Eton of Sweden Opens Flagship Store in New York
Luxury shirt maker, Eton of Sweden, has opened its first freestanding store in North America. Located at 625 Madison Avenue and East 58th, the flagship store promises to be a Mecca for anyone in search of the finest quality shirts, ties and men's accessories.
"The opening of this store marks an important milestone for Eton," says Hans Davidson, president of the 82 year old family-owned company and grandson of the its founders, Annie and David Pettersson. "Our loyal New York customers have asked us time and again for a location in the city. We are thrilled to offer them the full breadth of our collection in this fantastic neighborhood."
Eton of Sweden is known around the world for its innovative and classic designs, exclusive colors, a proprietary fabric finishing process, and full range of coordinating accessories. "While fashion seasons come and go, classic pieces that always look good is the key to sustainable clothing," says Sebastian Dollinger, Eton's Creative Manager. "Throw away fashion is not something we believe in."
Gallery: Eton of Sweden Opens in Manhattan
The boutique will be used to showcase the entire product line of men's shirts, neckwear, cufflinks and other fine men's accessories, according to Erik Wilkinson, Eton's Director of Sales for North America. The store will feature Eton's Red Ribbon collection (its classic dress shirts), Black Ribbon collection (formalwear) and a new Green Ribbon sport shirt line. Eton's new hand-made Diamond Collection will launch in Spring 2011.
The company introduces new products eleven times a year. Under the creative direction of Dollinger, the company releases as many as 70 exclusive designs per season, with each design offered in several different color ways. In total, Eton offers 550 to 600 different shirts each season as well as coordinated accessories from cufflinks to ties and pocket squares. "Our customers can expect to see the same color of red in an Eton tie that is found in the cufflinks and our shirts," says Dollinger.
Eton manufactures nearly 800,000 shirts annually and distributes them to 42 countries. "There are not that many specialists left in the world," Dollinger adds. "We are lucky to be doing what we are really good at--which is shirts. We are excited to show what we can do in New York."
Shirts range in price from $235 to $295 while a bespoke shirt is priced at $320. Ties, which are made in England and Italy, retail for $125 while its cufflinks, which are also made in England, retail for $125. All collections are available in classic, contemporary and slim cuts at the New York boutique as well as at fine department stores and specialty stores across the country. Currently, the company only offers shirts for men, but hopefully, it will one day add a women's line and perhaps one for boys, as well.
The company is known for paying attention to seemingly small details, from the buttons it uses to the coordinated lining found inside its ties. Eton of Sweden's buttons are unique and a patented invention created by its former creative director, Jan Borghardt. The buttons have a concave face with two holes rather than a flat front with the standard four holes---making it much easier to button and unbutton with one hand. Eton shirts have button holes that are made with 125 stitches, far more than the shirts produced by other shirt makers.
Eton buys high quality Pima cotton directly from a consortium of farmers in Peru. The cotton is then weaved in Northern Italy and France before being transported to Switzerland for a lengthy, proprietary and high-tech 35-step finishing process that produces a smooth, crisp and wrinkle-free result. The fabric is made into shirts in Estonia and Sweden. "We are in charge of the entire manufacturing process, from buying the cotton to the finished shirt," says Dollinger, 27, and son of Borghardt (a 34 year Eton veteran who now serves as a senior advisor to the company).
To be sure, Eton of Sweden has thrived as a luxury shirt maker. While it has expanded its product offerings to include accessories, it does not and will not offer a suit collection. "We are a proud shirt maker and it is something we want to perfect," explains Dollinger, who began his career at Eton at the age of 20 in the stockroom cutting fabrics for his father.
The 1,500 square foot Manhattan boutique was created by Jason Volenec and Silvia Zofio from RKIT Design in New York who worked in collaboration with Eton's longtime partner, Danish architect Morten Bogh Andersen. The boutique incorporates a creative mix of classic and modern materials: dark grey tile floor, dark Swedish Oak fixtures, brightly colored carpets, machined steel and smoked glass. The main floor on the street level will be for retail sales, while the lower level will house the company's wholesale showroom and a VIP area for customers. The store's telephone number is (212) 758-3866.
In tandem with the New York opening in December, Eton of Sweden is opening its second freestanding store in North America in downtown Montreal on Rue St George.
Eton of Sweden was founded as a made-to-measure shirt company in 1928 by Annie and David Pettersson. It is still headquartered in Ganghester, the same small village in Sweden where it was founded.