official Chipp Neckwear Thread

fishertw

Elite Member
The year was 1987.

After his suit fitting Mr. Cook said he wanted to talk to me about our dog breed ties.

I asked him what breed of dog he owned.

He said he didn't own a dog. He wanted to put our ties in his mail order catalog - The
Joan Cook Catalog, which was a housewares catalog that had never run a necktie.

Mr. Cook had been a customer for a few years, but I didn't know anything about the Joan Cook Catalog.

He asked me if we would be able to "drop ship".

I enjoyed challenges. I asked him how many ties he anticipated selling. He said 200 - 300.
I told him we would have no problem handling it.

He told me he was going to put the ties in the Fall and Christmas catalogs.

In mid August the first Joan Cook Catalog went into the mail.

Two weeks later my wife called to tell me our mail box was the recipient of 3 manilla envelopes containing a total of 225 orders.

I called Mr.Cook and told him I was surprised with the number of orders we received.
He said it what he expected - between 200 - 300

I said I thought he meant 200 - 300 ties for the run of the catalog from September to January.
He said he meant 200 - 300 per week.

One week we hit 750 ties.

That fall my kids and a number of their high school friends spent a lot of time in our basement as members of the "Chipp2 Shipping Department."
"Ya' love it when a plan comes together"!
 

jc1305us

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Mr Winston, when, pray tell, is your book coming out?! I for one will buy it, and devour it! I love reading your posts, keep it up!
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
I enjoyed going to work every day. The pleasure of the business was dealing with the customers. Some of our friends became customers.

My wife and I are "dog people".

In our 55 years of marriage we have had 5 Sheepdogs, 2 Briards, and 2 Cotones. We also had 4 cats and 3 children.

Three of our Sheepdogs were bred by Sandy and Kay Woodard in Stamford, Ct.

They became friends and then Sandy became a customer.

Old English Sheepdogs do not shed - they have hair not fur.

When they are groomed a lot of hair gets brushed out.

Sandy started saving the hair in big garbage bags.

Included in the bags was hair from two of our dogs -Bella and Boswell, who sandy would groom and show. ( Bella became a champion.)

After separating the white hair from the gray hair Sandy bought a Wyatt Norwegian Wheel and taught himself how to spin the hair into yarn. The resultant yarn was a combination of 50% Sheepdog, 25% Gottland wool, 12.5% silk and 12.5% Merino wool.

Sandy then purchases a Schacht Baby Wolf loom and taught himself how to weave.

The fruit of this labor was enough cloth to make one jacket.

The cloth is as soft as cashmere and the pattern is a zigzag herringbone.

When he would go into the ring he would wear the jacket and one of our Sheepdog ties.

Because I knew Bella and Boswell were part of the jacket was my bonus.
 

Vecchio Vespa

(aka TKI67)
I enjoyed going to work every day. The pleasure of the business was dealing with the customers. Some of our friends became customers.

My wife and I are "dog people".

In our 55 years of marriage we have had 5 Sheepdogs, 2 Briards, and 2 Cotones. We also had 4 cats and 3 children.

Three of our Sheepdogs were bred by Sandy and Kay Woodard in Stamford, Ct.

They became friends and then Sandy became a customer.

Old English Sheepdogs do not shed - they have hair not fur.

When they are groomed a lot of hair gets brushed out.

Sandy started saving the hair in big garbage bags.

Included in the bags was hair from two of our dogs -Bella and Boswell, who sandy would groom and show. ( Bella became a champion.)

After separating the white hair from the gray hair Sandy bought a Wyatt Norwegian Wheel and taught himself how to spin the hair into yarn. The resultant yarn was a combination of 50% Sheepdog, 25% Gottland wool, 12.5% silk and 12.5% Merino wool.

Sandy then purchases a Schacht Baby Wolf loom and taught himself how to weave.

The fruit of this labor was enough cloth to make one jacket.

The cloth is as soft as cashmere and the pattern is a zigzag herringbone.

When he would go into the ring he would wear the jacket and one of our Sheepdog ties.

Because I knew Bella and Boswell were part of the jacket was my bonus.
Dog people are the best. We have English setters. My Chipp English setter tie is a rare exception to my general preference for challis or madder over emblematic ties. It looks pretty natty with a pink university stripe OCBD and a blazer.
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
With apologies to all - this post has nothing to do with my Chipp experiences or Ask Andy "stuff".

Because I am 82 and have some time on my hands I am venting about some of the things that bug me.

