Modern Combination: Carson Street Clothiers

by Harry Sheff

Carson Street Clothiers brings modern style to Crosby Street.

Corporate lawyers Brian Trunzo and Matt Breen were over their day jobs, so they began blogging about menswear in their spare time. After creating contacts through their blogs (and a Rolodex of corporate lawyers they thought they could sell suits to), they opened Carson Street Clothiers in Manhattan. Here, Trunzo talks about modern dressing and how they found a following by starring in their own digital campaigns.


How do you describe the modern look?
It’s a combination of sportswear and tailoring, contemporary and heritage, designer and emerging—it’s whatever the wearer wants it to be. He’s buying clean, sophisticated pieces that mesh well with his wardrobe, starting with the basics (navy blazer, ecru sneakers, raw denim, longwing derbies and a white oxford), and elevating to the more adventurous pieces (tailored sweatpants, patterned shirts, more interesting fabrics on outerwear). We’re doing well with brands like Michael Bastian, Patrik Ervell, Ovadia & Sons, Barena and our own label.

How many suit styles should every guy have in his closet?
You really only need your navy and mid-gray to get started. Preferably something in a three-season weight, like a hopsack or fresco wool. From there, it’s up to the individual. I find that guys love darker blues that are infinitely more exciting than navy (French navy, indigo, or even a heavier, more-navy-like cobalt). And the softer the shoulder, the better; constructed jackets are a bit sobering to look at and restrictive to wear.

How are you reaching this consumer?
Social media and word of mouth have been huge drivers. We find that our customers are most engaged and interested when we, or others, are talking about ourselves. To foster this, we are always the subjects of our social media campaigns. Part time models! Can you believe that?! All kidding aside, this extends to word of mouth as well: for instance when a customer speaks highly of the associates working or brands hanging on the racks at Carson Street it encourages his or her friends to seek out a particular person or style in the shop.