Gitman Vintage 40th Anniversary Interview: Chris Olberding

Tell us a bit about the archival fabrics used in the Gitman Vintage collection this season. 

1978 to 2018!  40 years under one brand.  Naturally, with the 40th anniversary in mind, we selected 40 archival fabrics to mark the occasion and to honor the legacy of the Gitman Brothers, Sheldon and Alfred. Though the 40th Anniversary capsule is firmly planted in our archive (madras, poplins, Oxfords), we always look outside it too for inspiration: colorful rayons and full bloomalohas, nautical linens and cool Japanese indigos and plaids round out the collection for Spring/Summer 2018.

Is there a particular decade or era in the Gitman archive you tend to gravitate to? 

Oddly we always seem to find the most interesting fabrics from the early 80s.   The line-books from this era are the largest and most comprehensive.  Who knew the 80s were so good.

Some may not know that Gitman was a contract company for decades, producing shirts for some of America’s best-known brands. Do you have any favourite labels from the company archives? 

When I started at Gitman I worked primarily with Burberry and then Thom Browne.  These were two of my favorites (2007 to 2010).  A few later it was fun to work with Shawn Stussy on S/Double.

We’re thrilled to be welcoming you back to London for a Made to Order event on the 14th of April. Shirts ordered on the day will come with a special Gitman Vintage for Trunk label. What’s the story behind the green Gitman label?  

Actually the original (circa 1978) Gitman Bros. label was cream with a green font.  A few seasons later they changed it to green with a white font.   When I started Gitman Vintage in 2008, I brought back the green label, which has fallen into disuse.  The font for the original label was inspired by Parker Bros. … a very old Civil War maker of firearms.

What are your favourite things to do in London and will you have a chance to do any of them this trip? 

I love walking in London, but some of my go-to spots are the Tate Modern, Sir John Soane Museum, National Gallery, a martini at Duke’s Hotel and trying to get a tennis match in at Queens.  And of course shopping at Trunk.

Thanks, Chris!

Gitman Vintage Made-to-Order Shirt event at Trunk Clothiers

Date: Saturday 14 April 11.00 to 18.00

Venue: Trunk Clothiers, 8 Chiltern Street, London W1U 7PU