By Michael Wernicke - Henkerman Pty Ltd
You probably rarely give it much thought, however did you realise there is hardly a product you use as much as your clothes hangers. Most of us use them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For many they lovingly support our clothing investment - often hundreds and thousands of dollars’ worth - some of our most prized possessions. Socially speaking this invention has given us the ability to evolve in today's consumerist society - enabling us to buy more precious clothing from our fashion conscious cities and storing them in our over crowded dwelling spaces.
So have you ever stopped to consider where the clothes hanger originally came from? Who originally invented this humble little device? What year was it invented?
Whilst some historians believe that the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, invented a crude predecessor to the coat hanger, it is widely believed that today’s coat hangers with the hook and shoulder shape was inspired sometime later following the invention of the coat hook by O.A. North of Connecticut, USA in 1869. So pretty recently really.
Early attempts to develop a coat hanger into a practical hanging device soon developed with a variety of patents being filed with the US patents office. This early device below appears like it could have been used in conjunction with the clothes hook.
However, in 1903 at the Timberlake Wire and Novelty Company in Jackson Mississippi an employee named Albert J. Parkhouse decided that the coat hook needed a firm evolutionary advancement. He took a simple piece of wire and shaped two ovals then twisted them together. He finished the contraption with a bent hook shape at the top which enabled the hanger to be hung over a bar. This was the first known design which most closely reflects the common wire coat hanger designs of today. This revolutionary hook design when used with a hanging bar, enabled many more clothes to be stored together in one place.
This started a revolution of design ideas over the ensuing decades. The more rigid variation of the design (depicted below) incorporated timber and further wire support struts to add strength and durability.
In 1932, Schuyler C. Hulett mounted cardboard tubes on the wire sections which supported the clothing in order to prevent excess wrinkling. You will often see this design used today when receiving your dry cleaning back. You will note how by 1932 the more modern wire hanger shape of today was in use.
In 1965, Gerhard Wieckmann filed a patent for a revolutionary new hanger that still had a wire hook, however used a new design wooden frame. This wooden frame was developed to minimise the creases in clothing caused by wire hangers and to increase the hanger’s robustness. Additionally, the wider wood shape would help overcome problems caused by cardboard tubes displacing from the wire hanger frames - a problem with its predecessor. This version of the hanger whilst slightly costlier would have a much greater lifespan. Other versions within this patent would also incorporate moldable foam which could provide the advantages of the wooden hanger, however at a lower cost. Look in Figures 3 and 5 below - you might recognise wooden hangers with this shape in your wardrobe today.
In 1967, J.H Batts filed a patent for a moulded plastic hanger which would not only lower production costs but would increase the hanger’s durability - the contoured design enabled it to hold heavier items such as suit jackets and pants with greater sturdiness - whilst enabling garments to maintain their natural shape.
With the proliferation of retail stores in the latter half of the 20th century, coat hangers have seen a revolution from ugly device to sightlier display pieces which can incorporate retail brand names as part of their advertising.
Through this time, in addition to broader and stronger structures, clothes hangers have evolved to incorporate clips, notches and pant bars in order to accommodate new clothing styles, preventing slippages and minimise creasing. Today hangers come in all manner of shapes and sizes in an attempt to balance budget, versatility, robustness and aesthetic appeal.
In the 21st Century, it is the goal of Henkerman to evolve the humble hanger further – taking it from laundry necessity to gorgeous home wardrobe centrepiece.
Here’s to our journey. Please visit us at www.henkerman.com
Have you ever added up the value of all your clothing? Well, I recently went through a closet with a friend and this is what we found. Now we didn't have all the receipts so we just used our best estimates based on what he could recall. Nonetheless it would be a reasonable estimation. For this exercise we only looked at his wardrobe and excluded the things he didn't have hanging up.
So in his wardrobe he had the following (in Australian Dollars):
5 suits x $900 = $4500
2 vests x $150 - $300
6 jackets X $250 = $1500
15 Office Shirts x $120 = $1800
10 dress pants x $250 = $2500
When you put it in those terms, a fair investment on an average sized wardrobe you might agree. However when I looked at the hangers he was using - plastic, wire, varnished wood and plenty of dry cleaner hangers I couldn't help but say something. Not just about the aesthetics which frankly when it comes to caring for clothes is not the most important thing, however simply the damage they were doing to this quite large investment of his. You see, $10,600 is just the cost of the clothes hanging up right now. What about the value of all the clothing he gave away because they don't quite fit right anymore.
