Read Wall F/W12

Read spills about shopping online, “Made in USA” and why fit trumps all. See his latest at: http://www.readwall.com/

D: What does a modern athletic fit mean?

RW: It’s a more descriptive way of saying “this isn’t your dad’s boxy button down.”  Slim fit can sometimes sound effeminate and tailored fit is decidedly vague–we want guys to understand that our clothes fit the way they should.

D: How important is fit to you when buying clothes?

RW: It’s the end-all, be all. No mater how awesome an article of clothing is, if it doesn’t fit right, it’s going to look bad.

D: What constitutes the change from the Read Wall Project to now Read Wall?

RW: The change was made for a few reasons. First, we were introducing a ton of new products and wanted customers to see that we were growing up a bit. We don’t want people thinking this is some sort of school project–we aren’t building baking soda volcanoes over here. Second, we wanted to reclaim our image a little. I thought the company’s brand strategy as RCP had become too mission-driven and less about the clothes, so it’s a way to press the reset button and refocus on what’s important: the outstanding quality and fit of our products. We’re still giving books to kids, but we aren’t going to play it up to pull on heart-strings.

D: What is special about the new collection, what is F/W12 all about?

RW: Our FW12 collection is inspired mostly by my prep school years — it’s an authentic representation of what real prep clothing is all about: really nice clothes worn with little regard to how nice they are.

D: What are your thoughts on buying clothing online as opposed to in a store?

RW: Sizing is the most difficult thing to gauge. We try to make our sizing as simple as possible (for example our shirting is done by neck measurement instead of alpha sizing) but it’s still tough. The convenience of online shopping is the immediacy — you don’t have to make a special trip to the store, instead you can read about something and buy it right then and there (hint hint). And if you know your size in a brand, then bam, you’re set. We offer free shipping on all orders to help off-set some of the inconvenience.

D: Why is Made in USA important to you?

RW: There’s a great article written recently by Jian Deleon (http://www.complex.com/style/2012/08/does-it-matter-if-your-clothes-are-made-in-america/page/) in response to Elizabeth Cline’s new book ‘Overdressed: the Shockingly High Cost of Fast Fashion.’ Jian’s point is basically that there is high quality and low quality clothing made everywhere — and the main determinate for buying a brand should be actually liking the clothing, not where it’s made. I totally agree. It can certainly add to the story, but it isn’t nearly the most important factor.

For me, “Made in America” means less hassle. If you’ve ever tried to have an email conversation with someone that doesn’t speak English and lives in a time zone on the other side of the world, you’ll understand this–an email chain that should take an hour takes 2 weeks. Plus, it’s just an incredible experience working with a great factory in America. For a few extra bucks, I get to work with people who care deeply about what they do, and take pride in the finished product (and speak fluent English). I think that’s pretty cool.

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