by Karen Alberg Grossman

Most in the apparel industry will agree: few menswear companies in the past two decades have created as identifiable a brand as Robert Graham. These days, in addition to its fast-turning sportswear offerings, clothing and furnishings are finding a successful niche.

Jeff Simon (R)
Marc Middleberg (L) and Jeff Simon (R)

But rather than separate unrelated licenses for suits, shirts and ties, Robert Graham clothing and furnishings are now their own merchandising division under the direction of EVP Marc Middleberg and director of sales Jeff Simon. Into their second season, Simon reports reorders for fall product coming from fine specialty stores such as Rubensteins, Garmany, John Craig and Lanskys. The half-canvas tailored jackets are crafted in trim-fit (but comfortable) models, with natural shoulders, pick stitched linings, custom buttons, patch elbow and throat latch treatments and other unique details. Fabrics are lightweight (from Biella) and styling is mostly two-button side-vented with peak or notch lapels. Modern with a bit of an edge, sportcoats retail from $698-$898, suits from $898-$998, and tuxedos average $1,098.

MR favorites include tuxedo jackets (one with a subtle sparkle, another in a solid jacquard with a tapestry look), the ever-popular crossover jacket with removable suede insert (great in a perfect shade of indigo), and a grey herringbone sportcoat in a silk/cotton/wool blend.

For those retailers who are worried that brands selling direct pose a threat to independent stores, take note: there have been numerous reported incidents of customers sending photos from Robert Graham stores (or the website) to their local independent store, asking to buy the item there instead. “In one case,” reports Simon, “the store wasn’t even on our customer list but we agreed to ship them a single unit so they could make the sale.”

And by such small favors do partnerships begin…KAG