Ledbury – Custom Shirting Southern Style
Custom shirts are everywhere these days. Many brands are geared towards the executive who needs racks of them for work or needs them made in a certain amount of time. But how about those of us who just need a good looking shirt to wear to the local bar?
Ledbury is that shirt company. Based in Richmond, Virginia they aim to appeal to the Garden & Gun set and they are gaining quite the following. Paul Trible and Paul Watson were in business school at Oxford when they met and later Trible apprenticed under a prestigious British shirt maker before launching Ledbury in 2009. They use the finest Italian fabrics, yet cut their shirts with a more modern fit that separates them from your pop’s button downs.
In celebration of their Nashville pop-up shop next week, Ledbury will debut their first-ever city-based Short Run collection, five limited-edition shirts inspired by the Music City. The Nashville Short Run Collection features a chambray and several cotton linens, lighter spring fabrics and more casual styles to reflect Nashville’s polished yet laid-back demeanor. Red, white and blue colors subtly echo that notion of Americana.
To bring the collection to life, the boys tapped some of Nashville’s finest gents to model the shirts on location, including: Boot maker Phillip Nappi, owner and designer of Peter Nappi, Imogene + Willie shop manager Jay Wilkison, Avenue Bank CEO Ron Samuels, Catbird Seat/Patterson House restauranteurs and brothers Max and Benjamin Goldberg.
We spoke to Paul more about the brand and its future.
How did you end up in Richmond?
I grew up in Virginia originally, and my business partner, Paul (Watson) is from New Orleans. After a number of years abroad, I think we were both ready to move back to the South and recreate the lifestyle we grew up in. Richmond was going through a renaissance in terms of art, music, food, of which we were excited to be part. And it has been a great fit. The clothes that we make are very much representative of the style of the city, the state and the Southeast as a whole. I think our brand would look very different if we were based in New York or LA.
From the feedback your clients offer on social media when you do your Short Runs, what do you see men really wanting in a shirt?
I am big believer that when it comes to shirting men want great fit, great feel and durability. That said, we are also finding that men don’t mind being challenged in terms of fabric and pattern. Guys are becoming more and more willing to explore big checks, unique fabrics (like moleskin or cotton cashmere) and even prints.
Are you noticing different trends in different parts of the country?
The South loves its button collars. New York is into the cutaway that we recently launched. The West Coast is still wearing a lot of plaid.
What kinds of trends are you seeing in men’s shirts?
It’s funny, I feel like men’s shirts right now are going in one or two directions. On one hand you have a lot of solids (chambrays, denims, small checks), and on the other you have prints. Every 10 years or so prints become big again and this spring they certainly seem to be making a comeback.
What is the most common question you get?
1. Why don’t you make shirts with pockets? (our dress shirts come without pockets)
2. Is everyone in your office named Paul? (there are usually 3 or 4 in any one meeting)
What is next for Ledbury?
More shirts and new products. We came out with more than 200 different styles of shirts last year. This year it will be well over 300 styles in over 25 collections. That’s a lot of fabrics, and there are some really unique options.
We also have a bunch of new products. A new blazer collection for spring, which we love, and a large sweater collection of the fall. And I am wearing a pair of Ledbury pants as we speak. Not sure if these will ever hit the store floor, but we are having a lot of fun testing them out…
The collection will debut Tuesday, February 19, at www.ledbury.com, and will also be available at the Nashville pop-up, February 22-23, hosted at the incredible Peter Nappi studio.