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Critics hate RL's US Olympic Team Uniforms - Page 7

post #91 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

Ralph Lauren made a strategic mistake which has cost him some goodwill, and the shame of it is that they squandered a crapload of potential to capitalize on a trend that has passed the early adopter stage and into the mainstream. There are some very well known mid-tier American manufacturers who could have made the uniforms that Ralph designed. Southwick comes immediately to mind. "Ralph Lauren works with American manufacturers to make the US Olympic Uniforms" would have been a very compelling storyline. I know that RL does not have the same marketing strategy as J.Crew, but there's not shame to taking a page from a competitor's playbook, especially when you have such a unique opportunity.

Sadly there would be no story if they did go with US manufacturer's from the start.
post #92 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie22 View Post

Rush Limbaugh?
I would consider luxury clothing manufacture to be a skilled labor. 

Anything assembly line where each person is taught to only do one task isn't. Without knowing the details of RL's factory setup, I'm assuming this is the case. One person cuts out pre set patterns. The next stitches some canvas on. Somebody else irons on fusing. The next 14 year old girl sews the various pieces together. The next one attaches the sleeves and lining.

Skilled manufacturing, in economic parlance, requires significant expertise. Running a computer controlled lathe (or four at a time, which is fairly standard these days) to make a precision sensor with a tolerance measured within a few microns, for example. The quality of the final product does not determine whether labor is skilled or not.
post #93 of 152
http://www.shimaseiki.com/product/cadcam/pcam_multi/

I really doubt in many volume production setups a human hand cuts anything these days.
post #94 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post


Anything assembly line where each person is taught to only do one task isn't. Without knowing the details of RL's factory setup, I'm assuming this is the case. One person cuts out pre set patterns. The next stitches some canvas on. Somebody else irons on fusing. The next 14 year old girl sews the various pieces together. The next one attaches the sleeves and lining.
Skilled manufacturing, in economic parlance, requires significant expertise. Running a computer controlled lathe (or four at a time, which is fairly standard these days) to make a precision sensor with a tolerance measured within a few microns, for example. The quality of the final product does not determine whether labor is skilled or not.

Ok who is operating the cutting machines, etc.

post #95 of 152
Turning a machine on. Maybe clearing a jam or other routine stuff isn't the sort of things that require years of training.

The skill set a tailor needs is far higher then the people running those machines.

My guess is there is a very small number of "skilled" people in those operations. Somebody that creates the patterns. Some techs that fix the machines.

But the main problem with arguing about "skilled" jobs is the belief they won't be equally or more skilled. I'm old enough to remember Jap crap and how people looked down their noses at stuff from Japan. I remember the first person on the block to buy a Japanese car.
post #96 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicola View Post

http://www.shimaseiki.com/product/cadcam/pcam_multi/
I really doubt in many volume production setups a human hand cuts anything these days.

As I understand it, in China, punches and a hydraulic press still rule the day. Those machines are expensive. You absolutely don't get a human hand cutting around patterns like many here may be envisioning from watching BBC videos about Saville Row, but there probably is a human involved. You're talking 50 layers of fabric, a metal punch that looks like a giant cookie cutter, and a big press that pushes it through the fabric. Takes one, maybe two people to run, and it's much cheaper than the computerized machine would be (without asking for pricing). If you have a great need for precision, something like that is called for. Ferrari's leather seats are probably cut on something like that. But your jeans or the pieces on your blazer? Probably not.
post #97 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie22 View Post

Making luxury garments is not a skilled activity?  I'm referring to "high end" suiting, I thought that is what we were discussing. 

There are tons of factories in China that can and do churn out "high end" suits. If you are talking about Neapolitan completely handmade pieces, that's another beast altogether, of course, but we are not talking about $5K suits here.

