paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
I met Ralph Lauren about 1965 when he was working for the Rivitz tie company.

When he started his tie company in 1968 his "thing" was his ties were wider than was the standard tie width of the day.

Independently of each other , we both purchased some embroidered linen cloth from a company in NJ.

The best pattern had navy anchors and wheels embroidered on a natural colored linen ground.

We both had the cloth made into ties.

Because the figures were large, I had my ties made wider than was the day's current mode.

So the ties he sold to Bloomingdales - the "hot" store in the 60s - and the ties we had at Chipp were virtually the same.

We sold our embroidered linen ties for $7.50 and Ralph sold his ties to Bloomingdales for $7.50 and they retailed them for $15.

I lived at 157 E 57th St, which was 2 blocks from Bloomingdales.

One night Ralph and I met and went to Bloomies to look around the men's department.

When we went to the tie department I saw they sold more of Ralph's linen ties in 10 minutes than we sold at Chipp in 2 months.

Almost all the Bloomingdals purchases were made by women.

I have spent no time with Ralph Lauren since that night.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
I met Ralph Lauren about 1965 when he was working for the Rivitz tie company.

When he started his tie company in 1968 his "thing" was his ties were wider than was the standard tie width of the day.

Independently of each other , we both purchased some embroidered linen cloth from a company in NJ.

The best pattern had navy anchors and wheels embroidered on a natural colored linen ground.

We both had the cloth made into ties.

Because the figures were large, I had my ties made wider than was the day's current mode.

So the ties he sold to Bloomingdales - the "hot" store in the 60s - and the ties we had at Chipp were virtually the same.

We sold our embroidered linen ties for $7.50 and Ralph sold his ties to Bloomingdales for $7.50 and they retailed them for $15.

I lived at 157 E 57th St, which was 2 blocks from Bloomingdales.

One night Ralph and I met and went to Bloomies to look around the men's department.

When we went to the tie department I saw they sold more of Ralph's linen ties in 10 minutes than we sold at Chipp in 2 months.

Almost all the Bloomingdals purchases were made by women.

I have spent no time with Ralph Lauren since that night.
Good story. I remember reading about the wide ties that "made" Ralph Lauren. It struck me as funny as I read about that in the '80s when he seemed so "traditional" American style, but the ties that gave him his start appeared a bit more '70s, wide and loud.
wwd-rl-cover-slide-3.jpg


And from Vanity Fair:
In 1967 Ralph was working for the tie manufacturer Beau Brummell, named after the infamous Regency England dandy and arbiter of men’s fashion. Brummell was known for understated but well-fitted clothes, rejecting the ornate style of the era. (Although it was said he took five hours a day to dress and insisted his boots be polished with champagne.)

Ralph convinced the company to let him start his own tie line, which he named Polo. The ties were wide and handmade from flamboyant colored fabric. He worked out of a single drawer in a showroom in the Empire State Building and made deliveries to stores himself.

In his first year, he sold $500,000 worth of ties to retailers like Paul Stuart, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdale’s. (Lauren later had to obtain the rights to the name “Polo” from Brooks Brothers.)
 

TKI67

Super Member
As regards Chipp ties, count me a fan, a big fan. I am looking forward to the weather cooling off as much for a chance to wear some Chipp challis ties as anything. Although I am generally not a fan of emblematics, my English setter tie answers to perfection the question of what to wear with the NBB and pink university stripe OCBD. I am of that ancient cut of Trad that believe a blazer requires either a repp stripe or an emblematic and a striped tie does not go with a striped shirt. Having only one other emblematic, a bottle green one with a harp, worn on March 17, I needed this great new option. I am seriously considering the look more closely novelty tie.
 

naveah

Starting Member
Mr. @paul winston, I am eyeing a few of your ties and had a few questions. What type of grenadine weave does Chipp use? Fina or grosso? I can’t seem to find this information on your website.

There is also some discussion on another thread of blunt cutting ties to shorten them. What does that entail—simply cutting the narrow end, so that the end is a rough square or perhaps a rough triangle? Are there any formality, aesthetic, or durability concerns with this?

