Clothier tied into menswear business

Candid Closet

October 16, 1997|By Stephanie Shapiro | Stephanie Shapiro,SUN STAFF

Frank Tworecke has been in Baltimore for only 2 1/2 years, but the president of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers knows his local market down to its buttonholes, pleats and lightweight woolen jackets.

Tworecke also has his hand in a good cause, the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, for which he has collaborated on the Miracle Collection II, a new line of ties and suspenders inspired by the molecular structure of pediatric drugs. All proceeds from these colorful accessories benefit the Children's Center.

The newest line will be launched at 1 p.m. today at the Bank store, 100 E. Pratt St.

You worked at the now-defunct Merry-Go-Round briefly, and now Jos. A. Bank. That's a fashion divide.

In the apparel business, everything is fashion. The only question is how fast does it turn and does it change? The young men's junior cycle tends to move much faster than the menswear business, which is a slower cycle. The clothes have a longer longevity.

How do you survive fashion turnaround?

I'm more of a classic person when it comes to my dress. To me updated is classic styling with newer colorations and newer silhouettes. For example, I love cashmere sweaters, but I like to have them cabled or in a polo model.

It isn't dowdy; it's classic, but with a current feel to it.

What other updated styles do you favor?

I like the new sculpted-collared shirts, like Pat Riley wears with that little cutout.

It's tradition with a twist, and you're not looking like the guy on the Ivy League ads who has been looking the same way for the last 25 years.

How do you update Jos. A. Banks' overall conservative look?

For the younger kids there are three-button coats now. We see that coming in and actually replacing double breasted coats. I own some.

What new colorations do you lean toward?

I love the earth tones: the olives, the browns, camels and grays.

Do you wear sports jackets?

A lot in cashmere and silk. I have one with a subtle herringbone pattern in it, and another with a nail-head pattern, like a little dot design. I'll wear that with no vents and a pleat, three buttons. Here we go again with the update.

How do you compare the respective fashion quotients of New York, where you worked for 15 years, and Baltimore?

In New York, they tend to be more trend-driven. Men in Baltimore are very fashionable. They tend to gear themselves more to updated traditional style of dress.

Did you dress snazzier in New York?

Nah. I always wanted to look like Ralph Lauren -- with a twist.

How do you choose your ties?

My neckwear is all woven silk vs. printed silk.

Are you into wild ties?

My ties are of the moment. They're not crazy, wildly patterned ties. They're neat patterns, with colorations in copper and silver. I even have some in gold. Ties are really a very personal expression for the man. Where he may be conservative in almost everything else he does, he can reach out a little with his ties.

How did you develop the miracle ties?

The drugs were photographed under an electron microscope. The patterns tended to be very geometric. We sent them over to Stonehenge tie manufacturers, who brought them to Italy and colored them up and had them printed on silk.

Would you wear these ties?

For a special occasion I would. It's a great conversation piece.

How much do they cost?

The ties are $39.50 and the suspenders are $30. Last year, we raised $70,000 for the Children's Center.

Pub Date: 10/16/97

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