I don't think they'll go to $1000 unless they have a good reason to, in other words, if I upgrade the material content then the price might have to go up. They will be different designs over time, but will still be made in the same way, just made in batches so that production can run faster and with more perfection. Our material cost continues to rise and has risen 40% or so since I started TOJ and working with the suppliers, and the prices have had to rise a bit, but we haven't raised prices in awhile and the internal price raises keep eating away at our safety margin. I am worried about continual material price increases but I can worry about that later. That's just part of living in the world.
If our production runs clear, the store is stocked, and Dan seems to have free time in the future and we sewing table space, we may entertain the idea of MTM'ing for an added surcharge and the conditions that a) the person actually really needs it and doing this much work for one jacket will be worth it, b) that person understands how much time it takes to make a jacket from scratch and can accept this fact, and c) back to point a, it's not some nitpicky person who is asking for .5" off somewhere, rather it's somebody like Islander who is much taller than most of you guys and genuinely needs a unique size, so it won't be an option on the table for most. The .5" people will simply be told no. We just can't expend time hacking away at the 'no' questions like we have been up until now. I feel that there was so much productivity and potential lost in that noise. We have talked about it at length.
Overall though, I still want to have a competitive price on the leathers and if I can, I will end up pushing a lot of them locally to my Japanese clientele. The market here has a lot of leathers but many are overdesigned, most don't have the kind of leather I use, not even close; the overall effect I see is that I could have the next generation of TOJ's on the rack and they'll not be stepping on the toes of local Japanese brands, rather the immediate hand feel and overall look will be something that really speaks subtly and more to the style of foreign brands. That makes sense, as I don't particularly have a taste for the wilder Japanese designs of leather jackets. I feel they age too quickly. As I said I hope to bring more women's models into the line and I suspect they will fly in Japan, nobody pays that much attention to the quality of women's leather jackets but they do price them up high, so I can hit hard with those just as I've been doing with men's leathers for awhile now.
The items of clothing that will be priced in line with Japanese clothes are the ones that will be made in Japan, alongside aforementioned clothes. Naturally, the price will vary from where we were at with Korean production, and I feel if they're more expensive, they're more expensive for a reason. The materials are very nice here as I said, and the production quality is high. Lots of machinery and stuff to allow for complex creations, and the real strength is that I will be working with Japanese production that has research in particular styles of clothing, like flight jackets or denim jeans, or oxford shirts. That kind of knowledge produces better clothing.
Anyway, don't be alarmed - I'm not talking Visvim prices, I am talking like Japanese boutique house brand pricing like Beams house label, which is very fair on stuff. They have better economies of scale, but I have little overhead, so we might balance out there. Check out zozotown to get an idea of what stuff costs in Japan. I think there's some really good values that will be more than worth their asking price. If I can get my Toyo Enterprises deal to work out, my flight jackets and military-inspired coat ideas that I've kind of experimented on previously would become very serious and deep, just insane quality and spec. Expect the same with all the other respective pieces. The bottom line, all of these changes - they're strictly for improvement and the pursuit of perfection. If I wasn't seeking the next level, I'd already have quit.