On the top of my list are these two: "Blue Ancient Madder Miniature Diamond Print Tie" and "Navy Grenadine Tie." With more discretionary income, I would also get the "Brown Ancient Madder Small Print Tie," but, alas, I am not quite there yet.

Thank you!

P.S. I have truly enjoyed your anecdotes above.
 

winghus

Super Member
Mr. @paul winston, I am eyeing a few of your ties and had a few questions. What type of grenadine weave does Chipp use? Fina or grosso? I can’t seem to find this information on your website.

There is also some discussion on another thread of blunt cutting ties to shorten them. What does that entail—simply cutting the narrow end, so that the end is a rough square or perhaps a rough triangle? Are there any formality, aesthetic, or durability concerns with this?

On the top of my list are these two: "Blue Ancient Madder Miniature Diamond Print Tie" and "Navy Grenadine Tie." With more discretionary income, I would also get the "Brown Ancient Madder Small Print Tie," but, alas, I am not quite there yet.

Thank you!

P.S. I have truly enjoyed your anecdotes above.
The ones I have are fina.
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
Choices we make and pure chance change the course of our lives.

At about 8:30 AM on September 11, 2001 I was working with a customer in the Chipp Shop on
the 5th floor of 11 East 44th St.

A few minutes later flight 11 crashed into my customers office, which was on the 92nd/93rd floor in the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

May those lost rest in peace.
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
An older man walked into the shop accompanied by two beautiful girls who he said were his "nieces" and a pug nosed man who looked like he had spent time in the ring as a middleweight .

The man was from Florida. He said a friend had told him about our quality and he wanted to order a custom tailored suit.

He placed an order.

After the man left, my father said he was "very uncomfortable" with the new customer. He thought it was very likely that the man was "mob" connected.

When the suit was ready for the first fitting, the man traveled up from Florida accompanied by the same middleweight and two different " nieces". ( Beauty and "to die for figures" were apparently part of his families genetic make up.)

After the fitting. he said he would be back in town in a few weeks.

When he returned four weeks later for the final fitting - of course with the middleweight and two new "nieces" - he was very pleased . He said he would be returning in in a month and place additional orders.

About 20 minutes after he left we received a phone call.

We were told MR......... had left something in the changing area.

What we found was a very big roll of $100 bills.

Dad said we were lucky no one went into the changing area after he left.

Dad said if we had not found the money we would have had two options- Replace the $ or direct fish traffic in the Hudson
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
In all our years in the business - Chipp was born in 1945 - we only had one court experience.

A new older customer and his wife climbed the stairs at 14 E 44th St - this was before we moved to the ground floor.

She told my father that they were ordering a custom tailored suit and that she wanted her husband to look like Cary Grant. My dad thought this was an effort at humor ; her husband was 5' 5" and weighted 210 pounds.

The fittings, alterations and adjustments went on for months.

She accompanied him to each fitting. She would sit about 3 feet behind the tailor and give a constant stream of instructions to her husband - "stand straight, your leaning to the left ( sometime to the right),balance your shoulders..............

With each change in posture the jacket would shift.

Her caustic nature got to my father as no other customer ever had.

He told me we were going to give it one more try; but since he expected it to fail he had my uncle, who was an attorney, stand bye with the "service notice".

What he thought would come to pass came to pass.

He asked the customer to step a few feet to the side. He told him there was no way to please his wife because she was "a clothing maven ". ( In the trade a maven is either an expert or some one who thinks they are an expert.)

She heard what my dad said.

She loudly said," I am not a maven. I am an Episcopalian."

The legal procedure was before a judge with no jury.

The man put the suit on. The judge looked at him and said," the suit fits."

Dad left the court house with a check.
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
Until I was many years older, David Rockefeller was the only customer who called me Mr. Winston.
He was also one of the very few who was always was accompanied by "security."

