A Trump deal Obama might actually like
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There’s one thing Barack Obama and Donald Trump have in common: An affinity for hand-sewn suits from Italian menswear specialist Brioni.
Come September, both men will be able to shell out $6,000 or more for the suits in a shop on Pennsylvania Avenue, where Trump plans to open Brioni’s first Washington location in his $200 million luxury hotel at the Old Post Office.
The presidential candidate’s son, Donald Trump Jr., executive vice president of development and acquisitions for his real estate company, announced the deal in a press release.
“Brioni is an iconic luxury brand with a very rich history and we are thrilled that they have chosen to open their first location in Washington D.C. at Trump International,” Trump Jr. said. “When we open our doors in September, this will be the finest luxury hotel in the country and we are very pleased to be bringing guests and visitors the ultimate shopping experience with Brioni.”
Trump, Obama, Brad Pitt, Harvey Keitel and other big names have been known to sport Brioni suits, and the company’s tuxedos have been featured in James Bond films.
Founded in Rome in 1945 and led by creative director Justin O’Shea, Brioni sells tailored suits typically in the $6,000 to $8,000 range along with shoes, belts and other leather goods.
Brioni is to occupy about 220 square feet in a prominent space off the hotel’s cortile and add to a growing number of high-end fashion brands in downtown Washington. The company already has a half dozen stores in the United States and has been under pressure to grow sales since being acquired by a French firm in 2011. Among its offerings online are $1,000 sneakers, $230 ties (no, not Trump ties) and $895 wool T-shirts.
Brioni chief executive Gianluca Flore said in the statement released by the Trump Organization that his company was “honoured to be part of this unique venture.”
“The high sophistication and quality of the hotel constitutes a perfect match with the Brioni DNA,” Flore said. “The presence in Washington, D.C. will give us the opportunity to be closer and better service our customers enabling us to offer them an even more meaningful experience.”
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Trump’s political campaign and his business interests have not always meshed, such as when chefs José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian pulled out of deals to lease space in the hotel following his comments about Mexican immigrants. Trump sued both of them and replaced the Andrés restaurant with a BLT Prime. The Zakarian space will become added space for events and weddings.
The magnate’s book sales, however, are booming, having gone from about $16 million in 2014 and the first half of 2015 to about $30 million since the start of his campaign.
A Brioni spokesman said the lease for the Washington store was unrelated to Trump’s presidential campaign.
Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz
A Trump deal Obama might actually like