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/

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