A Fine Man Once Said:

"Part of the 10 million I spent on gambling, part of it on booze, and part of it on women. The rest I spent foolishly."

- George Raft





Sunday, June 17, 2012

Amos Sulka & Co.: The Cashmere Overcoat



Once upon a time, A. Sulka & Co. was the preeminent clothier for the affluent from New York to London to Paris. The company’s loyal customers included such notables as the Duke of Windsor, Henry Ford, Winston Churchill, Clark Gable, Rudolf Valentino, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gary Cooper, and various members of the Kennedy and Rockefeller clans.




After Amos Sulka’s death in April 1946, the company remained a well-regarded institution among the international elite. The haberdasher had a shop in Paris on the Rue de Castiglione and in London on Old Bond Street. In addition to stores in Chicago and Beverly Hills, the company was well-represented in New York City with brick-and-mortar shops on Park, Madison, and Fifth Avenues, as well as a boutique in the Waldorf-Astoria. 




Sadly, the rise of business casual and CEO "dressed-down" chic was too much for the venerable institution to overcome. The last of Sulka's shops closed almost 10 years ago, but one can still find great examples of the classically-styled and wonderfully well-made offerings on display at A. Sulka & Co. There is perhaps no better testament to the fine works of art created at Sulka than the fact that one can still expect to pay hundreds of dollars for vintage bath robes made of vicuna or fine silks,  in thrift shops or online at eBay. 




Despite the company's poor financial footing in the latter decades of the twentieth century, Sulka pieces from the late 1980s to early 2000s did not suffer from any precipitous decline in quality. Consider this single-breasted 100% cashmere overcoat that I recently discovered. The grey Sulka tag would seem to place the date of manufacture somewhere around the 1990s.






 The manufacturer's tag inside the inner pocket identifies this particular item as having been made for Sulka by Saint Andrews - a fine Italian clothier that has provided suiting for Ralph Lauren's Purple Label  line since that esteemed icon relieved England's Chester Barrie of the manufacturing responsibilities for the Purple Label clothing line in the early 2000s. Its not outside the realm of reason to expect to pay approximately $4000-5000 for a similar camel-colored cashmere overcoat from Saint Andrews today.



While the demise of the venerable House of Sulka remains a sad tale, one can take some comfort in the fact that the company's offerings remained of the highest quality unto the end.

4 comments:

  1. Either a business occasion, get together events or any special parties, cashmere overcoat is the best suit for men.

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  2. I have 3 Sulka silk shirts from the 80's. I have them because I used to work there. I am interested in selling them. If anyone is intersted, my name is Steven Lantz. My address is 1601 West 5th St., Brooklyn,New York 11223. My phone no. is (718) 645-2783.

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  3. II have still in my possession a sik scarf my parents gave me some 50+ years bought during world war 2 in Sulka's of Old Bond Street London W1.

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  4. I Sulk coat that a lady i know give me 4 year's ago. How can I tell if it's a real Sulk coat. The label is inside the coat with A.Sulka and Co.with New York and Chicago on the inside on the label.

    ReplyDelete