Posted on Tuesday 25 June 2013 by Ulster Business
Selena Gibson of shirt-maker Smyth & Gibson, who oversaw delivery to Bloomingdale’s, with Dean McMullan, manager at Clockwork in Victoria Square
The deal will see Derry-based Smyth & Gibson's ready-to-wear line of men's shirts go on sale in New York as part of the exclusive 'Brit Invasion' Fall collection, as well as at four other flagship stores including Chicago and San Francisco.
According to the husband and wife team behind the classic brand, Richard and Selena Gibson, the export deal demonstrates how the Northern Irish textile industry can compete with the very best in the international marketplace.
Every Smyth & Gibson tailored shirt is hand cut and passes through the hands of at least 15 highly skilled shirt makers –attention to detail that saw GQ's June edition select the brand as one of its desirable items to own.
Selena Gibson, who oversaw delivery to Bloomingdale's, said: "This deal will see Smyth & Gibson stand alongside the very best in men's fashion – very much the equal of Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Armani. The opportunity to work with Bloomingdale's represents a great endorsement of a traditional Northern Irish product and the quality of local craftsmen in our Derry factory."
It is the latest in a series of developments that sees Smyth & Gibson maturing as a standalone, luxury fashion brand.
Increased public attention fell on the brand last autumn when Gary Barlow sported the label regularly on The X Factor.
In addition to its established relationship with Selfridges in London, the Smyth & Gibson brand will soon be going into top fashion stores in Hong Kong and Japan.
Dean McMullan, manager at Clockwork in Victoria Square, where the shirts are sold in Northern Ireland, said the Smyth & Gibson appeal "lay in the mix of natural fabrics, down-to-earth styling and subtle wit - a perfect fit for young professionals seeking superb quality and on-trend styling".
Mr McMullan added: "Clockwork underwent a re-brand last year that saw the new-look Flagship store in Victoria Square focus on collections of high-quality functional casual wear of which Smyth & Gibson is part. Our customers want a tailored yet fashionable look inside and outside the office. Astute customers, both here and in Bloomingdale's, want noticeable quality that lasts – and this is at the core of the Smyth & Gibson offering."