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Has Anyone Noticed? - Page 2

post #16 of 31
It could also be that the higher-end items are less flashy (though Y-3s are pretty distinctive), and so don't attract notice. You look well put together, but not especially distinctive. Now if you go around in a Mimmo Spano suit with the loud checks, your high end clothing will get noticed....
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill
Nah, it's far simpler than all that, I think. While Zegna is somewhat of an exception, most high-end makers don't spend a lot on advertising. Compare that to what Boss, Armani, et al spend and it just boils down to product awareness.

I'd be willing to bet that if you polled 100 men in your office, MAYBE 5 have even heard of Kiton or Attolini, compared to 80-90 who've heard of Boss and/or Armani.

While I think there's a bit of truth in most of the posts here, I think Jill's post hits the nail on the head. Armani, for example, spends an obscene amount in marketing. They were also lucky enough to essentially create a trend in the 1980's which became very popular (so much so that the Armani name still has incredible influence in fashion today). Not only does Armani market itself heavily, but it also markets itself as an exclusive brand. People think that, by purchasing Armani, they are buying something exclusive and expensive that not just anyone can afford (and, let's face it, Armani clothing isn't cheap in price). To most people, it is astronomical to pay $1,500 or $2,000 on a suit, which is right in Armani's niche. I imagine that if you ask 100 men on the street what is the best suit, at least 80 of them will say "Armani" without even thinking twice. Most of this is attributable to the Armani marketing machine.

The same can be said for Polo. People see the little horsey on your shirt and instantly recognize the brand as one of quality (at least in their minds). Also, look at brands like Coach, Abercrombie & Fitch, Rolex, and (though it pains me to admit it) Brooks Brothers. All of these brands market themselves extensively and paint themselves as exclusive. This is not to say they make crap (well, maybe A&F), but there are generally better choices from a quality standpoint. However, these brands carry an air of exclusivity, and they are readily available to consumers.

Another factor to consider is celebrity endorsement. I know it drives some of the denim heads on the street forum crazy that a brand like True Religion has taken off. However, much of their success came about because celebrities started wearing their jeans. It seems to me that there was a point in time when every male celebrity on the awards show runway would say their tux was by Armani. Thus, people will want to wear these brands, because celebrity endorsement makes them seem more exclusive.
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duveen
It could also be that the higher-end items are less flashy (though Y-3s are pretty distinctive), and so don't attract notice. You look well put together, but not especially distinctive.

Now if you go around in a Mimmo Spano suit with the loud checks, your high end clothing will get noticed....

That's a very good point. After all, most often I am well coordinated and composed, thus it blends quite naturally, and is not intended to be outlandish or get too much notice.

Jon.
post #19 of 31
Quote:
I'd be willing to bet that if you polled 100 men in your office, MAYBE 5 have even heard of Kiton or Attolini, compared to 80-90 who've heard of Boss and/or Armani.

We're 100% in my office on all those labels, and more.

Of course, I do work from home...
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorgekko
It could be people just prefer the styling of Hugo Boss over Attolini.
I don't think that's it. Some of it comes down to styling and personal preference, to be sure. But you have to also consider the taste level of the average person, which is highly informed by whoever spends the most on marketing in that person's media of choice. If something seems popular, people will buy into it whether it's attractive or not. Throw in a distinctive logo and a celebrity endorsement, and it's the perfect storm.
post #21 of 31
This happens to me all the time. Nobody ever comments on my cool vintage Church's or even my pair of EGs. But the minute I put on a simple old pair of Puma Taharas I've had for ever its "nice shoes, nice shoes, nice shoes". (Of course none of that comes from the real sneaker people who couldn't care less about my Pumas.)
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenRocks
I don't think that's it. Some of it comes down to styling and personal preference, to be sure. But you have to also consider the taste level of the average person, which is highly informed by whoever spends the most on marketing in that person's media of choice. If something seems popular, people will buy into it whether it's attractive or not. Throw in a distinctive logo and a celebrity endorsement, and it's the perfect storm.

I would be willing to wager that while 90 people out of 100 may have heard of the Hugo Boss brand at some point, 0 out of this mythical average 100 could tell the difference between a properly altered suit from Men's Wearhouse and a properly tailored suit from a line beloved by SF denizens.

Blaming it on marketing is an easy answer. Sure, if you tell them something is from Boss, Armani or Donna Karan they may be impressed but if you never told them and they still tell you they like it, is it the marketing or is it taste?

I don't make it a habit of telling people where I buy my clothes but if someone tells me they like that charcoal Hugo Boss suit, at some point I have to believe they just like the styling of it rather than dismiss them as ignorant.
post #23 of 31
My point was not that people who have mainstream tastes are ignorant, nor was it that relatively inexpensive clothing could not elicit a genuine reaction in people devoid of marketing. I don't tell people where I buy stuff unless prompted either.

My point was that people like and appreciate what they see most often, and more often than not it is brands like Boss, Armani, and Donna Karan, which are widely distributed, have massive advertising budgets and media coverage, but do not necessarily reflect the most flattering aesthetic. Brands and styling that they see less often (or that shift away from the paradigm they believe in as a consumer) will elicit less of a reaction.
post #24 of 31
Armani is the "Bose" of the men's suit world.
post #25 of 31
As Jill touched on earlier, people like quality, it is simply that absent brand awareness theyre not sure what theyre looking at, except that you seem to look smarter, better, cleaner, nore handsome etc.... Which is the value of buying better designed, higher quality things.

