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Romantic Europe meets NYC: the ROBERT GELLER thread - Page 229

post #3421 of 6054
Just because its not super slim doesn't mean its cut for "typical american physique"
post #3422 of 6054
Quote:
Originally Posted by jibak View Post

in re: geller button ups

I am by no means blessed with the physique of the archetypical aryan super race (assumed a german designer would pursue that ideal)

... miran?
post #3423 of 6054
My sense is the price hike is intended to recoup lost revenue from sale periods (I don't really buy the increased cost of overhead/materials/production arguments). Not to state the obvious, but sale periods seem to be when a lot if not most of a designer's stuff is sold. And although fewer people are likely going to pay retail now, when the sales hit and say a button down shirt "drops" in price people will be swayed by the drop, in essence a guise designed to assuage reservations concerning sticker shock, whatever the discount, ignorant of or neglecting to heed the fact that the shirt's price was ratcheted into the stratosphere at the beginning of the season. It's kind of sad to consider because it alienates core customers (I'm going out on a limb here and assuming a large portion of RG's core customers are also regulars on this thread) at the same time holding the door open for fashion ignorant fuck wits with money to burn to take up residence as the designer's new core customers. I definitely don't blame him, and theres always going to be newer younger designers looking to break into the scene with more competitive options.
post #3424 of 6054
I'm gonna have to weigh in regarding fit. Geller's clothes are definitely not aimed at a "american physique" - the looser cuts are purposeful and he's playing with silhouettes. If you go back to his first few seasons, you'll find that the cut is much slimmer (in line with the slim everything dominating men's fashion at the time).

I would argue that his clothes actually fit shorter men better. Look at the shorter inseams on his pants and how his long sleeve shirts have short sleeve length. Anybody over 6 foot 2 has trouble wearing most Geller button down shirts.
Edited by kubrick555 - 7/31/13 at 7:07am
post #3425 of 6054
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dotcomzzz View Post

My sense is the price hike is intended to recoup lost revenue from sale periods (I don't really buy the increased cost of overhead/materials/production arguments). Not to state the obvious, but sale periods seem to be when a lot if not most of a designer's stuff is sold. And although fewer people are likely going to pay retail now, when the sales hit and say a button down shirt "drops" in price people will be swayed by the drop, in essence a guise designed to assuage reservations concerning sticker shock, whatever the discount, ignorant of or neglecting to heed the fact that the shirt's price was ratcheted into the stratosphere at the beginning of the season. It's kind of sad to consider because it alienates core customers (I'm going out on a limb here and assuming a large portion of RG's core customers are also regulars on this thread) at the same time holding the door open for fashion ignorant fuck wits with money to burn to take up residence as the designer's new core customers. I definitely don't blame him, and theres always going to be newer younger designers looking to break into the scene with more competitive options.

Production costs definitely have been going up. Cotton prices have been rising at a rapid clip for the last few years. (Seriously, google "cotton prices rising" or something similar and you'll get a lot of stuff going all the way back to 2010 forecasting that cotton apparel is going to keep getting more expensive. edit: i have no idea about tencel though.) Combine that with any other rising costs and inflation and it makes sense that the wholesale price is on the rise too. It's already expensive for smaller designers to make stuff because of economies of scale. If a designer is only making 10-50 units of one shirt, the sewing cost is going to be a lot higher than if the designer were making 500 shirts. And don't forget that little details like pleated armholes bump the sewing cost up even more, as does the fact that Geller's shirts are made in Japan, where costs are higher than, say, China.

Now don't forget that retailers are multiplying the wholesale price to get their retail price, so any increase in the wholesale gets multiplied. If it cost a designer $60 to make a shirt a few years ago, they would sell it for about $135-$140 to the retailer, who would then sell it for $275-$290 at full retail. If today it costs the designer $67 to make the same shirt, they sell it for $150-$160 to the retailer, who sells it for $345 to $360. That price jump comes from a $7 increase in the production cost.

To go another level, if a designer is making $75 on the sale of a shirt, think of just how many shirts that designer has to sell to make any significant amount of money. (And they're usually paying the rent for an office space, utilities for that space, etc.) Same deal for the retailer, who is taking a risk by buying all these shirts assuming they're going to sell them, and who ends up selling most of them at half off, so they're also making $75 or so per shirt while paying rent, utilities, etc for the store and then trying to have enough left over to pay rent, utilities, etc for their own home.

