“Only Cooper Ray would have a fashion show and turn away fashion editors,” Fern Mallis (creator of New York Fashion Week) said as an introduction to her audience on Sirius FM during the presentation. “Miss Fern,” I said, “the club rules were clearly stated on the invitation. Deepest apologies for any inconvenience, but I hope editors won’t blame me if they didn’t take that seriously.”
You see, it was never meant to be exclusive, that would be anathema to what we do here. Club rules are club rules and we respect rules. And tradition. So with that we went about the business of launching a new collection of prep neckwear and blazers in a venerable building home to an old school men’s club.
As for the actual presentation, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves and not offer up any “this is what I was going for” nonsense. If you’ve been here for a while, you know what we are going for, what we appreciate, admire, hold up and respect. If you’re a new comer here, well, first of all welcome. And next, look around, pour yourself a scotch and make yourself at home. But yes, you must abide by our club rules. No vulgarity or profanity or disrespectful snark. The internet is full of that. It is not tolerated here. Oh, and slip on your blazer and tie when you come in. Like a wise woman once told me, Look your best when you leave out your front door. You never know when you gone meet your destiny.
As the photos tell you the story of what we presented, let me just add my favorite moments to fill in some color and flavor. First there was the very long load-in on Thursday evening. We were not able to access the room until 10 PM, so until then we steamed and ironed and prepped and waited. As we waited, old friends from Charleston who were in the city started checking in. Can we help? Of course. Before long we were a dozen Charleston strong. We ordered up some scotch, a few pizzas and got to work. It meant the world to me to have good friends around. It eased the tension and made the work go pleasantly. I thank my home team from the bottom of my heart. You see, this collection is a distillation of what I see around me every day in the Holy City, so it was only fitting that those were the hands that put on the final touches before the presentation the next morning.
Another great moment for me was looking around during the actual presentation and seeing my sweet southern belle mother holding court at a table in the back of the room, editors and industry execs all stopping by to pay homage. At one point the Brooks Brothers team were surrounding her and I thought, isn’t that a perfect picture? I also loved that my brother stepped in and became our sales executive, walking the Japanese buyers through the collection. He also held a little impromptu demonstration to an important editor who forgot his tie. They met up on the sidewalk in front of the club and thanks to my bro, we received a nice mention in the press.
It goes without saying how grateful I am for all the friends, family and readers who chipped in to make this presentation a reality. The real joy for me that day was looking around the room and seeing all those faces filled with pride looking back at me. There was a nice representation from the Charleston Brotourage mixed in with friends from every stage and city of my life, even Angelenos came in for the occasion. No man can do it alone and I am a product of the people who believe in me.
So now the glow of the show is fading and the real work begins. We find stores and hopefully a showroom. We hit the road hosting trunk shows in our favorite haberdashers across the land. And we get to meet you, the ones who actually wear what we do. And it is to you, in the end, we tip our hat and thank you for your support.
Reviews are still coming in, but here are the hits so far:
Reversible Bow Ties: 75.00
2-Tone Long Ties: 125.00
Retailers interested in hosting a Trunk Show and carrying the collection please contact SP@socialprimer.com
Social Primer Campus Rep Program now taking applications. Here.
and register to win a bow tie.
You know the drill. Advertisers want to know your business before they give us business.