1. I am almost computer illiterate. ( When I have something I can't do on the computer, I start by calling my youngest granddaughter - she is a really smart 6 year old and can guide me about 80% of the time. If she can't do it, I call in the "big Gun" - my almost 17 year old high school junior granddaughter whose standard test scores are as high as you can get. )
Without them and my son, who has nothing to do with Chipp Neckwear, I would need to close the web site.

2. Paying ( By telephone) my monthly business credit card bill using using the business checking account at the same bank that has issued the credit card. First I need to listen to advertisements and promotions. Then choose a category. Then wait for a human - which can take varying amounts of time. Then identify the company - card #, bank account #, company tax id, my social security number, sometime an "assistance code", which I don't have.
It was a lot easier for me to get through to JKF's secretary or David Rockefeller. All I needed to do was say it was Paul Winston from Chipp to confirm an appointment.

3. Try to reach a human at the USPS, MVD or a state Government office.

4. Communicating via Email or Text. I would rather talk on the phone. Something I can say in less then a minute can take me 5 minutes to type

Although I have more, I have taken too much of your time.

My next post will return to the stories.
 
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paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
In my last post I said my next post would return to my "stories". The best laid plans of mice and men......... But something happened about 10 days ago and I am telling everyone about it.
My wife is a flower and plant person. Our deck looks like a flower shop. Two big fat Bumble Bees were always collecting. We saw them so often we gave them names -Edgar and Mary
My wife purchased a few bushes to add to our landscaping and arranged to have a landscaper she has been working with come to plant them. ( The bushes were not small and my old bones were incapable of digging the necessary hole in our rocky ground. The landscaper, who also is not young, brings her son Christopher when excavations are needed. He is also a landscaper.
While we were chatting, Edgar circled us and then landed to do a little collecting.
Christopher says, " You can pet Bumble Bees." He reaches out and pets Edgar, who didn't fly away. Edgar then moved to the next flower and I pet him. He was very soft like cashmere. Then my wife pet him.
We were so excited we drove to my daughter's. She has a magnificently landscaped very large home and as luck would have it her landscaper, Mark , was there. ( Mark has been in the business for about 40 years and is the most prominent landscaper in our neck of the woods.)
I asked Mark if he knew about bumble bee petting - assuming he would certainly know.
He said he never heard of it. A bumble bee ( Not Edgar) makes an appearance and I pet it.
Mark is floored. He pets the bee. My daughter , who is afraid to touch an earth worm, pets the bee. She calls out my granddaughters- age 17 and 13 - and tells them what we are doing.
Now we all pet Bumble Bees.
NB: Big Bumble Bess, not the other flying visitors. You pet them - VERY DELICATELY - when they are collecting from the flower.
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
The Cup that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper is not the only Holy Grail.

There is a Holy Grail in the men's wear trade.

It is an elusive "something" that an individual saw.

They didn't buy it. It has bothered them ever since and they are searching for it.

They know exactly what it looks like; but there is a difference in perception and truth. Truth does not change - it is eternal. Perception is a projection. One sees what one wants to see.

If they came upon the original "something" that started the search , it wouldn't be "it."

Even though it was the very item they saw it wouldn't be quite right - it would be a little too blue, or a little too long, or a little too heavy........

With the passage of time one's mind changes the item to one's projected image of perfection.

It will never be found.




















i
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
When we had the shop in our Brown Stone at 14 E 44th, it was not unusual that someone would call tracking down a customer who they thought might be in the shop.

Our telephone operator would make a general page - " There is a call for Mr. -------."

My brother Jimmy and I were not above paging fictitious individuals -
Telephone call for Mr. I.P. Standing, or Is Mr. Ben Dover in the shop? - to cite a few announcements that were made.

I was in the front of the 2nd floor showing cloth to a customer. From the front of the shop one could look to the back where there would often be a customer having a fitting.

We had a customer whose name was Michael Jackson.

Mr. Jackson was a 6' 5" caucasian. On this day Mr. Jackson was fitting in the back and his secretary called and asked to speak with him.

Our operator made the page - "There is a call for Mr. Michael Jackson"
( This story goes back many years to when Michael Jackson, the entertainer, was at the height of his career.)

The customer with whom I was working said, " I didn't know you made clothing for Michael Jackson."

I told him we not only made Mr. Jackson's clothes; he was fitting as we spoke. I pointed to the other end of the shop - " There he is."

My customer looked at "our " Michael Jackson and said, " I never knew he was so Tall."
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
Jack Kent Cook bought a lot of Chipp shirts. We never sold him any clothing- but he really liked our shirts.
The first few times he came into the shop my father worked with him - he was the kind of man who wanted to work with "the boss."

Sometime they would sit in my dad's office talking - I can still hear them laughing as they swapped stories.

