Features

Jack Victor Heritage Menswear Heads For The Future

Photo courtesy of Jack Victor Ltd.

Viewing next season’s Jack Victor collection, it’s difficult to imagine the brand has been around since the turn of the century. But closer scrutiny of its internal construction quickly reveals the fine tailoring that has sustained the line’s peerless heritage. In the journey from its humble Quebec beginnings to international recognition, Jack Victor’s classic aesthetic has only changed slightly, but its success comes from its ability to adapt to changing market trends. In recent years, the brand has judiciously expanded its core suits and blazers to dress shirts, neckwear and sportswear; adapted omnichannel retailing by adding direct-to-consumer e-commerce to the website while rolling out at all Nordstrom doors by 2023; and committed to socially responsible production.

The collection is, of course, front and center. Shoulders are softer. Silhouettes are leaner. Colors like teal and aubergine signal more confidence. Noticeably, the suits and jackets are being matched with sportier tops with ease by having a versatile and complementary color palette. According to James Watson, creative and DTC business director, “We’re acutely aware of how modern men are dressing. They’re a little more open to bolder colors. But many still prefer looking less formally suited. So we really set off to make our collection worry-free for men. They don’t have to overthink how they’re going to dress. They can throw on our more casual tops and suits in almost any combination and walk out the door looking perfectly coordinated.”

Traditionalists are equally well-served though with more business-appropriate dress shirts with classic details like patch pockets, peak lapels and even trouser pleats, not to mention the impeccable tailoring with pick stitching. These are all made possible because the company has its own manufacturing facilities in Montreal to ensure meticulous production and quality. Critical to that is the superior woven fabrics from the best weavers in the Biella region of Italy. The sweaters are of specific cotton yarn with a luxuriously soft yet durable quality, knitted in central Italy, and crafted in collaboration with the brand’s Italian partners from a carefully regulated source. Also noteworthy are the wool, silk and linen blends for the blazers, as well as a stretch jersey version that packs into a suitcase and comes out pristine, without needing steaming or pressing.  

Watson also pointed out the brand’s rigorous efforts to be socially responsible. The cotton used in the sweaters and polos is 100% GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) Certified Organic Cotton. He added, “We’ve also introduced a core shirt made from TENCEL™. I truly believe this is the material of the future. Not only is it one of the most sustainable fibers because it’s a natural cellulose fiber created from the wood pulp of eucalyptus trees, but it’s also ultra-soft, durable, breathable and moisture-wicking.  And just as vital, it’s harvested from certified and regulated wood sources and is fully compostable and biodegradable.” 

Meanwhile, the latest shirts and polos use special Jack Victor branded corozo buttons that are naturally sourced from Tagua palm trees that grow in the lowland rainforests of Ecuador, Peru, Columbia and Panama. After hardening over a period of about eight months, the corozo nuts that are housed in each pod simply fall to the forest floor. They can then be cut and finished for a fading and scratch-resistant finish, with a smooth, natural grain.

Moreover, Jack Victor’s Montreal factories and offices already use 95% renewable energy with an eye on making production itself sustainable. The factory workforce is unionized and extremely diverse. 

“Sustainable operations is an ongoing project that’s very close to my heart,” said Watson. “We’re thrilled to be able to work in conjunction with our supply chain, wholesale clients and logistics teams towards a fully traceable and responsible supply chain with our processes, packaging and products.” 

According to Watson, Jack Victor works alongside third-party organizations to trace the origins of various yarns and fabrics and even researches the working conditions that surround sourcing the materials used in production. 

Watson concluded, “We are constantly evaluating the methods used by these organizations and encouraging them to apply the highest possible standards to their work. We are determined to advance our understanding and management of the company’s environmental footprint.”

Without a doubt, Jack Victor is a heritage brand that isn’t interested in relying on past laurels but determined to expand into new categories, open new distribution channels and innovate for a sustainable future.