Legends of the Industry



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A Remarkable Story of Success

 


Tsoukas Bros. & Sons. is the premiere name in the global fur industry in the manufacture of mink and sable garments. The company has established an unmatchable brand based upon proprietary let-out techniques using the whole skin. The Tsoukas formula has become the universal standard for superior fur garments. But getting to the top of the industry wasn't an easy climb.

In the early 1950's, (father's name) Tsoukas, a Greek furrier, moved from his native Kastoria and set up shop in New York City. He brought with him his wife and two young sons. The Tsoukas family were big players in the Greek fur industry, going back more than ten generations. In NYC, the senior Tsoukas established a fur shop where his two sons, Cristos (Chris) and Steven worked while attending school. Steven eventually graduated as an architect from NY Pratt Institute while Chris pursued a Bachelors degree. Both boys were weightlifters, training daily after classes and after working at their father's fur factory. The brothers would put in about three hours at the gym every night. Chris won the North American Championship in 1964, 65 and 66.

In his attempt to break the North American Record in 1966, Chris snapped 3 tendons - an injury that would have been career-ending to any other weightlifter. However, it didn't stop the Tsoukas brothers from participating and winning medals in the 1968 and the 1972 Olympics.


The brothers learned the fur industry hands on. Now in their 20's, they got jobs at one of the NY fur companies, mastering fur techniques and learning the secrets of the fur trade. Back then in the 60's, NYC was the fur capital of the world; it was the leader in fur fashion, fur manufacturing and the processing of fur pelts. The fur district of NYC occupied 5 streets and had over 1000 companies engaged in the trade.

Having mastered the talents of the fur craft, Chris and Steve became so skilled in the art of making fur garments they became the highest paid fur technicians in New York. Their level of skill was so high that when the company they had been working for was about to separate, one of the owners said that his partner could take everything but leave him the Tsoukas brothers! He knew he was destined for success if the brothers chose to stay with him.

By 1967 the brothers came to the conclusion that they had learned everything they could possibly learn about the fur trade in NY. They had gained all the experience they could get working for others, and had become experts at the advanced whole skin let out techniques that were standard in New York. They longed to go back to Kastoria where their parents had retired. With the money they had earned by that time, the brothers could have retired young and enjoyed their lives in their native Greece. But they were used to hard work and being idle was simply not an option. With their great passion for the fur industry, they decided to start their own company where they could use all the experience that they had gained over the years. Kastorian furriers were still putting coats together from small pieces of fur – and while they were still making a decent living with this old techniques, the Tsoukas brothers knew that the future of the fur industry was in whole skins. Their excitement and enthusiasm for this advanced technique, met with instant resistance in Kastoria. The reaction of Kastoria was quite emotional too; the Tsoukas family was basically boycotted and reminded every step of the way that they were not welcome back in Kastoria.


But the brothers were not so easy to discourage. They stood their ground in trying to persuade the local furriers that there was no harm in the new approach and they continued their production. As the years passed, Tsoukas Bros. started to get more and more orders from the most prestigious customers. Their success, together with the remarkable quality of their garments, finally won the Kasotrians over. Little by little they started accepting the let-out technique which is today the number one technique in making high quality garments.

They also struggled with the Greek government in their attempt to dress whole skins. The brothers worked diligently to convince government officials to allow them access to whole skins. Eventually they were allowed to bring the skins to a Customs house and work on the skins there, under the watchful eye of Greek Customs agents who counted and stamped every skin. When a coat was finished, the Customs agents counted the skins again. Not the most efficient system, but eventually the government realized its folly and allowed Tsoukas Bros. to work in their own premises.

Steven and Chris worked hard. In fact, their typical work week was 7-days with time allotted each day for gym work outs. The brothers remain buff, motivated and extremely committed to their business. Even today, both in their 60's, they work day in and day out, creating the most exquisite fur garments in the world.

In 1987,the sons of Chris and Steve: Paul and Akis, joined the company. The brothers founded their own dressing plant and the company was renamed Tsoukas Bros. & Sons. For a final consumer it is interesting to know that it is the dressing of furs that produces a light-weight garment. Its correct implementation allows the fur expert to work with the fur as if it were regular fabric thanks to the elasticity of the leather side of a fur skin, also ensuring that a garment will last for years and years. Without good dressing there can be no high quality garment. Tsoukas Bros. is also one of the few companies in the world today that dresses fur pelts for their coats at their own dressing plant thus ensuring the highest quality for their customers.

At one time the company also had their own retail shop in Harrod’s London department store, but due to the unfavorable situation with the anti-fur movement in the country at the time they had to give up the project.

Despite the fact that the business prospered, or maybe because it has, the brothers have never stopped their direct involvement in the process of making fur garments. Every coat literally goes through their hands and is inspected by their eyes. The founders believe that this is the only way quality can be preserved and the prestige of the brand reinforced. That is also the reason why production has not been increased for the last few decades- it is not only that the brothers do not want to let the family secret in coat manufacturing out but also they cannot afford to lose personal control over the quality which really sets them apart from most of the other fur manufacturers in the world.


Tsoukas Bros. & Sons Sable Collections


As of today Tsoukas Bros. and Sons is the supplier of the most prestigious fur saloons in New York, Paris, Milano, Zurich, Zeneva. 5th Avenue, St. Honore and Montenapoleone. On any of these streets you can see coats made by Tsoukas Bros. In the fur world Tsoukas Bros. is the recognized leader in the manufacture of Blackglama and sable garments. The authenticity of Blackglama in the coats of Tsoukas Bros. is officially certified by the American Legend Company, and is one of the distributor of Blackglama in the world. The top quality of the sables used by Tsoukas Bros. and Sons is guaranteed by Souzpushnina auction house in St.Petersburg, the biggest distributor of Russian sables in the world.

 

Tsoukas Bros. & Sons Blackglama Collections


For people looking for the ultimate in quality and prestige, a mink or sable garment byTsoukas Bros. is the pinnacle brand. Family tradition, hard work and honesty has distinguished Tsoukas Bros. since the very beginning.

From The Editor Koral Kanca:
Meeting with the Steven and Chris Tsoukas was an exciting opportunity for me. As a relative newcomer to the industry, I found their story fascinating and I am happy to share it with people in the industry around the world. I'd like to thank Steven and Chris for taking the time to meet with me.

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