Creative director Aaron Black offers the urban gent a truly bespoke, handmade tailoring experience that nods to the ideals of Savile Row with his new boutique in New York's SoHo neighborhood. His brand White Chalk (the name a tribute to one of the key tools in the tailor's arsenal) creates garments in New York, while shoes are handmade in Italy. "This season all of the off-the-rack suiting is produced using fabrics sourced from the world-famous Holland & Sherry Mill in runs of four items each," Black tells us.
Setting the brand apart from the sometimes stuffy bespoke atelier environment is a vibrant, bold approach to linking White Chalk's suiting and accessories with a genuine in-store experience. "The store was developed as a blank canvas and it was essentially a backlash against the model that most men's shops are following—thinking that they can put up striped wallpaper and add taxidermy to sell high-end suits," says Black. "We wanted the eyes to travel to the garments. We thought of this as a sort of gallery space to highlight our 'art' which happens to be the clothes." Inspired by the early-'80s art scene in LA, Black worked with artist friends to create unique pieces for the store including the "seatcase" in collaboration with Tony Wurman and a custom mirror by Eve Kaplan.
Beyond the traditional suiting offerings, White Chalk's line is distinguished by vibrantly printed Italian cotton pajamas. "They're inventive suits which we think will be a favorite of both men and women—revolutionizing the meaning of 'day-to-night' and designed as the quintessential attire for the decadent man and woman," says Black, who adds that an "Oscar Wilde-type character sprang to mind during its development."
As for the more traditional daytime pieces, White Chalk's premiere collection references elements of tailoring spanning the Victorian era through the early '70s and includes six different styles of jackets with various collar options including semi-peaked, notched, clover notched, clover lapel and Black's own signature cuff.
White Chalk offers bespoke service by appointment with the whole process and production starting around $3,500. Ready-to-wear suits for for around $2,500, still offering something more individual and considered than the big brands, from someone who clearly knows how to balance modernity and heritage. Special features include deadstock horn, mother of pearl and nickel-plated buttons, and buyers can opt to have their initials embroidered into a jacket's silk lining before leaving the store.
The White Chalk boutique encompasses an entire discerning lifestyle, with an impressive range of accessories to accompany the apparel.
240 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10012