My interest has always been about trying to bring back the craft. The textile industry was America’s industry. America led that industry in the start of the 20th century. People are now looking towards quality, authenticity, craft and local, and so it’s not so much “Made in America” as it is, made here, local, for a local market.
What’s different about the American product is the aesthetic. It’s the attitude. The American attitude is different from the European attitude, and we think that attitude is a part of the aesthetic.
America is about optimism. It’s about do-it-yourself. It’s about getting things done. At the end of the day it’s not the machine that makes the fabric, it’s the operator of that machine that come into this mill and have really lifted their craft to a higher form, to an art form. A lot of it has been about telling them and convincing them that we’re preserving their craft for future generations. It’s the last breed of American craftsmen in the textile industry. We believe in American luxury, and we believe that American Woolen is position to occupy that space in the mind of the consumer.
We are occupying a mill that is America’s only mill that supplies fine worsteds and luxurious woolens. There’s no other mill in America that does it. America does not have a textile industry like it used to have, and American Woolen is trying to pioneer, become the laboratory for America to realize that we can do it. We can do it better than everybody else.
Clearly we want to see the build out of the supply chain. We want to see the fiber coming in from America. We want to see the yarn being spun in America. We want to see the fabric in America. We want to see the garment manufactured in America, and with that it all goes back to the ability for us to be able to influence the revival of the American aesthetic. The sport coat, it’s the ability for American Woolen to really go out there with a Made in America luxury product. A refined American luxury.
The idea of American luxury is a foregone conclusion, and for us it’s the ability to create a refined American luxury where America can be one of the purveyors of luxury goods. For the most part luxury has been in the confines of Europe and European luxury, and it’s been hard for American’s to present our luxury. I think American Woolen, we’re doing our best to create that refine American luxury.