05 April 2011

Heaven On 7 - George G Graham

John Locke Boater

Locke Coke

New Old Stock

Super Badger

Super Cashmere Sweaters from William Lockie

Fair Isle Sweaters

Chrysalis Field Coat

George's own likeness carved some years ago

George some years ago

Field Coat Tweeds

Go on...

and on.

Grown Up Surcingle

and not so surcingle.

A lot of Friday Belts

and peccary.

George's own Peccary Patina

Lid Over Body Case by Ettinger

with Hunter Green lining.

George and Tony Sylvester, GQ Style - UK

The dog barks. Loudly. And you know it's not a little dog on the other side of Suite 704's door. I'm not sure I want the door to open. But it does. George Graham invites us in to a haberdasher's wet dream. A dream of yesterday when things were made like, "a brick shit house." Where leather is thick and oily and cashmere sweaters, "Be careful over there!" are protected by George's own bark.

I associate much of the new 'preppy' with trying too hard. The whales, pink and green, diamond monograms, madras...These things are fine when they stand alone but they almost never do. Instead, its all worn head to toe in the much the same way a 25 year old will include summer jobs on their resume. Suite 704 is about taking jobs off the resume.

George acts as a middle man serving the retailers who don't want you to know who he is. He brings the truffles of Scotland, Dublin and London. His taste is what you see on shelves and hanging from racks when you go shopping. It sounds like a dream job to me.

"I told my kids to find another business." George says shaking his head. "Buyers don't know anything anymore. They click '15 Units' on a computer and have no idea of the history of what they're buying. A retailer called me complaining of oil on sweaters. It's supposed to have oil. That's what makes 'em waterproof! They only care about the dollars."

George came to NYC from Chicago in the '50s. I didn't press for the date. He was tired of working for a family company and wasn't overwhelmed with opportunities after graduating with a degree in aeronautical engineering. We talk about Chicago and the south side and George smiles when I ask if he knew Capper and Capper. "A great company." The dog, Picasso drops to the floor and settles into a rawhide.

The lace peccary gloves are a bit over the top but they're Italian so it goes without saying. The field coats sing to my Anglophile heart while Tony keeps asking me to feel a cashmere watch cap from Locke that, not surprisingly, suits Tony to his British Navy genes. If you're lucky, a sample that fits can be bought. And at a considerable cash discount. Just call before you head over.

I tell George the Internet may be the salvation for everything in this room. "It's a narrow niche but it's deep with people who search high and low for what you know and have." The words no sooner leave my lips when the phone rings. George puts the call on speaker and it's an old friend calling on behalf of a blogger who wants to interview him. I'd like the niche to open up just a little more for George.

George G Graham Galleries
12 West 57th Street, Suite 704
NY, NY 10019
Call for an appointment


GSV JR said...

Lovely place. Reminds me of H. Stockton here in Atlanta. I can smell it. Somehow these places mix a hint of pipe tobacco in with the leather, wool, cashmere potpurri...

And who's that big ol bear you were hanging with? Ha.

M.Lane said...

Please tell me they sell retail. And that they take credit cards.


brohammas said...

I would be that guy on the speakerphone if only I wasn't one of the young (I use that adjective loosley) guys who knows nothing. Ya know, one of those guys they were complaining about.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Those braces with the deer-heads are tremendous!

Scale Worm said...

I dig it all, starting with (your) great shot of the boater with Mr. Graham in the background. I'll take 2 of everything. Sadly true, the details are gone, as is the history. Great post!

Oyster Guy said...

wow, just wow !

C.Sharp said...

A now defunct shop I used to patronize in the early 90's used to source from George. I still consider the items I bought there among the best. If they are opening up to the public a little more that would be a good thing. I have also heard they have a great sample sale.

La Maison Fou said...

Sounds like the makings of a gentleman to me!

And as for the young ones (wet behind the ear),
Darling, I don't give a damn!

They don't make em like they used too!

Great story.

Alice Olive said...

Great writing, lots of detail in the images, thoroughly enjoyable!

Anonymous said...

So this guys left to hocking these treasures from a Hotel? Man, these pix make me start shakin' like Christian bale in The Boxer when he gets out and walks by his old crack house- damn!

Tone Loki said...

"So, what you;re saying is if I'm using a Super Badger brush, I'm shaving with a badger's pubic hair?"

Sean said...

Great post- where can I get the peccary gloves? (didn't you have a previous post about these?)

Second, and more important- what should I get my wife for her birthday / our anniversary? She did not like the briefcase I bought her (which is now mine).
You are a man of style and taste, so your input is welcome.

Anonymous said...

i love a bowler, but how in hell do you wear it without looking like a Magritte or H. Salt Esquire?

tintin said...

Stew- He's a big cuss. I thought he was gonna eat George's dog.

M Lane- He will sell samples but for cash only so bring the shoe boxes.

bro- I have a feeling you'll be wearing madras this summer.

Main Line- Somehow I knew you'd like those.

Scale Worm- That's my favorite as well. Thanks.

Oyster- Try not to be so verbose.

C Sharp - George does not suffer fools or shoddy merchandise glady. I did see he has a sample sale. I'll put something up once I know when it is.

La Maison- Somebody told me George was in his 90s. I find it hard to believe but he was a marathon runner. A good life wind.

Alice- You should swing by but don't bring Bronte. That would not be good.

Zambo- It's an office building (where'd you get hotel?) and he sells samples only. You just looking at the pictures?

Tone- A ha! Know I know who you are. Yes, you would be correct. That and Badger arm pit hair.

Sean- Give George a call and see if he has any. If not, he can tell when he might. There's a beautiful women's coat he did for Paul Stuart. Double breasted in a field jacket tweed. It's a size 12 and I think he wants $600. Then again, you could buy her peccary gloves.

Zambo- I love black leather trench coats but I'd look Boris Badenov. There are some things in life we must do without.

tintin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.