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Interviews

Bram Frankel (William Abraham)

September 8, 2014

Bram Profile Photo in Studio 07.29.14

You were born in Atlanta US but you have traveled a lot throughout Europe. What impressed you the most in terms of style and what is your  favorite European city?

I was fortunate to have spent my mid-20s living in Paris and traveling throughout Europe. From Italy, to France to England and throughout Europe, there is a pervasive connection to the arts and fashion.  As a result, people have a inherent appreciation for style, and “dressing well” seems to be second nature.  One can’t help but be influenced and inspired by Europe’s culture of style.

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What was it that made you decide that you wanted to get into socks industry?

Until now, socks have been limited to two options – either old-school socks or else trendy-fashion socks.  I was frustrated by the absence of an elegant and sophisticated sock option befitting a discerning wardrobe.  So I was inspired to introduce a sartorial elegance to the world of socks.

What is your favorite color?

Cyan.

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What is your favorite model out of William Abraham’s collection and why?

This is tough because I sincerely love them all.  If I had to choose just one, I would say our “Pure Mulberry Silk” style.  Firstly, it’s probably the most versatile style in the collection.  With a naturally subtle luster, it provides an understated richness to the complete spectrum of your wardrobe – from a jeans sprezzatura look, to tailored suiting and even to black tie.  Secondly, the fabric is classic yet innovative.  With a fine fabric composition of 2 ply 100% Mulberry Silk, knit on a 240 needle machine, it makes for a light and breathable, yet strong and opaque fabric – the combination of which is new to the world of silk socks.

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Please highlight the distinct collections.

RAKE Collection: With an urbane outlook, the RAKE collection infuses classic elegance with modern verve.  Relative to our CLASSIC collection, RAKE takes more aesthetic license and introduces pattern and a fresher color palette.  Texture, pattern and color are its defining elements.

CLASSIC Collection: Comprised entirely of solid colored rib and flat knit styles, the CLASSIC collection aesthetic represents the ultimate in elegance and versatility.  Like fine suiting fabrics, these styles are defined by the intrinsic value of the textiles rather than pattern.

ATELIER Collection: The ATELIER collection is inspired by the world of modern design.  It is a studio platform for new techniques and old forgotten ways that creates a new contemporary aesthetic.

LIMITED Collection: For the ultimate in exclusivity, the LIMITED Collection showcases limited runs of the worlds’ most esteemed and ultra-rare noble fibers.

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You said once for The Telegraph that “I’m pursuing an aesthetic ideal”. What is this ideal?

The aesthetic ideal is simply classic elegance.  It’s about style, not fashion, and it begins with a sartorial appreciation for fine fabric.

What type of customer do you target?

The WILLIAM ABRAHAM brand is inspired by the man who leads a style-minded life with passion and purpose. With a taste for elegance and a connoisseur’s penchant for the finest, our man is imbued with an art de vivre. When it comes to his wardrobe, he delights in the aesthetic experience of fabric, texture, fit, colour, and fine craftsmanship.

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Tell me about the price range and the materials used. What makes William Abraham  socks so special?

With an artisanal appreciation for crafting fine fabric, we search the world-over for nature’s finest and rarest “noble” fibers; and we employ only the finest gauge yarns and highest needle counts.  The term “Noble” is used to designate the world’s finest natural fibers that can be crafted into fine yarns and fabrics. The most prized “noble” fibers are Cashmere, Merino Wool, Belize Cotton, Fil D’Ecosse Cotton, Sea Island Cotton, Mulberry Silk, and ultra-rare fibers like Vicuña and Cervelt. These make up the entirety of the WILLIAM ABRAHAM collection.  The primary collections range from $58 to $120 USD, and the two rare Limited Edition styles are priced significantly higher.

Do you use synthetic fibers?

Unlike most socks, which are knit with a commercial grade synthetic yarn blend, the vast majority of our styles are designed exclusively with 100% natural yarn in the body of the sock. The result is a more elegant aesthetic, softer hand and more breathable fabric. Without the extra stretch of a synthetic yarn, rather than “one-size-fits-all” or just three general sizes, our socks are made in multiple sizes for a closer fit.

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Where are WA socks actually made?

Italy.  We collaborate with select family-run Italian mills who have been skilled in the production of fine materials for generations.

I’m not an expert on socks but the first thing I noticed on WB socks was the distinguished and original design. Who is in charge for this wonderful models?

I’m the creative director, but it’s a collaboration.

How must we care take of our socks so that we can keep them in shape for many years?

William Abraham socks should be cared for similar to any fine fabric or fine garment.  Most of the collection will hold up fine as long as you follow the #1 rule: never put in the tumbler!  Heat is the enemy, and so please lay flat to dry, avoiding direct sunlight.  The 100% cotton styles can certainly be either machine or hand-washed, in cold water, delicate cycle, with a mild soap.  Many of the other styles, which incorporate either silk, wool or cashmere, should be either dry-cleaned or hand-washed, preferably in cold water, delicate cycle, with a mild soap.  For certain cashmere and certain fine silk socks – I find that dry-cleaning is best as it maintains the natural luster and especially their natural softness to a much greater degree over time.

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How would you define yourself in terms of style?

New York Sprezzatura.

What is your favorite shoemaker? What about shoe-shop?

Saint Crispin’s.

Leffot.

What are your favorite shopping places in NY? What about Europe?

NYC:  Leffot, The Armoury

Europe: off the beaten path men’s haberdasheries, ie., a custom tailor with an atelier on a 3rd floor walk up.

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