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What happened to Brooks Brothers? - Page 3

post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie Treehorn View Post

This.

We may not like it, but perhaps the majority of professionals in the developed world no longer wear suits (or even jackets) to work these days. Nor do they choose to get dressed up when going out, on weekends, or in any other situations beyond weddings and funerals. The suit is dying, albeit slowly. The hoodie is becoming acceptable business attire in some industries -- especially the tech industry, which happens to be one of the only industries in the US that's doing phenomenally well right now, and whose employees have stable, secure jobs (and lots of disposable income to spend on, among other things, clothing). And it's certainly supplanted, say, the sport coat as popular casual and weekend attire.

This is the world in which we live. Brooks Brothers didn't create this world. But Brooks Brothers finds itself in this world, just the same as we do. We can dress as anachronistically as we want to, but then, we're not trying to earn a profit by selling clothing to the masses.

This.

Here is a good example of what happened to a famous and long established, traditional UK menswear chain that didn't change with the times.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/dunn--co-calls-in-the-receivers-1315374.html

"The Christmas shopping season turned sour for one of Britain's best-known menswear retailers yesterday when Dunn & Co collapsed into receivership.
Known for its slightly old-fashioned image, sturdy suits, blazers and flannels, Dunn & Co's reliance on the formal wear market proved its undoing."


Basically what happened here, their core clientèle got old and started dying off. When I was in my 20s, Dunn & Co was always the store my granddad shopped at.
Edited by MikeDT - 7/12/12 at 6:54am
post #32 of 58
Thread Starter 

I think it's completely fair to say that it may be a move to "modernize" but I can only hope that it doesn't come at the expense of their better products. 

post #33 of 58
Personally, I like the new BB items, particularly the Milano and ESF. While that hoody and some of the newer stuff looks horrible, I like the fact they are offering slimmer, modern cut lines. To be honest, prior to ESF/Milano cuts, I never bought a single item from BB b/c I thought of the store as an "old man" store.

I think they still have a way to go to modernize their image. Most people I know still associate BB with old and boring.
post #34 of 58
Thread Starter 

I'm on board with the milano/fitgerald fit, etc. but the hoodies and branded polos (one has BROOKS in large, arched letters where the golden fleece would have been) are too much for me. 

post #35 of 58
Seems to me to be the "all things to all people" strategy that has worked so well for Ralph Lauren (among others). Sell the giant Polo logo'd shirts by the truckload to subsidize a smaller luxury line (*PL, BL, the nicer Polo stuff) along with good quality denim.

BB is also selling things in other department stores now - Barneys carries Black Fleece, and I was quite surprised to see BB #1 striped ties in an independent men's store in Memphis, TN not long ago.
post #36 of 58
Hoodie with BB logo: I think the idea is to rock it, ironically.icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by comrade View Post

Actually, " back in the day" ,maybe 35 years ago, Brooks Bros and Abercrombie & Fitch did compete with each other,
at least in sportcoats, tweeds.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Abercrombie_%26_Fitch

Yeah man, but back in the day Abercrombie & Fitch were Abercrombie & Fitch.

The center can not hold, and all that jazz.
post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post

...as a side note, I was in a BB store last weekend and I'm trying on a shirt when the SA walks by and says "hey, no opening up the shirts from the packaging, you can't do that, sorry... we have some try-on shirts in the back."
I was blown away.

At Turnbull & Asser, they keep a full range of try-on shirts (one of each size and fit they carry) in the dressing rooms. They'll happily let you take a shirt from the packaging, but will suggest the try-on shirt in the same size and cut because, and here's the important bit, the try-on shirts have been laundered so you can tell how the shirt you're interested in will fit after you've washed it. Now that's service.

So your BB SA basically missed the point. And "don't take them out of the packaging" is just unprofessional. It's not like you're at a butcher's shop asking to handle the meat. Or something like that.
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archivist View Post

Yeah man, but back in the day Abercrombie & Fitch were Abercrombie & Fitch.
The center can not hold, and all that jazz.

Looking from an even broader historical perspective, we SF types might
be equivalent to those " gentlemen" who continued to wear breeches
in the 1820s years after the trouser tsumani.
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post

as a side note, I was in a BB store last weekend and I'm trying on a shirt when the SA walks by and says "hey, no opening up the shirts from the packaging, you can't do that, sorry... we have some try-on shirts in the back."
I was blown away.

I think this is ridiculous, especially since I have found the length to differ by a full inch in two pairs of BB chinos of the same size.
post #41 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Doble View Post

I think this is ridiculous, especially since I have found the length to differ by a full inch in two pairs of BB chinos of the same size.

I have two 1818 Fitzgerald suits that differ in jacket length by a full inch. One Lardini, one Southwick.
post #42 of 58
At the SF BB store, I was informed that the try on shirts had been laundered so that you could find your ideal size.
post #43 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie Treehorn View Post

 

This.

 

We may not like it, but perhaps the majority of professionals in the developed world no longer wear suits (or even jackets) to work these days. Nor do they choose to get dressed up when going out, on weekends, or in any other situations beyond weddings and funerals. The suit is dying, albeit slowly. The hoodie is becoming acceptable business attire in some industries -- especially the tech industry, which happens to be one of the only industries in the US that's doing phenomenally well right now, and whose employees have stable, secure jobs (and lots of disposable income to spend on, among other things, clothing). And it's certainly supplanted, say, the sport coat as popular casual and weekend attire.

 

This is the world in which we live. Brooks Brothers didn't create this world. But Brooks Brothers finds itself in this world, just the same as we do. We can dress as anachronistically as we want to, but then, we're not trying to earn a profit by selling clothing to the masses.

Say what?  This isn't marketed as office wear.  It's marketed primarily to college students, same as Ralph Lauren.  It's casual wear.  Last year they did a whole Back to School thing on the website and in stores, which they will probably run again after the clearance is over.

 

Ralph Lauren has been selling casual wear like this for years, and that's clearly the target market BB is after.  BB has been trying to make their brand more youthful.  They've taken some good steps, and generally I like the direction they're taking, though I too am not a fan of the garish logos that seem to be on a lot of this fall's new items.  Too RL for my taste, which is one of the reasons I stopped buying RL casual wear.

post #44 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by urfloormatt View Post

Say what?  This isn't marketed as office wear.  It's marketed primarily to college students, same as Ralph Lauren.  It's casual wear.  Last year they did a whole Back to School thing on the website and in stores, which they will probably run again after the clearance is over.

 

Ralph Lauren has been selling casual wear like this for years, and that's clearly the target market BB is after.  BB has been trying to make their brand more youthful.  They've taken some good steps, and generally I like the direction they're taking, though I too am not a fan of the garish logos that seem to be on a lot of this fall's new items.  Too RL for my taste, which is one of the reasons I stopped buying RL casual wear.

 

It's changed significantly from last year, though. They filmed their campaign on my school's campus (BB is pretty popular there) and it was stuff I can imagine people wearing... but this new stuff is pretty far removed from what "young people" (at least where I go to school) are looking for. IMO, they've missed the mark, unless they're hoping to market to a substantially different audience. 

post #45 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jshastings View Post

 

It's changed significantly from last year, though. They filmed their campaign on my school's campus (BB is pretty popular there) and it was stuff I can imagine people wearing... but this new stuff is pretty far removed from what "young people" (at least where I go to school) are looking for. IMO, they've missed the mark, unless they're hoping to market to a substantially different audience. 

I think it would be more accurate to say they've broadened the mark than missed it.  You can add hoodies and t-shirts to the line without substantially changing the look.

 

I liked what I saw when they did their fall preview a few months ago, especially the chinos and socks with rep highlights/styling.  (Link here: http://www.ivy-style.com/brooks-brothers-fallwinter-2012-preview.html).  

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