Spoerry 1866, Zeitgeist Redefined
What do Chanel, Queen Victoria, James Bond, the Duke of Windsor, and Louis Vuitton all have in common? The answer later …
This time around, back in July, I wasn’t at all interested in the runway shows at Berlin Fashion Week so instead I chose to visit one of the three Trade Shows, Premium. Dizzy from mainstream fashion mediocrity I came to my senses in a simple space, when seeing a small collection for men which felt like stranding on an island of good taste and understatement. Naturally I was excited to meet the force behind Spoerry 1866, Product Manager Christoph Irnich, who took some time to talk to me about the company and the clothes.
Spoerry 1866 has been the worlds renown supplier of yarn to the luxury segment of the textile industry from day one. Day one, that is the year 1866, when the Spoerry brothers set up a spinning plant in Flums, a small village in the rural valley of Switzerland. Spoerry 1866 is producing the finest, richest and most expensive thread in the world. Sea Island Cotton builds the fundament of their yarn. In addition, the company has been using Vikuna, Cashmere ,Silk or Wool to enrich the raw cotton material according to their customer requests.
Coming from a long line of adventurers (the great grandfather of Mr. Spoerry would travel with his hot-air balloon over Egypt and South America, another flew his own plane, then there was a Spoerry who raced against Steve McQueen in the seventies) Peter Spoerry, who runs the company in
fifth generation, continuous the family tradition. His keen knowledge of the production side based on over 140 years of experience paired with great resources plus his collaboration with leading craftsmen in Italy and Switzerland made the launch of Spoerry 1866 Men’s line two years ago come very natural. His decision, to first introduce his current collection in Kingston during Jamaica
Fashion week back in June was no accident either. Together with local farmers, Mr. Spoerry owns a plantation -that also treats the cotton- in Jamaica (as well as in Barbados) and showing the clothes there was like paying tribute to the homeland, like going back to the roots!
What I saw in Berlin was a small and exclusive line of about 35 pieces of basic Men’ s wear. Colors mostly navy and white… You find a traditional gentlemen spirit paired with a taste for luxury and great ease in those clothes. So I wondered just who would wear Spoerry 1866′ s accoutrement on & off screen? Dickie Greenleaf for instance or let’s say, George Falconer on the weekend, definitely Jay Gatsby, both Danny Ocean and George Clooney , then there is the ever so stylish Patrick Bateman, David Bowie,Russell Simmons, Kayne West, Puff Daddy in Saint Tropez. You get the picture?
On that note; remember my question? Here is your answer: Sea Island Cotton. According to Ian Fleming, James Bond’s shirts were made of fine Sea Island Cotton, Queen Victoria’s handkerchiefs, the former King Edward VIII only wore Sea Island Cotton shirts and nowadays luxury brands like Tom Ford, Vuitton and Chanel -to name a few- all use Sea Island Cotton in their garments.
Sea Island cotton (Gossypium barbadense) grows in the West Indies; Barbados and Jamaica, because the climate there is perfect. But what makes it so exclusive? For one, the answer lies in its extremely long staples (1.5 to 2.5 inches, 35 to 60 mm) Then there is the silky shine, the texture with the softness of cashmere, as well as its durability, long wear and almost no shedding. Beware though, Sea Island Cotton is not a trade mark. Only after WISICA, the West Indian Sea Cotton Association, certifies the cotton with a numbered hologram, you know you have the real deal.
Yearly harvest allows very limited production which makes Sea Island Cotton such a rare commodity. Demands are high and with that, so is the price.
By the way, appropriately enough Spoerry 1866 will be introducing their line during NY Fashion Week in a small and intimate gathering at Core … you might just read about it in Vanity Fair (I heard George Wayne fell in love with the clothes in Jamaica) and here of course, as our editor at large will have the exclusive rights to cover this party… Cheers to quality, taste and tradition!
To see the runway show please visit Spoerry 1866