in defense of elitism & black sheep I have always said that we never set out to sell shirts and were more than quite happy to go about our travels in our own manner. Picking some absolutely top notch things up along the way and working with family craftsmen to produce objects truly worth having. I could have cared less about pleasing more than our small group of wayward lads and had no grand designs on converting the world to our obsessive way of thinking. Still. Here we are, having outgrown our original (well crafted) bag of ideas and fabrics, and reaching more discerning folks than we would ever have dreamed. But it would seem it’s not enough. Along the way we have listened to “industry insiders” who have led us down a path which frankly I’m not entirely comfortable with. the most beautiful shirts for just the right sorts We want to make beautiful objects with the utmost attention to detail with a quality seemingly unheard of today yet we don’t want to make too many of these precious things. We want to be obsessive about our goods and want to share this passion with those that appreciate the value of a small family operation and a good story. Our goods have provenance and we stand proud of that. You should too. I’m told you can’t run a business dealing in such small batches and everything must be “scalable” and intended to reach as massive a market as possible. They tell me its a numbers game after all….. To hell with numbers and those who live and die by the spreadsheet. I refuse to cheapen our product in hopes of seeing an airport full of orange stitching poking out of suit jackets. I don’t want the guy sitting next to me on the flight to ZRH wearing what I’m wearing. You don’t want to see it either…. We aren’t going to make husky sizes for the big lads and we certainly aren’t going to offer a hundred riffs on one shirt with warehouses full of “product”. We make shirts in very small batches. If you miss out we are sorry. Act quicker next time. The smallest of runs Our Italian process every 8 weeks Often times I am told by people that they only buy “custom” shirts. This intrigues me as for years I have had my shirts made by venerable British firms and lets face it, Imperial Black started as a result of my searching for the perfect shirt in Italy. I always probe the custom obsessed for a bit more information…. Me: “Who’s doing them for you”? Them: “I do them online. I choose the collars. cuffs, and there are a ton of fabrics to choose from. Its great” Have it your way I suppose. You can build your own hamburger at Burger King but at the end of the day it’s still a shitty piece of meat, on a shitty bun, mass produced for consumption by the general population. Don’t be a fool. Luxury doesn’t come cheap and it’s certainly not as democratic as pressing buttons on a key board, choosing from an identikit of looks and having FedEx plonk a package on your doorstep. At Imperial Black we revolt against this phony individualism. We can do bespoke better than anyone but it’s not going to be convenient and it’s not going to be inexpensive. Our work shop in Italy loves doing bespoke work and we would be thrilled to have you if in the Venice area. But that’s not our truest strength…. One of our boxes finding its way to the Peruvian Amazon What we can provide you is an object of desire made meticulously in the smallest of runs every 8 weeks and what we feel is by far the best customer service we have come across in any industry. We have forged extraordinarily tight bonds with our lads and we cherish this. You are part of the lineage that begins in northeastern Italy, you are a part of our travels, and you are a part of that which we hold forth in a marketplace that sadly holds convenience over quality. It’s okay to walk a different path. It’s alright to be obsessive about things. We understand obsessions and thrive on them. Is a bit of elitism such a bad thing after all? We are the only thing we know how to be and will remain committed to our obsessive ways. Are you in?