Beecroft & Bull

the journal

Rodd & Gunn
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The Rodd & Gunn heritage dates back to 1946, when the brand’s first trademark logo – the English Pointer – was used on a boutique line of New Zealand made shirts. The modern brand was established in 1987 when the first standalone store opened on Auckland’s Queen Street. 

Rodd & Gunn is synonymous with premium quality and authentic design, taking its inspiration from New Zealand’s picturesque landscape. Every Rodd & Gunn seasonal collection is based on the desire to create garments that are imbued with authenticity and contemporary style, but which are designed to stand the test of time.  The changing rhythm of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter offer a fresh opportunity to celebrate casual living. New-generation fabrics combined with timeless manufacturing techniques produce garments that are as functional as they are fashionable.

 

To create clothes that draw the best from nature, Rodd & Gunn is committed to sourcing the finest yarns, fabrics and leathers from around the world. The result is a range made from premium linens, denims, cottons, wools and leathers that are soft, practical, superbly textured and durable.  Rodd & Gunn has long standing relationships with some of the most famous textile mills in Europe, where traditional methods are used to produce superior fabrics that are exclusive to Rodd & Gunn.

 

Today Rodd & Gunn remains famous for tailored shirts, high quality knitwear, pants and jeans (that really fit!), polo shirts, Italian leather shoes, leather luggage and other stylish accessories.  Every collection is built around pieces that can be effortlessly styled and designs that aspire to transport you to a place that is both relaxing and authentic.

 

In the harsh, but beautiful, coastline of southern New Zealand, inspiration is found for this season’s collection. While gnarled trees bend in humble submission to the prevailing winds, their designs confront winter head on by melding rugged classics with urban design.  Premium wools, protective coatings, textured knits and warming details, such as internal quilting, are thoughtfully integrated to deliver both form and function.  While luxuriously soft fabrics and the finest woolens take pride of place in the range, new technology is also utilized to create ones with weather and wind resistant coatings. 

 

The season of giving is upon us.  For the thrill seeker or adventurer on your “nice” list, we suggest a little flavor from the New Zealand backcountry.  Please click below for Keg Breedlove’s gonzo tour of New Zealand last year!  Happy Holidays.

 

Keg Goes Gonzo Down Under

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Emily Powell
Samuelsohn

“In our 58 year history, I can count on one hand the number of brands that have had a significant impact in our business…Samuelsohn is clearly one of them.”  -Craig Beecroft.

 

A goal to be the best demands a commitment to the highest level of detail and craftsmanship.  That was the mission in 1923, when Master Tailor Lesser Samuelsohn set out on his journey to become one of the finest suit makers in North America.
 


Emigrating with his family from Lodz, Poland to Rochester, New York in the late 1800’s, the young Samuelsohn immediately landed in the epicenter of the men’s clothing trade in the United States.  Samuelsohn became a student of design and tailoring setting his sights on creating his own brand of fine men’s clothing.   His mission was singular and focused: to produce the finest garments possible. 

 

Lesser Samuelsohn - ever the perfectionist - held high standards for the suits he would wear personally.  Legend has it that as he began his clothing company, he did not deem Samuelsohn suits worthy enough for his own use and instead had his own pieces custom tailored in Toronto.  He would not make a long-standing habit of this obsessive trait; before long, he and his team proudly wore their own brand.

 

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Building upon the pursuit of expert craftsmanship and tailoring, the next generation of the Samuelsohn family entered the business.  Lesser’s son-in-law Cooney Samuelsohn quickly developed a similar reputation for attention to quality and detail.  It was through Cooney’s dedication that the Samuelsohn brand grew throughout Canada.  Reflecting on these growth years, Cooney stated that all Samuelsohn tailors truly “sewed a little heart into every suit.”

 

“We first experimented with Samuelsohn in the late ’80’s after they relaxed their exclusive US partnership with retail great, Paul Stuart,” explains Craig Beecroft.  “It was a nice product, but we were ‘brand heavy’ at the time and Samuelsohn struggled to gain any footing.   A few years later, a couple of our historically key brands stumbled a bit.  We felt that in order to maintain our level of customer service, we needed shake to things up.  We decided to give them another try and have never looked back.”   What iced Samuelsohn for the Beecroft family was their ability to deliver quality and value, season after season.  They offered fabrics from the finest mills in the world and the execution of their product was right on the mark.   “The backbone of our business is ‘trust’…it has to be earned and then maintained.  It starts with the brands we choose to represent and carries through to the clients we are grateful to serve.  Samuelsohn has never let us down.”  

