It began in 1923 when grasp tailor Lesser Samuelsohn migrated from New York to Canada, the place he put down roots and commenced manufacturing high-quality males’s fits.
Quick ahead to at this time, and the corporate Samuelsohn established stays headquartered in Montreal and produces finely crafted menswear that’s carried by greater than 200 retailers in North America. His household continued to be concerned within the enterprise till 2010, when his grandsons bought it to Grano Retail Investments, an funding and advisory firm headed by Stephen Granovsky, who turned chief government officer.
Granovsky, who additionally helms the Luxurious Males’s Attire Group, nonetheless operates a manufacturing facility in Montreal, the place it makes hand-tailored full canvas Samuelsohn fits from materials sourced from the best European mills. As a nod to its heritage, the tailors nonetheless sew a crimson coronary heart beneath the collar of each jacket, referencing the corporate’s longtime tagline: “We Sew a Little Coronary heart into Each Go well with.”
In recent times because the world turned extra informal, Samuelsohn expanded past its core of conventional fits to supply more-casual choices equivalent to swimsuit separates and luxurious sportswear together with shirts and sweaters. And the manufacturing facility, which employs 500 folks in Montreal, produces for different manufacturers as properly, together with Paul Stuart.
The scenario acquired a little bit sticky earlier this 12 months when Luxurious Males’s Attire Group misplaced the longtime license to supply Hickey Freeman to Peerless Clothes. To exchange the enterprise, Granovsky launched Heritage Gold, a tailor-made clothes assortment designed by Aliya Morehead, inventive director and senior vice chairman of design and merchandising, which can be being produced within the Samuelsohn manufacturing facility in Montreal.
That line, in addition to the Samuelsohn assortment, can be on show on the Chicago Collective this week, and to have a good time the centennial, Granovsky will host an occasion Monday night time at Gibsons Italia Rooftop Bar. There may even be a celebration in Montreal in September for the corporate’s workers.
“Lower than 5 p.c of firms make it to their centennial, so it is a super accomplishment,” Granovsky stated. “A few of our retail clients have reached 100, but it surely’s not straightforward for high-end producers. So that is extremely particular.”
As a part of the celebration, Samuelsohn has created a particular assortment referred to as Iconics and has tapped actor Chris Noth to be the face of the marketing campaign. Noth, who’s widely known as Mr. Large in “Intercourse and the Metropolis,” is maybe a controversial selection since he was accused of sexual assault by 4 ladies in 2021, resulting in his dismissal from his function on “The Equalizer.” He has denied the claims, nonetheless, and was not criminally charged. “The accusations towards me made by people I met years, even many years, in the past are categorically false,” he advised CNN on the time.
Granovsky stated that whereas he was conscious of the allegations, he believes Noth was the fitting option to entrance the Iconics marketing campaign. The actor donated his charge for showing within the marketing campaign and along with Samuelsohn, dedicated to donate as much as $100,000 to Psychological Well being America and the Canadian Psychological Well being Affiliation.
“We thought lengthy and exhausting about it,” Granovsky stated, however the truth that Noth is so dedicated to psychological well being causes sealed the deal. “This isn’t a celebrity-driven model however we had the chance to pair with a celeb who needed to commit his charge to psychological well being, which is particular. And he seems higher in a swimsuit than anybody I do know.”
However is Granovsky involved that utilizing Noth could alienate some shoppers? “Because the CEO of a big attire firm, I fear about every part,” he stated with amusing, “however I can’t let that sway me. He’s supporting psychological well being and he reveals off the product very properly.”
He continued: “We’re at all times been a product-first firm however we needed to construct a marketing campaign as a coming-out celebration for Samuelsohn. We’ve at all times been a little bit of an unknown gem. We don’t compete with the Italians or promote to the majors; we give attention to menswear shops the place our publicity is much less, however the clients are extraordinarily loyal. We needed to create a marketing campaign to alter that dynamic so we approached Chris and took on the difficulty of psychological well being.”
