After Cashing In, Clothing Firm Admits Steve Jobs Was No “Fan” Of Its Mock Turtleneck

After aggressively claiming Steve Jobs as a prized customer who purchased his trademark mock turtleneck from them, a menswear manufacturer has backtracked on that disproven contention, scrubbing their web site of the assertion that the late Apple CEO was a “fan” of its garments.

Immediately after Jobs’s October 5 death, officials with Knitcraft--which produces the pricey St. Croix clothing line--claimed that Jobs religiously wore its $175 mock turtleneck, which they refer to as “Style 1990.” In fact, Knitcraft founder Bernhard Brenner even claimed that Jobs purchased two dozen turtlenecks annually and would occasionally call him to say how much he liked the St. Croix garment. “Obviously we’re going to miss Steven Jobs as a customer,” said the 72-year-old Brenner.

Except, of course, Jobs was not a St. Croix customer. As detailed in Walter Isaacson’s upcoming biography of Jobs, the mock turtlenecks were created specifically for him by the Japanese designer Issey Miyake, a friend of the tech giant.

Confronted Tuesday with this disclosure, a Knitcraft spokesman said it was the first time he had heard Jobs’s trademark garment was not a St. Croix model.

As seen above, the firm subsequently edited its web site to remove the claim that Jobs was a “great innovator and fan of St. Croix” (the “before” screenshot is at left, while the current page is at right). Jobs’s photo remains on the web site, however, with the promise that the firm will donate $20 to the “ongoing fight against cancer” for every black “Style 1990” garment sold by October 16.

This quiet alteration of the company’s web site came more than a week after Jobs’s death, a period in which the St. Croix name has been repeatedly attached to the Apple co-founder’s corpse. This publicity bonanza--and the tacit endorsement it implied--resulted in a business boom for the clothing manufacturer. The black “Style 1990” is sold out, though St. Croix promises online customers that the item will be shipped by November 7.