Sunday, July 3, 2011

Brooks Brothers - Generations of Classic Styles: A Review

Brooks Brothers, a long-lived American clothing company that have preserved their traditional styles for generations, launched the largest Canadian store in Calgary August of last year. Established in the 1800's, Brooks Brothers is the oldest clothier company in the United States. Currently, there are over 200 Brooks Brothers stores around the world including North America, Europe and Asia. I was invited to review some of the most classic and innovative Brooks Brothers labels in the Calgary store location. 
On me: blazer: Classic Brooks Brothers blazer; Shirt: Valentino; Jeans: Classic Levi's

When one speaks about Brooks Brothers, first thing that comes to my mind is the irreplaceable "preppy look". One thing about Brooks Brothers that impresses me the most is their timeless custom tailored-European designs. 
These ready-to-wear suits are quite functional such that you can wear them for various occasions. The Golden Fleece (with a long ribbon bow around the sheep) symbol has always been the trademark of Brooks Brothers
Today, Brooks Brothers have expanded and branched their skillful craftsmanship into women's, children's (juniors), footwear and accessories labels. The classic Brooks Brothers "preppy" and semi-formal styles are also found in these branched lines. 
Brooks Brothers have also created many "firsts". Some of the examples are the first iron-less, wrinklefree shirts and button down shirts which are sold in both men's and women's styles. One of my favourites is the Social Primer website reversible bow ties. I got one of my own and have worn them in several events.
On me: bow tie: Brooks Brothers Social Primer reversible bow tie; Shirt: Vivienne Westwood; Cardigan: Full Circle; Headband: Designed in Australia
(Taken at New Years event in Hong Kong 2011)
Exclusive collaborations with other brands are seen with the Brooks Brothers, such as Brooks Brothers x Levi's, which in my opinion, has a great market in Asia, specifically in Hong Kong and Japan where Levi's jeans are quite popular. In addition, the quality of these jeans are exquisite because I was told that the denim fabric was from Japan. In terms of footwear, Brook Brothers x Peal & Co. produces some of the classic style leather shoes.
A beautiful raincoat from the Black Fleece label

The collaboration with designer Thom Browne to create the Black Fleece label is one of Brooks Brothers  ways to proof that they too, can show edginess in fashion. To accommodate the ever dynamic styles in fashion, the Black Fleece label takes a leap beyond Brooks Brothers traditional style, and invented something for fashionable younger audiences. The current store in Calgary is the 1 of 4 Brooks Brothers stores in the world that has a specific sections dedicated to the Black Fleece collection.
…and of course, other collections including St. Andrew golf's collection and Country Club collection are fairly well-known among Brooks Brothers fans.
Brooks Brothers have been in the fashion world for nearly two centuries. Astounding to say that throughout their history, they were able to maintain and focus on their vision in clothing merchandize. I found that many Calgarians have over-looked the Brook Brothers store in Calgary. Seriously, they have some great stuff.

Special thanks to Brooks Brothers for their invitation, Cathy Mitchell for her assistance in explaining Brooks Brothers products and Katrina Olson for her lovely photography.

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