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Brooks Brothers Spring/Summer 2018 New York

The retailer will be celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.

By Jean E. Palmieri

On the eve of its 200th anniversary in 2018, Brooks Brothers continues to home in on what has allowed it to survive all these years.

“We’ve done a lot of research,” said chief merchandising officer Lou Amendola, “and it’s all about bringing innovation to consumers based on their needs.”

The retailer was the first to offer ready-to-wear suits, for example, and the company has a long list of other firsts, as well.

Today, Amendola said, the customer is seeking performance and functionality in their garments and Brooks Brothers is responding by injecting its assortment with updated fabrics and features.

For spring, the brand will update the construction of its Golden Fleece tailored clothing — a line made in America in the brand’s Southwick factory in Massachusetts — to give the jackets structure while retaining their lightness. “It still feels like a shirt,” he said.

There will also be a focus on the “new blazers” for work — sport coats in patterns that are appropriate for work or play and serve as “an alternative to the navy blazer,” Amendola said.

Brooks will also offer a “fun shirt,” a multicolored patchwork-style oxford that will also be offered online for customers to design themselves.

Other initiatives for spring include a Golden Fleece shoe collection that is being designed and manufactured in-house in Italy. Initially, 12 styles will be offered in a variety of traditional models such as cap toes, wing tips and Chelsea boots that will retail for around $568. They will include Goodyear-welded soles and technologies that will keep the leather in the shoes from cracking and make them more pliable.

While the spring collection remained consistent to Brooks Brothers’ heritage, the updates help keep the brand as relevant today as in 1818.

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