One of the first questions I asked Richard Lebrunie (above), managing director of Xoos French Shirts, is how to pronounce the brand’s name. Was it guh-zoos, as recently indicated in New York magazine? He made that charmingly dismissive sound that only the French can make, and then he said something that I’m not sure how to transcribe other than guh-zoos—except the “guh” is more of a quick guttural sound, so it ends up being somewhere between kzoos and gzoos. I suggested that Americans be allowed to simply say “Zeus.”
Xoos—which has no meaning, by the way—opened its first store last year in Montreal; another followed two weeks ago in London. And the first U.S. store debuted last week at 7 Lispenard, just east of W. Broadway. (The space had been dormant for a while.) Xoos is related to a bigger French brand, Chemise Hommes, which was established in 2004. “After looking at a lot of options, we chose Tribeca because it’s sandwiched between two different neighborhoods with different styles,” said Lebrunie, who runs the company with his brother, Francisque, and a partner, Loïc Kwan. “At one end you have Wall Street, which is conservative, and at the other end you have the more flashy Soho.”
The shirts come in a variety of colors and patterns, and they’re all limited-edition: Once a style sells out, it’s gone for good. (Although Lebrunie did acknowledge that a “greatest hits” collection remains a possibility.) They’re mostly for men, with a small rack of women’s shirts (more will come), and they’re designed in Paris and made in Turkey. “Turkish cotton and Egyptian cotton are the highest quality,” said Lebrunie. The “classic” cut is a traditional American shirt, while the “regular” is slimmer. Prices range from $75 to $100.
As you can see below, the shop also carries ties—100% silk and made in Italy ($45)—and it will most likely soon add men’s underwear, which is already available on the French version of the company’s website. Finally, in welcome news for those of us coping with Tribeca wind, Xoos may also stock sweaters.
Xoos French Shirts is at 7 Lispenard (bet. W. Broadway and Church), 646-429-9835; french-shirts.com.