Hardwick Clothes Unveils New Head Designer

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Jeffery Diduch
Jeffery Diduch

Cleveland entrepreneur Allan Jones acquired the 134-year-old Hardwick Clothes in June and vowed to pump new energy into the once famous company. 

Mr. Jones’ first announcement after taking ownership was that he had hired Bruce Bellusci – formerly the executive vice president of sales at Hart Schaffner & Marx – as the new Hardwick CEO. 

Hardwick, known for its famous “Sewn in the South” slogan, now has another new face – Jeffery Diduch, who Mr. Jones named chief creative officer at the company this week. 

Mr. Diduch previously served as the vice president of Technical Design at Hart Schaffner & Marx since 2010 and was responsible for all aspects of pattern making and grading, technical specifications and garment construction. 

Mr. Bellusci noted that Hardwick was at one time legendary for having the top blazer in the world and was confident that the arrival of Mr. Diduch would help the company quickly regain that status. 

“Jeffery is one of the most talented new designers in the United States,” said Mr. Bellusci. “He combines the unique ability of expert technical design with a leading creative ability for developing today’s American fashion. He will soon be in the ranks of USA’s top designers.” 

Mr. Diduch said he agrees with Mr. Bellusci that the blazer will be at the top of the Hardwick pyramid. 

“I believe that Hardwick Clothes will soon offer the best blazer in the world,” Mr. Diduch said. “We are going to evaluate each step and part of the garment to determine which ones add value and not just cost. Buying a Hardwick blazer will mean you are getting the best value for your money possible.” 

Mr. Jones noted that Mr. Diduch, who served on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Clothing Designers and Executives, had won five Global International Design Awards from the organization. 

Mr. Diduch has authored articles on tailoring and sewing in the IACDE's centenary book, Shaping the Past and the Future of Tailored Clothing, as well as in The Rake magazine and Threads Magazine. 

The Discovery Channel also featured Mr. Diduch on its “How It’s Made and MANufactured” television programs and he outfitted NBC’s commentators for the winter Olympics. 

Mr. Diduch said his love for clothing design started in childhood. His mother taught him to sew as a way to keep him out of trouble. He crafted his first tuxedo in high school and admits he still prefers to make clothing by hand when his schedule allows. 

Prior to his time at Hart Schaffner & Marx, Mr. Diduch worked for Empire Clothing, Ltd. He developed the Peter Millar tailored clothing collection and was responsible for all aspects of design for the tailored collections for brands like Kenneth Cole and Tommy Hilfiger. 

The designer says craftsmanship will be the driving component of Hardwick’s return to the top of the industry.  

“The most important thing we can do at Hardwick is foster growth and a sense of pride,” he said. “Every person, from the operators on the sewing floor to the people in the shipping department have a part in creating each garment and the best way to produce top quality is for each of them to take pride in the fact that ‘I made that.’”  

Mr. Diduch also plans to focus on the fit of his Hardwick designs. 

“Fit is the most important element of any garment,” he said. “A $400 suit that fits well will always look better than a $4,000 suit that fits poorly.”  

Mr. Jones said he will spend $10 million in advertising alone this year to promote the Hardwick brand and the new company website – Hardwick.com.  Mr. Jones paid $1.9 million for Hardwick’s assets through Jones CapitalCorp LLC in June. 

Hardwick was founded in 1880 by Cleveland businessman C.L. Hardwick.  

Mr. Jones is best known as the founder of Check Into Cash, which he started in 1993. He has numerous other brands, including LendingFrog.com, U.S. Money Shops, Buy Here Pay Here USA and LoanbyPhone.com. He is one of the largest title lenders in the country and has become one of the largest Internet lenders through CheckIntoCash.com. 

“Hardwick is the oldest business of its kind in America and I will work with Jeffery and Bruce to make the brand famous again worldwide,” Mr. Jones said. “There is no doubt – the pendulum is swinging back to ‘Made in America.’”

For more information, contact Toby Pendergrass at 473-4227 or email tpendergrass@jonesmanagement.com


Porsche Of Chattanooga Has Grand Reopening July 9

Porsche of Chattanooga will have a grand reopening for the new showroom and fitting lounge on Thursday, July 9, at 6 p.m. Sales hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  Service hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.  For more information about Porsche of Chattanooga, visit www.porscheofchattanooga.com ... (click for more)

AFA To Host Pavilion At Domotex 2016 For The 18th Year

The American Floorcovering Alliance, headquartered in Dalton, will once again host a pavilion Jan. 16–19 in Hannover, Germany at Domotex 2016. The AFA has lead a delegation of floor covering companies to Domotex annually since 1998. Participating companies are housed in the AFA Pavilion equipped with a State of Georgia sponsored community lounge, conference room and exhibit space. ... (click for more)

Boyd Asks Coppinger, Compton To Apologize For Chief Of Staff's Outburst; Says Handbook Calls For Termination

County Commissioner Tim Boyd has written a letter to fellow commissioners and the county mayor's office asking an apology from County Mayor Jim Coppinger and his chief of staff, Mike Compton, for remarks after last week's commission meeting. Mr. Compton took strong exception to comments by County Commissioner Tim Boyd about discretionary funds. In a clash between the two just ... (click for more)

Settlement Reached In Case That Was County's Largest Verdict Award; Will Avoid Any Appeals Of Canyon Ridge Litigation

A settlement has been reached in the case in which a Hamilton County Circuit Court jury awarded over $32 million to Chattanooga developer Duane Horton in connection with a resort project on Lookout Mountain that never got off the ground. Circuit Court Judge J.B. Bennett said the two sides had informed him that it was agreed during a mediation session he ordered that there would ... (click for more)

On The News Tonight: A Reflection On A Horrifying Crash And Its Aftermath

On the news tonight,  on the news tonight. The unobtrusive tones on the news tonight. It's just make-believe You can't believe everything you see So baby, close your eyes to the lullabies On the news tonight.   "The News" by Jack Johnson On Journalism On Thursday I was in Jackson, Tennessee playing music. I was a minimum of four hours away ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This July

As the month of July dawns this morning, a walk through my garden shows some flowers blooming, my marigolds dying, and the grass is greener than I thought it would be. But as I look for what’s good and what’s bad, let’s remember that some firecrackers pop while others fizzle. Here we go… A BANG to career criminal Whitely Bulger, the 85-year-old master criminal who in a recent ... (click for more)