Being a small designer/retailer, especially in menswear, is a really tough business to make money in. Of course they're worried about alienating their core customers, but there are more pressing problems to deal with most of the time. (Also, I don't think that large a portion of Geller's core customer base is posting regularly on here. Because that's what, like 10-15 people? No business would work if that were the majority of their customer base.)

edit 2: oh, and just fyi, this is all generalization. i have no idea about the internal workings of Geller's business. teacha.gif
Edited by pickpackpockpuck - 7/31/13 at 7:53am
post #3426 of 6054
damn my sample sale pkg went to missoula montana instead of portland and has been sitting in a sorting facility for days. facepalm.gif
post #3427 of 6054
It's possible it got stuck there temporarily.
Does it say Exception?
I've had at least 2 packages go through montana and get derailed

Or maybe you're in trouble :/
post #3428 of 6054
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pickpackpockpuck View Post

Production costs definitely have been going up. Cotton prices have been rising at a rapid clip for the last few years. (Seriously, google "cotton prices rising" or something similar and you'll get a lot of stuff going all the way back to 2010 forecasting that cotton apparel is going to keep getting more expensive. edit: i have no idea about tencel though.) Combine that with any other rising costs and inflation and it makes sense that the wholesale price is on the rise too. It's already expensive for smaller designers to make stuff because of economies of scale. If a designer is only making 10-50 units of one shirt, the sewing cost is going to be a lot higher than if the designer were making 500 shirts. And don't forget that little details like pleated armholes bump the sewing cost up even more, as does the fact that Geller's shirts are made in Japan, where costs are higher than, say, China.

Now don't forget that retailers are multiplying the wholesale price to get their retail price, so any increase in the wholesale gets multiplied. If it cost a designer $60 to make a shirt a few years ago, they would sell it for about $135-$140 to the retailer, who would then sell it for $275-$290 at full retail. If today it costs the designer $67 to make the same shirt, they sell it for $150-$160 to the retailer, who sells it for $345 to $360. That price jump comes from a $7 increase in the production cost.

To go another level, if a designer is making $75 on the sale of a shirt, think of just how many shirts that designer has to sell to make any significant amount of money. (And they're usually paying the rent for an office space, utilities for that space, etc.) Same deal for the retailer, who is taking a risk by buying all these shirts assuming they're going to sell them, and who ends up selling most of them at half off, so they're also making $75 or so per shirt while paying rent, utilities, etc for the store and then trying to have enough left over to pay rent, utilities, etc for their own home.

Being a small designer/retailer, especially in menswear, is a really tough business to make money in. Of course they're worried about alienating their core customers, but there are more pressing problems to deal with most of the time. (Also, I don't think that large a portion of Geller's core customer base is posting regularly on here. Because that's what, like 10-15 people? No business would work if that were the majority of their customer base.)

edit 2: oh, and just fyi, this is all generalization. i have no idea about the internal workings of Geller's business. teacha.gif

Well damn, the cost of cotton has been rising. Color me mistaken. And that's some very convincing generalization, thanks man.

I'm wondering about the costs of production for the shirt tho. I still find it hard to believe the actual cost of making a shirt is $60-67, even in Japan with pleated armholes and whatnot, but what do I know. A smaller production facility, the limited quantity of stuff being made and so forth, you're probably right. Let's assume you're right. And that your figures are accurate. More or less. If that's the case, I suspect not only is there an increase in the cost of producing the shirt ($7), but the multiplier being used is also on the rise. That is what the retailer pays for the $67 shirt is not proportional to what they used to pay for the $60 one. It's more. The same goes for the markup from wholesale to retail. In other words, the profit margins are also increasing. Why? I could be wrong, but it doesn't seem entirely out of the realm of possibility.

Also come to think of it you're probably right about the issue of core customers. More pressing issues indeed. However, it would be interesting to know how much of his customer base frequents the thread. Not just contributes content, but views the thread at the beginning of each season, uses it to locate retailers, and so on.
post #3429 of 6054
Thread Starter 
Haha, it's cool. There's no reason for most people to be aware that the price of cotton is going up. I remember seeing an article on Business of Fashion, I think, a few years ago and then it was just on my radar. The cost of production I gave includes everything, from the materials to the cost of actually putting it together. And then there are other costs like grading, which is when they figure out the dimensions of the different sizes (figuring out how big the pattern pieces for an XL should be based on a M is more complicated than just adding like an inch or whatever everywhere). It can get expensive fast depending on whether you use nice buttons and good fabric and depending on how complicated the piece is to sew. I have a friend who works in fashion and it was really eye opening to realize that just making a shirt can be so much when you have places like Uniqlo selling stuff at retail for less. That's where economies of scale really play a role. Uniqlo churns out an insane volume, but the factories cut them deals because they want all that business, and they're getting deals on materials because they're buying in massive quantities. A small designer, on the other hand, might sell like 15 or 20 units of a style of shirt. That's why guys like us end up having to search to find out which retailers bought a specific item, or if a piece from the runway even got made.