Mr. Rockefeller, whose office would always call to alert us to his arrival, would work with my father.
He also addressed my dad as Mr. Winston.

His choice of fabrics was conservative and always from our opening price range.

It came to pass that he arrived one day when my father was enjoying some Florida sunshine.

When he arrived I was finishing with a customer; so he walked up front to the cloth wall. ( This was in the days when we had a wall full of bolts of cloth.)

When I went to the front - 5/10 minutes after he entered - Mr. Rockefeller had pulled three bolts from the shelves.

When I was recording the cloth numbers I saw that one of the fabrics more costly than the opening range.

I told him one of his selections was $50 more costly.

He said, " Oh, I will make another choice,"

And he did.
 

naveah

Starting Member
Until I was many years older, David Rockefeller was the only customer who called me Mr. Winston.
He was also one of the very few who was always was accompanied by "security."

Mr. Rockefeller, whose office would always call to alert us to his arrival, would work with my father.
He also addressed my dad as Mr. Winston.

His choice of fabrics was conservative and always from our opening price range.

It came to pass that he arrived one day when my father was enjoying some Florida sunshine.

When he arrived I was finishing with a customer; so he walked up front to the cloth wall. ( This was in the days when we had a wall full of bolts of cloth.)

When I went to the front - 5/10 minutes after he entered - Mr. Rockefeller had pulled three bolts from the shelves.

When I was recording the cloth numbers I saw that one of the fabrics more costly than the opening range.

I told him one of his selections was $50 more costly.

He said, " Oh, I will make another choice,"

And he did.
Another elucidating story! Thank you for these gems, Mr. Winston.
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
My father took great pride of the fact that we had as customers a number of men who were prominent in the menswear world.

The most unusual of those men was Mortimer Levitt. Mr. Levitt, who was the founder of the Custom Shop, grew his shirt company from one small shop to 60. He also appreciated music and the arts and was very generous in his support of both.

Dad sent to make a delivery to Mr. Levitt at his 5th Avenue office. The building was on the west side of 5th Avenue in the 50s. He owned the building and there was a Custom Shop on the ground floor.

We had recently hired a salesman who was a former Custom Shop employee. He had told me how Custom Shop sales people were trained.

I looked forward to chatting with Mr. Levitt about his belief that all salesman were actors.

When I arrived I was sent up to his office.
He told me the secret to being a good salesperson was having a good script.
He said he know more about the Custom Shop products then his employees so he wrote a script about what they would be selling - each pattern, each model, each collar, each variation.
He told the trainees to memorize the scripts.

He could then sit at his desk and listen to the salesmen dealing with the customers in the 5th Avenue store.

If a salesperson didn't deliver their "lines" to his pleasure, he would call them up and review the
the "script" with them.

As our chat ended he said we was going to a meeting downtown and he could have his driver drop me at 44th and 5th.

That is the only time I have ever had a ride in a Rolls Royce.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
My father took great pride of the fact that we had as customers a number of men who were prominent in the menswear world.

The most unusual of those men was Mortimer Levitt. Mr. Levitt, who was the founder of the Custom Shop, grew his shirt company from one small shop to 60. He also appreciated music and the arts and was very generous in his support of both.

Dad sent to make a delivery to Mr. Levitt at his 5th Avenue office. The building was on the west side of 5th Avenue in the 50s. He owned the building and there was a Custom Shop on the ground floor.

We had recently hired a salesman who was a former Custom Shop employee. He had told me how Custom Shop sales people were trained.

I looked forward to chatting with Mr. Levitt about his belief that all salesman were actors.

When I arrived I was sent up to his office.
He told me the secret to being a good salesperson was having a good script.
He said he know more about the Custom Shop products then his employees so he wrote a script about what they would be selling - each pattern, each model, each collar, each variation.
He told the trainees to memorize the scripts.

He could then sit at his desk and listen to the salesmen dealing with the customers in the 5th Avenue store.

If a salesperson didn't deliver their "lines" to his pleasure, he would call them up and review the
the "script" with them.

