With so much focus on technology these days, how refreshing to receive a beautiful print catalog in the mail, promoting the fall 2021 Crittenden Collection of patterned sportcoats, vests, and trousers. The 18-page catalog includes 38 swatches of exclusive fabrics (shetlands, flannels, lambswool, camelhair, mid and lightweight worsteds) from Great Britain and Italy, the kind of carefully colored classics that define elegance and style. According to entrepreneur and former Oxxford president Critt Rawlings, his wholesale customers use these brochures to generate advanced sales with their top customers.
Back story: Rawlings notes that he’s been “doing what he loves for 60 odd years” and is “extremely committed to fighting the dress down movement.” As he tells it, 15 years ago he moved back to Kentucky’s beautiful thoroughbred country and, observing how gentlemen dress for the races, opened a shop in Midway, KY (“upscale shops and restaurants attract quality customers”) specializing in sportcoats. In only 330 square feet and during a pandemic, he sold 189 Crittenden sportcoats at regular price, matching last year’s seasonal volume. “Our jackets are fun and they fit everyone. We know the clothing business can thrive if you have the right product at the right price.” Suggested retails on Crittenden sportcoats average $695 vs. double or triple that for Italian-made; all Crittenden product is meticulously crafted in Portugal. Perhaps the tagline says it best: Wear Something Worth It!
In addition to his well-trained eye for color, pattern, and proportion, Rawlings is very much a salesman. “I believe small local retailing is the future: my customers buy from me because once they’re in the store, they can’t escape. I hang 200 sportcoats front and center and greet all customers by asking if I can show them a sportcoat. Often, they’ll say no, they don’t dress up anymore to which I say, ‘I can see that!’ I talk them into just trying it on and then say, ‘I bet you’re going to Heirloom for dinner tonight; look how beautiful your wife looks…’ And most times they end up saying, ‘Okay, I’ll take the damn sportcoat!’”
For more info: CrittendenClothes@yahoo.com or 859-583-4408.