Generally the markup from the cost of production to wholesale is 2.3x-2.5x. And then the retailer marks it up again 2.3x-2.5x. I say "generally" because I'm sure you can find higher or lower markups. I can't imagine the retail on Ann D. stuff is based directly on that formula, for instance. At some point, you are paying for design/brand name/etc as well.

edit: it is a good point about lurkers v. posters that you bring up. it's hard to say how many there are. this thread doesn't turn up as a top result in a google search on Geller, so I would have to guess it's mostly people who are coming to the forum anyway. but really i don't know ((Fok probably knows though).

edit 2: oh, and like the nod to Faulkner in the location, dotcomzzz. fistbump.gif
Edited by pickpackpockpuck - 7/31/13 at 11:15am
post #3430 of 6054
So, then I'd assume the reason you don't see the same price increase in his cotton t-shirts is because the margins are tighter as they produce and sell more of them.
post #3431 of 6054
Quote:
Originally Posted by dotcomzzz View Post

I still find it hard to believe the actual cost of making a shirt is $60-67

You're forgetting overhead.

Geller has a family, he has employees, he has business partners and investors.
Studio New Work designs the shirt graphics (historically, at least). They need to get paid.

Creating one-off samples for runway shows and to show buyers is really expensive. (a friend had ONE sweatshirt sample made in China - it cost $600)
So you've got to recoup those costs somehow.

You can go for volume - but then you're moving into a much larger less visionary and in some ways PICKIER market who has no interest in nice fabrics, they want cheap and common recognizable items, shapes, colors. And then you gotta open stores. And hire salespeople . . . .

And this guy has won the CDFA Award a few times.

But yeah, you get the idea.
post #3432 of 6054
Quote:
Originally Posted by kubrick555 View Post

So, then I'd assume the reason you don't see the same price increase in his cotton t-shirts is because the margins are tighter as they produce and sell more of them.

SS12 Bauhaus tee was $112 at Acrimony
Lang tee is $145...
(As was the pocket tee last season)
Edited by melonadejello - 7/31/13 at 11:35am
post #3433 of 6054
Wowsers, I had no idea the process was that involved. The grading especially. It would explain why Gellers size runs can be limited. And why I seem to have a love/loath relationship with uniqlo.

The markups also seem consistent with that 2.3-2.5x range, so I guess I learned something new. I knew I should have paid more attention in economics class.

Edit: thanks for the other input guys, it's all becoming clear now.
post #3434 of 6054
Quote:
Originally Posted by dotcomzzz View Post

The grading especially. It would explain why Gellers size runs can be limited.

That has more to do with buyers, I think.
They buy what they sell.
If they rarely sell a 52 or 44 - they might stop buying them. If they get the crazy 3 tone strange hyper concept space jacket and don't sell a single one until they're 80% off - they ain't gonna buy that again.
You order a red shirt - and no one buys it. You order dark and light grey next time.

Also - because buyers seem to lean conservative most of the time, a ton of the stuff that gets sampled never gets produced for retail.
It's hard to find adventurous menswear customers! If they even exist!
So, you have to cover the 25 shirts/pants/jackets that you sampled with 100 tshirt/jean sales. smile.gif

Labels will often have a staple of good selling items that they keep year to year: tshirts, flight pants, 5-pocket jeans, zip blazers seem to be Geller's.


I can imagine that it would be really frustrating for designers to make all of their money from 5 items, while no one even orders the awesome stuff.
But hey, you're still in business and some cool stuff gets ordered and produced sometimes . . .


PS: I know nothing. This is just what I hear and what I read + what I've learned from friends in the industry.
post #3435 of 6054
^ IIRC this is something Geller spoke about in that interview c4est did a while back. It's kind of an interesting bind to be in. As a consumer, when you walk into Barneys or wherever to check out Geller, you'll usually find a sweatshirt, some tees, maybe a pair of jeans or a scarf. It's just the low-risk stuff that sells well. But when you're only seeing the basics from each line, there's not much to differentiate them by. So why are you looking at Geller's sweatshirts and tees as opposed to Acne, or Rag and Bone, or whatever else? Because they spent all that money a few months back making cool pieces for the runway show, which may or may not have gone into production, picked up by a retailer in your size, etc. But that stuff needs to exist to contextualize the basics.
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