The Shoe Snob Blog

July 29, 2014

Written by , Posted in News

Treat Your Feet Right – William Abraham

William Abraham Socks

I first had the pleasure of meeting Bram Frankel (the founder/owner of William Abraham) at my trunk show at Leffot in NYC, last November. He was (is) a really nice guy and I was thoroughly impressed with not only the amount of selection that he had on offer but also the amount beautiful patterns that he had in his collection. As it was my first trunk show in NYC, I was quite busy and did not have a chance to fully appreciate what was going on with William Abraham as we were both kind of doing on our thing while there. But Bram and I had kept in touch and actually had a chance to meet up at the last Pitti Uomo in Florence where we had a nice walk and chat and he told me a bit more about the company and the idea behind it. Here is what I will hopefully be able to share with you.

http://williamabraham.com/

William Abraham Socks William Abraham Socks William Abraham Socks William Abraham Socks William Abraham Socks William Abraham Socks William Abraham Socks

A few years back, Bram felt that there was a hole in the men’s sock market, one that he felt compelled to fill. He saw that there were classic socks and fashion socks but not really any classically elegant socks that could also have a nice twist in pattern and design. There was either too crazy or too boring and not really much in the middle. This was one inspiration. Another was creating a sock that was a step above all of the rest, in quality and feel. While I cannot claim to be a sock expert, I can say that what Bram reiterated to me made it seem like he really knew what he was doing. Instead of trying to explain it myself (which wouldn’t come out right anyway), I will copy some technical text that Bram had sent me for those of you that might understand the jargon. This is just a small few of styles of the William Abraham collection:

  • “Superior 140s Merino Piano

    • Most other brands that make a super-fine Merino sock (ie., 16.5 micron fiber) use a 2/60 title yarn.  Our “Piano” style uses the 16.5 micron fiber but with a 2/80 title yarn, ie., thinner/finer yarn!  We also knit it on a 260 needle machine (the highest used in men’s socks, but only used by a couple of mills for a few select styles) – resulting in a very thin, yet still opaque, fabric.  This makes for the thinnest, softest and most breathable summer wool sock on the market.
    • We also have a “Superior 140s Merino Mezzo” style, which uses the thicker 2/60 title yarn; but here again, unlike all others who use a 240 or lower needle count, we knit ours on a 260 needle machine – making it finer/thinner/more breathable than the others who also make a 2/60 title merino sock.

(socks in website photos below do not necessarily correlate to the style of sock in the text descriptions, just putting them to show which ones that I had, but in the professional photographs)

William Abraham Socks William Abraham Socks

 

  • Style: “Pure Mulberry Silk Rib”

    • This 100% silk sock is unlike any other on the market.  While most 100% silk socks are made in a super-light, sheer fabric, this style is made with 2-ply of the finest mulberry silk – making for a more balanced and stout fabric.  At the same time, it is knit on a relatively high 240 needle count which makes for a soft and breathable fabric.  Probably our most versatile style in the collection, the Pure Mulberry Silk Rib provides the perfect balance between silky-softness and a strong, durable year-round weight.  Its elegant luster adds a nice finishing touch.

William Abraham Socks William Abraham Socks

 

  • Style: “Fine Cotton Heather Rib 260”

    • This exquisitely thin and semi-sheer fabric is also unique in the market.  It owes its unique look and feel to three elements: 1) an ultra-fine-gauge Fil d’Écosse Cotton yarn; 2) a super-fine and rare 260 needle count – only a couple of factories in Italy have this capability and expertise; and 3) a heathering technique rarely employed with such an ultra-fine gauge long-staple Fil d’Écosse Cotton yarn.  This classic rib sock creates a decidedly formal aesthetic and is simply the ultimate in refined elegance.

William Abraham Socks
I don’t know what a lot of this meant in reality (2/80 count, 260 machines etc), but I did know how comfortable and weightless the socks were when I was wearing them. For example, the Merino Wool option (mine was the grey one) was probably the nicest that I have ever felt. I quite like soft socks as opposed to ones that you don’t feel and this was like butter on my foot. And even though I wore it on one of the warmest days in London, it kept my foot cool. But then I could also see how when I will wear it in Winter, that it will also insulate it and keep it warm. It was amazing to say the least. Same with the pinkish/reddish one. Each sock felt heavenly and it was pleasing to experience. In reality I never really thought about how nice a sock could be. I just wear them and like bright ones. Now I like quality ones!

William Abraham Socks William Abraham Socks William Abraham Socks William Abraham Socks William Abraham Socks

I felt like Bram’s concept and his William Abraham brand has made a believer out of me! The only thing that was a bit daunting was the pricepoint. As I am not a sock expert it’s hard to understand on whether or not the difference in feel and quality makes the price justifiable. But I guess that can only be answered by wearing and washing them. So time will tell. But there was no doubt the socks were extremely nice.

A while back, I used to just see socks as a necessity. Of course I always went for a pattern that I liked, but never did I ever think about the ‘comfort’ and ‘quality’ of the socks that I was purchasing. They were just socks. Then came Mes Chausettes Rouges and I started to like them even more, after trying something quite a step up from Banana Republic. However, after having tried the William Abraham socks, I feel like I could never go back to anything less than stellar quality as it really does make a difference, particularly when you are in dress shoes all day long. But the price tag of these beauties might hold me back for awhile before really being able to splurge!

