Cridland doesn't have an ideal man, whether realistic or not, a fact the founder freely acknowledges. "It's just me, me telling you a load of bull----," he says over breakfast one morning at the stuffy St. Regis Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.
Cridland wore a Tom Cridland "30-Year Jacket" in "Chilli Red," a name and color that brings to mind something Guy Fieri might have worn to his senior prom. Rather than artisanal snobbery or urban glamour, Cridland's brand is all about inclusive luxury, he says. "I don't want to make it pretentious or open to any one single person. I'm happy to take money from anyone."
Tom Cridland sits at the intersection of two trends. The first is brand transparency, a value embraced by small, often direct-to-consumer companies that build consumer trust by making their supply chains, mark-ups, and product development processes public (Everlane is perhaps the largest example). The second is marketing sustainability rather than outright stylistic relevance. Cridland might not quite make you look cutting-edge, but like menswear compatriots Best Made, American Giant, and Ministry of Supply, he's confident that his "30 Year" series of shirts, sweatshirts, and the new jackets will endure for just that long.
"We're encouraging people in the industry to protect our resources by not making clothing that wears out quickly," Cridland says. Ministry of Supply founder Aman Advani, whose company blends athleisure materials into office clothing for long-term wear, has also noticed a self-conscious movement toward quality. "Customers have shifted to being value seekers over price seekers," he says. "They've become fairly open to a wide price range in exchange for a quality that matches or exceeds the price paid."