News Roundup: Brooks Vintage, Alden Embezzlement, And The Armoury’s Spring Suits

Greetings, gentlemen, and hope that wherever you are your spring has sprung. We’re long overdue with a catchup on all the news in Tradsville. We’ll start with something rather salacious and really quite incredulous. We’ve known that Alden has done phenomenally well over the past decade, indeed apparently well enough to misplace $30 million. Former executive Richard Hajjar has plead guilty to embezzlement and using the funds for decidedly non-trad expenditures. The Associated Press reports:

Hajjar, of Duxbury, embezzled the money from 2011 until he was fired in 2019, by writing checks to himself from company bank accounts and transferring funds from company accounts to his personal accounts and to another person.

He used some of the money to buy jewelry, including a $158,000 diamond ring, a New York City condominium, and private flights to the Caribbean, according to court documents.

He faced the tax charge because he failed to report the proceeds of his embezzlement as income on his tax returns, thereby failing to pay approximately $5 million in taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, prosecutors said.

The Middleborough-based Alden Shoe Co., which makes high-end dress shoes and other footwear, was founded in 1884, according to its website.

Moving on, a clothing company called Manors Golf says in a press release it’s drawing inspiration from the Ivy League Look. Funny, I’m pretty sure I’ve played golf in bit loafers before — on the Brooks simulator.

Speaking of loafers, The Wall Street Journal weighs in on whether or not you should wear socks with loafers, something every preppy — plus those who’ve seen “Making The Grade” — already knows.

When donning shorts, the pro-sock camp claims, naked ankles aren’t an issue—but to project sophistication while wearing full trousers, socks are a must. Ridicule rained down on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort when he opted for bare ankles during his 2018 trial. More appealing role models like James Dean, JFK and Steve McQueen, on the other hand, all suavely sported the socks-and-loafers look.

Also from the WSJ, people are dressing up again — sort of.

Perhaps they will try a bit harder thanks to Brooks Brothers. Not because of the Fila collaboration, of course, but the vintage one with Sean Crowley. Ivy Style contributor Eric Twardzik reports on it for Robb Report.  Those of you who brag about hoarding Brooks merchandise will soon become the envy of all as vintage supplies dry up. Writes Twardzik:

Crowley has been collecting vintage Brooks Brothers for 25 years and begin his career working for the legendary Bobby Garnett of Bobby’s from Boston. Despite the brand’s longevity, Crowley says that vintage Brooks Brothers is surprisingly difficult to source. “My theory is that because it’s so evergreen, men wore their Brooks stuff just until it disintegrated. They just wore it until it didn’t exist anymore.”

A recent surge of interest in vintage clothing has only compounded the problem. “There’s absolutely no question that it’s gotten harder to find,” Crowley says. “In the last few years, it’s really changed. Once upon a time, you could just go to any thrift store and walk out with an armful of great old Brooks ties…now it’s just not the case anymore.”

Die, Workwear has a lengthy write-up on The Armoury’s spring suits, including ones from Tailor Caid. The post contains a photo of what looks to be Ivy Style’s former Millennial Fogey columnist though it’s difficult to tell with the unfortunate face diaper. I’m rather proud of having gone 400 days of pandemic without one of those things touching me once.

Pride can often serve a useful purpose, such as during times when things turn upside-down and the devil’s vices suddenly become saintly virtues. So in closing, a bit of personal news. I’ve always thought of myself as a columnist by temperament, and the first thing I published back in 1994 was an op-ed. But besides the past 17 years of blogging, I’ve never had a regular print column, and figured if I ever did it would be as a curmudgeonly humor columnist spewing bons-mots at the follies of the day. But as of yesterday it finally happened, and I never would have guessed it’s as a metaphysician. The “Spirit” column, as it’s been dubbed, starts out biweekly in The Bohemian and Pacific Sun, two alt-weeklies covering Sonoma, Marin and Napa Counties. The pilot piece can be found here by scrolling to page 19.

Take in the spring sunshine, gentlemen, and breathe in the spirit. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

18 Comments on "News Roundup: Brooks Vintage, Alden Embezzlement, And The Armoury’s Spring Suits"

  1. “I’m rather proud of having gone 400 days of pandemic without one of those things touching me once.”

    Amazing.

  2. Honest Abe | May 14, 2021 at 12:01 am |

    This really had me laughing:
    “he failed to report the proceeds of his embezzlement as income on his tax returns”.

