Razor-sharp, dynamic, forthright and impeccably put together – attributes shared both by Murray Crane and his 17-year-old menswear brand Crane Brothers. Specialists in suits, shirts, accessories and weddingwear, always on point and perfectly produced in the highest quality, the man and his brand were tailor-made for Together Journal…
Tell us a little about your background in the industry and what led you to menswear and launching Crane Brothers?
I started off in retail as a window dresser and then moved into retail. I have no formal training in business or design, I’ve made it up as I go along. The main reason I got into menswear was really that I couldn’t find any clothes I liked to wear myself and I just felt like there was an enormous opportunity in the market here to do something. And that if there was stuff that I wanted to wear, that other people might feel the same way. This year is my 30th year in the fashion industry and my 30th collection with Crane Brothers.
How would you describe the Crane Brothers aesthetic?
Clean, uncluttered, classic, timeless, permanent.
What makes a good suit? What should people look for?
It’s probably a lot of things they can’t see, a lot of it is about the way it’s put together and the choices of materials, especially the cloth obviously, plus the buttons, zips, lining and horsehair canvas and those sorts of things. I think with menswear it’s either right or it’s wrong, you’ve got nowhere to hide. I think the ‘less is more’ philosophy really applies to menswear.
Are you noticing any particular trends in wedding suiting right now? Does Crane Brothers draw much on trends?
We do follow what’s happening internationally and especially with what’s trending in cloth and the way it’s woven, and the silhouette as well. We stay in line with the European seasons as we’re using European mills and suppliers. Given that so much of what we do is made to measure and we’re producing product all the time, our customer is always coming to us with what they want and a lot of that is influenced by what they’ve seen internationally. We’re always trying to stay one step ahead of the process though, the position we’ve wanted to hold has always been more aspirational, new colours and new designs, not being too derivative.
What we’re seeing is very broad but we are doing a lot of formalwear, tuxedos… I think as a lot of guys dress more casually for work, they see their wedding as an opportunity to really dress up. We do a lot of really relaxed weddings as well, but generally formality seems to be making a return. We’re also seeing a lot more colour. I think a lot of guys are wanting to go with a distinctive colour for their wedding. Even five years ago it was all very dark, either dark grey or black or a really dark navy, and we’ve really seen a move away from that. Men are more confident about wearing colour, especially if the wedding’s in summer and it’s outside. Blue’s a big one, that’s something we started doing quite early, which has been really good for us.
Any advice you could offer grooms-to-be/best men?
Don’t leave it too late, plan, and make sure you have new socks – it’s the small things that matter. And remember you’re really just there to make the bride look good.
Read the full interview in issue one of Together Journal, on sale now.
Interview by Josie Steenhart, photography by Coralee Stone