John Locke Boater
New Old Stock
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
Grown Up Surcingle
and not so surcingle.
A lot of Friday Belts
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