Joseph Abboud
by Karen Alberg Grossman

Since I missed Joseph Abboud’s fall ‘16 fashion show (which most agree was a highlight of New York Fashion Week: Men’s), I was delighted to review the collection and catch up with the award-winning designer at the Tailored Brands, Inc. showroom this morning.

Generally thrilled with the response to his fashion show (which received more than 400 million media impressions!), Abboud confided that he was just a bit disappointed that the made-in-America group presentation at Fashion Week did not generate more press from the U.S. media (vs the European media, who loved it!) “What we’re capable of creating here in the States deserves recognition,” Abboud declared, pointing out the attention to detail on so many of his fall designs and noting that his New Bedford, MA facility is now the largest producer of tailored clothing in the country. (At more than 300,000 suits annually, the facility is now operating at full capacity.)

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Among my favorite items from the collection: the sweater knit sportcoats, the printed velvets, the unconventional formalwear, the magnificent shearlings (and outerwear in general), the scarfs and special neckwear (made in NYC in conjunction with JS Blank) and the Savile Row-inspired suiting in a new “traced” silhouette with slightly stronger shoulders, slightly wider lapels and definite military/hunting influences (all in gorgeous Italian fabrics, of course!) But as always, it is Abboud’s trademark color sensibility (focused on neutrals but never boring) combined with his unique talent for mixing patterns and textures that makes his designs so special.

Interesting fact: more than 35 percent of the business in his NYC Joseph Abboud flagship is custom clothing. More volume-priced custom ($800 to $1200 retails) is also selling well in Men’s Wearhouse stores. Apparently, a new generation of young men is beginning to appreciate a perfect fit, good news on many levels. “We produced 1100 units of custom clothing in just the month of February,” reports Abboud, who will be honored as Person of the Year at the AAFA American Image Awards on May 24th.