How often do we put something on which doesn't fit the same way it once did? Often we immediately say - 'oh that's probably because I have gained weight or I've lost weight'. Yes perhaps, however often it is simply because gravity has taken its effect on your once much loved pieces of clothing. The hangers you have been using have not properly supported the garment at the load bearing points and they have in fact - s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d. We often see this in the puckering on the shoulders of shirts, sweaters and jackets.
So how much do our bad hangers actually cost us? Why might investing in an excellent set of quality clothes hangers make financial sense?
Now in my friend's closet there are 38 pieces of clothing. Let's just say (for simplicity) that every item of clothing hanging up would get worn twice per month for an average of 10 hours at a time - or 20 hours per month total. In a month there are 30 days x 24 hours - or 720 hours. This means that each item of clothing will be hanging up for 700 out of the 720 hours. A whopping 97.2% of the time. There really aren't many other products in your life that get used 700 hours per month are there?
Let's now say that a great set of hangers all work to negate the effects of stretching by offer the following features:
1. The right length - shoulder to shoulder
2. The right width - across each shoulder front to back
3. Velvet flocking on the shoulders maximising clothing grip, minimising slippage and effects of gravity
Truthfully, a bad hanger can stretch and damage a new piece of clothing within days. However, let's say that the features of a quality hanger combine to extend the life of his clothing by an average of 10%. How much would this save him?
Well the equation is $10,400 x 10% = $1,040 over the life of these clothing.
If a decent set of hangers can last me 9 years and the average life of my clothing is 3 years then the hangers will in fact save me 3 times that. $1,040 x 3 = $3,120 over that time.
However, there are a few more 'if's' I asked my friend to consider. What if the hangers would last longer? What if they actually increased the life of my clothes by more than 10%? Now what if the hangers make my wardrobe look great and when I go to sell my home, my wardrobe looks incredible - what might that add? What if the hangers make me feel proud, make me feel more powerful, make me feel more successful - now what will that add? What if my partner also got a better set of hangers?
Now, I am not one to sell to friends as I believe that products should really speak for themselves when it comes to friendships. However, it certainly was a very interesting exercise. Now you do not want to see my personal calculation :)
So, take a minute and have a think ... what is your clothing equation?
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Walk into most be people's closets and you might get one of these types of reactions:
- Wow, they've got nice clothes, but it's pretty packed in there
- Wow, they've got old clothes, and there's so much space
However, how often do you go into someone's wardrobe and think to yourself, great clothes - but man - they are some nasty looking, messed up clothes hangers. I'll bet it's probably not your first observation. However now that I've pointed it out, why don't you go and snoop around at a few closets - you will be totally amazed at the craziness. It might even make you start questioning a few friendships!
Somehow people just seem to overlook their hangers altogether. The sad part is, there are not many products which get used as much as your clothes hangers. They are pretty much at work 24 hours a day 7 days a week. More than that, the average person will actually visit their closet 2-4 times a day, at least to get dressed and get undressed and handle their hanger collections numerous times in the process.
You know we spend thousands of dollars on our clothes (for some of you that could be monthly), yet you may not even think about it much, but we take our designer Alexander Wang or Christopher Esber obsession items and throw them on to cheap hangers which do not properly care for your clothes in shape nor in form. We then find ourselves deciding that it 'just doesn't fit like it used to' and now I want something brand new. In addition, we'll go to our closet filled with these cheap hangers every morning that not only - don't care for our clothes - but importantly do not do anything to inspire us to conquer the world in any way - they look miserable.
Well no-one likes to see anyone uninspired do they. So be an inspired gift-giver and get your loved one a glorious set of Men's or Women's luxurious matching Coat, Shirt and Pant hangers. You'll be the apple of their eye! Get started shopping for Classic Henkerman Clothes Hangers
Whatever time of the year you're in, one of the things you learn about getting a brand new clothes hanger collection is that it inspires you. We go to our tired old, often dust filled wardrobe space at least a couple of times a day typically - well at least to put your clothes on and then to put them away again. We can definitely overlook our wardrobe as we tend to be stuck in our heads - normally either rushing and mentally preparing for work or trying to clear our minds of it at the end of the day. This causes us to routinely overlook it!
