Chalk to Me

By The Editors
January 15, 2013 9:00 am

Handcrafted products, nicely done. Welcome to Made By Hand, a recurring series in which we celebrate great American things and the tradesmen who create them.

The subway-tiled walls gleam a toothy white. The overhead lights leave no corner darkened. And there’s no floral wallpaper. No filigreed armchairs. No taxidermy leering from above.

Just tailored suits, and pretty.

Welcome to White Chalk, a gleaming gallery of bespoke suiting, now open in NoLita.

White Chalk

Helmed by Aaron Black, who hails from Comme des Garçons and Paul Smith, White Chalk — named for the tool tailors use to, well, tailor — was conceived as “a backlash to staid men’s tailoring.”

Because, Black says, “People are sick of being spoon-fed boxed suits.”

So he does bespoke. And for his off-the-rack items, he only makes four of each.

White Chalk

To design his suits, Black pulls influences from myriad eras — from the Victorian Era to the early ‘70s — to create, say, “a 1920’s houndstooth meets David Bowie” number complete with belted jacket and silver buttons.  

Black’s fabrics are sourced from pedigreed mills like Holland & Sherry, and each suit is crafted entirely by hand with incredible attention to detail.

Hence: artful pick stitching, a range of collars (peaked, semi-peaked, notched …), and floating canvases — the internal fabric that allows a suit to conform to your body’s specific shape.

And beyond the traditionally rakish, Black does decadent evening wear, too.

Like a Victorian tux suit with midnight-blue satin details.

Not your grandfather’s suits. But they could be yours.

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