However, nothing wrong with a designer item that is well constructed, even if mid brand. The purpose of a good designer is to design a universal pattern that makes everyone look better.
post #26 of 31
Quote:
I think Jill's post hits the nail on the head.

I agree also. If someone told you "Nice suit - who made it?", I guarantee you that 90% of the people would be far more impressed with an "Armani" or "Versace" response, than a "Raphael" or "Anderson & Sheppard" response. Similarly for RTW Kiton and Brioni. Just comes down to advertising and name recognition. Id just assume my $ goes to quality over advertising though....
post #27 of 31
To echo Duveen, high-end clothing improves the wearer's appearance in a subtle, difficult-to-identify way, like regular gym workouts. To the extent that such clothing elicits compliments, it is likely to be along the lines of "you look nice" rather than "that's a nice suit." Which is preferable, in my opinion.
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenRocks
My point was not that people who have mainstream tastes are ignorant, nor was it that relatively inexpensive clothing could not elicit a genuine reaction in people devoid of marketing. I don't tell people where I buy stuff unless prompted either. My point was that people like and appreciate what they see most often, and more often than not it is brands like Boss, Armani, and Donna Karan, which are widely distributed, have massive advertising budgets and media coverage, but do not necessarily reflect the most flattering aesthetic. Brands and styling that they see less often (or that shift away from the paradigm they believe in as a consumer) will elicit less of a reaction.
I must still disagree. As I said in my earlier post, considering that the average person cannot tell the difference between any two suits -- whether that suit is Men's Wearhouse, Hugo Boss or Kiton -- the marketing dollars spent mean nothing other than an awareness of a name. Do you honestly think that the average man is aware of the difference in drape between Armani and Brioni? They may be more impressed by the Armani name more so than Anderson & Sheppard, but the true test is in the styling. If they like Armani's look (which I submit marketing does little to promote) moreso than A&S, than Armani wins fair and square. I am not defending this populist definition of superior style. Given what we see on the streets these days, the average is decidedly into some bad clothes.
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorgekko
If they like Armani's look (which I submit marketing does little to promote) moreso than A&S, than Armani wins fair and square.
You gloss over the difficult assumption - that marketing does little to promote a silhouette. I would argue that marketing absolutely promotes silhouettes as well as names. Armani is the perfect case in point - his distinctive fabrics, low buttoning-point and generally drape-y look defined an era. It was so successful that it was quickly aped by a good chunk of high-end makers, to the point where an Armani-ish silhouette was seen as synonymous with a stylish, modern suit. That look itself was marketed, not just the name. A 'designer look' (Boss, Armani) that takes off among the elite quickly creates an echo chamber of lower-level knockoffs in department and specialty stores. The advertising feeds off itself to create a sense that, for instance, ventless drapey suits are dashing. Thereafter, when someone wears a ventless drapey suit, the average onlooker puts him/her in the 'dashing' category. The Armani look suited some, it didn't suit others. While your 'man on the street' may or may not have known it was an Armani by looking at it, his visual lexicon for what constituted a stylish, modern elegance had absolutely been influenced by advertising. A&S and other regional styles (Neapolitans, Romans, Florentines) are occasionally appropriated by the major makers, but seldom are they carried out in full (RL is the exception to that rule - he does the whole British kit and caboodle with less editing than most). Thus a person wearing that look won't get the snap-reaction - pro or con - that he might get wearing exactly the same cut and accessories as are found on the billboards. So A&S vs Armani isn't a fair fight. People have to judge A&S by how it fits you, because they haven't been taught to view it as a paradigm. The same person can judge Armani by its fit with the 'Armani-ness' that has already been put into the cultural bloodstream. Often, the well-marketed silhouette and style obscures you - people see that you have 'that kind of suit' and put you in the camp of the urban sophisticates and are done with it. The signal is sent. They don't need to evaluate whether or not it is particularly suited to you.
post #30 of 31
Thread Starter 
Wow, this one really blazed away. My $.02 on the issue I raised - I like the point that fit, both whether or not the garment fits, and the style in which it does, are paramount. People will always recognize if something doesn't fit, unless they're sartorially clueless, in which case why bother talking about clothes? Where I think it gets really tricky is what happens when people actually MENTION the clothes/appearance of a well-dressed person. Obviously being well put together has certain subconscious effects, but what seems to be at issue here is people's explicit reactions. In this field, obviously brand recognition is a big deal. Very few people are going to see the "Armani" silhouette and identify as Armani - that's just too specialized. In the end, all I really care about is a jacket that fits well and pants that sit nicely and have a good break. I've also started getting comments on my Jantzen's now that the jacket sleeves are the right length and the monogram on the cuff shows - people ask what brand is that, like the polo horse or the A&F moose, and I get to do my whole little spiel about the HK tailor, etc. I'm like a travelling salesman for Ricky Ho! As for Boss Suits, well, mine fit me perfect outta the box from ebay, so I'm happy. I just hope all the dire predictions of quality don't ruin the experience I get from wearing it, because I put it on and feel like $100 for every penny of the list price I didn't pay for it... Which, in the end, is the most important thing: if you feel good in it, than you probably give off the vibe that makes you look good.
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