pictures could be better but I still hope they inspire.

1. TRE1256 stretch twill in an unconstructed blazer with flapped bellows pockets at breast and hip, throat latch, and contrast melton (available at no charge upon request). Brown corozo buttons.

IMG_7499.jpg

IMG_7500.jpg

IMG_7501.jpg


2 TRE1257 grey stretch twill with 10cm wide peak lapels. Note the top stitching, more closely done than pick stitching. It's a new option that draws a sharper line of stitching on the lapel or wherever you sew it.



IMG_7503.jpg


IMG_7502.jpg
 
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aaronatKW

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And here are the knit flannels.

1. TRE1679 in a 10 cm peak lapel double breasted blazer with woven leather buttons. Interior shows woven cupro lining TR293 in red paisleys ($40)

IMG_7504.jpg

IMG_7505.jpg



2. TRE1678 with a 10cm peak lapel, three roll two button front, and a half-belt effect in the back. Also in the back, note the ventless rear. It has been popular at various times and is now in vogue again.

IMG_7507.jpg



IMG_7506.jpg
 

aaronatKW

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STRETCHY, COMFY, COZY -- FABRICS THAT MOVE

Now, the stretch suiting.

There has been a growing call for worsted suiting with a bit of stretch. There are ways to do this in the weave, and there are ways to do it with a small percentage of elastane. Both are fine.

But we only had it via special-order collections. More on those below, but this season, for the first time, we have it in stock fabrics.

There are two groups.

First from Trabaldo Togna.

Screen Shot 2020-04-02 at 3.26.10 PM.png


These are three of the five Trabaldo Togna stretch suitings:

Screen Shot 2020-04-02 at 3.29.04 PM.png



The pricing is very good.

These stretch super 120s are at the BB level, or $850 for a 2pc suit:

1
TRE2058 indigo blue plaid w royal deco
2
TRE2057 dark blue plaid w royal deco

while these stretch super 150s are E level, or $995 for a 2pc suit:

1
TRE2059 grey plaid w sky deco
2
TRE2056 navy plaid w grey deco
3
TRE2055 grey plaid w sky blue & grey deco


Next is natural stretch from Guabello.

Screen Shot 2020-04-02 at 3.48.21 PM.png


The group includes all of the solid suitings that people reach for the most:

Screen Shot 2020-04-02 at 3.50.23 PM.png


B level pricing means only $830 for a 2pc suit.

1
TRE2029 steel blue windowpane
2
TRE2028 tan windowpane
3
TRE2027 deep blue solid
4
TRE2026 navy solid
5
TRE2025 black solid
6
TRE2024 dark grey solid
7
TRE2023 med grey solid

Special-order stretch suitings are also available. Ariston in southern Italy has resumed shipping, with delays.

In their summer collection, you will find stretch suiting in the Dynamic and Moove folders, as well as jersey jacketing (possibly from Gruppo Dondi) and even jersey suiting (!) in the Leisure & Co folder. That folder also includes stretch seersucker in brilliant colors, and stretch cotton twills, although we can get the latter for less elsewhere. Ariston's winter Dynamic group includes suiting and jacketing with a milled (flannel-like) finish. The Winter Leisure & Sport group includes heavier jersey jacketing, stretch cords, and even stretch denim, though we may be able to get this for less elsewhere too.

The Ariston site is fully browsable. You can even check the availability of the fabrics.

Our other supplier with a nice collection of stretch suiting is Gladson, which is the American face of Huddersfield Fine Worsted.

The Flex group of cotton twills and worsted wool suiting is here. All work as trousers, and some of the plaids work as jackets as well.

As always, write [email protected] with any questions you may have.

Coming up next: a new supplier of Italian fabrics, with no supply issues even in the current crisis. And they have the most elaborate look books I have ever seen, now available in digital versions for the first time.
 

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