 

Stephen Granovsky, current owner of the company and of Luxury Men’s Apparel Group, is truly taking the brand to the next level while not losing sight of the values on which it was originally founded.  Samuelsohn remains true to the craft of the tailored suit.  Virtually all Samuelsohn suits are constructed the old-fashioned way, relying on a costly and difficult process called “hymo-canvas construction”.  Even though many other suit makers have abandoned this practice in favor of the much cheaper “fusing” method, Samuelsohn depends on this tradition of tailoring and craftsmanship because it simply makes for a better fitting and longer lasting garment - the hallmarks of real value.

 

Samuelsohn has emerged from yet another volatile time in the international retail landscape, not only intact, but as one of its leaders.  Through constant innovation and improvement in all facets of their business, be it their customer care and in stock services, quality control, or the further development of their Made-to-Measure program, Samuelsohn is at the top of their class.  They have made themselves invaluable to the clients they serve, and in turn, to the legions of Beecroft & Bull faithful who proudly wear their clothing.

 
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Emily Powell
creativity & excellence

“The subtle pleasure of feeling unique and the art of self-expression through fit, fabric and color.”


These words provide a translation to the quality and passion that live inside the Canali brand.  For Fall 2016, Beecroft & Bull is proud to continue our commitment to offering the finest clothing in the world.   We were introduced to Canali soon after we discovered Italian manufacturing in the late 1980’s, and it is a relationship that is as strong as ever.

 

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The Canali story dates back to 1934 during a renaissance period in Italian fashion.  Giacomo and Giovanni Canali set out to make their name first as fine suit makers, blending culture and history with sophistication and style.  Today, the third generation of the Canali family is at the helm of what is one of the most recognizable and respected labels in the industry.  While some Italian manufacturers outsource beyond their borders, Canali takes “Made in Italy” to heart by making all of their collections in Italy.  This measure ensures their identity as well as their timeless Italian style.     

 

The hallmark of a Canali garment is the marriage of luxury and consistency.  Every bolt selected from the world’s finest mills is carefully inspected by hand for the smallest of defects.  After WWII the family greatly expanded their manufacturing.  To maintain quality, they pioneered many steps in the tailoring process, but not without controversy.  In 1970 they were the first to introduce mechanized cutting machines…unheard of in Italy at the time.  Hand cutting was a romantic but costly procedure, and was fraught with irregularities.  What was frowned upon as heresy soon became the standard in the industry. The hands take back over as certain steps are impossible to replicate through automation.  Each garment is put together and finished by only the finest tailors, who often specialize solely in a single operation.  The end result is a garment that maintains its shape while providing extra movement and agility.

 

Part of the culture on the factory floor is friendly competition on who can dress the most beautifully.  Passion, pride and quintessential Italian style work in concert with skill and precision to create clothing that is a pleasure to look at and wear.      

 

Creativity and excellence are two powerful forces when managed properly.  Canali embraces these ideals, and ultimately delivers each season.  Their Fall 2016 collection does not disappoint.  This season, they subtly revisit the tenets of classic menswear.  Performance-focused fabrics, new contrasts and textures provide unique touches to a distinctive collection that has been designed for the modern-day gentleman.  The color palette comprises a versatile foundation of blacks, browns and blues in varying shades while the silhouette of jackets and pants tends to follow the natural contours of the body for a comfortable and contemporary fit.  Technical materials take center stage, providing resistant and refined protection against wear and tear – perfect for those who are constantly on the go.

 

In response to growing international demand, Canali now offers a Made-to-Measure (or Su Misura) service.  The opportunity to wear full custom Canali is more than a luxury; it is a treasure.  Our customers are taken on a journey that is both adventurous and methodical.  Every detail and measurement is recorded with care to ensure that the customer’s own tastes and needs are brought to life.   The Made-to-Measure experience is exclusive to selected retailers, and is a study in personalized distinction.  