He told dad that he was envious of the fact that dad had two hard working sons that had joined him in business.

One day he walked in and dad was out of the building.

I worked with him and after a few minutes he became " easy going" and for me my reality fell far short of my apprehension.

From that time on he wouldn't ask for "the boss" - my bother jimmy or I would help him.

After dad died, we sold our building and moved around the corner to the 2nd floor at the corner of 43rd and Madison - the 342 Madison Avenue Building.

Our space had huge windows. When you looked out of the corner window facing Madison, you saw the Chrysler Building ,which Mr. Cook had bought in 1979.

Now when Mr. Cook would come in, he would walk up front to chat with Jimmy, whose desk was in front of the corner Window.

He would look at "his" building and smile.

He told Jimmy how he had told dad about his envy.

When our mother died a few years later, I wrote to Mr. Cook and told him the objects of his envy - the Brothers Winston - were available for adoption.
.
 

Ryan Burwinkel

Starting Member
Paul, I've so enjoyed these stories -- almost as much as I feel guilty for never thanking you!

I treated myself to a pair of your grenadine ties (my first-ever grenadines, no less -- one in navy and one in burgundy/wine.) with some gift money from my grandfather two Christmases ago.

When he passed away just a few days later, I reached out to ask if there was any way you could get the order to me sooner so I could wear one as a pallbearer. He was a Harvard man, and I knew he'd appreciate the gesture of my wearing "proper clothes" to his funeral.

Well, here I am, wearing the navy. If I recall correctly, I think you went ahead and overnighted them to me the same day that I reached out, free of charge. I always meant to thank you. But, then Covid happened... and, well, so did everything else!

So, finally, and far too late: Thank you, Paul! You're a true gentleman who also happens to make some damned fine ties. When my day comes (Lord willing, several decades from now), I think this'll be the last tie I'll wear, too.

51409999977_debfb32fbc_b.jpg


-- Ryan
 

EclecticSr.

Elite Member
Paul, I've so enjoyed these stories -- almost as much as I feel guilty for never thanking you!

I treated myself to a pair of your grenadine ties (my first-ever grenadines, no less -- one in navy and one in burgundy/wine.) with some gift money from my grandfather two Christmases ago.

When he passed away just a few days later, I reached out to ask if there was any way you could get the order to me sooner so I could wear one as a pallbearer. He was a Harvard man, and I knew he'd appreciate the gesture of my wearing "proper clothes" to his funeral.

Well, here I am, wearing the navy. If I recall correctly, I think you went ahead and overnighted them to me the same day that I reached out, free of charge. I always meant to thank you. But, then Covid happened... and, well, so did everything else!

So, finally, and far too late: Thank you, Paul! You're a true gentleman who also happens to make some damned fine ties. When my day comes (Lord willing, several decades from now), I think this'll be the last tie I'll wear, too.

51409999977_debfb32fbc_b.jpg


-- Ryan
^^^^^^^ "Qoute" . When my day comes (Lord willing, several decades from now), I think this'll be the last tie I'll wear, too.

Ryan, when that day comes, as must come to all, may your sincerity grant you that stairway to a far better place.

Not often one can emote such a passion to an inanimate piece of cloth that brings such heart felt emotion to a fact of life or of passing.

May the good Lord grant you many decades and in the best of health.

I welcome you if you wish to stay. We need members like you.
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
A lot of water over the dam since 1960.

I remember Chipp sold English Silk regimental stripe ties back then for $3.50.

The catalogs that now arrive have few ties offered and for those ties pictured $190 - $240 prices are quite normal.

Many things have changed through the years.

The Sunday New York Times had a Style Magazine - people read news papers in the days of yore.

There was a brief period in the 60s when what Chipp, Press, Triplers, Paul Stuart and Brooks were doing became "mainstream."

The great majority of the time that was far from the case. My customers wouldn't wear what was pictured as "The Fashion" if you gave it to them for free.

I never felt the word "fashion" pertained to our business.

The common thread shared by the men and women we served was a security in knowing what they as individuals wanted.

They did not all want the same thing. They marched to individual drummers with no regard to what was "in".

When I look at the flyers I know that time has passed me by.
 

127.72 MHz

Elite Member
I love your assessment of Chipp's customer's tastes. And it seems to me that an integral aspect of your business being so successful was your ability to know what your customers wanted. I am impressed.

I would love to go back and visit Chipp.

I am sure that looking back to 1960, one year before I was born, is much more severe for you than the contrast that I see between my first experience with a tailor in 1987,...

I made payments on my first MTM suit and the tailor could not have been a more accommodating fellow.

Either way they are memories, fond as they are, of a world gone away.
 
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