Hardwick Clothes Launches New Collection, Makes Several Key Hires

by Harry Sheff

Cleveland, Tenn.-based tailored clothing maker Hardwick Clothes, which was acquired for $1.9 million out of bankruptcy last June, is launching its first new major collection since its founding 135 years ago. It’s also hired a new chief creative officer, a director of quality and production, a director of product and merchandising, several new sellers a brand & digital strategist.


New CEO Bruce Bellusci, who came from Hart Schaffner & Marx in July, announced in January that Jeffery Diduch was hired as chief creative officer. Diduch has an extensive design background that includes positions at Samuelsohn, Utex, S. Cohen, Brentwood Clothing and Peter Millar. Most recently he was VP of technical design at Hart Schaffner & Marx.

The new collection is built around a three-quarter-canvas make in two fits aimed at younger (26- to 35-year-old) men. All Hardwick’s clothing is made in America at its Tennessee factory. Separates will retail for $495 to $695 and sport coats from $395 to $495.

It’s a departure from Hardwick’s traditional in-stock way of selling clothing. The classic opening price Hardwick clothing will not go away, but it will be rebranded as H by Hardwick with a burgundy label. The new collection, which will now represent the core of the line, will bear the Hardwick name on a cream-colored label.

Hardwick hangers cream label

“We have some soft coats in there and we also have the H-Tech part of the line, which is performance-driven fabrics that have stretch and exclusive copper pocketing material that blocks RFID signals,” explained Jacob Cremer, who was recently named director of brand & digital strategy.

Most of it will be 98% wool with 2% Lycra for stretch, but there will be 100% wool, wool/cashmere and other blends. “It’s better piece goods, sourced from Italy, for the most part,” added Cremer. “And we’re very price competitive. We’re based in the South, and we don’t have the same cost of labor as Northern shops do.”

Cremer, a Hart Schaffner & Marx alum, has also worked for Robert Graham and retailer Mark Shale. He will develop the brand with a particular focus on the web and serve the Northeast as a specialty store account executive.

CEO Bellusci has also hired two former Hartmarx sellers: John DiGiovanni has come on as the Midwestern account executive and Ed Ringley is the new Southern account executive. They join Hardwick’s existing sales team, which includes veterans Dave Hallman and Jim Park.

Sabah Algiburi has been named director of quality and production and John Parenti is the new director of product and merchandising.