Hertling for Haberdash

An Interview with Julius Hertling of Hertling Trousers

  • September 19, 2012 |
  • Style

Julius Hertling of Hertling Trousers knows a thing or two about menswear. His father opened their Brooklyn-based family business in 1925. Today, they focus solely on hand-tailored men’s trousers made right in their Williamsburg factory. “There are very few trousers made in the United States today,” says Julius, “From the standpoint of manufacturing, it’s a quality trouser. It’s done with really old methodology—no shortcuts.”

Julius (or Julie) started working at his father’s factory in 1946, and has been their ever since. Now well into his eighties, Julius is one of only a handful of manufacturers who have managed to uphold the same time-honored techniques, in the same factory, without losing sight of current trends. When asked about any sort of method or motto, he replies simply, “The best product we can make at the best price we can make it.” He pauses, added, “And get it to the store on time.” See more of our interview with Julius, below.

Hertling for Haberdash
Wool Melange Dress Pant in Green | $278

These flat front dress pants by Hertling for Haberdash are elegant in soft, wool melange. They have the same classic shape as the rest of the trousers in our Randolph Series, versatile in a green-grey tone. The lambswool trousers will look sharp in the office, keep you warm in cooling temperatures, and blend well with the rest of your formal wardrobe. A slight taper from the knee down gives them a more tailored, modern look.

Hertling for Haberdash
English Drill Pant in Harvest Gold | $198

These flat front dress pants by Hertling for Haberdash are the sturdiest of our Randolph Series, built with a dense, 100% cotton that can stand up to most anything. They’re formal enough to wear to the office, yet strong enough for a worry-free weekend out on the town. A slight taper from the knee down gives them a more tailored, modern look.

Hertling for Haberdash
Cotton Cord Pant in Navy | $188

The perfect pair of well-fitting corduroy trousers are an easy staple in any man’s wardrobe—warm enough for cooler temperatures and elegant when paired with other cold weather classics. The flat front, slight taper, and watch pocket make set them apart from your average cords, as do the vibrant hues.

what sets these trousers apart? “We don’t make anything literally by hand, but it’s as close to a handmade trouser as you can get,” says Julius, “There are a lot of details on the trouser. For example, we make eight loops on all trousers and we have a split waistband. It’s the hardest operation there is—we sew the corners, which makes it easier for a store to alter. It also avoids the need for a loop in the center of the trouser.” The list of time-consuming, old-school details continues: they bind all of their seams, they make pockets like they’ve always been made, before there was machine pocketing, and so on.

on keeping up with the times In an ever-changing industry, it’d be easy for a company like Hertling to fall behind, to become complacent. Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. “We’re really responsive to change in the marketplace. We’re small enough to respond quickly, but we’re big enough to make the response.”

factory culture now vs. then “The apparel industry has always been an industry of immigrants, and it still is,” says Julius, “Instead of it being Italian, Jewish, and Polish, it still has a mix—but it’s a different mix than it used to be… Most of the people here have been here for a considerable length of time. We have very little turnover. The majority of our turnover is from retirement; that’s pretty much it.”

why you might not have heard of them “We don’t have much of a sales force. Most of our business comes from recommendations, word of mouth,” says Julius. In fact, they sell mainly to specialty stores like Haberdash and a number of big-name menswear brands, but no longer sell to department stores. “We don’t advertise, but we manage to keep the factory going. It’s not a sizable factory, but we manage to keep it going every day of the year that you’re allowed to work,” says Julius, “Sometimes a little bit more than that. And very seldom anything less than that.”

Share this post  

Leave a reply