When local businessman Allan Jones acquired Hardwick Clothes last year, he vowed the company would come back and build on its tradition as America’s oldest tailored clothing maker.
He also said the employees who have worked for Hardwick, many for generations, were “the most important asset that wasn’t on the balance sheet,” noting their experience and loyalty to the company.
It looks like the men and women of Hardwick are prepared to make Jones’ vow come true.
The company recently unveiled its new line of blazers.
NBC Sports announcers have been donning the Cleveland-made product.
Now, those blazers have picked up an award.
Garden & Gun Magazine has named Hardwick Clothes as the Style category winner for its sixth annual “Made in the South Awards.”
The awards celebrate and encourage Southern craftsmen making products in six categories: food, drink, style, outdoors, home and crafts.
Hardwick Clothes was hand-selected by three-time Council of Fashion Designers of America award-winning designer and Style category judge Billy Reid.
In 2010, Reid was named GQ/CFDA’s Best New Menswear Designer and won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. Two years later, he was named the CFDA’s 2012 Menswear Designer of the Year. Reid has collaborated with brands including Levis, J. Crew, Coach, Neiman Marcus and K-Swiss.
Hardwick’s design team began working on the award-winning navy blazer just over a year ago.
As the cornerstone of every man’s wardrobe, Hardwick wanted to create a high-quality blazer and in doing so evaluated every component of the garment and each step in the manufacturing process.
The ‘Made in the South’ award-winning blazer is made of the same fine Italian cloth found in the most high-end menswear collections, and features a custom Bemberg jacquard lining for comfort.
“Winning this prestigious award from Garden & Gun is proof of our progress. It reinforces the commitment Hardwick made last year to build the best blazer possible,” said Jones, Hardwick Clothes’ owner and chairman.
His actions saved the company from bankruptcy in June of 2014 and preserved over 215 jobs at the time. Since then the company has grown to over 300 employees.
“This blazer represents the essence of Hardwick — American-made quality, style and value. We are honored to bring the award home to Cleveland, Tennessee, and share it with the employees that helped make it happen.”
Hardwick’s top of the line blazer featured in Garden & Gun will be limited to a first run of only 250 pieces, and will be offered through select retail partners or can be preordered directly through Hardwick.com for $795.
Hardwick also relaunched its first full collection of suits and sport coats this fall, with prices ranging from $395-$595 on average. Those products can currently be found in specialty stores throughout the country, with a full listing of retail partners on the brand’s website.
“This summer, we received more than 900 ‘Made in the South’ awards submissions. Narrowing down the finalists was a daunting task, but we’re proud to present another incredible roster of talented Southern makers and artisans,” said David DiBenedetto, editor in chief of Garden & Gun. “Most importantly, it's great to see such a robust spirit of entrepreneurship and craftsmanship alive and well in the South.”
The Hardwick Clothes of today originally operated as a woolen mill, founded July 28, 1880, by local businessman C.L. Hardwick.
The factory processed raw wool and assembled garments under one roof, giving rise to the company motto: “From the sheep’s back to the clothing rack.”
“Through the years, Hardwick Clothes has endured two factory fires, the Great Depression, economic recessions, two world wars, leisure suits, inflation and – worst of all – making their employees watch China manufacture the USA Olympic team’s blazers,” Jones said. “But despite these challenges, Hardwick Clothes has continued to produce unsurpassed suits, pants and jackets, operating successfully with pride and quality. Today, Hardwick’s integrated manufacturing facilities unite design expertise with manufacturing ingenuity — truly unparalleled in the fashion industry.”
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