Monday, August 20, 2018

Brooks Brothers 200th Anniversary: Review By Polly Guerin

Two centuries of remarkable staying power marks BROOKS BROTHERS, 200 YEARS OF AMERICAN STYLE, in a special exhibition tracing the iconic retailer's accomplishments, cultural significance and global influence.            Acclaimed as the oldest men's clothing store in the United States, Brooks Brothers flagship store was opened in 1915 at 345 Madison Avenue at 44th Street, where it remains today. 
        The retrospective exhibition, however, is held at Grand Central Terminal - Vanderbilt Hall, where a sampling of of men's and women's fashion, artifacts and ephemera trace---Brooks Brothers inventions and innovations---such as the ready-made suit and other ready-to-wear tailored clothing in the 19th century. Some visitors will wax nostalgic over the original Polo (r) Button-down oxford, the reverse-stripe rep tie, the polo coat and sporting apparel later adapted as "de rigueur" daily wear.    
Brooks Brothers Exhibit at Vanderbilt Hall
"Our anniversary marks a significant and important milestone not only for Brooks Brothers but also for the retail industry," said Claudio del Vecchio, chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers. "This is a moment to celebrate 200 years steeped in both tradition and innovation."

200 HUNDRED YEARS: Since opening its doors in downtown in Old New York, Brooks Brothers has held a steady pace of growth from a small family haberdasher to a global brand that has shaped and defined American style.
      On April 7, 1818, at the age of 45, Henry Sands Brooks opened a store on the northeast corner of Catherine and Cherry Streets in lower Manhattan. An astute businessman, he proclaimed that his guiding principle was, "To make and deal in merchandise of the finest quality, to sell at a fair profit, and to deal with people who seek and appreciate such merchandise."
        In 1833, his four sons, Elisha Daniel, Edward, and John, inherited the family business and in 1850 renamed the company, "Brooks Brothers.  Throughout the years, maintaining its reputation as a pinnacle of quality and taste, Brooks Brothers has been associated with New York's historical events. For instance, in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln wore a custom-made Brooks Brothers coat to his second inauguration. He was also wearing it when he was assassinated a month later.  In addition to outfitting Abraham Lincoln, Brooks Brothers outfitted 40 of the 45 American Presidents in the late 19th century and tailored many distinctive uniforms for elite regiments of    
Archival Exhibit Abraham Lincoln
the New York National Guard. 
        The haberdasher's legendary association
with political figures, celebrities, corporate moguls, and their devoted followers, men of style, runs deep into their archival history. In 1957 Brooks Brothers introduced Argyle socks to America and in 1961 they designed the #2 suit--a favorite of longtime customer
President John F. Kennedy. 
       Entering the global market in 2008 Brooks Brothers was one of the first international brands to expand in Japan.
THE GOLDEN FLEECE SYMBOL: The Golden Fleece symbol was adopted as the company's trademark in 1850 and has signified heritage, quality and legendary service ever since. The logo, a sheep suspended from a ribbon, has served as a symbol of fine wool since the fifteen century, when Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy---an area renowned for its woolen fabric---founded the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1430. Reflecting its association to the symbol of fine woolens, the Knights of the Golden Fleece were among the best dressed and most colorful in all of chivalric Europe. When the four Books brothers painted this lamb over their door, they used the icon to symbolize the European tradition on which the company based its early identity. As standard bearers of tradition the Golden Fleece signifies that behind Brooks Brothers' doors, customers find quality, heritage and excellence.
       Ta Ta Darlings!!! It's nice to know that Brooks Brothers is a as modern as modern gets and even has a women's fashion division. Fan mail welcome, email Visit
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