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Early 1900s Detachable Collars Are Again Hi-fashion
Detachable collars shirts, also known as "interchangeable collar shirts", are once again, haute fashion. Leading the popular resurgence in today's interchangeable collar phenom is Newark, New Jersey's Mel Gambert Custom-Bespoke Shirtmakers.
By: Stinson/R. Ely & Partners
At the peak of the Arrow Collar Man's popularity in 1920, sales of its detachable collar men's dress shirts had soared to a then mind-boggling, $32 million annually! But just three years later, the fashion phenom that socially schismed America into a white-collar versus blue-collar society had all but vanished, itself a victim of WWI.
After being nearly extinct for almost a century, detachable collars are suddenly all the rage again, popping up in the world's top men's fashion labels from elite custom shirt makers like France's Charvet and America's Mel Gambert Custom-Bespoke Shirtmakers, to Brooks Brothers and Italy's Brioni and Brunello Cucinelli.
Detachable collars are suddenly all-the-rage and popping up in the world's top shirts brands, from elite custom shirt makers like France's Charvet and America's Mel Gambert Custom-Bespoke Shirtmakers to Brooks Brothers and Italy's Brioni and Brunello Cucinelli.
Originally, detachable collars delivered two, very compelling benefits. Because collars could be washed separately, they slashed laundering and ironing time, dramatically. Replacing worn and frayed collars proved their second benefit. Then, fabrics, were far less durable. And beards and stubble, the norm. Consequently, collars frayed and wore out considerably faster.
But today's detachable collar craze has zero to do with laundry chores or spiffing-up threadbare collars, tells Mel Gambert, the second-generation Gambert to helm the iconic, 75-year-old company, itself legend for the still talked about shirts it created for Michael Douglas's Wall Street portrayal of Machiavellian financial tycoon, Gordie Gekko.
"Its mixing-and-matching different fashion collars to a shirt that's propelling their resurgence,"
Re-dubbed "interchangeable collars" to better describe the mix-and-match collar craze propelling today's neo-fashion revival, it's Mel Gambert's choice of over 400 collar styles that reigns world's King-of-the-
"Being the latest 'in-gimmick' among fashionistas has also revved-up its buzz and 'gotta have' cachet," tells Gambert, who credits trendy hipsters and their unrelenting quest to snub the status quo for a big chunk of the detachable collar's resurrected popularity.
Despite their embrace by fashion's top brands, it's Mel Gambert's choice of over 400 different collar styles that makes the third-generation, family-owned company the world's undisputed, King-of-the-
"Our interchangeable collar clients buy four or five different collar styles with every shirt, including a couple of white collars for Spring-Summer months," tells Gambert. "They might prefer a tall, sartorially elegant cut-away collar for serious business dress. But for Saturday night's country club soiree, they'll swap it out for a more casual, 'Martini Shirt' look - a tall, wide-spread collar with French cuffs, worn without a tie. Scrap the collars, completely,"
Collars aside, it's interchangeable cuffs -- more than five-dozen different choices of cuff styles -- that give Mel Gambert an unrivaled trump card. When Mel Gambert was founded, detachable cuffs went hand-in-hand with detachable collars. A Gambert exclusive that's noticeably absent from its newly-arrived rivals, interchangeable cuffs are particularly important among dandies who demand all-white French cuffs to match their white, contrast collars.
About Mel Gambert Custom-Bespoke Shirtmakers:
Mel Gambert Custom-Bespoke Shirtmakers, founded in 1928 by Joseph Gambert, has since been nicknamed "America's Charvet" thanks to its reputation for meticulous Old World artisan handcraftsmanship. The now 75-year-old Mel Gambert Custom-Bespoke Shirtmakers (http://www.gambertshirts.com) ranks America's oldest, still-family-
In addition to true, men's and women's custom-bespoke shirts, Mel Gambert offers made-to-measure (MTM) shirts as well as a just launched, limited-edition ready-to-wear (RTW) collection, Mel Gambert Bespoke. All are retailed by over 400 of America's premier, luxury-niched specialty stores.
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Stinson/R. Ely & Partners is a 25-year-old, San Diego- and New York-based publc relations and publicity firm specializing in fashion designers and luxury-niched fashion brands. American brands and designers are the company's exclusive focus.