 

Continued focus on the individual blends beautifully with the Beecroft & Bull experience.  We strive to remain mindful of the evolution in the marketplace and well as the shifting demands of our individual clients.  To that end we choose to associate with brands that share in that quest.  As they have from their beginnings, Canali interweaves leading edge technology with sophisticated manual skills.  Tradition and experimentation, and innovation and excellence, are elements that come together in the creation of premium quality collections we are proud to represent, season after season.  

 

Self expression can be realized through a variety of mediums: Fashion, art, music, cuisine, and countless other forms.  Whatever you embrace, do it with full vigor and gusto.

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Emily Powell
Best of Britain

 
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An old, small warehouse equipped with forgotten knitting machines inspired a struggling father and a wardrobe classic. Failing as a tailor, William Paine stumbled upon the overgrown structure on his vast family property. After teaching himself to knit on the dusty machinery, a hobby quickly grew into a business, where arguably, he created the first cable knit sweater. In the 1920's the "club colour trim" was added to the sweaters becoming widely popular among athletes. Every rowing, tennis, and cricket club customized the sweater with their colors. After WWII, William was succeeded by his son Alan. The brand developed far beyond their core base of classic knitwear to incorporate the English Lifestyle collection, featuring jackets, coats, shirts and sport coats. 

 
 

 
 
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South Shields, England is the birthplace of the iconic Barbour brand. In 1894 John Barbour opened a shop in the town's Market Place selling an array of functional goods such as outerwear, boiler suits, painters jackets and underwear. As an importer of oil-cloth, Barbour's business was primarily ship owners, builders, and seamen of the port, and soon became well known for his Beacon brand of oil skin coats, designed to protect against the harshest weather conditions. Today, the Barbour brand is in its 5th generation of family ownership and has stayed true to its promise of quality, durability, attention to detail, and focus of purpose. Barbour has grown to become a lifestyle brand offering a wardrobe of clothes designed for country and city men, women, and children. Ever respectful of their origin, they continue to manufacture many of their classic jackets by hand in South Shields.

 
 

 
 
 
 
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"Experience tells us technology is limited only by our own creativity, which is why color is our inspiration, design our driver, master craft our bedrock." 

 

Two centuries ago Scottish textiles were put on the global map when Alexander Johnston opened Elgin Mill on the banks of the River Lossie.  Johnston established the mill on a strong sense of continuous natural renewal and evolution; a balance between nature and technology. This balance is maintained and expressed with exquisite craft and sourcing only the highest quality yarns in the world. The result of constantly refining a process for over 200 years: Preserving  history and maintaining their heritage as a world leader in the production of knitwear, accessories, and home interiors.

 

Emily Powell
ROBERT TALBOTT

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.

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Emily Powell
The "b" video...

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Each season we work with our partners at otto design + marketing to create our bi-annual album. We draw from what inspires - be it music, art, nature, cool buildings, cars, and of course, beautiful clothing. In the digital age, we still believe this fundamental method of communication plays a vital role, especially in the world of luxury that we are so humbled to be a part of. Just as we exist to serve those who prefer to touch and feel over clicking "buy now" online, we also believe this more accurately brings to life the items we carefully curate each season for you to enjoy. Our digital messages compliment, but cannot substitute, a well designed and artfully crafted piece that you can hold in your hands, and hopefully serve to inspire. Our shops provide an experience that is uncommon in retail. Our album is an extension of that effort.

In our video documenting the album, Alanis Morissette delivers raw emotions through her voice and her lyrics.  Those same passions are carried out in the moments that Mark Atkinson & Co. stage to capture the essence and beauty of the pieces worn by our longtime friend and ambassador, Patrick Ryan.  Lighting, color, and energy all play a part in executing each image and translating our message. When we "really explore the space” (The Bruce Dickinson), we look to find ways to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. “More cowbell” in this session was provided by the lovely Kara Rochester who modeled fashions by Trish. 

 

For the fall ’16 shoot, we were fortunate to gain access to the Slover Library, located in downtown Norfolk.  This impressive accomplishment of architecture and design made a wonderful backdrop for the story we told this season.  And for the record, what a cool library!  Glass, steel, and technology all came together to create a one of a kind asset to the Norfolk community.  

 

We hope that you take a moment to enjoy this video and witness some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating our seasonal album.  And then, please drop by to pick up a copy if you don't have one. (It is featured on our website, but it’s just not the same!) We look forward to seeing you.

