Greg Chait apparently doesn’t do anything halfway. Case in point: The Elder Statesman, his luxury cashmere accessories brand, was born when he set out to produce the ideal cashmere blanket. The result? His iconic 10-pound cashmere blanket (yes, you read that right: 10 pounds).
His new line—TYRO by tes—is no exception. Chait calls it an additional line, rather than a second line, explaining, “It is just as specific as The Elder Statesman in its pursuit of quality and aesthetics, and both brands work with honorable fibers; it simply features a broader range of raw materials.”
Below, he fills us in on the new collection, available exclusively at Barneys New York.
Barneys New York: What motivated you to embark on your new line?
Greg Chait: TYRO by tes manifested itself, to be completely honest. During my travels and research, I came across a plethora of beautiful and honorable techniques, as well as fibers that didn’t fit into what I was doing for The Elder Statesman. I like to explore every opportunity that comes my way, and when Barneys approached me about creating a collection for CO-OP, it gave me the chance.
BNY: What kind of artisanal skills and traditions go into the production of TYRO by tes goods?
GC: In addition to different inspirations each season, TYRO by tes will also feature different artisanal skill sets. This season, we have tapped into the extremely consistent, top-quality hand-knitting skills of a Peruvian knitting guild. The summer collection will feature just about the most beautiful cotton I have ever seen. I am working with an Italian mill on some yarn that feels timeless.
BNY: Where did the name TYRO come from?
GC: I had this name in mind for a long time. With Latin roots, it’s defined as a beginner in learning—it made complete sense.
BNY: What places and landscapes have provided the biggest sources of inspiration for you?
GC: I have been on the go since I was 16 years old, so I have a lot to draw from, for sure, and each collection will have a different inspiration from my travels. This one was inspired by a recent trip Chile, where I picked up a ton of alpaca gear as I needed it along the way.
BNY: What’s the key to looking sharp in sub-zero temperatures?
GC: Oh man, there are a thousand ways to look sharp in sub-zero temps. I have always taken the stance that if someone feels good in what they are wearing, no matter what it is, he or she looks good. However, I have always appreciated someone that can evoke layers of texture in a subtle way.
BNY: You’ve said that you favor comfort over excess. How would you define luxury?
I suppose I have an old-school view: I believe luxury is defined by the user. It’s my responsibility to put together a product that is made with the highest standards, and to place it in the best possible retailers, such as Barneys. In this situation, I definitely have both bases covered.
- Katie Manderfield
1. Open bottom skully; 2. Rolled edge skully; 3. Tubular neck warmer; 4. Bead stitch skully; 5. Rolled edge skully; 6. Knit fingerless gloves; 7. Diagonal knit scarf; 8. Oversized skully; 9. Bead stitch skully