As our chat ended he said we was going to a meeting downtown and he could have his driver drop me at 44th and 5th.

That is the only time I have ever had a ride in a Rolls Royce.
Mr Winston, have you considered pulling all these wonderful remembrances together into what I believe would prove to be a highly sought after and readable book on Growing Up In The Menswear Industry?" Each time you post such anecdotes with us, I find myself looking forward to the next. ;)
 

mhj

Senior Member
Mr. Winston, since I have access to an expert, how do you recommend storing grenadine and knit ties? I find that they stretch if I hang them and retain a curl if I roll them and put in a drawer.

Thx
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
The "21 Club", which was never a club, was a "speak easy" originally named "the Red Head". It was started by Jack Kriendler and Charles Berns. Kriendler's younger brother Peter started working at 21 in 1929.

When Jack died in 1947, Peter ascended to role of "host partner."

21 had a long standing suit/jacket and tie dress requirement. ( With two notable exceptions it was strictly enforced.) Peter Kriendler had purchased a size range of Chipp navy flannel blazers and a dozen Chipp ties so that when an "important" individual arrived without the required attire he could help them pass muster.

Mr. Pete, as he was called by 21 regulars, called my dad one morning with an urgent need.

Dad put together a package and asked me to deliver it to Mr. Kriendler.

I went to 21 and was ushered into Mr. Kriendlers office.

I had spoken to Mr. Kriendler a few times at Chipp.
We chatted for a few minutes.
He thanked me for the delivery.
I returned to the shop.

Dad called me up to his office. He asked me what I thought of Mr. Kriendler's office.

I said," Mr. Kriendler's office make me look like a "neatnik". ( I had the reputation at Chipp as having, by far, the messiest desk and office at 14 East 44th St.) I continued," He has stuff all over the place. There were a number of Remington reproduction sculptures in the office. He had his hat on one, a coat thrown over another, and one with a scarf on it."

My dad laughed. He said, " Not reproductions - all originals."
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
Although the only "Look Closely" tie on the site are Navy/Red FU, and Navy/White FU the tie is also available in Wine /White Fu and Tan/White FU.
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
I have been in the "business" since 1960. From day 1 I was not that interested in the clothing. What I liked about the business was dealing with "the people". When I say "the people" I mean all our customers, suppliers, and employees.

When I think about it , I chuckle at the fact that I only need a few fingers to count the original contributions I made to the business.

One of the "contributions" was the creation of our "rental service".

In the 60s most of the commercials that appeared on TV were created by ad agencies in NYC.

Step 1 was a story board - for example , a husband and wife go into a bank and meet with a bank VP (Almost everyone working at the bank is a VP) to discuss a loan.

There was an individual called a "stylists" - mostly girls, a few guys - whose job was to find what the characters would wear in the commercial. For the bank loan shoot the stylist might choose 2/3 sports jackets and trousers for the husband and 2/3 suits for the bank officer. They would also take a few shirts and ties. They took more than 1 because the ultimate choice would be made by the art director at the ad agency. The stylist paid a fee for all the clothing taken and after the shoot all the clothing would be returned. Any shirts and ties used would be purchased.

When the stylists stating coming into Chipp, my father told me we could not let them use our clothing because after it was used we could not sell it as new.

So one of my contributions came to pass: I purchased an inventory of cheap suits, jackets, and trousers and put them on our 4th floor. The "Rental Service" was created.

Through the years there were many amusing stories connected with the "Rental Service".

Chipp became the #1 stop for stylists. Some time the "talent" appearing in the commercial was a prominent individual. In those instances the stylist would take Chipp clothing and would buy what was used.

Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper, appeared in ads for Mister Coffee and for the Bowery Saving Bank.
They shot many ads through the years, and always used one of our Navy Hopsack Blazers.

Apparently Joltin Joe liked the blazer and would walk off the production site with the blazer.

When Mr. DiMaggio passed, they probably found 25 Chipp Navy Hopsack blazers in his clothing closet.

( I never personally met Mr. DiMaggio.)
 
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