To read more about the William Abraham story and see the amazing array of designs they have, please visit the website at:

http://williamabraham.com/

J.FitzPatrick Shoes J.FitzPatrick Shoes J.FitzPatrick Shoes J.FitzPatrick Shoes J.FitzPatrick Shoes J.FitzPatrick Shoes J.FitzPatrick Shoes J.FitzPatrick Shoes

 

  • blonderealist

    Thanks for posting this article Justin. My wife teases me when I buy new socks, she thinks I have enough pairs — but she doesn’t understand how quickly they wear out and how important it is to have an ample supply to rotate — just like shoes!
    Proper over-the-calf socks are not that popular in the average department store in the U.S.A. — something I find frustrating. Another thing I’ve found disappointing at times is over-the-calf socks that are ever-so-slightly too short — which happens with the budget brands at times. The American brand of socks I favor (for the money) is Gold Toe. One of these days I’ll splurge on some nice socks like those from William Abraham.

    • TheShoeSnob

      my pleasure!! my sock drawer is quite disgusting. I must have like 70 pairs. And I only like over the calf. I hate calf length as they always fall down!! Maybe it is just my chicken calves 🙂 Yes, hopefully I will to be able to splurge on a few more pairs!

  • Fameed

    Great that you posted about Bram, Justin! I bought a few pairs when I was in NYC a few months ago and love them. They feel wonderful on your feet and legs and the seersucker in black/red stripe are my favourites so far!

    • TheShoeSnob

      yea great socks. I hope Bram does well as he really hit the nail on the head here! Hope to see you soon

  • Dissapointed

    Wow, this kind of blatant and shameless shilling/advertising (without any disclosure) is awful and really damages your credibility. Sorry, but that’s the truth and this calls into question any other reviews you’ve done previously, even if it was just for your “love of shoes.”

    • TheShoeSnob

      why would I need a disclosure? People who actually read my blog (clearly not you) know that I don’t lie nor write about stuff I don’t like. Why can’t a blogger say positive things about a brand and want to help them? Should bloggers only say bad things? There was nothing bad to say about these socks. They were amazing and I did not get paid. The socks I received would never make me shirk my integrity to only say nice things. They are only just socks and it was my pleasure to be honest…. Maybe if I was given a Bentley I would have lied a bit…. Either way, if reading this post has made you feel that you can’t rely on what I say, then I am sorry for you. Good day

      • Disappointed

        I am a regular reader, which is why this is disappointing. I’m not looking for criticism; in fact, it’s pretty rare I can remember a time you being critical in a posting. Most of the time it’s nice pics or a laudatory story. Still, it is clear, or I should say, thought it was clear when you’re writing about a shoe because you love the design or posting pics. I’ve never seen you copy/paste an advertisers copy or provide contact info or embedded links (though maybe you’re right, I don’t read your blog enough to see other examples). A simple, “I was sent these for free by the proprietor in exchange for doing a review and was not paid” would be sufficient. If, on the other hand, you don’t care, you’re right, and that’s your business.

        • TheShoeSnob

          Its weird you that you say you frequently read but then say things like I dont embed links or say critical things. What are you reading? In every shoe review there is a positive and a negative and I ALWAYS embed links to the brand that i am talking about. If there is no negative things to say i am not going to create them to appease people like you. I dont get paid by anyone to write the blog and if you cant see that simply in my writing then i am sorry. But no i dont care to leave a disclosure because i am comfortable with what i do and 95% of people that read the blog know that i have integrity and write about what i feel is worthy and critque what i feel is unworthy. Read all the posts that i have written about Churchs if you dont believe me

          The reason that i copied and pasted is because I dont know enough about socks to write technical descriptions about the characteristics that set them apart. I only know what i felt. Plus i was tired and the post had already taken me 3 hours to write/do. It would have taken me another 2 just to attempt the technical jargon.

          In all honesty it sounded like you just wanted to complain and make a statement without truly knowing me or my writing i.e. doing your homework. You were judging a book by its cover. But i am fine with it because i know that everything i do is out caring whether its for the industry, young people like me trying to make something or other entrepreneurs giving it their best. If you dont like positivity then dont read the blog

  • Chana

    My husband has 3 William Abrahams. He loves them! They are super comfortable and trendy! It is the perfect gift for a husband or boyfriend. The packaging is an experience of its own. I highly recommend ! ! !

  • WorldPeaceRuler

    Hey man how can you shill for $1,000 socks when innocent school kids are getting slaughtered by the William Abrahams of the world? These kids don’t have feet to put any sox on because they were blown off by Iron Dome missiles.

    • TheShoeSnob

      are you serious?

  • bfd

    My husband has a few pairs of these socks and loves them! they are far superior to anything you can buy in the store. Although they are definitely not inexpensive, there is a significant range in price so that you can try a lesser expensive pair and then work your way up to the more expensive pairs once you are hooked. Great gift or splurge!

  • rickrobe

    Who is the maker of the full strap burgundy loafer?