However, one of the most inspirational things you can do is to go to that tired old wardrobe space with a reason to clear it out. Take those old clothes to the charity foundations (or hrmmm perhaps the bin) and actually give it a makeover. When you invest in your Henkerman hanger collection, this will be the exact thing you'll feel like doing. You can't put a Bentley in a used car lot! Well the same goes for a beautiful new set of hand made wooden hangers in and old tired wardrobe space. As a result you''ll probably find yourself cleaning, dusting and culling all those old clothes you really no longer wear and freeing up space to make your new Henkerman collection take pride of place and elevating your whole feeling while you're at it. You might even find it inspires you to lift your game in so many other ways!
Shop for Classic Henkerman Clothes Hangers
By Michael Wernicke - Henkerman CEO
Whether you're in the northern hemisphere and looking to put away/cull your jackets or sweaters, or you're in the southern hemisphere and needing space to add them back in, we thought it was time to give you 7 - ever so simple - tips for glamorizing your beloved wardrobe space.
Tip 1: Clean up.
Start by emptying out your closet, vacuuming and and wiping it clean. This will prepare your canvass!
Tip 2: Pick out your 'capsule' collection.
What is a capsule collection? Well put simply, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of the essential items you love and wear that don't go out of fashion. These can be skirts, shirts, trousers, coats and shoes that don't go out of fashion and can worked with your more seasonal pieces. They tend to be your white/black/grey fabrics, your denim together with your brown and black leather. Be sure that they all fit perfectly.
Tip 3: Sort your remaining clothes into four piles.
A) Love it - this season.
B) Love it - another season.
C) I can't decide.
D) Time to go.
Tip 4: Dealing with each pile.
A) Leave the 'Love it for this Season' on your bed for now.
B) Store your 'Love it for next season' to a secondary wardrobe in another room, or a portable wardrobe in a storage area. Always try store them in a way that cares for them. For example, leave jackets hanging. Before storing them take the opportunity to remove the dust.
C) Now take the 'I Can't Decide' items and store them in a bag or a box. You will give these items 1 or 2 more seasons only - until your next wardrobe clean. If you still won't wear them, they will hit your 'Time to go' pile next time.
D) Finally, your 'Time to go' pile will be put into bags and you can decide on these three options: Donate. Give to Friends or Family. Throw Away.
Tip 5: Now deal with your 'Love it for this season'.
You should now decide if you want to wash or dry clean these items. Particularly for pieces that you are rediscovering, this process will remove any stale odors and make you feel like that piece is brand new again. If you get things dry cleaned, you can even leave them them in the plastic so you feel you're breaking out a brand new item when next you go to wear it.
Tip 6: Your Hangers.
Before you go and put your remaining items back in the closet, we want you to cull your old non-matching, ugly and uninspiring clothes hangers. Yes, you knew we would say that! However we mean it. You will feel like a million dollars. Even if you don't invest in Henkerman hangers, we beg you to please invest in the best hangers you can find, that care for your clothes, preferable flocked and matching. It genuinely will make an enormous difference to the final outcome and the longevity of your clothing.
Tip 7: Make a Wardrobe Plan.
Prior to putting your clothes back into your wardrobe, make a plan. Partition your wardrobe so your work clothes do not clash with your leisure clothes. This is really important to creating a great feeling about your wardrobe. At the end of the day, you don't want to keep being reminded of work whenever you're getting dressed to have some fun. It probably goes without saying that you want to also group your clothing by type. Plan to hang your shirts together, your trousers together, skirts, dresses, jackets, suits, belts, scarves and so on. Once you have your plan and you have your hangers sorted, put everything back into the wardrobe. Be sure to have all your hangers facing the same way and evenly spaced for best effect. Use the hanger's swivel hooks to put certain items on display and more visible. Now stand back and be inspired by your fantastic work!
It will be totally worth it. Repeat this process every 3 or 6 months and you will have your very own #dreamwardrobe and have achieved that elusive #closetgoal of your own :) Don't forget to take glamorous photos to share with your friends and followers on social media and inspire them to do the same.
