A good store is the kind of place that instantly places you in an environment totally different from the world outside. It doesn't necessarily peddle a lifestyle, but it's evident that there's a strong vision behind the buy. It's the kind of welcoming place that makes you want to drop some cash there, and if the products are as compelling as the interior, that's definitely not a problem. The just-opened Carson Street Clothiers is the perfect example of great merchandise sold in an awesome space. And it's already making waves: Monocle just named it one of the 25 Fresh Retailers in The World. Founders Brian Trunzo and Matt Breen are street style regulars and well-schooled in the world of menswear. After getting a chance to peruse the shop's wares—ranging from clothing by Michael Bastian, Patrik Ervell and Ovadia & Sons, to vintage watches curated by Ben Clymer of Hodinkee and grooming products from Blind Barber—we sat down with Trunzo and Breen to talk about the new kid on SoHo's block.
It's kind of crazy how it all came together. We only had about four months to build out the space, so we really built the plane as we flew it. We knew we wanted to work within a "sophisticated industrial" sense that afforded our customers a spacious yet plentiful environment, so some details were a given—the barnyard wood, warm leathers, antiques and exposed brick. Then there's the whole legal element; as ex-lawyers, we definitely wanted an overarching, but subtle, legal motif that ties the shop together, and that's where the reclaimed courthouse railing comes into play.
We see him as a 20- to 40-something urban professional of discerning taste—be it an infatuation with exotic cars or rare timepieces—who has struggled to export such enthusiasm to his wardrobe. While there is definitely a more mature, tailored aesthetic in the clothes we carry, we offer a wide array of sportswear that complements it all. From brands that are deemed progressive "fashion" brands, such as Patrik Ervell and Melinda Gloss, to swim- and lounge-wear (think Orlebar Brown and Wings + Horns), we really believe that just about any man can find something he adores in here.
Our made-to-measure program is broken into two parts. The first, Southwick for Carson Street Clothiers, starts at $1,249. Suits are produced from set patterns and then adjusted to a customer's particular measurements and specifications. Each suit is half-canvassed and takes approximately 10-14 days to manufacture. The second, Alfonso Felipe for Carson Street Clothiers, starts at $1,999. Suits are cut from custom-drafted patterns based off of a customer's precise measurements and most details are expertly finished by hand. Each suit is fully-canvassed and takes approximately six to eight weeks to manufacture. If a customer is interested, he can stop by the shop, call or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a consultation.
The current CSC label includes shirts, trousers, ties, pocket squares and blazers. Shirts are cut for a slim, but athletic, build and are available in an array of fabrics and patterns. We have two fits of trousers. The Atticus fit is a classic straight leg pant; cut on the slim side, with a mid-rise. The Clayton fit is a modern tapered pant; it has a lower rise than the Atticus and is tapered about a quarter of an inch more at the leg opening. Both are available in linens and tropical wools for spring/summer. The pattern for our McCoy chino was cut somewhere in the middle of the two trousers, so just about anybody who is looking for a slim chino can get into it. Available in English Drill cottons and Khyber Cloths, the McCoy will be your seasonal workhorse.
Until e-commerce is up and running, The Block is the virtual DNA of CSC. It's what interests us. It's what we are talking about on a day-to-day basis in the shop. It's a preview of product and a guide for how to get the most out of what CSC has to offer. And most importantly, it's our direct voice to our customers. As for e-commerce, we are striving to get it launched for this season, spring/summer '13. There are so many administrative and operational variables on launching an e-shop, though, so we cannot be too certain as to the date it will launch. But hopefully soon!