Ad Campaign – A. Sulka & Company, 1946

This ad from 1946 gives a bit of a hint of the luxury that was Sulka.  At one time THE place a gentleman in New York went for his shirts and neckwear, Sulka closed its doors in 2002 after a long downhill slide and a noble but failed attempt to resurrect the company.

Amos Sulka and partner Leon Wormser started the company in the 1890s on lower Broadway.  Originally they made uniform shirts for fireman and policemen, and for butlers.  Before long the employers of these well-shirted butlers became clients of A. Sulka, and the business became a shirt and tie supplier to the ultra rich and famous. In the early years of the 20th century they  started a store in Paris, and in the 1920s the New York store moved to Fifth Avenue and there were stores in London’s Old Bond Street and in Chicago.  They even bought a textile mill in Lyon, France that supplied them with fabrics of the highest quality.   Sulka had arrived, and being a customer of the store said that you had arrived as well.

Sulka products were luxury at its finest, and quality that was matched only by stores such as Turnbull and Asser in London. In all the years I’ve been haunting used clothing shops, I’ve run across only a handful of Sulka items, including a necktie that was lined in the same fabric as the tie, and that had an extra piece in the neck to ensure that it fit properly.

So last week when I pulled a gentleman’s silk and cashmere scarf from the Goodwill bins and then saw the Sulka label, I had to suppress a little squeal of delight.

In 1975 the last family owner sold his share of the company, and for the next 15 years A. Sulka floundered as it was sold several times.  In 1989 it looked as though the company was saved when it was purchased by Vendome, a holding company in the business of luxury brands such as Cartier and Piaget.  It is interesting that in my 1996 book, Style and the Man, author Alan Fusser is cautiously optimistic concerning the future of A. Sulka.  Unfortunately, Sulka’s target customers were more interested in Brioni and Ralph Lauren, and the last store closed in 2002.  The trend toward “heritage” brands came a little too late for Sulka.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Ad Campaign – A. Sulka & Company, 1946

  1. Hi!
    That’s really very nice and exciting, i love this blog Thanks for sharing this…………

    Like

  2. Kevin Mc Eneaney

    My father was an employee of the “old” Sulka brand. After WWII he came home and was employed by A Sulka & Co. and always told great stories of the rich and famous who shopped at this store. It was more than a business and had a very loyal following. The employees were a family. My father had many ties thru the years of his employment at Sulka and are well kept in his closet. I even worked at the Park Ave. store when I was going thru college. It was very sad to see the decline of this once gold standard of men’s fashion. I owe it to the buyers who purchased very questionable fashion choices and then forced it on to the salesmen who made an attempt to sell. This was not to work. The loyal following of A Sulka knew fashion and they also knew quality. Unfortunately the quality and the style was lacking with the new buyers. After several new owners the store was to be no more.

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  3. Barry O'Connell

    I miss Sulka. From the first time I swiped for my father’s ties I fell in love with it. The complexity of the silk we was amazing. is more than a piece of clothing, it was a work of art. I especially like the underwear of course. The most luxurious I ever found.

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  4. The new and more exotic Sulka…
    Wallsofbenin.com

    Like

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