DEWAR’S and Thom Browne joined together to create a limited-edition bag for DEWAR’S 12-Year Old Scotch. Designed after Browne’s trademark gray flannel suit, Browne succeeds in producing a classic product. Following a launch in New York City, Dewar’s hosted a private launch party in Chicago at the ever chic and classic Screening Room at the Public Hotel in the Gold Coast. Cocktails were passed including one named after the designer – a Thom Collins as well as Manhattans and Dewar’s on the rocks.
Second City Style had a chance to talk with Thom Browne at the event. He looked sharp and handsome in his gray jacket and was also very upbeat and fun!
SCS: How did you get together with Dewar’s?
TB: They came to me. But I could picture my father sipping Dewar’s in his chair every night – he always drank it. So I felt a personal connection to the product.
SCS: Whose idea was it to come up with the Browne bag?
TB: Mine! Of course the name lent itself to the concept. This product is for the refined gentleman.
SCS: We heard that you always wear gray. Why the gray suit jacket?
TB: I think every man looks good in a gray suit and needs to have a gray suit in his closet. Gray flannel is timeless, iconic, and masculine, think Cary Grant from North by Northwest. My vision of clothing for men comes from old Hollywood films, men dressed like they never thought about it in the past – classic.
SCS: Have you ever seen to movie: The man in The Man in Gray Flannel Suit with Gregory Peck?
TB: Oh yes – that’s a good one, too!
SCS: We heard you went to Notre Dame, so you have been in the midwest. Have been to Chicago often?
TB: Oh yes, very often when I was in school. We came here almost every weekend to escape South Bend. I visit Chicago now because I have a sister who is a surgeon at Children’s Memorial Hospital.
SCS: Did you know what you wanted to do with your life while you studied at Notre Dame?
TB: When I think back about being in school I had no idea what I wanted to as a career. I majored in Economics and later decided to create my own business after working as a clothing designer for several years.
SCS: Well with your economics background are you more of a marketing/stylist than a designer? We don’t picture you cutting patterns, but did you have any design training like that?
TB: Yes, I sought out and found a tailor from an Italian tailor in New York City. I learned how to tailor from him.
SCS: Don’t all men in Italy look great in their suits?
TB: Well this is interesting because what he said to me was that he came over to America because they had the best combination of talent from Italy and France, together with American manufacturing. He felt that combination made New York the best place for him. He still consults and works for me on designs.
SCS: (getting a little more comfortable with him) So these sleeves to your wristbone, is that sort of a trademark of yours?
TB: Well, I think that jackets should be fitted. Everyone looks better when a jacket really fits!
SCS: We think of you more as a menswear designer – but what can you tell us about your womenswear? Do you do little fitted gray jackets?
TB: (smiling) Well yes there are tailored looks in my women’s collection. But there is more! A way to describe it …well take a look and see!
We like his classic pieces for women but love his “Little Grey Dress.” Besides designing men and women’s collections for his name brand available at Barneys, Browne has partnered with Moncler and Brooks Brothers to create exclusive collections.
—Carol Calacci and Cindy Burns
Photos: Getty Images/Barry Brecheisen
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