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Fashion November, 21 2012

Selectism Q&A: Club Monaco – Michael Williams & Aaron Levine on their ‘Made in the USA’ Collection

The Made in the USA collection from Club Monaco in partnership with ACL‘s Michael Williams, brings together classic menswear staples all made with care in America. Keeping things simple, the carefully chosen line includes easy to wear button downs, cashmere knitwear, wool overcoats, raw selvedge denim and smart blazers. Club Monaco’s Menswear head Aaron Levine and Michael Williams recently found themselves in London for the European launch, nosey as ever we threw some question at the guys in the hope of finding out a little more. Read on for some background, grab the line here and  at Anthem, London.

Can you tell us a little about the Club Monaco ‘Made in USA’ project in general?

Aaron-We’re working with great factories who specialize in making traditional
menswear. We’re putting together some essential pieces that we love by then
applying our modern fit and using high quality fabrics.

How important are collaboration projects for Club Monaco?

Aaron-These projects are another key avenue that keeps us inspired. When we work
on these projects, both parties get excited. We love having the opportunity to
do what we do for a living. The Made in the USA collection is much more than
a collaboration; it is about supporting American craftsmanship and offering our
customers an amazing product that we are all proud of.

What are the basic ideas you’ve tried to bring to Club Monaco Menswear since
joining the brand?

Aaron-We’ve tried to define our ideal pillars of menswear. We want to make sure we
are giving the customer, first and foremost, what he wants from us. Once we feel
that we’ve got our guy covered, we have some fun. Along with giving our guy
what he needs, we want to give him considered pieces he cannot get anywhere
else.

How and when did your involvement with Club Monaco come about?

Michael-One day out of the blue I got a call from the Club Monaco CEO John Mehas; he liked the aesthetic of my site ACL and wanted to explore working together on this USA collection and in other ways. That was about two years ago and the partnership has been great and has exceeded all of my expectations.

Can you tell us a little about the design process for this collection?

Aaron-It started with finding a great fabric for a camel hair topcoat. This was pinned to
a board and once we set this, we started organically growing this little capsule
around it. We thought what coat, blazer, trouser, shirt, and neckwear would he
wear with this? All of the ideas came from this one piece and it went from there.

From a personal point of view what does ‘Made in the USA mean to you?



Michael-More than anything it means great quality product. It is also about supporting traditions of people in small communities that bring a tremendous amount of skill in making specific garments like button-down shirts, denim suits and so on. We want to celebrate the know how and traditions, especially when those things exist right in our back yard.

How would you describe the collection?

Aaron-It is an edited collection of updated essentials with a strong personality.

Michael-The collection is rooted in iconic items like suits, sport coats, denim, ties and button-down shirts. The made in USA line is all about the core items in a guy’s wardrobe. With this collection we wanted to create clothing that can stand the test of time.

How did you end up working with the guys at Anthem, London?

Aaron-Stopping in the shop during a trip to London, it was obvious that this group of
men had an amazing taste level. After a few conversations, both parties were
into it and excited about the possibilities.

Is there anywhere in particular you find yourselves heading to when you’re in
London?

Aaron-We spend a lot of time in the East End just getting lost. I love going to cities other than my own and exploring new things. You can have the most interesting experiences that way. But when I get lost in London, I always power up with a breakfast sandwich from St. Johns beforehand.

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