FASHION TAKEOVER DECADES IN THE MAKING
Interviewer : Geneva Relf
Geneva: Greetings, thanks for taking the time out for this interview today.
John Carroll : Thank you Geneva, it's a pleasure to speak with you.
Geneva: Fashion, glamour, and sophistication yet best kept secret. Why do you think Carroll & Co. clothing has lasted so long?
John Carroll : We've never strayed too far from our core values over the last 60 years. We provide our customers with classic gentlemen's clothing of the highest quality in a comfortable environment. We have a dedicated staff, some who have been with me over 30 years, who really enjoy what they do and it shows when they are working with a customer.
Styles change, as we do, but we don't get too crazy. We work with many small family owned companies, usually from Italy, England and Switzerland. Often times we are their only account in the United States. They are flexible and can adapt items and models to our way of thinking. Carroll clothing is timeless, both in style and in workmanship.
Geneva: Hollywood's top notch men have been spotted in the upscale Carroll & Co. clothing line. When it comes to a suite what's the key element to putting it together?
John Carroll : A suit should stand the test of time. You can't wear a suit today that has wide shoulders, a low button stance and a coat length that is too long. It' going to look too 2004. Suits have trimmer silhouettes today, lapels have narrowed a bit, buttons are higher and coats are shorter. Hollywood men usually jump on these changes and often times they last a season or two. But the new fashion coat today will be here for a while, so a man shouldn't be afraid to buy a couple of new suits - the trend will be here.
Choose a high quality suit from a high quality fabric. Spend the extra few dollars to look extra special. Make sure it is tailored professionally - no wrinkle under the collar, show just a touch of shirt cuff at the sleeve and make sure the lapels don't break at the chest.
The pants should have no pleats and a slight break at the shoe. We often get asked about cuffs or no cuffs. We still like a cuff on a suit, but it's certainly in fashion today if he chooses a plain bottom
Geneva: From movies, magazine covers to the office, what is so powerful about a tailored suite?
John Carroll : A man really can't be overdressed today wearing a suit. A properly tailored suit on a man makes a statement - he can go anywhere. A fine suit with a dynamite tie is proper in the boardroom - take off the tie and accessorize it with a nifty wool or cashmere polo shirt and you're out to dinner, a club or a movie.
Geneva: What is the biggest misunderstanding men have about looking tailored?
John Carroll : Men often think it takes too much time, effort and money to look tailored. This is a complete misconception. It takes just as long to put on an old pair of jeans as it does to put on an elegant wool slack. If you're unsure of how to properly coordinate, have a professional help you put together outfits and hang them together in your closet. And I'm a big believer in buying quality - buy less outfits of better quality. You will be much happier in the long run.
Geneva: However many changes have been made throughout the years in fashion, so how have you and the clothing line adjusted to fashions forever fickle mind?
John Carroll : We're not staid, but we're also not trendy. We're don't want to reinvent anything. Our clothing is classic in style. You can wear a Carroll suit or jacket or sportswear outfit for a number of years. We do a lot of clothing for television shows and many producers appreciate that in re-runs our things can still look fresh and not out of style.
Geneva: Fashion is always evolving, what has been your method for continuous success?
John Carroll : It's more than just keeping in line with the fashion trends. I shop the markets twice a year, I'm in Italy, England, New York for fashion weeks. I like to see where the trends are going and tailor them to our Carroll customer. But there is the customer service aspect, which I strive for excellence with every day. We have seasoned professionals working with us who love what they do and are the best I have seen anywhere. Our tailoring department is top notch - two of our tailors have been with us over 30 years - and know all the elements of a proper fit. We have a very comfortable environment for people to shop.
Geneva: Where can we find the clothing line, and keep up with the latest the line has to offer?
John Carroll : Our website is www.carrollandco.com. It's best for customers to register their email address there to get our eblasts and mailings of all the latest Carroll & Co. happenings.
Geneva: What is your personal motto for overall success in any business?
John Carroll : I can't take credit for the quote, but the saying
"Quality is long remembered after price is forgotten" goes a long way with me. Also, I truly believe that even though the consumer in inundated with brands today, your name on the door is the most important name in your store.
Geneva: Thanks again so much, I appreciate you taking the time out. Is there anything you would like to add before we go?
John Carroll : Thank you Geneva, this has been fun!