Business

Ledbury’s Paul Trible: “We’re indifferent to this whole activewear thing.”

RICHMOND, VA — It’s possible that Paul Trible and Paul Watson, the two Pauls behind menswear firm Ledbury have mistaken 2017 for 2011. That year found the men’s tailoring scene, at least in the US, was at its height: A hoard of menswear blogs devoting coverage to tailoring, a rabid young base of fans eager to support the idea of it (but rarely the financial means to actually do so), and a bevy of menswear brands happily capitalizing on the excitement.

This year, however, the situation is altogether quite different. Menswear is undeniably trending towards sweatpants territory. Even merchants of prep, J.Crew, have jumped into the activewear pool. Not to be deterred, however, Pauls Trible and Watson have decided that going opening a full, made-to-measure suiting arm is the way to go.

We asked Trible about this. Why is Ledbury doubling down on suiting in this way — and why now?

The key rationale: Ledbury’s only focus is their core customer, broader trends be damned. Here’s Trible:

“I think that part of our success has been that our design decisions tend to be more customer driven then trend driven. Our guy isn’t looking to us for active wear or the latest technical pullover, he shops with us for what we do well. Timeless pieces, that are incredibly well made, fit great and will last.”

Where this fits: Although the suiting craze has died down, what’s left are companies like Ledbury that are now smartly serving a need that in light of current trends, might be more valuable than ever. Ledbury in some ways is going against the grain: When most of menswear seems to be opting for luxury sweatpants, Paul and Paul are opting for cuffs and lapels.

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