When a label moves its sales from an outside showroom to an in-house operation, it's the kind of industry maneuver that shouldn't much concern its fan base. But in Shipley & Halmos' case, it's worth mentioning as the latest example of the brand's retrenchment in its own S&H world. In the Greene Street studio that is their workroom and office, Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos have built their own showroom—designed, arranged, and merchandised to their own specs. That studio is already familiar to fans from the drawings of it that Shipley posts to his blog, and from the address sewn onto all of S&H's labels. Now as the brand's laboratory, headquarters, and salesroom, it's as complete a world unto itself as Pee-wee's Playhouse.
The point is that Shipley and Halmos are more and more opting out of the traditional circles of the fashion industry—they no longer present their collections during New York fashion week—and working to speak directly to their customers. (They even run their own press of sorts, S&H Publishers, for the purpose.) The approach suits a label like theirs, which depends less on seasonal trends and changing aesthetics and more on seasonless standards: affordable suiting, slim chinos, casual shirts, and the occasional varsity jacket, all of which are back for Spring in reliably regular-guy-friendly iterations. The denim comes colorful this time around (in royal blue, sage green, and brick), and some shirts play with pattern-mixing and color-blocking. But it's consistency that's the real message—that, and ever-increasing breadth. The footwear collection, introduced last season, is expanded; so are accessories, eyewear, ties, and underwear. Now you can even get beach towels, too. Shipley & Halmos, one-stop shop. And on that note, they've opened their shop—online, at least—as of last week.