  3. Dutch Uncle | May 14, 2021 at 12:34 am |

    If we’re lucky, maybe one day we’ll have the privilege/pleasure of reading CC as
    “a curmudgeonly humor columnist spewing bons-mots at the follies of the day”.

  4. I was just wondering when or if you’d report on the Brooks Brothers collaboration with Mr. Crowley! Truly some amazing stuff. If there isn’t a more in-depth write-up here, I recommend at least reading Mr. Twardzik’s report. Of note: “‘We went in with the intention of it just being a project but, given the reception we received, we are thinking on how to make the vintage shop a permanent part of our shopping experience.’”

    I highly recommend perusing the collection, disregarding size (or price); it’s just incredible the kinds of things Sean dug up:
    https://www.brooksbrothers.com/The-Vintage-Shop/0250,default,sc.html

    He, by the way, purchased some of the old furnishings and furniture from the Brothers Brook, including a table from 1915 previously in 346 Madison Ave.; I don’t think it could have found a better home.

  5. “I’m rather proud of having gone 400 days of pandemic without one of those things touching me once.”

    I dearly hope you mean you haven’t worn one of those pale-blue disposable masks specifically; that you’ve been wearing much higher-quality cloth masks when you go into public places; and that you’re not bragging about a refusal to wear masks period!

    Unfortunately, given the number of people out there who have chosen to make endangering others a point of pride, I hope you’ll edit the post to clarify.

  6. I have never understood the Canadian brand Club Monaco’s identity.

    To me it seemed like a watered down Banana Republic at Polo prices. It’s laughable to think the people who belong to a club in Monaco would wear their clothes.

    The best thing about Club Monaco is that they would occasionally sell vintage menswear, such as antique cigarette cases from London, in their shops.

  7. Spartacus | May 14, 2021 at 10:24 am |

    Hoping the Brooks’ vintage kicks off. The first launch proved to be very successful.

  8. whiskeydent | May 14, 2021 at 11:42 am |

    Crowley’s Instagram is worth a look, though he occasionally drops some lefty political views. I’m good with those of course, but some of y’all might get your knickers in a wad.

  9. PocketSquare | May 14, 2021 at 11:53 am |

    It’s interesting to see how different brands are reacting to one another. Several years ago(2017?) Ralph Lauren son Andrew put together a small archive vintage collection on his website with great success ,then Rowing blazers introduces a curated vintage collection including items from on their website (with some success) then within two years both J Press (Wooden Sleepers, found well)and Brooks Brothers(Crowley Vintage) try the same concept. Thoughts?

  10. @whiskeydent

    I’ve actually heard stories of knickers getting wadded up from viewing Sean’s Instagram.

    This is why I don’t wear knickers.

  11. Charlottesville | May 14, 2021 at 12:24 pm |

    I always enjoy seeing what Mr. Crowley has on hand, and the Brooks Brothers Vintage collaboration is a great idea. Most interesting to me personally is seeing the prices and learning that my closet is a gold mine of old BB suits, sport coats, hats, ties, shirts and shoes. Despite most of it being decades old, I figure that I must be worth about $1200 on the hoof on an average day; more if I am wearing shell cordovan shoes or an overcoat. My heirs will be able to live in style whether they decide to wear or sell my wardrobe.

  12. Spot on Mr. C’Ville. Your heirs will need a step up on the basis for sure.

  13. whiskeydent

    Regarding lefty political views, I am truly interested in your opinion as to how you think things are working out four months in this administration.

    Cheers

    Will

  14. I’d say the main reason there is a shortage of vintage Brooks in the U.S. is that Mr Crowley has already ferreted it away into his personal cornucopia.

    There’s a bit of it still down here in New Zealand but not enough to keep me from forlornly scanning the web.

    Cheers,

    R.

  15. Hah, I just remembered a socialist vintage clothing dealer is one of the main characters in my storybook “These Are Our Failures.”

    ; )

  16. Anonymous | May 15, 2021 at 12:41 pm |

    Also in the news, former CEO of Orvis dies at 93.

  17. Vern Trotter | May 30, 2021 at 11:47 am |

    There might be a shortage of Vintage Brooks out there because a quantifiable percentage is in my apartment on the UWS of New York. I do not get rid of anything until it wears out and I have enough to last another complete lifetime. One of the few things left to enjoy now that John Barleycorn is gone from my life along with most of the fine restaurants in NYC.

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