“It’s an honor to accomplice with an organization that has been in existence and supporting males for 100 years,” Noth stated concerning the partnership. “On common, over 6 million males undergo from despair per 12 months in america, and thru this collaboration with Samuelsohn, we goal to boost consciousness, drive optimistic change and supply assist.”
Iconics, which was designed by Morehead, will launch this month on the Samuelsohn e-commerce website and in choose shops. It consists of 10 items impressed by designs from the Nineteen Twenties which were elevated and modernized to satisfy the wants of at this time’s client via modern design and materials.
“We’re merging the Roaring ’20s with the ideas of contemporary dressing,” Granovsky stated.
A bigger Iconics assortment can be provided as a part of Samuelsohn’s “By Design” made-to-measure line throughout choose trunk reveals in September. General, made-to-measure represents greater than one-third of the corporate’s gross sales so it continues to be a essential a part of the enterprise.
It’s already gaining traction. Harry Rosen, Samuelsohn’s largest buyer, has bought objects from the Iconics assortment, Granovsky stated, and a number of other different unbiased shops have signed on for trunk reveals.
The road facilities round tailor-made clothes, starting from fits and sport coats to outerwear. Key items embrace an unconstructed blouson chore jacket in a Prince of Wales black-and-white test; a flannel swimsuit created from Zegna’s recycled Loop wool, and a double-twisted wool journey blazer that Morehead described as a “refined” choice for day-to-night dressing. Different items embrace a heritage jacket with an exaggerated peak lapel in a houndstooth; a basic chalk-stripe swimsuit up to date with daring stripes; a double-pleated pant with aspect tabs; flannel trousers in a variety of colours; a double-face half-lined wool camel overcoat, and a high-performance swimsuit in stretch wool.
Costs are in Samuelsohn’s “candy spot,” averaging $1,500 to $2,000 for off-the-rack, and better for made-to-measure.
To advertise the road, Samuelsohn simply relaunched its e-commerce website and also will promote the road on its social media channels.
Because it seems again on the final 100 years and towards the long run, Granovsky stated that regardless of the latest challenges of making high-end tailor-made clothes in an off-the-cuff world, enterprise is nice. “Our gross sales in 2022 had been the strongest in 25 years,” he stated.
Whereas the lack of the Hickey license was undoubtedly a blow, the Heritage Gold assortment was acquired warmly by retailers and consequently, 80 p.c of gross sales had been retained, he stated. Granovsky additionally managed to switch his dedication to the Hickey Freeman manufacturing facility in Rochester, New York, to Tom James. Granovsky had bought the manufacturing facility from Doug Williams, the one-time chief of Hickey, in 2013, and bought it to an actual property developer final 12 months. He signed a long-term lease with the brand new homeowners to retain 77,000 sq. toes for the Hickey Freeman Tailor-made Clothes facility, which was renamed Rochester Tailor-made Clothes. The take care of Tom James was accomplished on the finish of final month.
The shift to give attention to Heritage Gold additionally permits Samuelsohn to higher management its future relatively than being managed by the calls for of a licensee. However discovering workers for its manufacturing facility continues to be a problem.
“Final 12 months, we had been solely capable of fill 85 p.c of the demand,” he stated, including that “recruiting is tough” for manufacturing facility employees, however he was capable of decide up some employees from one other plant that was closing and practice them within the manufacture of tailor-made clothes.
In order he seems towards the subsequent century, Granovsky is upbeat and is raring to embrace Samuelsohn’s previous in addition to its future. “At Samuelsohn, we imagine that clothes generally is a highly effective technique of self-expression. And when a person seems nice in a swimsuit, he feels nice too,” he stated.
Within the subsequent 100 years, he envisions a future the place Samuelsohn is “bought worldwide wherever fantastic tailor-made clothes — possibly even ladies’s — is bought via each channel possible however all of it produced in Montreal by the grandchildren of our nice artisans.”