Twice a year, our Design Director, Dave Gebhardt, and St. Croix Founder Mr. Brenner make a whirl-wind trip through Europe. They scout trends, literally traveling city to city through the important fashion capitals of Europe. It’s an exciting and arduous effort, but like every piece of knitwear created by hand for St. Croix, nothing is overlooked, and no shortcuts are taken, even when doing research.
The Fall 2015 European trip began in Paris, France. Joining the group this time was one of our St. Croix Sales Representatives Eddie Gricius. Traditionally, the team does a tremendous amount of walking. Last time Eddie joined the group, the relentless pace and walking made an impact…on his feet! Seasoned traveler Dave gave Eddie the best tip: he had to wear St. Croix socks. The seamless toe protects and cushions the feet, preventing problems when you’re walking all day! It was a good thing he took Dave’s advice, since they averaged about 16 miles of walking every day.
Our scouting team typically follows the same route through Europe, which enables them to notice trends season to season and throughout the various locations. This fall, Dave noted that trending high was an emphasis on dressy sport shirts—the perfect item to be worn with or without a tie, dressed up or dressed down. St. Croix debuted our Crossover Shirt Collection for Fall 2015, recognizing that the trend of flexible, multiple use clothing was on the rise. It seems the trend is here to stay, as men are looking for quality, flexible clothing that can take them from the professional day wear to a casual after work environment.
During the trip, the team attended the Premier Vision Trade Show, which plays host to the largest fabric show in Paris featuring the highest quality weaving mills for shirts, pants and outerwear. Our team attends this show to build their woven collection of crossover and dress shirt fabrics.
The very finest fabric manufacturers are scouted to secure the fabric for our collections. The highest quality weavers from Italy and Austria are our chosen partners. They provide us with the most supreme quality 2-ply, 100% Egyptian Cotton yarns. We choose this type of fabric because of all its tremendous benefits: the yarns are finer in the spinning process, producing a softer, silkier feel. The yarn is also stronger, making for a more durable shirt that both resists wrinkles as well as holds its shape when laundering. All of this effort means that our shirts have a more luxurious look and feel.
Just as important as the fabric is the handcrafting that puts it all together. The design team visited our two Italian shirt manufacturers that are widely regarded to be the two best in Italy. They produce for us the finest hand tailored sport and crossover shirts for our collection.
Also while in Italy, a visit to our 5-Pocket Jean and Trouser manufacturer is a must. The team meets to follow up on production and consider new concepts.
There’s more to the European scouting trip than can be mentioned in just one blog post, so look for more updates on the team’s travels at a later time. But in honor of impressive fabric and Italian tailors that were such a highlight for the team, we’re offering a special event pre-order opportunity.
Now through December 20th, pre-orders will be available for the (now in-stock!) Trouser and 5-Pocket Jeans! In addition to Pants styles 8868 and 8999, the pre-order also includes 27 different Fall 2016 Crossover shirts. Of these shirts, two of our newest fashion fabrics we are highlighting are a sateen twill weave herringbone fabric with an overprint pattern that is laser printed onto the fabric. Styles include:
8823 & 8826 – Our regular fit shirt with cutaway collar and pocket.
8821 & 8825 – Fashion-forward look with a contemporary fit, no pocket and featuring our new, shorter French collar.
Look for information coming to you from all our St. Croix Sales Representatives about the special preview event. Consider jumping in on this exciting opportunity, and look for more info on the trends and inspirations uncovered during our European tour!