New Old School: Introducing Crittenden Rawling’s Ivy Jacket

Last weekend I met up with Ivy Style contributors Zachary DeLuca and Jason Marshall for two of the smaller menswear trade shows. The highlight was a long session with Crittenden Rawlings, a longtime business associate of my girlfriend’s.

“Critt,” as he’s known by friends and colleagues, is a menswear industry veteran who came out of retirement a few years ago and manufactures clothing for a number of specialty stores. Currently based in Kentucky, Critt previously worked for Norman Hilton (who he said had “the best taste in the history of American menswear”) and Ralph Lauren.

Last season I had a look at a prototype sportcoat based on a classic Ivy pattern, and was happy to learn that the project is steaming along. While we were there, two members from J. Press (the US general manager and a designer from Press’ Japan division) were meeting with Critt, so you may see his jackets in J. Press stores this fall.

(Below are J. Press’ general manager “Sugi” at left, Jason Marshall, who previously wrote for Ivy Style about John Coltrane, seen wearing a Norfolk jacket by Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, Crittenden Rawlings, and Newton Street Vintage‘s Zach DeLuca, inspecting a cotton tartan jacket):

The Ivy model jacket is a blast from the past with all the distinguishing details: 3/2 roll, lapped seams, swelled edges, patch pockets, and hook vent. Critt said he worked very closely with the Tennessee factory where the jackets are made to ensure that the unpadded shoulder had a forward, sloping angle. He also carefully chose Shetland woolens similar to what was popular during the heyday of the Ivy League Look. The standouts were these two herringbones with beaded stripes:

This one, a charcoal and brown with blue stripe, didn’t fit our model quite as well and so was left unbuttoned:

The Ivy jacket has a suggested retail price of $800, but Critt said customers are welcomed to make direct inquiries. For more information, call 859.846.4228. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

18 Comments on "New Old School: Introducing Crittenden Rawling’s Ivy Jacket"

  1. It should be stated for the record that all their samples were a size 40R which was too small for me across the fastening point. Very nice jackets though, especially in the shoulder. Crittendon knows how to get a shoulder made.

  2. Would I be correct in assuming the factory in Tennessee is Hardwick? Or is that to remain unspoken? Those jackets look fantastic.

  3. Nice article on a great guy. For those interested in seeing more of Critt’s work, I’ve penned a number of short articles related to his clothes.
    http://moderncavalier.blogspot.com/2012/01/ivy-style-on-critt.html

  4. The stories I bet Critt has. He worked for Hilton when Ralph Lauren came to Hilton for an initial investment.

  5. Michael Mattis | January 25, 2012 at 4:44 pm |

    Those are some pants!

  6. Yes they are! I trust they are part of what I would think is a very nice suit.

  7. Nice jackets indeed, although $800 is probably too rich for my blood. And if that’s a 40R, I’d be swimming in it. I need like a 34 or smaller.

  8. Will the regular ones be made in China like the rest of the line? or is he moving production Stateside?

  9. Please tell me this line will continue to be make in Tennessee and not offshore. Jackets look great!

  10. Gentleman Mac | January 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm |

    @Henry: they are; the jacket is on the chair in the first pic.

  11. It’s a suit. Made by the company where I work. Wool/cashmere Dormeiul flannel with light blue windowpane. Jacket is 3/2 roll with 3 patch pockets. Greenfield handmade. Was not anticipating pairing it with tweed.

  12. I own four jackets of his and they fit great, and his stories….

    His store in Midway and now in Lexington are fantastic places. He knows his stuff.

  13. Wasnt Critt Rawlings the head of Oxxford? It seems strange to credit him with working for Hilton and Ralph, when his real accomplishment would be rising to the top of Oxxford. I suppose you were trying to establish his 3/2 bona fides.

  14. Correct, Anano. Firstly I didn’t know about his role at Oxxford, and secondly I thought Ivy Style’s readers would find his stints at Polo and Norman Hilton more germane to his new Ivy jacket.

  15. Who knew Zach was an aspiring model?

  16. Can I buy them in Japan’s J.Press, too? There many J.Press shops at large departm’t stores in Tokyo.

  17. Dickey Greenleaf | January 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm |

    Mr. Lauren first started making ties, and no one took a chance on him, after he got married and came back from the reserves, he worked for another guy named Creedman, also a fellow by the name of Jacobson, and then finally Beau Brummell.

  18. Wasn’t Mr. Rawlings involved in a Chinese RTW and MTM line? The hallmark of the line was its intensive handwork.

    Is it still operating?

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