SOURCE: Hardwick Clothes, Inc.

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July 29, 2015 18:24 ET

America's Oldest Tailor-Made Manufacturer Celebrates 135th Year

CLEVELAND, TN--(Marketwired - July 29, 2015) - Hardwick Clothes raised the 38-star American flag on Tuesday in honor of the company's 135th anniversary -- and also celebrated the launch of their first new collection in decades.

Hardwick, known for its "Sewn in the South" slogan, is America's oldest tailor-made clothing manufacturer.

The company's CEO, Bruce Bellusci, announced that select pieces from Hardwick's new collection will be found in local retailers such as Bruce Baird & Yacoubian Tailors in Chattanooga and Town Squire and Johnson's in the Cleveland area this fall.

The entire collection will be released online at starting in September.

"We are in the midst of a great comeback as the pendulum continues to swing back to 'Made in America,'" said Bellusci. "Everyone is excited and enthusiastic -- there are great times ahead."

Bellusci is regarded as an expert in the tailored menswear business and was recruited to the company in 2014 by Allan Jones after one of Jones' companies, Jones CapitalCorp LLC, purchased Hardwick. He worked at Hart Schaffner & Marx for 34 years and served as the Executive Vice President since 2006.

Jones is best known as the founder and CEO of Check Into Cash, the second largest payday lender in America.

Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland was on hand for the historic event and watched as the company planted a specially chosen Red Oak tree on the factory grounds.

Rowland told the crowd he believed Hardwick was well on its way to becoming famous again thanks to the efforts of Jones, Bellusci and the dedicated employees at the plant.

"The best is yet to come for the company that C.L. Hardwick founded on this day in 1880," said Rowland.

The tree planted at the ceremony was selected by Jones. The businessman said the Red Oak was chosen because the characteristics of the tree species are similar to that of the company he rescued from bankruptcy last year.

"Red Oaks grow fast and are resilient to tough times. The tree will be here many years from now -- just like Hardwick Clothes," Jones said. "As I reminded everyone at our last anniversary, this company has survived two major fires, two World Wars, the Great Depression, leisure suits, NAFTA and watching China manufacture our Olympic team's blazers. Now we are making our comeback."

Planting trees is not new to Jones. He authored Cleveland's tree ordinance and helped to create the Cleveland Shade Tree Board, which was designated as the Tennessee Tree Board of the Year in 2011. The businessman's foundation has donated hundreds of trees on Cleveland streets over the years and more than 300 trees on school campuses.

Jones said the company's flag raised each day at the plant is the same 38-star version of Old Glory that C.L. Hardwick raised on July 28, 1880.

"History is important to us and so is the future," Jones said. "We know the whole world is watching and we are ready for the challenge."

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