Treatment that breeds loyalty
To the Editor:
The late Gilles Bridier himself sold to me my first pair of Nantucket "reds" in July of 1992. They were size 38 waist, and I was only a few pounds heavier then my Holy Cross soccer days in the mid-eighties.
Unfortunately, like so many other former athletes turned corporate men, I got fat and lazy. Finally, last year, I said enough was enough and began to run and diet. Fifty pounds lighter, I treated myself to a new wardrobe from various fine men's shops including Murray's Toggery and Vineyard Vines. A blue blazer, a madras blazer, shorts, ties, shoes, etc. The one missing item I wanted to duplicate was a second pair of Murray's Nantucket Reds to keep at our new summer home on Martha's Vineyard, since I was now able to finally fit back into my first perfectly faded pair.
My wife ordered what she thought was a matching pair of "reds" for my birthday. I briefly took them from the gift wrap, smiled and put them away until last week. What I observed upon close inspection led me to write this letter.
The trousers were of markedly inferior quality —especially when compared to my older pair. No longer "Made in America," the tag now sadly proclaimed "Made in China." The weight was noticeably lighter, the stitching uneven and unkempt. The lining was a horrible attempt at imitation of the original. It was sad to see indeed, and a sad commentary as to the quality control so lacking in what used to be a proud family business.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I had inadvertently slammed the sleeve of my new, beautiful Vineyard Vines blue blazer into the latch of my trunk causing a huge 'L' shaped tear in the sleeve. I asked my secretary to send it back to Vineyard Vines with the hope of having it repaired. If not, then it was ruined anyway, so what to worry?
Upon returning from the Vineyard, I saw a large cardboard box on the porch of my Connecticut home containing a brand new $500 blue blazer. No questions asked; no request for a replacement blazer (it was my own neglect that caused the damage), but my goodness, what a comparison between what used to be a totally customer-oriented business versus what is now the best customer-service oriented business in New England.
From here on, it will be Vineyard Vines for my casual clothing. Gilles? C'est dommage. Au revoir, mon ami.