U.S. Luxe Fashion Designer Turns Forbes Interview Into Impassioned, Made-in-America Rallying Cry

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U.S. luxe fashion designer, Andy Stinson, unexpectedly turned a Forbes.com video interview into an impassioned, rallying cry for Made-in-America. Nicknamed "America’s Armani" and famed for his chic revival of the Hollywood Waistband trouser.

Popsicle Brights Collection by Stinson R. Ely Bespoke

"Rarely does a designer emerge who is at once both avant garde and iconically classic. Incorporating a true, American hand-made esthetic, the designs of Stinson R. Ely are truly a cutting edge, tour de force in contemporary menswear."

Again polishing the patina of his "rebel-designer" rep, U.S. luxe style meister, Andy Stinson, unexpectedly transformed a Forbes.com fashion interview into an impassioned, Made-in-America rallying cry that has since turned the 55-year-old designer into Made-in-America’s hot new lightning rod spokesman.

Nicknamed "America’s Armani" and famed for his contrarian but dandy-ish collection of Hollywood Waistband trousers, Stinson’s inspirational, 2 ½ minute interview was immediately added to YouTube after its late-February debut on Forbes Lifestyle Channel.
Forbes.com link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/josephdeacetis/2013/02/12/the-capitalist-touch-clark-gables-pant-in-style-again/
YouTube: Stinson R. Ely: Clark Gable’s Pant In Style Again

Stinson’s aggressive, pro-Americana advocacy pits the 55-year-old designer in a David vs Goliath shoot out against a tiny in-crowd of Italian super brands that dominate the U.S. luxury market. On the flip side, it’s a small but highly profitable niche composed of a near- recession-proof clique of mega-spending U.S. consumers, all fervent, made-in-Italy zealots.

Touting retail prices from $625 to $2,000-plus per pair, Stinson R. Ely Bespoke ranks America’s priciest and most exclusive trouser label. Its nosebleed prices alone catapults Stinson past any-and-all American rivals and into a clique of adversaries that counts Italy’s top luxury brands his sole competition.

No shrinking violet, Stinson is the only American designer with the daredevil audacity to square-off against that sliver-thin clique of opponents that touts Italy’s most coveted brands, from Kiton, Isaia and Brioni to Ermenegildo Zegna. Though few in numbers, they rank among the world’s most aggressive and well financed competitors. Not even bucks-up Ralph Lauren has dared tackle that challenge. That in itself makes Stinson, a long time made-in-America champion and co-founder of the Consortium of American Luxury Makers (CALM), a gutsy maverick who marches to his own drummer.

Despite their supposed invincible choke-hold over luxury fashion, Stinson’s risk-the-ranch gamble on a revival of the iconic Hollywood Waistband trouser – an Americana-born fashion classic last popular nearly 70-years ago – hit pay dirt, its longshot success sped by a bevy of editorial praise, from Robb Report, Cigar Aficionado and MR to Departures and Four Seasons Magazine, along with countless blogs.

In a feature titled "Uncommon Style," the current, Fall-Winter issue of Four Seasons Magazine ranked Stinson one among "Eight of the world’s best, but little known, makers of luxury menswear." The influential men’s fashion blog, Sartorially Spreaking, added: "Rarely does a designer emerge who is at once both avant garde and iconically classic. Incorporating a true, American hand-made esthetic, the designs of Stinson R. Ely are truly a cutting edge, tour de force in contemporary menswear."

Entirely artisan hand-crafted in America by the 50-year-old tailoring firm, Adrian Jules, fashion wonks and retailers, alike, consider Stinson R. Ely Bespoke America’s only toe-to-toe rival against any-and-all of Italy’s most coveted brands. Many even consider it the world’s very best, hand-made slack, bar none.

Fueled by Adrian Jules’s meticulous hand-make and Stinson’s avant garde but still stylishly chic designs, Stinson R. Ely Bespoke is now sold at 25 of America’s most prestigious luxury retailers. At many of those 25 stores, Stinson R Ely Bespoke is the only American brand among their mostly Italian merchandise mix.

Despite his comparison to Italy’s Armani, Stinson is a longtime, Made-in-USA activist who has aggressively championed Made-in-America throughout his career, first as one of fashion’s top brand imaging gurus, then later, as a fashion designer.

In 1985, Stinson and his longtime partner and girlfriend, Roberta "Robbi" Ely, founded Stinson/R. Ely & Partners, a brand consulting firm that would grow into one of luxury fashion’s most influential, publicity and brand imaging machines. During their agency’s 22-year tenure, Stinson and Ely represented Anglo-American brands, exclusively, and boasted an A-list client roster that included a Who’s-Who of top American fashion brands and designers, from Robert and Audrey Talbott to Baade II, Cole-Haan, Martin Dingman, Tommy Hilfiger, Trafalger-Ghurka, Adrian Jules, Seaward & Stearn and others.

In 2004, Stinson and Ely, co-founded the Consortium of American Luxury Makers (CALM) with Traci Paul and Mary Ann Paul, the creative wizards behind the Atlantic City-based, artisan cufflink maker, Baade II. Since its founding, CALM’s executive board has grown to include Arnald and Peter Roberti, co-CEOs of Rochester, New York’s Adrian Jules and Neil Borin, founder of Boulder, Colorado-based neckwear maker, Carrot & Gibbs.

A Made-in-America advocacy group designed to spark a global renaissance in U.S. luxury goods, one of the most important objectives among CALM’s multi-tasking agenda, tells Baade II’s Paul, "is transforming ‘artisan hand-crafted in America’ into a highly coveted, worldwide ‘status symbol brand’ that rivals the persuasive influence on consumer purchasing wielded by today’s ‘Made-in-Italy’ tag line."

Stinson and CALM co-founder, Traci Paul, are convinced the successes of their own brands, along with those of their CALM members – themselves, all once obscure, small-fry brands -- will prove both the catalyst and inspiration, as well as a connect-the-dots blueprint, that emboldens hundreds more of small, American artisans to become the global luxury market’s new, creme-de-la-creme of gotta-have fashion labels.

About Stinson R. Ely Bespoke:

Founded in 2010 by brand-imaging consultant, Andy Stinson, Stinson R. Ely Bespoke is a luxury niched collection of men’s and women’s dress and formal slacks, each pair artisan hand-sewn by Rochester, New York-based, Adrian Jules. Anchored by Stinson’s revival of the iconic Hollywood Waistband slack and touting bold and adventurous pattern motifs interpreted in daring colors, Stinson R. Ely is a dandy’s collection exclusively.

Since its launch in 2011, Stinson R. Ely Bespoke has grown to include hand-crafted cufflinks, American alligator belts, neckwear and pocket squares and a soon-to-debut, ready-to-wear (RTW) collection. All are artisan hand-crafted in America.

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