No one knows when and where it began. Perhaps a brief meeting of eyes over glasses of Brunello at a Tuscan vigneto. Possibly a shared dining car table on the Orient Express. It doesn’t really matter. What is of most importance is that no one would know anything about it were it not for the letters.
Brief, neatly typed notes on creamy, 32 lb. bond embossed with the letterhead of one Madeleine Finn. Enticing remembrances from another era sated with travel, adventure and abundance of spirit. Treasures discovered years later, lovingly tended and secreted in the newel post of a stairway in the New England country home that belonged to my father’s brother.
William—Uncle Will to me, Dearest W to his mysterious correspondent—was a man of wide interests and knowledge. Yet to my young eyes, he reserved his passion for only two things—the fit of an impeccable white shirt and the precision of a game of bocce.
Where Madeleine fit into either category I will never know. But her last letter to my uncle provides some hint of her influence him as well as proof of her inspiration to me. “If there is anything I have learned about life” she wrote, “it is this—always aspire to live simply and elegantly.”
I have embraced this philosophy and embodied it by creating the simplest and most elegant wardrobe accessories a man could ask for—perfectly tailored, indispensable, casual sport shirts. Sport shirts made like a dress shirt—the way the finest shirts were once made.
This commitment manifests itself in only the finest of materials. The highest level of craftsmanship and attention to detail. The highest regard for the traditions of the past…a dogged insistence on excellence and distinctiveness. And, finally, in the best men’s clothing stores in America to display the simple proof in the elegant pudding.