Thursday, 3 November 2011
Ignatious Joseph customer service
Ignatious Joseph of Düsseldorf makes very nice shirts. He gave me a couple a few years ago and their quality has told in that time. Good single-needle stitching; soft, floating construction collars; domed mother-of-pearl buttons sewn on by hand in the ‘chicken foot’ style; perhaps most noticeably, very soft and lightweight cottons; and all, as I said, lasting well.
But I write here about his customer service. Technical aspects of a shirt are all very well, but they are really just suggestions of how well a shirt will wear and live over time. In his Style and the Man Alan Flusser lists the aspects that he thinks make a good shirt, including some of those above. The list is significant in that almost none of the points are functional; they are rather decorative: indications, at best, of the care that has gone into making a shirt.
Customer service is reassuring because you know the company will be with you in the long term. Even if quality slackens on rare occasions, the customer service will rectify it.
Not that there were any faults with my Ign. Joseph shirts. But having initially requested a couple of gingham-check shirts with double cuffs, I quickly realised this was foolhardy: most of time I would wear a check like that casually rather than formally, so a single cuff would be more practical. Easier under knitwear.
I asked Ignatius whether this could be changed, and it was. By the factory in Italy, at remarkable low cost, in a few weeks.
Customer service is particularly important to brands like this one that do not have their own retail presence. Ignatious Joseph is sold through separate retailers, including H Herzfeld in New York and Vincci in London. Without that personal connection to the customer, service and philosophy become more important. I’m glad to say Ignatious is on the right track.