The world that we are living in today is entirely different to that of two years ago. Weddings and celebrations have adapted and evolved to suit the volatile climate we find ourselves in. We sit down with Murray Crane of Crane Brothers to see how he is rising to the challenge…
Tell us a little about your brand for those who may not yet know you?
Crane Brothers creates New Zealand’s finest luxury men’s suiting , tailoring and casualwear, using the very best of artisanal craftsmanship. Founded by Murray Crane, the brand is synonymous with elegance, relentless attention to detail and peerless service. Crane established the brand in 1999 after many years working in fashion, both in New Zealand and abroad, and built it around his contemporary reimagining of the made- to-measure suit. Since then, Crane Brothers has become a complete luxury lifestyle offering that also includes casualwear, knitwear, denim, shoes, and accessories. Our house style draws inspiration from British and Italian tailoring traditions; garments are designed to work in harmony with the Antipodean climate and lifestyle, using soft, lightweight hand-construction to create an easy-wearing and effortless experience for the wearer.
We use the best manufacturing available from a network of local artisans and international suppliers, and almost everything we do can be produced on a custom or made-to-measure basis. We still operate out of our original premises in Auckland’s High Street – a character space with original hardwood floors situated below the historic Hotel De Brett. In 2018, we opened an additional door in Christchurch’s Midland Club building, fronting the Avon River, another heritage space that has been meticulously restored. In addition to our physical stores, we have a permanent digital home at crane-brothers.com and we’re proud to have one of New Zealand’s most engaged and active menswear audiences. We have fostered a global network of dedicated clients and regularly undertake both domestic and international trunk trips.
What is your number one piece of advice for couples in this current climate when planning a wedding and choosing menswear?
I would have to say; prepare for the worst and hope for the best. If you can create an event that works within restrictions, however harsh, then that’s smart. If you aren’t prepared to do that then wait. You’ve made it this far and are planning to spend your lives together so what’s a few months.
How are you handling COVID affected couples within your own business?
It’s a challenging and stressful time for everyone so we tend to leave them alone unless they contact us. All our orders are still being made and delivered so when we know we are able to see them again safely we will reach out in the same way we normally do.
Thoughts on the future and how your business and sector may change or evolve?
If there is one thing I’ve learnt after 35 years doing this ( 22 for myself) it’s that things always change. It used to be running out of fax paper, now it’s instagram not posting properly or an email draft not being sent. There are always challenges large and small, it’s all about how you manage risk and plan for adversity.
As a business owner I am always the one looking for the problem and regard all issues that affect our clients extremely seriously. I think as a business we are really good at managing risk and that gives our clients comfort. Oh and always tell the truth.
What do you do personally to cope with the stress of COVID and Lockdown? Any rituals or actions that help get you through?
Routine is essential for my own mental health and well being so work remains a big part of that. Like everyone I tend to hit the wall some days and go down the rabbithole catching up on movies, books and generally being selfish and lazy. I love what I do so struggle when I can’t.