Emily Powell
Peter Millar
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Peter Millar is one of the most sought after and fastest growing brands in the market. It all began with a man consumed by the realization that there were no value priced cashmere sweaters in the market. In 2001, Peter Millar was born with such a singular item.

 

Who is “Peter Millar”? The name was inscribed on the inset of an antique lawn bowling ball that was gifted to the founder by his mother.  To him it evoked a certain prestige associated with a time when people embraced old world sophistication and finer dressing. From this vision, Peter Millar grew to represent classic styling and superior craftsmanship with an accessible price point. It combines the essences of both American authenticity and European panache—emblematic of the confidence and charisma of the person who wears it.

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The company prides itself on creating a new standard in discerning menswear. From smart design to coy marketing, every aspect of Peter Millar is dedicated to maintaining their enviable status in today’s specialty retailing. Research begins in the design studio with the “Share of Closet” - a discussion of what the Peter Millar guy has in his closet, and what he needs from point A to Z and all points in between:  In the boardroom? The course to clubhouse? The beach? The mountains? Going from the boardroom to the course? Or stopping in the mountains on his way to the beach? (Are you following?! Stay with me!) Meanwhile, merchandisers consume themselves in current trends, predicting future ones, and respecting the successes of the past. Peter Millar maintains this balance of being mindful of the past, present and future, ever respectful of their original fans and responsive to their growing audience. 

 

An interesting point to note is that Peter Millar’s popularity has expanded without delving into mass marketing. They only advertise in two national publications, Garden & Gunn and the Wall Street Journal. With this modest approach, Peter Millar is able to put more resources into their product rather than a marketing machine, and as a result, continue to provide accessible elegance at an honest price.  

 

A Beecroft & Bull staple, Peter Millar has been on our shelves for the past 15 years.  “Peter Millar burst onto the scene when other brands were getting stale” says manager and buyer Tom Tatum, a Millar enthusiast. “Their collections always excite. Every season is a move forward…they stay relevant and increase quality while keeping value in mind. They have proven consistent and dependable, but keeps our interest with the depth of each collection and constant innovation. They have evolved into a comprehensive lifestyle brand.”  Every woven print is designed in house and copyrighted ensuring its exclusivity for the year. Fabrications are an ongoing experiment - an endless mingling of fibers, finishes, and treatments to achieve a softer touch, a better fit, and high performance for reasonable care.

 

Peter Millar’s most recent launch, the Collection, is a luxury capsule focusing on the finer attributes of menswear.  Distinguished by purveying the highest quality fabrics and materials, Collection updates classic constructions with modern appeal. Sport shirts are created with details reminiscent of bespoke tailoring such as slightly lowered collars, clean French plackets, mitered cuffs and mother-of-pearl buttons. Soft coats and outerwear feature Italian workmanship and exclusive fabrications from famed European mills and tanneries. 

 

With its wide range of options and high taste level, Peter Millar is a natural component of the well dressed southern man. The brand stays true to their vision and customer, and in return, we remain loyal season after season, year after year. As a reward for being an avid follower of Peter Millar and the Beecroft & Bull Journal, here’s a hint as to what’s coming for Spring 2017: Imagine if you could knit deliciously smooth, yet light and fluffy honey butter into a sweater. A classic with a twist, stay tuned…

Emily Powell
The ALAIDE SHOWROOM
 

The Alaide Showroom, in the heart of midtown Manhattan, is the multi brand creation and domain of the one and only “Super Michal” Sestak.

He is without a doubt the funniest and the hardest working man on the other side of the table (wholesale). No matter how exhausted I am from pounding the New York streets day after day, I always look forward to our appointment. The brands he represents are “fantastico” and he and his supporting cast of characters never fail to entertain. 

Early on in our acquaintance, we both had a rare and simultaneous free window of time, so we adjourned to the soft clay tennis courts of Central Park where I shred him to pieces. He says he let me win, but it was an unmistakeable, thorough drubbing. He has since forgiven me and have become good friends.  

 
 

 
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Inis Meáin is one of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland, and is the most remote fashion outposts on the planet. In the beginning, survival in such a beautiful but unforgiving environment depended upon dexterity and skill. It inspired an ascetic way of life and feeling for quality which is expressed in the products of the islander's toll. Inis Meáin is constantly delving into the island's rich knitting traditions to find and reinterpret old stitches in new ways.

