In college, I performed in a short play which required me to channel my inner-Hemingway. I played a stuffy English professor on safari with his philandering wife. It was a fellow student’s riff on The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. Of course, I played the cowardly Macomber-type, horn-rimmed glasses, cravat, leather-bound travel martini set. However, it was in my preparation that I first learned of Willis & Geiger.
On their blog, Camp Smoke, The folks at F.M. Allen provide a great history of Willis & Geiger, a clothier which found its way onto the backs of Charles Lindbergh as he crossed the Atlantic, of Sir Edmund Hillary as he mounted Everest, and yes, as mentioned, of Ernest Hemingway as he chronicled his adventurous life, the envy of generations to come.
Still a presence on auction sites like eBay, the name is owned by Lands’ End, who like Abercrombie & Fitch, have yet to understand how best to capitalize on such a world-renowned brand name. It is my hope that as an appreciation for quality construction returns to the fore, we see a return to Willis & Geiger’s mantra, “Don’t tell us how to make it cheaper, tell us how to make it better.”
Be sure to check out F.M. Allen’s post on the subject for the full history.