Our roots go back to a small contract shirt factory that began operations in 1856 in Brooklyn, New York. Originally, the work force was made up of the many European immigrants that came through Ellis Island. The Brooklyn factory operated continuously until 1992.
F.A. MacCluer Shirtmakers
In our earliest years, we made shirts for the officers and cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point. From there they were contracted to make some of the first Women's Army Corp. (WACS) shirts. An interesting part of company lore (that we can't document) is that the factory once made the "Campaign Shirt" that was a promotional item for the 1864 Presidential campaign of Abraham Lincoln.
In 1922, Fredrick MacCluer formally incorporated F.A. MacCluer in New York. Begun as a merchandizing and selling company, the initial efforts were in the importing of the fine European clothing lines that were sold to the finest haberdashers in the States. Eventually, F.A. MacCluer bought the original factory and began designing and making shirts for his retail customers.
In 1941, Pat Ruffolo, standing on the left, took over F.A. MacCluer. His was the classic Italian immigrant story. Began working in his uncle's 7th Avenue dress factory as a sewing machine operator. Eventually, he left and became manager of F.A. MacCluer's shirtmaking factory. From there he worked his way up to head MacCluer and eventually became a partner and then sole owner.
The great majority of MacCluer's shirt making years has been spent designing and supplying "private label" programs for the most prestigious retailers in America. Hence, we are the oldest shirt company many have never heard of. Over the years, we have been primary shirt people behind such venerable names as: Brooks Brothers, Saks 5th Ave. and Neiman Marcus, to name a few.
In 1995 we began to redirect our business toward the development of our own brand that today is sold through the finest retail specialty store market, the high end resort and club market, and the corporate market. Our shirts are produced in collaboration with only the finest select factories. Each garment is made using specified techniques and the precise standards that began evolving in the Brooklyn factory more than a century ago.
The company today is owned and run by John and Bob Ruffolo. Both grew up working in the Brooklyn shirt factory. While much has changed over the years, much remains the same. We, as always, are a product driven company. Sales, marketing and profits are all important, but everything starts with the product. This is our area of greatest expertise and this is what separates us from most.