Launched just over five years ago, Halsey is a California-based non-denim men’s bottoms brand that was created by the father and son team of William “Bill” Halsey Johnson III, a textile and fashion industry veteran, and his son, William “Will” Halsey Johnson, IV. Offering high-quality and immensely wearable shorts, trousers and pants, the reasonably priced label is definitely one to consider when seeking alternatives to jeans. The younger Johnson recently spoke to me about Halsey’s ethos and impressive offerings…
Why is 1944 an important year to the brand?
1944 was the year that my father, William Halsey Johnson III, was born. He’s been an integral part of creating and developing Halsey. Our mission statement reads: “1944 was a year on the cusp of a great change. We entered into a phase of freedom, both socially and economically that forever changed our attitudes and culture…. Halsey was born in a time of old ways. A man’s word was his bond…integrity was as important to business and relationship as air is to breathing. A product made, was an acquisition, not something to be soon discarded. Quality was the measure of a company’s reputation. Comfort and durability went hand in hand.”
What sets Halsey’s pants and shorts apart from other brands?
Our fundamental difference from other bottoms brands is our textiles. We develop our fabrics from scratch by incorporating novelty yarns, weave and finish specified for each fabric. The core of processing is our garment dye, enhancing texture/softness and removing shrinkage from the garments.
What are some of the key/bestselling styles for spring 2016?
Our spring collection has been on fire! Our consistent bestseller has been our Santa Fe Stretch Cutter prep short. We carried this fabric over into the Robert five-pocket pant and it has been a huge success. My personal favorites are the Knit French Twill Cutter prep short. This fabric was knitted locally in Los Angeles, California and exported to our factory for garment manufacturing.
Where is the brand manufactured?
Currently we manufacture garments with our partners in China. Our factory has been a partner of ours for over two decades and is instrumental in supplying premium merchandise for our customers.
Do you ever plan to expand into other categories besides bottoms?
We started the brand with the idea of creating the best fitting and most comfortable pants/trousers/shorts in the market. We ultimately wanted to gain the trust of our customers in one segment of the market. Initially offering one category, we maintained our focus on quality. Eventually we will evolve into a full collection. Spring ’17 could be the season that evolution begins. Stay tuned!
Who is the Halsey customer?
We have not put an age restriction on the Halsey customer. My father and I are in different age spectrums at 29 and 72. When we design the collection our emphases for styling is fundamentally the same; to offer creative silhouettes without loud obnoxious styling. We emphasize subtle details for our consumer to notice over the course of time wearing our product. Where we vary is with fit, with Bill focusing on comfort while I focus on fashion trends. As we have grown and listened to our customers, we have expanded our fit selection into three classifications: Classic, Straight and Slim to offer styles to all Halsey customers.
What sort of fabrics do you use?
The majority of our fabrics are cotton based with a touch of Spandex. The novelty textiles we run are with rayon bamboo, Tencel and linen. Fabric content is only where we the start our development. The fun part comes when we select the specific weave for the fabric with a specialized wash or finish to complement the fabric and garment wear.