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Q&A with Michael Hill of Drake's conducted by Derek Guy of StyleForum (Part 1 of 2) - Page 5

post #61 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by iroh View Post

2 hours compared to .5 hours, 4x as long, you need to train your staff better. what could you possibly do to make making a tie take 2 hours?
the average tie costs 1 dollar at the thrift store. and those thrift store ties look just as bad as any of the most expensive ties in high end mens stores. so how are you even profitable?

Being sometimes (too) direct myself, I realize that the mods may not want to ban people for plain rude posts. However, your post just makes a very strong argument for, at least, different levels of banning; e.g. if you hit the rudeness level you achieved in your post above, no more posting for you for the next six months. No idea where David gets the stomach from to post as polite a response as he did, but all the more power to him.
post #62 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Hober View Post

IROH,
I am not sure if you are joking but since today is Christmas Day as a courtesy I will politely reply to your post with a partial list of our production process:
1) We only make custom made ties not ready made ties so we spend time asking questions before we even start making ties. With some gentlemen who know exactly what they want this discussion can be simple and clear with others there can be a dozen emails and a phone call involved. Also there can be language difficulties since I am American and mainly speak English but our customers are worldwide. But I am relaxed and patient and eventually I understand what our clients need.
2) We draft a pattern for each client, again sometimes the patterns are simple to make at other times they can take a number of drafts and revisions.
3) We cut an interlining by hand one by one and then we shave it perfectly by hand to have the exact shape that we want. The second step of the interlining preparation is more difficult than the first but it is important for a luxury tie.
4) We cut the silk by hand one by one.
Please note that steps 3 and 4 are typically done with many layers of silk piled high by most tie makers which saves lots of time and money - but you can't make a really beautiful and perfectly balanced tie with mass production you can come close but not get the job done for perfectionists
5) We sew the ties together very slowly by hand and at every step of the way we stop and check the tie.
Note a large amount of the time is spent in constantly checking the ties while they are being made and if we have even a small problem we will take the tie apart and remake it.
Those readers who are in a service business such as public accounting or law etc.. or a luxury product business will understand how import review work and corrections are when the end product or service has to be perfect.
I could go on but I think that you are starting to get the message - it is not possible to make a custom made luxury tie much faster than we do. Most of the luxury ties in stores that you mention rely on beautiful fabric and good but not expert crafting. The demand for luxury construction is a small niche one and I completely understand if you prefer thrift shop ties and I have a tip for you (which you may already know) go to thrift shops in wealthy neighborhoods and even better yet estate sales in wealthy areas.
As for your comment: "thrift store ties look just as bad as any of the most expensive ties in high end mens stores." Softly, gently and politely I will suggest that you are being amusing. Or we do not visit the same stores? I have seen ties of great beauty in shops all over the world that were very expensive from a number of different makers. I have seen thrift shop finds on Style Forum and it is rare and a great coup to find ties of the same quality. The thrifters who find luxury ties for a dollar are correctly proud of their finds.
Please post photos of the luxury ties that you have discovered for a dollar for us all to enjoy.
As for how are we profitable - I repeat from my above post: "Although the bottom line is that we simply sell directly to our clients and we make a very small profit."
Wishing you and all my friends on Style Forum a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

awesome reply. you should write an article on entreprenuer.com. i would love to read it.

so does this mean your ties are better quality than drakes? then why not raise your prices to match or exceed? why hold yourself back?

if your ties were made in london what do you estimate you will have to sell them for? i want to know how much of a price difference there really is for not using first world labour. if the price difference is not too much, i think most people wouldn't mind paying a bit extra to save jobs in america, there is a lot of hate for MIC nowadays as seen in the MC forums.
post #63 of 70
IROH,

"awesome reply. you should write an article on entreprenuer.com. i would love to read it."

Thank you for your kind words sadly time does not allow for outside writing adventures.

"so does this mean your ties are better quality than drakes? then why not raise your prices to match or exceed? why hold yourself back?"

All our ties are custom made/bespoke - Drakes makes mostly ready made ties and some made to measure which they refer to as bespoke (I am not sure why) Custom made/bespoke ties all things being equal in terms of fabric skilled labor etc will always be better and this is a general statement I am not going to directly compare our ties - beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I will leave it to others to decide.

"if your ties were made in london what do you estimate you will have to sell them for? i want to know how much of a price difference there really is for not using first world labour. if the price difference is not too much, i think most people wouldn't mind paying a bit extra to save jobs in america, "

We are an American company owned and operated primarily by Americans for over 50 years with only a recent presence in Thailand so your question is very easy to answer from an American point of view - zero change in prices. We have never made clothes in England so I really can't answer about England.

As an example our grenadine ties were $80 when we were in Denver around 5 years ago they are still $80.

Now we are all waiting for your $1 tie photos which are as good as the best department store ties.... Please advise when you will be posting and don't forget closeup photos.



post #64 of 70
David,

166

Time is better spent finding some awesome new silks rather than wasting your time with this.
post #65 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpooPoker View Post

David,

Time is better spent finding some awesome new silks rather than wasting your time with this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpooPoker 
I have a question about the control panel for the "Dubiously Honored" functions. Should I ask that here?
post #66 of 70
I like the way you think.
post #67 of 70
David, Thank you for your kind answers to Iroh.

Iroh, if you have more questions, please consult David's lengthy, detailed explanation of his ties in this thread. If, after a careful reading of that thread, you have further questions, I'm sure Mr. Hober would be happy to answer them by PM.

Let's try keep this thread to a discussion of the Drakes interviews as much as possible.
post #68 of 70
Thanks emptym. Part 2 will likely be up after the New Year, for those wondering.
post #69 of 70

Quote:

Originally Posted by shoreman1782 View Post

Thanks emptym. Part 2 will likely be up after the New Year, for those wondering.


Can't Wait. Thanks.

post #70 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpooPoker View Post

Yet again, David proves himself more of a gentleman than most. Kudos to you, sir.

Hear Hear.

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