Vicuna Cloth- the World’s Costliest Fabric

From a 1937 booklet entitled “The Story of Vicuna, The World’s Finest Fabric” by Sylvan Stroock, president of S. Stroock & Company- “…Based on the present price of the cloth, men’s vicuna topcoats such as are made by The Hickey Freeman Co., (who make the world’s finest ready-made clothing) would sell at retail for $400.00 and overcoats made of Stroock heavy weight vicuna cloth would sell at $1,000.00” In today’s dollars, that overcoat would sellRead More

Going Down the Vintage Rabbit Hole

Part One. The first recorded sale of Hickey Freeman merchandise to the retailer Capper & Capper of Chicago was in 1912. This was also the year that Hickey Freeman opened its new building, known as the Temple to Fine Tailoring. I recently put my hands on a suit whose exact age was unknown but vintage clothing experts estimated to be mid-1920’s. When I got it I did some research and from the labeling I wasRead More

A piece of history

I just took over an office from someone who left Hickey Freeman. It was the office occupied by former designers and executives of the company and hadn’t been cleaned out in, well, ages. It’s in the corner of a suite of offices which have remained largely unchanged since they were built in 1912. I figured I might find some little treasures hidden in boxes, forgotten. I never thought I would find something that is soRead More

Spring 2013

I’ve been busy lately. You may have noticed. I work for the company that makes Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx, two venerable old clothing companies in the U.S. Hart Schaffner Marx was founded in 1887 and Hickey Freeman in 1899- there’s an enormous amount of history in the two companies but like many old companies things needed to be freshened up a little. So over the last few years we have been hard atRead More