by Karen Alberg Grossman
Arnold Silverstone
Arnold Silverstone with Samuelsohn’s top ten fashion picks, all of which are in-stock items

There are few companies in the men’s clothing industry in recent years with a growth record close to Samuelsohn. Since Arnold Silverstone took over the design direction in 2010 for a launch in 2011, Samuelsohn’s business has more than doubled on the same customer base. Adding in acquisitions (Hickey Freeman, Culturata, and a few in the works), the parent company, Luxury Men’s Apparel Group (LMAG), is five times the size it was just five years ago.

“Our secret is an unwavering focus on luxury and performance. Performance clothing existed before us (e.g. Hugo Boss stretch fabrics) but not in a full-canvas handmade garment and certainly not at our prices.”

Among the 15 improvements Samuelsohn has made to its handmade garments: hand-turned collars, specially treated Bemberg linings that are moisture-wicking and breathable, and a stretchable waistband in the pant that holds the shirt in place. “Compared to many big-name Italian makers, our suits are 20-30 percent more labor-intensive for 20-30 percent less cost,” says Silverstone. “Even with a slight (10%) price increase for spring ’17, our off-the-rack retails average $1300-$1400.”

In addition to upgrading the garment, the logo, labels, and hangtags have changed from ivory to silver, a reflection of the tech world. (Even the MTM boxes are metal rather than wood.) And in a nod to nostalgia, a small red heart is once again sewn into the interior of every garment (and on the reverse side of the lapel on suit coats and sport jackets), recalling the passion and skills of the artisans who craft the product. “We sew heart into every garment” was a philosophy from the original Samuelsohn family dating back to 1923, and embraced by former LMAG partner Lawrence Pollack, who died unexpectedly this past year. Lawrence was also the one who, with CEO Stephen Granovsky, negotiated the lease on their beautiful new light-filled office space on West 24th Street.

Other innovations at Samuelsohn: a new dress shirt program that has been described by top retailers as “game-changing,” a fabulous collection of made-in-Italy sportswear, and a new in-stock clothing program featuring fashion items rather than basics. Add to this a new ad campaign in conjunction with the LA Galaxy soccer team, a new website, and new visualization technology soon to hit selling floors that uses avatars to involve customers in the MTM design process.

Definitely at the forefront of change in menswear, Samuelsohn has become the brand to watch.


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