Miles Rohan

Founder The Corduroy Appreciation Club

11 November 2011 was a red-letter day for The Corduroy Appreciation Club in New York, a near-secret society for lovers of corrugated cloth. In the six years of the club’s existence, 11|11|11 was the date that most closely resembled the classic ribbed pattern of corduroy. More than 350 corduroy aficionados gathered in New York’s Desmond Tutu Center for an evening of lectures and speeches, secret rituals, awards, a fashion show, and music from an 11-strong choir.

The founding father of The Corduroy Appreciation Club is Miles Rohan, who is director of Digital Assets and Knowledge Management at the television channel Nickelodeon. Club members share a passion for the comfort and rough elegance of their preferred fabric, which is cool in summer, warm in winter and always appropriate, even at the most sophisticated gatherings. Workers wear denim, the thinking man wears corduroy.

"Emulating old, secret societies and social clubs, the Corduroy Appreciation Club seeks to create a community and, in turn, a sense of fellowship rooted in the historic and culturally significant fabric known as Corduroy,” reads the mission statement. “As a social club, the CAC has membership cards, traditions, by laws, strange rituals, a secret handshake and meetings.”

“If I’m not wearing at least one piece of corduroy, I don’t feel right,” Rohan once remarked. “The repetition, the parallel lines, the thickness, I’ve always thought, provided a kind of order and support. And because I’m not entirely the most orderly person, it helps.”