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Designers and their different lines

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Are there any places that have information on all the different lines of clothing each brand has and how they vary by quality? I'm familiar with the most basic and obvious examples: Ralph Lauren: Polo Sport->Polo->Purple Label (with Chaps and that green labelled Ralph Lauren line somewhere in the lower end of the spectrum) Armani: A|X->Le Collezioni->Black label/Classico (I don't know where Emporio falls). But for most of the other designers, I really wish there were some sort of information site to keep track of all the different brands they have. Right now the ones I'm most interested in knowing are Boss (Black Label, Hugo Red Label, Orange Label, Baldessarini), Dolce & Gabbana (&, D&G, Dolce & Gabbana... I just bought a pair of & labelled pants off ebay for about $30 and am wondering if I overpaid for some lower quality pants), Versace, and Prada, but if anyone knows of some sort of reference, let me know. Thanks
post #2 of 13
Hm.  I don't know anything online, but you can probably go by prices at your local shop, or a large chain store's site (Neiman Marcus, Saks, etc.)  Catalogs are also helpful here, get one from Saks or Neimans to get an idea of pricing. As for Armani, I'd insert the Armani Jeans line after AX, then Emporio after Collezioni. Start with the designer's website.  There will usually be some sort of marketing pitch for the line that will easily place it price-wise.  Also, Dolce & Gabbana have a comprehensive history of their company, along with info on how to spot fakes.  The & line is a diffusion line, sort of an entry level into the Dolce & Gabbana style... very easy to fake (since there's not many complex signature pieces), however $30 is not that large of a sum to learn a lesson on.  Go by the label code and cross reference it against the season's code or whatever is listed on the D&G site. Baldessarini is HB's high end tailored line.  I'd say BOSS is just under it (black label) with the orange label being the more sportswear oriented pieces.  The HUGO line is comparable, maybe a little bit under, but it's more casual, even compared to BOSS orange label. Prada, Miu Miu, and Prada Sport are all ultra-lux, even though Prada Sport would be considered the low end.  I find all three lines rather bland on the whole... especially the Sport line.  Nothing like a red stripe to break necks, though. Versace has totally gone downhill, there are so many diffusion lines it's impossible to get a real feel for the image they're trying to project.  Ultra-lux?  Sure... but the Jeans Couture line is horrid, and the Classic V2 line is boring, Versus is too rock star, etc.   I've been thinking about writing an article about buying on eBay, spotting fakes, with tangents on diffusion lines and getting deals for a while. I've done enough research and collected enough "evidence" for something with alot of substance.  However, I'm wondering if (a) there's any reader interest, since the target audience would buy from a reputable chain store/boutique anyway, and (b) where's the publishing market?  I'm thinking 1,500, maybe 2,000 words, which would place it outside of most magazines (see (a) as well, wrong audience) and I don't know about the online market.  Any interest or ideas out there?
post #3 of 13
Well I'd sure love to read something like that.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info; as for the pants I bought I don't really think they're fake (the seller was responsive to my emails, offered to discuss things if I had probelms and showed close pics of the tag), I just notice the label specifics and was a little worried that & might be D & G's analgous version of A|X (half-assed and diluted merchandise relying solely on a name). I'm probably getting carried away, and $30 isn't too much, but I'm a newbie to ebay, and if you actually want, you can send me a message through the forum (I didn't sign up with my usual e-mail) and I could show you the auction yourself. As for your suggestion of looking at designers' websites, it's a good idea, but frankly I can't tolerate the kind of crap the designers do with their sites. It's downright painful to sit through page after page of heavy flash animation, awkward interfaces, and loud noises blaring through my speakers, and then maybe there's the hope I'll get to see one shirt from the new season line. Sorry for the rant, but when will people learn that putting this kind of crap on an informational website looks a lot more obnoxious and annoying than it does hip? Of course, if you know how to navigate through some of the sites to find any actual info past all the flash, feel free to let me know. Finally, re: the article idea. I think it's a great idea myself and am sure it would be immensely helpful to many. If you're thinking about actually selling it or making any money off it, I don't think you'd have much of a chance (though I could see such an article in a magazine like Maxim if you wanted to give it a shot). If you just wanted to share some of the basics you could start out with a new thread on it and see what everyone says. Another idea: what might be really neat is a chart of sorts of different designers. Obviously this would be incredibly subjective but you could poll a bunch of knowledgable people, make some sort of graph to rate them on, say, fashionability/clout of name/style and quality/reputation/value and plot them by points (e.g. Prada would be high on the first quantity, and lower on the second); and you could connect affiliated brands together. I'm just a fashion newbie, but I'd like to learn this stuff and even help in this project if possible.