 
 

 
 

The collection, born in the heart of Milan, is "pure Italian expression", as it is entirely manufactured in Italy. Every Maurizio Baldassari garment is made only of the finest materials and is a reflection of the design and artisanship that is at the core of timeless Milanese simplicity.

 
 

 
 

"Right as rain!" Also founded in Italy in the 1930's, Sealup has been synonymous with quality and design. Their technically mastered, luxury garments have traveled the globe and faced the elements with style and taste in true milanese fashion.

 
 

 
 

Founded in Milan in the 1930's, Doriani is an ultra soft cashmere collection made entirely in Itay. This is to embody the hallmarks of Italian design; expert craftsmanship; a refined elegance and luxurious fabrics.

 

Emily Powell
ISAIA

the new gentleman

Coral red. It is the very essence of the ISAIA brand and represents the true Neapolitan character and spirit - one that explodes into color. Red is evident all throughout Napoli; from tomatoes in cuisine, to the blood of San Gennaro and the lava of Vesuvius. Coral; a precious charm from the sea, a mysterious amulet, and the symbol of a primitive religion.  It is also a sign of an archaic strength and fervent passion.

Neapolitan tailoring dates back to the 14th century with the birth of Confraternita dell’arte dei Giubbonai e Cositori, or the Brotherhood of the Jacket Makers and of the Tailors, the oldest existing tailoring association.  The region gave birth to healthy wool and silk weaving trades as a means to support the manufacturing of luxury garments for European royalty and aristocracy.  Centuries passed, and the passion for these wares continued to grow.  It was in 1920 when Enrico Isaia opened a small drapers shop in Naples, where he began to sell carefully selected fabrics from Italian and English mills for the production of men’s tailored garments.

More than 30 years later in 1957, Isaia relocated his business to the fabled tailoring town of Casalnuovo, located just outside of Naples, in order to fully immerse himself in this rich tailoring tradition.  At that time, half of its 15,000 residents listed their profession as tailor.  Three of those tailors included Isaia’s sons Enrico, Corrado and Rosario. They opened a small workshop next to his draper’s store and employed a few of the town’s very skilled artisans.  And thus, the tailoring company named ISAIA was born.

ISAIA. Where tradition meets innovation, and the heritage of Napoli becomes a passion. This same passion vibrates in the “new gentlemen” that seek ISAIA, one of the most inspired lines offered by Beecroft & Bull. These are sophisticated men of dynamic personality who embrace the concept of “contemporary tradition”.  They respect the revered Neapolitan sartorial tradition of tailoring re-interpreted in a 21st century manner. Their taste in clothing, like many other preferences, is an extension of their lifestyle, not merely a collection of items. 

This is not to say that this new gentleman isn’t acutely aware of labels and symbols that speak directly to his soul. The red ISAIA tag and accompanying red coral lapel pin quickly represent a product of investment grade and uncompromising value in a sea of mediocrity. He is assured of quality materials as well as the wearability and comfort necessary to keep up with his unique demands.


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“The ISAIA experience is unlike any other in New York”, explains Craig Beecroft. “Upon entering the showroom, one is beautifully bombarded with a fearless jolt of color that has become a rarity in the market. One mannequin after another is trimmed in what my brother Bryan coined as ‘box rippers’. (When boxes arrived at the store from certain manufacturers, we would excitedly rip them open to get at what was inside!)”

When describing the mind set when buying the line, he says, “it’s all about what we regard as ‘signature ISAIA’. It is easy and difficult all at once. The easy part is finding items we love that clients can automatically identify as ISAIA…the hard part is not being able to buy it all! There is an annoying concept in the business known as ‘a budget’, so we have to reel ourselves in and curate each collection to what we like best, what we are confident we can sell, and what will compliment the other brands in our stores. It’s delightfully painful!”

“The Fall 2016 Collection” he goes on to say, “is again representative of ISAIA’s hallmark of using colorful textiles unique in the marketplace while forgetting the essence of the sophisticated, well dressed man. Their Made-to-Measure offerings, which are a hyper extension our seasonal purchases, are unmatched in the industry and will be on display Thursday, October 20th at our River Road II location in Richmond.” Beecroft & Bull’s location in Va Beach also has the full collection of Made-to-Measure fabrications. 

