A century ago one man arrived in New York from Russia, with big dreams and humble beginnings. Samuel Kravet did, however, possess one valuable; an artisan craft.
Samuel, who began working as a tailor on the lower east side of Manhattan, came to establish a thriving family business that now, in its 100th year, celebrates and commemorates with Modern Tailor, an extraordinary collection of elegant fabrics and complementary wallcoverings.
“Kravet Couture is taking a page from its origin story with this collection. The artisan skill that started it all, sewing, is center stage in Modern Tailor, but ushered into the modern day,” Scott Kravet said.
This collection reflects on where it all began, with a strong nod to fashion, drawing inspiration from the runway with a focus on bespoke tailoring techniques. He then began selling rubber straps that men would use to keep the sleeves on their button-down shirts up,” Kravet said. Back then, there was a one-size-fits-all shirt size policy! After spending much time inside the homes of his wealthy clients, Samuel Kravet discovered a new niche market, selling tassels and tie-backs for drapes.
Dresscode is an updated houndstooth, while New Suit features an updated take on patchwork with large contrasting stripes. Contemporary color stories and modern construction reimagines the patterns that Samuel fell in love with, rendering them relevant to today.
Additionally, the Proxmire fabric is an exploded weave that’s meant to mimic your favorite cable knit sweater. Catwalk stands out as a reinvented chevron inspired by an original document from the Kravet Archive. The pattern originated in Turkey and this hand-woven document was hand-dyed with vegetable dye, which makes it truly once-in-a-century.
Six coordinating wallcoverings round out this collection, featuring screen and digitally printed patterns. Last Look is a custom hand-painted pattern with a textured stitch effect that adds three-dimensional texture, while Running Stich has a glamorous feel made of faux leather and hints of metallic. Leaf Sketch and Proxmire are graphic, two screen-printed patterns.
Modern Tailor’s tribute to high-end fashion trends can also be seen depicted within the DDB 3rd Avenue entrance window. Tweeds, pleats, quilts, knits and more create a storied look with a modern twist for this homage vignette.
“The fabric collection, Modern Tailor, is a testament to the history of the company itself. Samuel Kravet, a tailor from Russia, arrived in NY with the artisan craft of sewing,” said Doug Garfinkle, EVP Showroom Merchandising, Kravet Inc. “From those humble beginnings rose the company that we know today. This window and collection marry the two concepts together.”
For the display, Garfinkle explained that the first must-have was the large mural photography of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where the magic really started. A few vintage and antique elements of the window also add to its overall storyline. The old-fashioned sewing machine is from Ellen Kravet’s personal collection!
The new collection works seamlessly together within the display, much like how one would put together an outfit. Spice tones, steel blues, and blush pinks are mixed with menswear-inspired grays and camel neutrals, along with fashion-forward peacock teal and rich navy, making the vignette and the collection truly pop.
“Windows are theatrical and theatre is best viewed live – So are windows,” Garfinkle said, eloquently explaining that, “The window tells the history of the company through observation, like a giant curiosity cabinet filled with memories.”
Samuel Kravet’s skilled artistry is mirrored in the details highlighted within this elegant collection and display. Finely stitched embroideries, pleated fabrics, patch-worked wools, and cozy cable chenilles are reinvented into luxurious fabrics and wallcoverings relevant for the layered decorating of today.
“Our clients love the family history of the company; the fact that we are now working with the 5th generation is remarkable, Garfinkle said. “The viewers [of the window], our clients, are part of that history as well, and hopefully this presentation brings them closer to our core.”
Follow the story in Kravet locations within the DDB Suite 1202, PDC Suite B624, DCH Suite 150 and DCOTA Suite B-180.