September 2, 2011

IN DEPTH: The Hill-Side

I know it seems somewhat inappropriate to broach the subject of neckwear when the weather is around 100 degrees here in Chicago, but The Hill-Side and its lovely products deserve sartorial affection year-round. And since we just got in their Autumn-Winter 2011 collection, it seems like the right moment to feature one of our favorite companies and to share their new offerings.

Helmed by brothers Emil and Sandy Corsillo out of Brooklyn, The Hill-Side is perhaps best well-known for their classic yet ruggedly masculine straight-edge ties. Many times a day I neaten up our Hill-Side ties, wishing that I could pull one off or at least that my boyfriend would buy and wear one on a regular basis. I’m in love with these ties. Sorry if you’ve been that customer I kept chatting them up to; the fact is, everyone looks better, cooler, smarter, more sophisticated in a Hill-Side tie.

Crafted from beautiful but durable selvedge chambrays milled in Japan and other heirloom quality denims, wools, linens and cottons, the Hill-Side’s ties are an ultimate staple, carefully balancing a high-low aesthetic which makes them equally fit for a wedding or a casual drink at the bar. The brothers are inspired by classic men’s workwear, which is reflected in their emphasis on simplicity, utility and quality. The traditionally humble kinds of fabrics the designers choose—those denims, khakis, twills and wools—bely the ties’ superior quality and incredible handsome looks. These ties subtly but confidently finish an outfit; they’re never brash—just quietly cool, a classic with a modern heritage twist.

In fact, The Hill-Side ties perfectly encapsulate the company’s philosophy. In an interview with Secret Fort’s James Wilson, the Corsillo brothers stated, “The Hill-Side ethos is about valuing craftsmanship, honesty of materials, and provenance. We feel that these traits, along with a good aesthetic sense, are the ingredients to creating objects that people will be proud to own.” I know that we’re proud to sell these ties at Penelope’s and that customers feel similarly. And luckily for ladies like me or gents who just don’t wear ties, The Hill-Side also offers scarves, bandanas and pocket squares.

For fall, The Hill-Side’s collection incorporates southwestern, country and woodsy references. Ties, scarves and bandanas are cut from blanket-stripe wools, leafy wallpaper-floral cottons, and wide tweedy plaids as well as their standard chambrays and denims. The lookbook by Mikael Kennedy, shot all over the U.S., makes me long for cooler days and the opportunity to wrap a scarf around my neck. Maybe you feel similarly?