Red is the new black.                  


Emily Powell
Luciano Barbera
Biella, Italy

Biella, Italy

Luciano Barbera, Vogue Uomo, June 1968

Luciano Barbera, Vogue Uomo, June 1968

The Elegance of the Individual

The origins of the Luciano Barbera brand can be traced to an iconic Saxony windowpane suit, which appeared in an issue of L’Uomo Vogue in 1968.  The model was none other than Luciano himself, and the fabric was a product of Carlo Barbera, his family’s mill.  Murray Pearlstein, legendary retailer of Louis Boston fame, took notice of the photograph and made the trek to Biella, Italy to hunt down the man in the windowpane suit.  When the two men finally met, Pearlstein encouraged Barbera to draw upon his relaxed, elegant style to create his own collection.  The first pieces of Luciano Barbera came to life in 1971. 

In short order, the brand would become known for its quality fabrics, iconic color and garment combinations, and impeccable construction.  As the world of fashion continued to evolve, Barbera remained focused on creating clothing that he would wear himself, and avoided imposing any “rules” on the buyer.  The subtle art of mixing of patterns and layers with jackets, trousers, shirts and other accessories are what the Barbera wearer has always been encouraged to explore.  There is a level of integrity which the brand has maintained in support of the personalities wearing the collection. 

 A term Mr. Barbera often uses, and is now part of the beecroft & bull vernacular, is “sprezzatura.”  In a literal translation, the word can mean “detachment”, but in this occasion it is more a “studied nonchalance” and facing the world with quiet confidence and sophisticated style. Never gaudy or slick, he prefers to make a more powerful statement through understatement. He and his clients are respectful of classic dress but are insistent upon making a personal statement, albeit a quiet one. “Luciano Barbera is the embodiment of ‘sprezzatura’. Despite his stature in the industry, I have never met a more humble, gracious and generous man”, says Craig Beecroft, who had the pleasure of dining with Mr. Barbera and his family in Florence (see final entry). 

Today, Luciano Barbera holds steady as the epitome of timeless luxury and a celebration of Italian craftsmanship.  This may come as a surprise to some, but they are one of only a few Italian brands that can still boast “Entirely Manufactured in Italy”. They view their work as an art form that has been handed down for generations. Their commitment to local construction is vital to ensure this centuries-old tradition of artistry in clothing. As one of the leaders in luxury apparel, they now offer an expanded assortment of sportswear and furnishings, and their handmade Made-to-Measure clothing rivals the best in all of Italy.    


Each of us is a unique soul. Wear clothes that reveal it.
— Luciano Barbera

The Fall 2016 Collection is a continuation of their excellence. Inspired by the Alps surrounding Biella and the juxtaposition of color in nature, the collection is an affirmation of the Italian legacy of good taste, and a thoughtful and somber study in coolness and reserve.  Barbera explores color tones and layered textures which acknowledge both the past and future. There is, and always has been, a British influence throughout (which is no surprise given Mr. Barbera’s studies at Oxford) and is freshened with Italian sensibility and innovation. The are the celebrated hallmarks of the Luciano Barbera brand and lifestyle.

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Beecroft & Bull is proud to showcase the fall offering of Luciano Barbera during the month of October.  Dates for our fall style events include:

Richmond - October 13th

Charlottesville - October 14th

Virginia Beach - October 15th


Our dinner with Luciano

Imagine taking your wife to Italy for your first ever buying trip to the fashion capital of the world…and your luggage gets lost. Worse yet, I had unwisely decided to suit case all of my sport coats, playing The Ugly American instead by wearing “comfortable clothing” on the red eye flight to Milan. “We’ll be fine!”

When we arrived in Florence for the Pitti Uomo trade show at the Fortezza da Basso, we learned we had been invited to dinner by none other than Luciano Barbera in three days time. “Three days?!…we’ll be fine!” Not. Day Three was now upon us and still no luggage. Luciano was very hip 80 year old, but he notoriously hated blue jeans, the only pant in my possession. Our date with Mr. Sprezzatura himself was looming and I had no sport coat and only the same gummy, grimy pair of jeans that I had slept in crossing the Atlantic. (Note: Mr. Barbera had already seen The Ugly American previously at our scheduled appointment.) 

