Interview with Harry Rosen's merchandise manager // Web exclusive

Need advice on shirts and ties? Precedent sat down with Ed Liston, merchandise manager of designer brands for Harry Rosen

By Sarah Casselman

On Friday October 19th, 2007

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Seven sexy lawyers at Harry Rosen

Precedent: How do the fall runways for men’s collections influence what will be stocked on your shelves?

Ed Liston: The runway shows do influence Harry Rosen’s merchandise selection in shirts & ties, to a degree. We look to the runways for introducing hot new colour trends and new silhouettes. This is prevalent in our fashion-forward lines such as Armani Collezioni, Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana, and Etro. Runway shows are revolutionary and provide us with the “new” factor, but our business wear is more continuously evolving. Certain shades will slightly change from year to year, but there aren’t huge impact changes in the business world.

Precedent: What are the big new trends in men’s shirts and ties? What things should men avoid this season (or store at the back of the closet). Are stripes still big?

EL: For Fall 2007, you will see narrower ties. Armani introduced their tie width at 8.5 cm, and Hugo BOSS comes in a little narrower at 7.5 cm. The skinny tie influences a slim fit shirt as well, the collar is a bit shorter and the body is fitted. The colour trend is dark and muted. Our shelves are stocked with muted greys, tan, plain black, charcoal, and even dark brown shirts. Stripes are still in, but they aren’t as bold as the past few season — they are toned down, but still important in a man’s wardrobe. Avoid bold bright colours like pink, and lavender — dark is in.

Precedent: Should men buy their shirts/ties based on trend? Their colouring? Something else?

EL: Buying a shirt and tie is a personal preference. Many men are still buying white and blue shirts for work, but they are starting to recognize that they need a great shirt and tie for special events. We have clients who stick to the basics for work, but also want to try something new for occasion dressing. Buying a shirt and tie based on colouring is sort of outdated. It’s true certain colours won’t work for everyone, but it’s not a drastic point to look out for.

Precedent: What is a great fall investment in terms of button-down shirts for the office and a great tie — what serves as multi-functional?

EL: A button down shirt (as in buttoning down the collar) is more commonly seen in sport shirts – we stay away from pairing a tie with a button down shirt. But for dress shirts this season, we highly recommend a white on white French cuff shirt. This will take you from the office boardroom, to evening; to different types of events such as weddings or cool club wear. It’s a great versatile investment for this year.