BROOKS BROTHERS STORE OPENING X INTERVIEW
Menswear’s original clothier opened its doors last week to Sydney’s Martin Place. Tailor of choice for everyone from Teddy Roosevelt and JFK, to Andy Warhol and Don Draper, Brooks Brothers are renowned for their commitment to quality. Responsible for the original ready-to-wear suit, as well as the polo shirt, this 200-year-old company now also focuses on their made-to-measure offerings and designer collaborations. Headquartered on Madison Avenue in New York, Virtual Man sat down with Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Andy Lew to find out what inspired their Australian expansion.
According to Lew, the Brooks Brothers approach is that “collaborations are critical. We are 200-years-old because we’re good, it’s not the other way around,” he says. “So that takes innovation all the time; it takes pushing and challenging ourselves to see what we can do differently.” Speaking of the Thom Browne collaboration for Brooks Brothers’ Black Fleece line, Lew describes the collection as very avant-garde for them. “It’s a big departure for us and we have had great success with it,” he explains. Following on from this success, Brooks Brothers have also decided to sign on Zac Posen to design their womenswear for Spring 2016. While Lew explains that the company will initially experiment with these designer lines for the Australian market, there are hopes that we will see more of these pieces sold on our shores in the future.
Quality is something integral to the Brooks Brothers ethos. It is for this reason that they offer four different bodies in their made-to-measure suiting and also for this reason that they have chosen to work with the wool of a specific sheep found only in South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. “The hair that this sheep grows is more curly and also more oily,” Lew explains. “So when you stretch it out, it’s finer and has more buoyancy. We have chosen this type of wool for its quality. It is lighter in weight and has more resilience, it bounces back and it holds colour better.”
An iconic American company, Brooks Brothers is undoubtedly the suit of choice for many urban professionals the world over, emerging as a sort of corporate uniform. Lew believes that Australia is currently experiencing resurgence in personal style, which he counts as a large factor in the Brooks Brothers move into the Australian market. “I think we’re seeing a shift,” Lew says. “With more and more younger professionals who really want to get suited up, but also have their own look. It’s a new kind of uniform.” And if anyone knows about uniform dressing, it’s Brooks Brothers, who have been designing uniforms for the US Military since the Civil War.
Warm and inviting, the new Brooks Brothers flagship in Sydney’s Martin Place comes complete with a shirt and tie station, bespoke suiting workshop and a selection of casualwear from their Red Fleece line. With suits starting at $799, value is one of the company’s key principles. This is how they have been able to foster a generational customer base in America, which sometimes spans over four or five generations of men. Check it out now and you, too, could join the ranks.
Interview By Rosie Dalton
Thank you to Brooks Brothers for having us
Brooks Brothers is located in Martin Place Sydney