By Harry Sheff and William Buckley
“There’s something about a guy in a nice suit,” says Lauren Giambalvo, founder and designer of Jack Henry New York. “What started as a small suiting line has expanded to ready to wear and bespoke for men and women, as well as a unisex line of tees and sweats, and this is the first season I’m doing sweaters and leather. I’m super stoked about both, and, as always, it is all made right here in New York!”
She officially started her brand in 2007 but the first collection didn’t debut until last year. Her bespoke suiting starts at $1,650; tees and sweatshirts at $195. Her styles can be drapey and androgynous, particularly in her T-shirt designs, but some, like her suiting and outerwear, are very tailored. “I’ve been using Liberty Art Fabrics for a few seasons, and those styles tend to be favorites,” she says.
Giambalvo is energetic and determined. “When I was first deciding whether or not to do this, a lot of people told me to wait, and I couldn’t,” she says. After school, she worked what she calls “super mass-market freelance jobs,” and she was bored making someone else’s designs. Besides, she says, “It’s never been a secret that I don’t deal well with being told what to do.”
Her wish? “More people to take chances on small designers! Also, if fast fashion could go away, that would be great; when you’re trying to work the quality-not-quantity angle, these chain stores that knock off the stuff you see on the runway before it even hits the sales floor can be kind of a bummer.”