James Deutch


occupation

Creative Director, Awesomeness TV

location

Los Angeles


“That’s the great thing about Brooks Brothers. You can pop into the store at any time. It’s like your savior. Anything you need is there.”

A self-described traditionalist who appreciates the aesthetics of classic fashion, Jim Deutch has never met a Brooks Brothers oxford button-down he didn’t like. And he’s got a closet packed with nearly two decades of sartorial memories to prove it; both the Brooks shirt and suit he was married in still hang in his closet. “They’re not archived. I still wear the suit and the shirt [and] that’s the great thing about [them]. You can wear them at any time, all the time.” So whether he’s sporting chinos and a polo shirt for a day with family or suiting up for a business meeting, the creative director for brand entertainment at Awesomeness TV has made an art form out of telling great stories through his work and curating a definition of personal style that is equally as timeless.

So, you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Brooks Brothers guy.
I’ve always been a Brooks Brothers fan. I feel like when you wear Brooks Brothers, there’s a history behind it. I probably have about 10 Brooks Brothers suits and jackets, two tuxedos, and my go-to item of clothing is definitely the Brooks Brothers oxford shirt. I have about 15 of them right now in rotation, especially [in] that classic blue. I could wear it to the office with a pair of sneakers or out at night, with a suit. When I got married, I had on a Brooks Brothers suit and blue shirt.”

And when exactly did this long-term relationship begin?
“When I was in high school. There’s a Brooks Brothers store in Century City, and I grew up in Los Angeles. I always felt like it fit really well and was cut the right way. So, I have loads of old oxford shirts that are frayed at the collar. That shirt is a classic. To me, that’s something that’s important: I like to wear something that if I buy it today I could wear it 10 years from now. And most of the things I’ve ever had that are Brooks Brothers, I still have. I can’t get rid of them because I feel this connection to them.”

Can you describe the connection?
“I think you feel like, that shirt is yours. You’ve experienced something in life with it. It’s broken in and it’s sort of shaped to you. And you’ve earned that. I mean, even if it’s a suit that’s supposed to be very tailored and neat and clean, you still feel like it’s your armor. It’s the thing that you put on. And if it fits you like a glove, there’s something to that sensation, I think.”

And are suits your “armor” of choice?
“I think it makes you feel ready to take on the world when you’re in a suit that fits you well. You’re wearing the clothing; the clothing’s not wearing you. I’ve always felt that way with Brooks Brothers. I can walk in there and pick a new pattern, pick a new suit, and it fits great. I’ve always felt that when you wear a suit, you’re prepared to tackle the challenge that’s out there. When you’re wearing a suit, you sit a little bit taller. The way you dress affects your mindset.”

So, what’s been your ne plus ultra with Brooks Brothers? An experience that really encapsulates what the brand has meant to you over the years?
“I was in New York on a business trip, and being from California, I was definitely unprepared for the winter weather that was going to hit that week. It was snowing, insane amounts of snow. And I’m walking to a meeting, getting totally drenched. My hair is sopping wet. My shirt is wet. I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m never going to be able to wear this suit again …’”

Wait … you didn’t bring a jacket to New York in December?
“I didn’t even have an overcoat. When you live in L.A., you don’t really need one. But now it was snowing and my luck had run out.”

What were you wearing?
“A suit and a tie and nothing else. And it started snowing. You couldn’t get a cab. The weather’s horrible. So I’m walking down the street, getting more and more soaked. I knew Brooks Brothers was nearby. I knew I couldn’t get a full suit, but I figured I could get a shirt and a tie and an overcoat that would cover me. And that’s the great thing about Brooks Brothers. You can pop into the store at any time. It’s like your savior. Anything you need is there.”

And the salespeople, they’ve totally seen this before. This isn’t a new situation.
“As I recall, they didn’t seem terribly flustered by my presence. I said to them, ‘You can clearly tell I’m drenched here. I need new clothes.’ And they had exactly what I needed. I think that kind of sums up what I think is great about Brooks Brothers: it’s the place you can always count on.”

So after all that, you made it to your meeting. What did you do with your other shirt?
“I folded it up and put it in my bag. And no one was the wiser. I think they assumed I was totally composed, and everything seemed great. And there was sort of a sense of pride that I had figured out this problem on the fly. And Brooks Brothers was the solution.”

Brand of Brothers: New Leadership and a New Name
H.S. Brooks calls upon his two eldest sons, Henry and David, to join him in the early 1830s, with the oldest, Henry, Jr., taking the helm upon his father’s death in 1833. In 1850, younger sons Daniel, John, Elisha and Edward assume leadership and officially change the name of the store to Brooks Brothers. Winthrop Holley Brooks is the last family member to head the company, until 1946, when it is acquired by Julius Garfinckel & Co.