The Elder Statesman
September 12, 2013 New York
There, in a sentence, is the Elder Statesman's core creed. And if you're comfortable with the basic premise of luxury products—i.e., that a sweater may be worth the price of a visit to the Masai—then touching is believing. (Chait himself is such a charming evangelist that a walk-through with him may be enough to win over any doubters.) Though the line bowed out of an official presentation this weekend, Chait has larger goals in mind: the movement of production from New York to his home base, L.A., where he recently opened his own factory, and the eventual debut of a Beverly Hills store. In the meantime, the introduction of denim, priced in line with the cost of most designer jeans, happily enough offers a foothold entry point to the Elder Statesman world for those who may not have a separate annual budget for cashmere. (The un-dyed Kenyan cotton pieces may help, too.) And for those who do have the means, Chait's most lavish cashmere pieces still have their faintly numinous appeal. They pull off the feat of being holy without being pious—right in line with the bearded, Birkenstocked, music-fest styling. It suggests the new best way to tell a hippie from a trust-fund hippie: Just nuzzle his sweater.