Joseph Abboud makes a dapper return to the brand he founded, sold, reunited and reinvigorated.
FROM LEFT: custom chestnut velvet topcoat with cover stitch and herringbone flannel lining, $2,295, and ivory flannel herringbone trousers, $495; custom black-and-white herringbone topcoat with black Sherpa collar, $2,100, black Donegal hooded sweater, $295, and charcoal herringbone trousers with cover-stitch side seam, $495; all at josephabboud.com.
Ask Joseph Abboud to choose the highlights of his storied career, and the answers say a lot about the man himself. He doesn’t cite being the only person to win the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award two years in a row, the reported $65 million he made selling his trademarks to JA Apparel in 2000 (Men’s Wearhouse, now Tailored Brands, has since bought them back) or the flagship Joseph Abboud store that opened on Madison Avenue two years ago. Instead, he takes us into the past 30 years: to 1987, when he first launched his line. “I had been working for Ralph Lauren. I had a wonderful job. Why leave? Why do this?” he asks himself. “I was happy I had the courage and the strength of my convictions to do it because I thought it was the right thing to do. At was one of [my] most important decisions,” Abboud recalls. Then he returns his story to 2013, when, after an eight-year absence from Tailored Brands (where Abboud is currently chief creative director), he bought its parent company, JA Holding, as well as the factory, which employs 750 people. “Going back to the factory in New Bedford, Mass., for the first time was one of the most emotional moments of my life because it was like going home.” Today the 67-year-old Boston native, who was voted best dressed in high school, is inspired by the current generation embracing menswear in a new way. "The younger guys are interested in custom clothing,” he noted. “I love the fact [that] they’re getting dressed again—maybe it’s a return to a new kind of elegance.”