Horrified by the second (and more intimate) sartorial blunder that awaited us, we scurried through the streets of Florence in order to be properly attired. What we didn’t know was that Luciano had been advised of our distress. When we arrived at the trattoria, the Barbera family had all removed their coats and ties and had rolled up their shirt sleeves to put us at ease…molto simpatico! The evening was all smiles from that point forward. Luciano and his family were incredibly kind - they shared the list of their favorite restaurants in the ski village of Courmayeur (our next stop on our tour of Italy), and we even traded pictures of our dogs. 

From hence forward, the man and the brand moved up several notches. I will also forever heed his advice: “If you travel, you need a fantastic blazer!” And I will fold it neatly in the overhead space, just in case.


Emily Powell
Slover Library

January 2015 marked the renewal (pun intended) of Norfolk’s newest library in nearly 50 Years.  The Slover Library, located in Downtown Norfolk adjacent to the Selden Arcade, has become more than a building to house books and periodicals.  And by the way, it has books.  More than 160,000 to be precise.  The Slover has become a technology and innovation center focused on igniting not just intellectual curiosity but fuel the passion of learning for anyone who enters the large glass expanse on Plume Street.  Inside this $65,000,000 facility are an array of items to spark intellectual curiosity, including 130 computers, a 3-D printer, large interactive touch screen monitors and gaming centers, and of course, a bistro.  You can’t learn on an empty stomach! 

Design wise, the Slover Library is a marvel.  Associate Architect, John Tymoff of Tymoff + Moss Architects, knew this was a project he could get behind.  The city of Norfolk needed the renaissance captured by a feat of this scale, and knew with the support and backing of some of the cities most generous citizens, the dream would be realized. 

Jane Batten, wife of the late Frank Batten, Sr. became a champion of this effort from day one.  With more than just her financial commitment, she felt it important to have the building pay tribute to her husband who passed away in 2009 at the age of 82.

What’s in a name?  Named for Col. Samuel L. Slover, he was an integral part In raising a young Frank Batten after his father passed away.  He held the belief of “informed citizenry” as a vital path towards success.  It was this paternal link which helped Batten forge a career in the newspaper business as Slover founded The Virginian-Pilot and its parent company, Landmark Communications.  Slover also held elected office serving as Norfolk’s Mayor in 1933.  Col. Slover passed away in 1959.

Each season, Beecroft & Bull selects a location and venue to help bring to life the clothing, which we feel tells a story.  What better location than a library!  By providing more than 138,000 square feet which spreads across three buildings, more than enough room would be available for the photographers, models, assistants, and other people who made this photo-shoot possible.  “So much of our business includes heritage by way of style and presentation,” says Beecroft & Bull President, Craig Beecroft.  “We felt that the inclusion of history coupled with modern design and 21st century architecture, would serve as the ideal compliment for the look we were trying to present.  I feel we can say we accomplished that goal.”  The building itself is a virtual time capsule, encompassing three centuries of construction and architecture.  The Seaboard Building, once serving as Old Norfolk’s City Hall, touches on the 1800’s.  The Selden Arcade portion reaches into the 1900’s, and the new six story building crosses the bridge into the 21st century.

The combination of warm woods, heavy tempered metals, and the abundance of glass, set the stage for a truly unique venue that captured so much of the essence of the beecroft & bull brand.  So much of what goes into our selection of clothing and how we pair looks for our customers is fueled by inspiration and passion.  The design and archicture of this magnificent structure serves as a link to these ideals.  At one time in history, the library was the epicenter of technological achievement and innovation.  It was a place where great thinkers gathered to share ideas and help inform and educate those seeking inspiration of their own.  As a community, Norfolk embraces so many of these ideas.  It was time, however, for a building to be constructed, which could not only support this mission, but also carry out the vision of both Batten and Slover.

The 2016 Fall Album has a new look and feel, as does our website.  The Journal, which you have obviously had the good fortune to come upon, is our next evolution in finding ways for our clothing to connect with the culture and experiences of the communities where we have made our stores home.  The Fall Album is a beautiful piece to hold and share, but The Journal will intend to tell more of our story with our friends and guests.  As we grow, we will look forward to finding a way to connect you with some of the interesting elements, which should be discovered and shared.  In the end, we all are storytellers.  Please come along as we share more with you, always with this in mind, “Dress Better Than You Have To.”

mark atkinson