Oxxford: A Tradition of Tradition

Bob Denton, Tony Maddox of Norton Ditto and Chris Brueckner

Bob Denton, Tony Maddox of Norton Ditto and Chris Brueckner

I had the good fortune to meet with Chris Brueckner and Bob Denton of Oxxford Clothes during market week and was reassured to learn that some things never change. For believe it or not, even in this price-driven era of cost-cutting and shortcuts, Oxxford still crafts their completely handmade, made-in-America clothing in much the same way they’ve been doing it for almost 100 years! “Yes we’ve updated the models but we’ve taken nothing out of the process, still cutting one suit at a time (vs. layering fabrics three or four high as is the norm…),” says Denton. He also points out the extensive hand stitching and pattern matching: perfectly matched plaids, even on inside seams and welts. “No one else does this,” he says with pride. “Not even the most expensive Italian makers…”

Oxxford swatches

Custom is still 55 to 75 percent of the business, according to store; custom suits open at $4,000 and average about $5,500. “At our price level, guys want what they want,” says Brueckner, explaining why off the rack is a smaller portion of the business and adding that young guys are a growing demographic, often choosing the bolder patterns. Recently, Oxxford also began offering a “customized” program with three-week turn so that customers can select the fabric and details they want, receiving the finished handmade garment in three weeks. (Unlike true custom, however, there are no fittings or individualized patterns with this option.)

Oxxford Jackets

Other Oxxford news: they’re now doing handmade ties (made in North Carolina, $165 retail, hand slipstitched with Oxxford-logo tipping) and custom shirts (made in New Jersey, $295-$500).

To witness exceptional artisanship in the making, arrange to visit Oxxford’s Chicago workship with master tailor Rocco Giovannangelo overseeing 95 tailors and artisans: you have to see it to believe it! (B.Denton@oxxfordclothes.com)

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