“A man who dresses well makes a defining statement. The style and quality of a jacket or suit, the artistry of a tie, the appreciation for subtle details, are nothing less than a personal credo.” – Robert Talbott
When you put on an article of clothing bearing the name Robert Talbott, you can almost hear the sound of waves crashing off the Monterey coast as if you have a large seashell to your ear. The relationship between Robert Talbott and Beecroft & Bull is one that dates back over half a century. A bond was forged early in their histories as they shared a commitment to timeless craftsmanship and traditional style. This treasured American brand has earned generations of fans.
The story of Robert Talbott must be told through the microphone of spirited adventurism. Robert, a successful executive in New York and Connecticut, and his wife Audrey, who was already hand sewing bow ties to give as Christmas gifts, fled the comfortable confines of the east to chase their dream on the California coast. A deep rooted ambition had begun to blossom during Robert’s time at Harvard Business School in the 1930’s. He wanted to create and manufacture something that was truly unique and special. Together, Robert and Audrey envisioned a company which would craft stunning neckwear and shirtings for gentlemen with discerning taste.
As any chef will tell you, to prepare a delicious dish, you must first source quality ingredients. In 1955, Robert and Audrey traveled to Europe and Asia in search of the most famous weaving mills. Extensive research and procurement of the world’s finest silks would quickly elevate the Talbotts to one of the premier neckwear designers in America by the 1960’s. It is interesting to note that during these trips they became fascinated with the vineyards of France and Italy. This instilled in their son Robb an appreciation of fine wines, culminating years later with the Robert Talbott Vineyards. True to their legacy of fine craftsmanship, the Talbott label grew to be revered in the international wine community.
Entrepreneurs Moss & Frances Beecroft opened their first shop in Newport News in 1958, the same year Robert Talbott opened their first location in Carmel, CA. It wasn’t long before a Talbott representative came knocking at their door to introduce them to a new player on the necktie scene. An order was immediately placed, and, as they say, the rest is history. “Our relationship with Talbott goes far beyond the standard in the industry”, says Craig Beecroft. “My brother Bryan and I have both been fortunate enough to be invited to their Monterey headquarters to join round table discussions with other retailers. The Talbotts got a better feel for the market, and we were treated to a spectacular ‘work vacation’ at the same time.” And then there was meeting matriarch Audrey Talbott! “Luckily, we were able to spend time with Mrs. Talbott. Even in her 80’s, she was at the factory every day. She was beautiful with piercing eyes and a wide smile…a warm heart, but you didn’t dare mess with her! Audrey was definitely in charge…reminded us of our own mother.”
The timeless spirit of Robert Talbott translates beautifully into 21st century fashion. By listening carefully to their clients and staying in tune with an ever changing market, they have remained relevant while never abandoning their roots. Today they are a complete “lifestyle” brand offering luxurious outwear, sweaters and sport coats to compliment their legendary shirts and ties. The hallmark of a well-designed and inspired piece of clothing is one that sparks excitement on Day One, or years later when it may be rediscovered in the back of the closet. It is safe to say that items with a Robert Talbott label rarely make it to the donation bin.