Also, Frankie, if people are actually willing to work under hard conditions for lower wages, why is it that farmers are having real problems finding enough harvesters, especially for crops like cherries, now that a lot of Mexicans are finding the political and economic climate unappealing? Yes, people will work for lower wages and under harder conditions, but I think that you underestimate just how much lower those wages (and benefits) are, and how much harder working conditions can get. They only way to get Americans to work those jobs would be to literally throw people out on the street with no social safety net, something that no one except the most stupid people would want.
post #98 of 152
I think it's going to depend on the plant. My understanding is the plants built by some of the Italian companies are very modern. The cost of the machine is offset by things like less waste on material.
post #99 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post

Anything assembly line where each person is taught to only do one task isn't. Without knowing the details of RL's factory setup, I'm assuming this is the case. One person cuts out pre set patterns. The next stitches some canvas on. Somebody else irons on fusing. The next 14 year old girl sews the various pieces together. The next one attaches the sleeves and lining.
Skilled manufacturing, in economic parlance, requires significant expertise. Running a computer controlled lathe (or four at a time, which is fairly standard these days) to make a precision sensor with a tolerance measured within a few microns, for example. The quality of the final product does not determine whether labor is skilled or not.

This is pretty much right. Actually, having been a lots and lots of factory tours, I think that I can safely say that a factory in Brooklyn is not that different from a factory in Italy, is that not different from a Chinese factory. For huge volumes, it makes sense to mechanize, but human labor, for the most part, is cheaper, and definitely not as capital intensive. Retooling machines requires real skilled labor, and takes time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicola View Post

http://www.shimaseiki.com/product/cadcam/pcam_multi/
I really doubt in many volume production setups a human hand cuts anything these days.

Actually, human hands are remarkably cheap. How else do you think you can get MTM shirts from overseas, shipped to your door, for under a C-note?
post #100 of 152
Cheap to make one shirt is different then cheap to make 1000. The machines make sense in high volume.
post #101 of 152
Anyone who spends any significant amount of money on clothing made in China, including Hong Kong, is nothing more than a low-down, dirty-dog traitor to the flag in my book, and that's that!
post #102 of 152
Calm down everybody. Let's tackle this in two separate ways.

1) Comments on kit: cut, color, style, fashion etc. What you like or don't like or would have preferred to see I.e., baseball hats instead of berets. Irrespective of whether it is RL or made in China.

2) Current US economic/tax policy that is a disincentive to repatriate foreign earnings and funds and in making required capital investments domestically. Why pay a 35% statutory tax rate when all other developed countries are moving to 18-22% tax rate to stay more competitive with the low cost countries? China is experiencing significant labor inflation and you will see less and less low cost manufacturing and exporting, and more local for local manufacturing. If you don't like RL "made in the red state" kit, than write your douchebag congressman, senator, etc and ask them to lower the hurdles for local investment and manufacturing so we can finally give back these jobs to the undocumented Guatemalans and Ecuadorians who will work without employers having to pay for Obamacare or Obamatax.

My own two bits: I've been to China. I've advised "The People's" who invited me there. I don't trust them. They lie, copy and steal all intellectual property, and then manufacture shoddy knock-offs. I'm talking about critical items that should never fail and not clothes. As far as possible, I do not buy anything "made in China".

And I don't like RL. It's not for me. I'm not a label whore. I also don't buy Armani, Boss, Gucci, Kiton, Brioni, Ferragamo, Brooks Brothers etc., etc.
post #103 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

Actually, human hands are remarkably cheap.

nod[1].gif

The thing about unskilled or semi-skilled human hands in a country like China with weak labor laws is that there's little to no investment in the worker. If the hands break down, you show the human the door. If a machine breaks down, you have to spend money to repair or replace it.
post #104 of 152
What's with all this anti Red China sentiment? Much of the responsibilty for the clothes you detest falls on the designer who off shores it, the retailer who stocks it, and the consumer who buys it. If the market wants higher quality clothing I'm sure Red China is capable of producing it. They have 5000+ years of making some the world's finest treasures and are a terribly inventive people.
post #105 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by curzon View Post

What's with all this anti Red China sentiment? Much of the responsibilty for the clothes you detest falls on the designer who off shores it, the retailer who stocks it, and the consumer who buys it. If the market wants higher quality clothing I'm sure Red China is capable of producing it. They have 5000+ years of making some the world's finest treasures and are a terribly inventive people.

 

This.

 

To product a great product you need to address the needs that exist on the market.  Cheap clothing is the need of today and China addresses this quite well.  If people demanded fine clothing, China would do that too.  Actually, it is kind of silly to complain about the uniforms knowing that the U.S. has been whoring itself out to China for many years.  

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