A customer asked us to explain our assertion that our new line of shirts blows away the best of the “Old World” European shirt makers. Here is our response:
While fit is almost certainly subjective, I find that many of the Neapolitan brands RTW are just too slim and English brands either too slim or too baggy. While many great shirt makers offer shirts made by hand, their prices are well into $400-$500. While our prices haven’t been nailed down yet, I can tell you they won’t be near that, and you get the same quality hand make that you would from them. All single needle stitching makes us one of the few American shirt makers offering that RTW and the entire process is done by hand. There’s no computerized patterns and cutting and it’s all operated by expert craftsmen in a small workroom, not a factory floor. Our shirts have a softness to them that my Borelli and Finamore do not. Charvet RTW are notoriously overpriced and underwhelming when compared to their bespoke Paris offerings (which I will not try to compare our stuff to) and English brands have collars that are far too structured. I feel we’ve married the best of all three. The fabric quality of Charvet, durability of T&A, and surpassed the softness of Finamore and Borelli.
In terms of fit, our shirts will be a common middle ground between the “too baggy” and the “too slim” and should fit almost every body type. The summer oxford material we’ve sourced is incredibly lightweight and breathable and our chambray is durable and will stand up to repeated washes and wears.
But honestly, what makes these “better” is the fact that these are made right here in the US, and right here in the NY Metro area. As a consumer, for me knowing I’m helping the American economy and in particular my local NYC economy means more to me than anything. For decades we were taught that if it was luxurious (read expensive) and “better” it had to come from Europe. I think our ties challenge that notion and I think our customers agree. American made clothing was meant to “stand the test of time” and be “durable”…words you’d associate with workwear and tools, but not with #menswear. We’ve left the luxury to the Italians, and the French, and the English. Most of our customers are Americans and we think they’d agree with us that.
I also think what separates us is passion. I don’t do this because I have to, I do it because I love it. Literally. When it comes to 99% of other makers this is their livelihood. They need to sell. For me, I make what I like, the way I like it. I’ve experienced the best of what brands around the world have to offer, and I feel I’ve taken what was good, cut out what wasn’t, and made it our own here with YH. But we don’t need to focus solely on the income, we focus on the outcome. With bigger businesses, the bottom line counts more. We don’t price to wholesale, are extremely selective in who we work with, and how we work, and I feel it makes us better. We’re proud to work small, and we also recognize that it may not be sustainable long term, we will work to ensure that the quality will always be there. We’re not in this as investors, or see this as a way to “make it” and I think it’s what separates us from just about everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, we’re no Etsy operation, and we know there is quality out there, but we feel we’re just as good, with that little extra that makes us different.