|Posted at 10:57 AM on January 11, 2010|
Coat has been sold to a fellow who lost everything in the San Diego fires.
Here is a bit about Sulka from my old Elegant Survival blog:
A. Sulka, Haberdasher to Royalty
|Posted on September 25, 2009 at 11:07 PM|
Sulka, Haberdasher to Royalty, Is to Close Its Last Shop in U.S.
By TERRY PRISTIN
Published: Friday, December 21, 2001 THE NEW YORK TIMES Sulka, the men’s haberdashery that once counted the Duke of Windsor, Winston Churchill, Henry Ford and Clark Gable among its customers, will close its Madison Avenue store, the last of its shops in the United States, real estate sources said yesterday. Founded more than a century ago and long renowned for its hand-tailored shirts and ties,Sulka changed hands several times and was once owned by Syms, the chain of discount clothing retailers. It is now owned by Vendôme Luxury Group, a division of Compagnie Financière Richemont, of Switzerland. Vendôme, which also owns upscale brands like Alfred Dunhill and Cartier, this year has shuttered Sulka stores in Paris and London and six in this country, including a boutique in the Waldorf-Astoria and a store on Park Avenue and 55th Street. The only store still open in the United States is the one at Madison Avenue and 69th Street, in the former Westbury Hotel, which was converted into condominium apartments two years ago. The space now occupied by Sulka is being leased to Gucci, which will combine it with space being vacated by two other stores under the Vendôme umbrella, James Purdey & Sons Ltd. and Montblanc. Sulka is expected to move out early next year, according to officials at Chelsfield, the company that developed the condominiums. Sulka and Richemont executives refused to comment yesterday. Retailing experts said that as younger shoppers came to prefer designer labels or Italian lines like Ermenegildo Zegna and Brioni, Sulka’s appeal became increasingly limited. ”That business was geared to a generation that’s passing on,” said Walter K. Levy, the managing director for retail trends and positioning at Kurt Salmon Associates, a consulting company. ”I don’t think the younger customer follows the tradition of a men’s house.” To be successful today, a men’s wear line needs to be associated with a famous personality, said Paul Wilmot, a fashion publicist. ”If you spend that kind of money,” he said, ”you want Calvin Klein’s name on it. You want to see Ralph Lauren. These are the design authorities.” Although Sulka was long the favorite haberdashery of the carriage trade, the company did not start out that way. When Amos Sulka, a traveling salesman and retailer from Johnstown, Pa., teamed up with Leon Wormser, a custom-shirt maker born in Alsace-Lorraine, to open the first A. Sulka & Company store on lower Broadway in 1895, their initial customers were husky firefighters and police officers who found it hard to find shirts that fit properly. But eventually the store attracted wealthy customers by using their butlers as walking advertisements for its merchandise. In 1904, Sulka opened a store in Paris. A few years later, the company began operating its own laundry to shrink the cotton used in the shirts and wash off the workers’ fingerprints. In 1917, the store began taking in customers’ laundry so that they would not have to risk damaging their shirts at ordinary laundries. That service, which lasted for several decades, enabled the company to weather the Great Depression. For many years, the company primarily used fabrics woven at its own mill in Lyon, France. Always a citadel of conservative dress, Sulka was also known in the early 1960’s for offbeat luxury items like his-and-her vicuña dressing gowns and leopard-skin gloves lined with beaver. Later, the company managed to survive another serious challenge — this time from a new direction in fashion emphasizing the flamboyant. The company broadened its line without radically altering its timeless image. A smoking jacket at Sulka may cost $1,500, the fashion writer Anne-Marie Schiro wrote in The New York Times in 1985. ”But then,” she added, ”nothing from Sulka ever goes out of style.”
Sulka Double-Breasted Raincoat at Elegant Survival Shop