Since he closed his Blue Agency a few years back, invested in a partnership with the Benson factory owner, and moved to Toronto, Michael Ryan is more excited than ever about selling the Benson brand in the U.S.
“Producing in a completely vertical operation (knitting, dyeing, weaving, washing, cutting, sewing and packing) allows us to offer sharp prices at great markup (2.5x) for the stores,” Ryan tells MR. “We’re in many top retailers in Canada and we’re now focusing on growth in the States. Ironically, we did well during the pandemic, gaining sales from other contemporary brands that weren’t able to ship. My partner Tahsin Eltemur, who owns two factories in Turkey, starting out producing sweaters in 1970 and now manufactures for many global brands. The factories have an annual production capacity of 15 million units. He and his talented daughter Ilayda design the Benson collections (men’s and women’s) and retailers are loving the young modern vibe.”
Suggested retails on the collection are as follows: $145-$345 for sweaters, $95-$225 for knits, $175-$325 for outerwear, $125-$198 for shirts, $85-$195 for pants, and $60-$100 for accessories. Says Ryan, “Our distribution in Canada is well-balanced: hip denim stores, better men’s stores, hotel/resort stores like the Ritz Carlton. We’re showing digitally with Project and we’ve been very happy with the results.”