Saturday, February 13, 2010

Paris and Premiere Vision

Paris… (cont)

7am arrival, cold, RER to St. Germain, sleep, a little work, drinks with a friend that I have know for years.. reminisced about last trip, Bordeaux, sunrise, missed Eurostar.. Sleep, 6am wake up. meet Robert. Tells me about his dog…leapt off his Kings Road balcony .fifty feet.. speaks to vet.. dog’s fine… Head to tie manufacture, impressive operation , No decisions, designing samples… Walk by Old English – former Faconnable boss’s new venture – great store, great look. Next tie manufacture, too many ties for someone who refuses to wear them. Pricey, classic. Brasserie Lipp for dinner, a beer off Rue Jacob. Sleep.

Wake up, snowing, train to Premier Vision,... appointments begin.. all the Italians.. Monti, Testa, Albini, Tess.. great meeting in person. Explain Ledbury, overwhelmingly positive response…10,000 swatch cards, spring looks promising…

More fabrics, more buttons, PM departure from PV… back in Paris, beer at Café a Conti. Marshall joins, quickly discussing American politics...defend McDonalds (win), defend defense budget (loose). Dinner Brasserie Balzar, conac with someone from conac . Tell the 13 year-old balloon joke.. sleep.

Wake up, snowing again, regret telling the 13 year-old balloon joke. Meet Robert, RER back to PV, two stops away, train shuts down.. skip fair, back to Paris, see some stores, talk suits, marketing, manufacturing.. run into our manufactures (small town), we all have lunch, an education in international retail,, say goodbyes, quick walk, snow, hail, snow, quick beer, Robert meets his wife, I see a few potential wives. Back to hotel, local café, dogs under table, computers out.. dinner with friend, drinks at les editeurs, bad service, great conversation, sleep, wake, depart.

Monday, February 8, 2010



Another four inches of snow in Richmond on Saturday, but somehow the airport was functioning and managed to get on a plane and head back across the Atlantic. Arrived in Paris this morning and its good to be back on this side of the world for a couple of days.

In Paris for Premiere Vision, one of the year’s big textile trade shows. Looking forward to spending a little more time with our fabric suppliers and catching up with my mentor and a few friends over what I am sure will be multiple bottles wine. Also looking at tie and bathing suit fabrics for next spring.. should be interesting...

A number of people ask why we use European based fabric suppliers and manufactures, particularly with the Euro where it is and with so many cheaper options in Asia. And a couple of thoughts come to mind.

First, and foremost is quality. The Italian fabric mills are consistently putting out the best shirting fabrics in the world. When we started Ledbury, we wanted to blow people away with quality and to do that successfully, we needed to use the best. I think it’s something people notice immediately when they put on our shirts.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly/selfishly, it gives us chance to get back over here every few months…. There have to be some perks…

More to follow…

Monday, February 1, 2010

A question of cuff links

A question of cufflinks…

Over the weekend there was another foot of snow in Richmond. As is becoming the custom a few of us spent Saturday at the local bar, dressed for the apocalypse and watching the city come to a stop. Conversation mostly surrounded the question of whether or not Al Gore might be exaggerating, but at one point the conversation turned to French cuffs and cufflinks, and when they should be worn?

This was a question that had been posed to us by a recent customer. There was a little back forth, but a general consensus was eventually met and it occurred to me that it might something to share. Now a small caveat… this blog is written by a few guys who are more opinionated than fashionable, no please take all advice/suggestions with a grain of salt (or disregard completely).

But in regard to cufflinks, the party line was that they should only be worn with a suit. Preferably a tie is involved, but the key component is the suit. Best to avoid the cufflinks with a sweater/cufflinks with jeans look if at all possible.

So there you have it. Don’t get us wrong; we are big fans of French cuffs, just at the right times. Above, a pair of cufflinks made from 1887 Shilling coins. I picked them up at an antique stall off of Bond Street a couple of years back. I often wear a suit just to get them out of the drawer.