Friday, July 10, 2009

The Resurgence of the Man | The Hill-Side

As the runway shows progress in Milan and Paris the trends show nothing more than feminine frills and nonfunctional design. See-through mesh clothing, tights, hair accoutrement, and the like but the companies that my eyes are focused on are not on the runway. In fact, they are not even in most stores, they are in the hands and pockets of a select few true men out there. And if you look close enough you just might see the canvas tag on the edge of that beautiful selvage chambray handkerchief that reads The Hill-Side.

Emil Corsillo, part owner and designer of the Hill-Side, is one of those men. So, while he was in Los Angeles I could not pass up the chance to talk and get to know the man behind the selvage chambray. So, I invited him to join me for an early afternoon drink at Coach & Horses, a phenomenal dive bar on Sunset. It didn't take long to point him out with his familiar but new canvas bag, Folk shirt and vintage Oliver People glasses. So we sat down and ordered a drink.

From there we talked about the progress of The Hill-side, how it's taken off to the point where they are turning stores away for their first season and saying no to a very, and I mean very, large account that would take them from the small brothers-owned company they are to a powerhouse in no time. And all for good reason. Emil and his brother are creating a relationship and a trust between themselves and the stores that have taken a chance in purchasing their product before they had a reputation to back themselves up with. And what a smart choice those stores made.

Emil then reached down to grab the canvas bag that looked all to familiar. I didn't realize till I was already on my way home that he had showed me an all canvas bag with leather handles and straps and brass buckles from the L.A.-based Heritage Leather Co. As he grabbed the bag, I noticed his logo stamped on the front and when he pulled out a rolled piece of canvas I knew I was in for a surprise. Unraveling the canvas to reveal some of the most beautiful ties I have ever seen was like opening a birthday gift that you couldn't keep. Excited, happy, and appreciative to only have the contents wrapped back up after the line was shown to me. And as I looked at each piece, it was the little things that mattered that made The Hill-Side what it is.

The love of a product is most expressed in the details. In the hand stamped number on the back of each tie, the selvage edge at the edge of the ties and handkerchiefs, the store that was expressed with each individual tie, and the line sheets that were professionally printed on card stock and hand tied with string. The care that was put into each item he handed me, even though they were samples made each of them that much more special. Restoring my faith in the once thought to be ever lost art of the hand made/hand tailored apparel item.


Anonymous said...

Shaun said...

What large cajones you must have, Anonymous. Too bad I already own the Elements of Style but I don't have the Bedford Handbook. I will check it out, thanks.

Oh, and fuck off.

Anonymous said...

Well said Shaun!