Guest Blogger: Clare Sheng - Brisbane Clothing Alterations
Off the Rack
Most people prefer to buy off the rack suits. You can try on different shapes and cuts, touch the fabric for quality, and wear it right away. There is a huge variety of options, from $300 wool blends, to $6000 Italian-made cashmere. However, if you are not a conventional shape, or if you want the suit to be heavily tailored, then be prepared to put away around $100 to $250 for alterations.
There is an emerging tide of online tailors on the men's fashion scene. These businesses offer less expensive suits, as they're usually based overseas. If you are after a matching set of groomsmen suits, or just want something different for work, online ordering may be the way to go.
Make sure you know your sizes. Get a comprehensive list of required measurements from the business, and have professional tailor like BCCA measure you. It is a good idea to send them pictures of yourself from different angles to make sure they cut the suit to your body shape.
There are now more than 10 custom made tailors in Brisbane. You will meet with a stylist who will help you design the suit, and select the fabric. The suits are made overseas, then fitted and altered here in Brisbane. Custom made suits can vary from $750 to $18,000. The price is determined by the craftsmanship, and quality of fabric. If you have trouble finding suits off the rack to suit your shape, try having it custom made to ensure it fits you perfectly.
BCCA has worked with different retailers from all types of services. They would be happy to advise you on the best option when purchasing your next suit. Follow the links below to get in touch.
This post is a memorial to our beautiful little Henkerman mascot 'Ari Gold' shown in the picture below - who passed away (12th November 2015). He was taken all to soon in a vicious attack by another much larger dog - 20 times his size and weight. Ari was a 2kg - 10 Month old Chihuahua who was attacked and killed just one week after moving to a small farm in Highvale, Queensland (near Samford Valley) from the City of Brisbane. It was hoped that Ari would gain access to nature and experience much greater levels of freedom than where he was brought up in the city.
This is a very short tribute to the most beautiful of little treasures one could ever know - who meant so much to all involved with Henkerman.
Ari was the most amazing little companion and of course an excellent little Henkerman model as you can see by the picture. I never realised the true and deep connection that could develop between man and dog in such a short period of time (I had him 8 Months). I hadn't had a dog since I was a young teenage boy and around 30 years on, I think my relationship with this pet was certainly very different by comparison. Ari Gold (yes he was named after the Entourage character), was just as confident and feisty as the character you may remember from the TV show. Yet like all things with a short fuse, he also had the biggest heart and most lovable temperament I have ever come to know. Whilst building the Henkerman business my little friend Ari would sit on my lap as I typed at my computer - this is how he spent his final afternoon in fact. Every now and then he would simply look up and stare into my eyes and I never was quite sure why - though perhaps it was his sheer wonderment about life. He fulfiled me and made me realise that so much of what we strive for in life is simply of secondary importance than for being there for one another. He showed me how possible it was to live a happy life only focused on the most basic of elements - the grass he walked on, the insects he would try and catch, the small objects he would play with (he loved socks). He could make so much out of so little. Importantly he showed me how living in the 'present' made life so simple and yet so fulfilling.
I want the memory of Ari to live on. If you ever want to see pictures of Ari Gold, we will keep his Instagram page alive forever - I guess this is one of the beauties of the digital age. You can visit Ari's Facebook page here. He also has a gorgeous Instagram page here.
[On a side note, the product that Ari is modelling in the photo is the Men's Classic Mahogany Shirt Hanger which is one of our products which has been recently included in a great article written by Gabriel Price titled: "30 Holiday Gift Ideas for Men". Please also check it out when you get a moment as I promised I would mention his article in my next post.]
To all of you out there who have ever experienced the loss of an amazing pet you loved to the end of the earth - I now understand and am living the pain you must have felt. I have been trying to learn from my grief as painful as it is - as it is not something we are ever taught how to properly handle. For me, I have learnt that consistently reaching out to people in times of grieving is a very good thing to do - as grieving alone for too long can make the pain seem even greater.
In my loving memory of Ari 'Jaime' Gold (born near Caboolture - Queensland, Australia - 20th December 2014).
Michael Wernicke (Founder)
PS. His middle name 'Jaime' was his birth name - given by his birth family - named after Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones.