Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Originally Posted by LA Guy
It's really when the brands decide to really make a big PR push. Some showrooms, like The News, are highly influential, and if they take you as a client doing both selling and PR, you are nearly bound to get into a lot of doors. White Mountaineering was with them. Common Projects has always been in their stable. They had WWM, and I think that they got it back. They had Tim Coppens. They had Band of Outsiders in its heyday, and so on. Forums and blogs and other specialty social media have a lot of amplifying effect as well, but it often starts with a top flight showroom.
Also, and this could be redundant, but even at a deep discount the nonnative or wm pieces that sell from mr. porter or ssense are still serving their purpose: they advertise the label.
Let' s take white mountaineering. A few seasons ago they were killing just about their whole line (to me at least) even tho only a few places had them in na or europe whereas this year's stuff seemed fairly watered down but whoa looky here places that offer a mild sw&d aesthetic and put elijah wood on their home page are now also stocking the stuff. Coincidence?
Most of the front end of the wm thread has shots of incredible (again to me) pieces from wm's first few two seasons available outside japan. Also a lot of comments like 'omg that's off the chain but uh I'm just gonna cop some socks.' Well sure, given the price for the other stuff and how scarce it was. But those socks served a purpose and wetted the appetite people had for the label that couldn't afford the really fly shit like the knits and shells. Call it the filler in the label's line.
Now that filler has expanded. And from the point of view of the persons steering the label's finances, the move from eclectic yet completely awesome to derivatives of the really cool no-doubt-about-it-that's-wm is a part of their campaign to gain a following across a wider demographic within the na/euro market. As well the ugly stuff will always make it past half off (namely because it's ugly) and I'm almost convinced it's intended to be that way. Again as a pitch. The baller stuff is gone at close to retail since most people will zero in on what pieces are truly good, but the rest is basically to advertise the brand. Shirts stitched from six fabrics and buttons in weird places. Plus still with the socks, but more bland and more of them. Throw in the allure of 'made in Japan' and how much of a savings you tell yourself you're getting at 60% off or whatever and people will talk themselves into buying some really gaudy stuff.