Corridor NYC aspires to be a rising tide in the world of independent New York City’s ready-to-wear shirts and chinos. Our editors encountered owner Dan Snyder’s work at the Capsule trade show in Las Vegas earlier this year and since then Corridor NYC has been on the radar. Snyder has pushed himself hard over the past three years to create a product that looks great and should last well past the most recent trend. It looks like he’s succeeded, but what’s curious is where he came from: the desktop life of a government agent.
“I hope I didn’t sound like an asshole,” Snyder said with a laugh as our interview ended.
Taking time out of a busy schedule, Snyder graciously discussed how he ended up leaving the straight and narrow world of federal law enforcement for the gritty grandeur of New York’s garment district. Back in 2008, Snyder was employed in Washington DC. He was stuck behind a desk and adorned a set of generic suits, both boring him incessantly.
As we are oft to hear, Snyder sought to mix things up at least a little bit in getting his suits to fit properly by bringing them to a local DC tailor. Snyder took a liking to the shop and the tailor and was soon hanging out at the shop more and more often. Before long, he was starting to really take the craft seriously. The tailor even proposed that if Snyder went to school to learn the craft, he could eventually take over the shop. So Snyder did just that and enrolled in night classes. His family thought he had gone nuts.
“It was me and a bunch of Korean ladies,” he joked.
But instead of taking over the shop, Snyder ventured into New York and more specifically its Garment District in midtown Manhattan. Much has been made over the past few years about how this district is going to die, but Snyder has been fortunate enough to still be able to learn from its veterans. There’s a lot of talent in New York still and there always will be, he says. Snyder was able to come up with initial capsules that he presented to stores around the city. As more people grew to like his wares, he became more ambitious and officially released the first line of Corridor NYC in the fall of 2013.
Snyder is adamant about his shirts (Corridor NYC is first and foremost a shirting brand) not being characterized as heritage wear. They are certainly influenced by past aesthetics, however, and rooted in a fit from the 1950s. The Three-Panel Fit, as it’s called, uses a trio of panels to complete the back of the shirt rather than darts or pleating. The result of this method is a more flattering silhouette; it drapes slim but still allows for a good amount of movement. It’s not rocket science or an industry secret, but it does require more labor hours to fell those extra seams.
While Heddels readers are always fans of fit and quality stitching, there are understated yet sharp patterns and high quality materials that each shirt are derived from. There are blackwatch patterns, overdyed indigo railroad stripes, brushed flannels, speckled broadcloth, western stripes and much more. As per usual, it can’t be properly appreciated until these fabrics are seen in macro.
Snyder has sourced original patterns from all over the globe. His first batches were from Japan and now he has mixed in organic cotton flannel from Portugal. This spring, Italy is supplying his unadulterated love of linen. The Army Green Overshirt is one of his best sellers but others, like the Indigo Drop Dot (Indigo lovers should check out the more recently released Natural Indigo button down) or Heavy Slub Flannel, are almost sold out on the website.
As increased exposure for Corridor NYC combines with the fact that only 200 pieces of each style are created, the demand could leave a fair share of people left to pine. He’s already made a fan out of legendary British designer Nigel Cabourn, whose only purchase at a pop-up market this summer in New York was a shirt from Corridor. Snyder calls it a major highlight of his career.
Beyond the shirts, the brand has evolved to offer a variety of chinos, experiment with suiting and even do a few different ties. Collaborations would be fun, but there hasn’t been time as of yet. Knitwear is a personal favorite of Snyder’s–he’s a sucker for a good cardigan–but it’s a complete operation.
Corridor NYC is not much more than a one man brand at this point. Snyder has had a couple people help him out but it is going to be kept a small operation for the foreseeable future. And that’s the way he likes it. But hey, if he ever gets the itch to return to government work, at least he’ll be the best dressed guy in the cubicles. Although it doesn’t seem as if that’s going to happen anytime soon.