post #5 of 13
If I had to put one above the other, I don't which, Armani Collezioni or Emporio would be above or below the other. They're both below Giorgio, obviously, but from what I've seen and bought of both lines I can't say which of the two would be the "higher" of the two and looking at the armani website doesn't help. There's a bunch of things which contribute to my confusion heh. 2) I've seen Emporio sport coats in stores for something like 600-700 canadian and they weren't on sale. I've never seen any Collezioni sport coats at that price. I haven't seen a ton of Emporio stuff in stores, but what I have seen seems less expensive (for things like suits and sport coats anyway, haven't really seen anything else). 3) From the info on the website, it makes it sound like Collezioni (white label) is the diffusion line for Giorgio (black label), and this makes a lot of sense given the color scheme for the labels heh. Emporio is listed below both of them and it doesn't really say how it's supposed to fit in to the whole scheme of things. Given all this, I'm kind of under the impression that Collezioni is the diffusion line for the top label, Giorgio, and that Emporio is separate from the two, standing on it's own. If you look at the website, Collezioni has a stronger resemblance the main line that Emporio does. Also the layout of Collezioni and Giorgio Armani are essentially the same. Emporio is a totally different interface. Regardless, it's a pretty trivial in the end. It doesn't really matter which is the "top" line. I own stuff from both the Giorgio and Collezioni lines and all the stuff I've bought is well made, doesn't fall apart prematurely (hello prada), and uses nice fabrics. Anyone who buys one label over another, exclusively for the prestige factor, is a real idiot heh ;p
post #6 of 13
Armani Collezioni is a diffusion line, at retails about 20% lower than the black label collection. The market is also significantly different. Black Label is meant to be extremely exclusive, and as such is sold only at same name stores and marquee stores like Barneys or Maxfield, while Collezioni is geared towards a more conservative customer and can be found at any number of higher end specialty stores and boutiques. Emporio is also a diffusion line, but is marketed more at younger, more fashion conscious customers. It also sells at a significantly lower price point than the black label or collezioni lines, but is, on the other hand, more exclusive, since its distribution in North America is limited to the Emporio Armani boutiques, as were Armani Jeans until very recently. The marketing of the various lines from any designer is a complicated business. In any case, I find it futile and purposeless to impose a hierarchical structure on them. Who cares if your Emporio jacket is more or less prestigious than your Collezioni coat?
post #7 of 13
Funny how you mention the annoying websites these designers have. I was just on a bunch of them and it's a pain. I think the best one, for easy navigation at least, is the Gucci site. Giorgio Armani, Versace and Hugo Boss have way too many windows that pop up, Prada has had the "opening soon" sign for over a year now, and Roberto Cavalli's website is just downright awful. It takes like 10 minutes for each picture to piece together, and they are thumbnail sized anyways.
post #8 of 13
As I used to work for the Giorgio Armani boutique on Madison Avenue, I can shed some light on how the lines (at least the GA lines) work. Giorgio Armani black label is the classic line designed by Giorgio Armani himself. It's the most expensive and, in my opinion, the best. It generally reaches an older set - the people who can afford it. Giorgio Armani white label (le collezioni), is designed by his design team, and approved by Giorgio Armani. The fabrics tend to be less quality, but still has a more traditional look. Emporio Armani is also designed by Giorgio Armani himself, but it tends to be a hipper, more egdy line. It's priced and positioned for younger people, in cut and fabric. Armani Exchange is a Japanese owned line that has licensed the Armani name. Giorgio Armani has nothing to do with it, other than collecting checks for the use of his name.
post #9 of 13
Interesting, but if you can't tell, does it really matter? Anyone who can't look at and feel a RLPL piece, for example, and know instantly that it's superior in workmanship and materials quality to a similar Polo piece will be wasting money if he goes with Purple Label. Because the only reason he will be doing so is to wear a swankier label. As for Armani, it's pretty obvious that Emporio is different from the other stuff. Just look at the silhouettes of the clothes, feel the fabrics used. It has nothing to do with panache, everything to do with personal style and occasion. In car terms, think of VW's offerings. Designed by the same people and built on the same platform, you have the VW Golf/Jetta, VW New Beetle, Audi A4/Avant, and Audi TT. You don't need labels or pricetags to tell you which is which, and which is the best choice for you. A person looking for a TT is unlikely to also be considering a GTI. You don't need to do much looking and feeling to ascertain that the A4's interior is made of better materials overall than the Jetta. (Although there is a fair bit of parts-sharing and VW's in general have by far the highest interior quality of any budget cars.) Obviously, the above analogy's a little bit flawed, because an individual generally only has one or two cars, whereas one has many more outfits. So you can be an A4 guy during the workweek, and a TT guy on Friday night. Peace, JG PS: My nomination for best fashion website: Helmut Lang's, www.helmutlang.com. Has been for quite a while. No stupid time-consuming BS, just pictures of the collection.
post #10 of 13
Has anyone checked out the Dior site? It has to be hands down the most difficult site EVER.
post #11 of 13
The Dior site is slow and fustrating. Hedi Slimane designed it with the help of a Flash programmer. davei Prada Sport is priced the same as the mainline.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
The Dior site is slow and fustrating. Hedi Slimane designed it with the help of a Flash programmer. davei Prada Sport is priced the same as the mainline.
Yeah, they're priced similarly ($150+ on the plain t-shirt scale) but I'd still say Prada Sport is below the mainline, or else it would be the mainline Of course my anti-logowear bias is coming through strong... Sites like firstview.com (mostly free) and fashionwindows.com ($) are much better if all you want to do is ogle the clothes.
post #13 of 13
If you guys really want to see the Spring 2003 collections, they are there in their entirety at www.gqmagazine.com right now.
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