or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › MC General Chat
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

MC General Chat - Page 199

post #2971 of 3007
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

wouldn't appealing to the 35-50 demographic (or whatever Bills Khaki's demographic was) just mean that you get the new group of people getting into that age group, just as the old ones are leaving?

No. The style/brand becomes associated with the older demographic and the younger audience coming along wants and needs something "fresh" to call their own. If you don't offer that to them then they will pursue other options. A brand must continue to innovate, successfully appealing to an emerging audience or the clock is ticking when it will expire.

The brand's both you and Nick mention have done this very well.
post #2972 of 3007
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusW View Post

No. The style/brand becomes associated with the older demographic and the younger audience coming along wants and needs something "fresh" to call their own. If you don't offer that to them then they will pursue other options. A brand must continue to innovate, successfully appealing to an emerging audience or the clock is ticking when it will expire.

The brand's both you and Nick mention have done this very well.

I see what you mean.

I just assumed that Bill's Khakis appealed to a very specific kind of "fashion unconcious man" (to use Nick's words). So basically older, upper-middle class guys who just want something to wear on weekends. I guess like JL Powell, but with less "rugged man" undertones. I would think that for basics such as that, there's always a customer.
post #2973 of 3007
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

I see what you mean.

I just assumed that Bill's Khakis appealed to a very specific kind of "fashion unconcious man" (to use Nick's words). So basically older, upper-middle class guys who just want something to wear on weekends. I guess like JL Powell, but with less "rugged man" undertones. I would think that for basics such as that, there's always a customer.


A truly "fashion unconscious man" makes decisions based upon what is easiest or cheapest to buy. So they are rarely brand loyal. There is always a customer but you have to be willing to compete in the low price arena and there is no way Bill's was set up for that market. Not when Khol's, Target, the Gap, etc., get things cut and sewn at a fraction of the price off-shore and are vertically integrated (no middle -men, no wholesale).
post #2974 of 3007
I always thought Bill's was ripe for collaboration. A brand so hell-bent on maintaining and continuing it's "tradition," collaboration seemed like the easiest and most natural extension into new marketplaces. When you have a company making tremendous pants, why not extend that know-how to hipper brands? Granted, I'm not saying Bill's X CDG, but Bill's could have easily partnered with the younger, "preppier" brands growing up around them. Even though it will likely make Vox's head explode when he reads this, Vineyard Vines comes to mind as a natural collaboration, as do brands like J. Crew (In Good Company), or Club Monaco (who have partnered with older, stuffier suppliers in the past). Even Christian at Ivy Style was all but begging them to do a niche run of high-waisted, slim leg, "Ivy" pants. Just seems like they missed the most obvious, and easiest, play.

The other thing I never understood was why, particularly as they existed in the midst of "Made in America" mania, Bill's wasn't moving to a heavy private label presence. Many "storied brands" are only alive today because of such moves, and because Bill's is far enough off the radar, it would be easy for them to make for RL, or Brooks, or even smaller shops' private labels.

Obviously both scenarios require scalability and flexibility in business, branding and production. However, for a brand that has been cranking for a number of years it's not a stretch to think they could expand their horizons ever so slightly to guarantee themselves another five years of fruitful business.

Nick is right in that it's best to do what you do well. However, when you have the opportunity to (more or less) seamlessly piggy-back off of similar brands emerging and dominating the marketplace, there's no real reason to sit on the bench. Even if it's just limited runs, one season here, one season there, you're remaining relevant and at least putting your name in the mouths of those who would otherwise not even know you exist.
post #2975 of 3007
Quote:
Originally Posted by bourbonbasted View Post


The other thing I never understood was why, particularly as they existed in the midst of "Made in America" mania, Bill's wasn't moving to a heavy private label presence. Many "storied brands" are only alive today because of such moves, and because Bill's is far enough off the radar, it would be easy for them to make for RL, or Brooks, or even smaller shops' private labels.

Bill's didn't actually do their own production- they contracted it all out so it wouldn't make sense for them to get in the middle.
post #2976 of 3007
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferyd View Post

Bill's didn't actually do their own production- they contracted it all out so it wouldn't make sense for them to get in the middle.

And just like that my point is N/A...

That is interesting, though. Always thought they had their own factory. Learn something new everyday.
post #2977 of 3007
Quote:
Originally Posted by bourbonbasted View Post

And just like that my point is N/A...

That is interesting, though. Always thought they had their own factory. Learn something new everyday.

My previous employer considered buying them so we went to see them, their fabric suppliers, etc.
post #2978 of 3007
Quote:
Originally Posted by bourbonbasted View Post

I always thought Bill's was ripe for collaboration. A brand so hell-bent on maintaining and continuing it's "tradition," collaboration seemed like the easiest and most natural extension into new marketplaces. When you have a company making tremendous pants, why not extend that know-how to hipper brands? Granted, I'm not saying Bill's X CDG, but Bill's could have easily partnered with the younger, "preppier" brands growing up around them. Even though it will likely make Vox's head explode when he reads this, Vineyard Vines comes to mind as a natural collaboration, as do brands like J. Crew (In Good Company), or Club Monaco (who have partnered with older, stuffier suppliers in the past). Even Christian at Ivy Style was all but begging them to do a niche run of high-waisted, slim leg, "Ivy" pants. Just seems like they missed the most obvious, and easiest, play.
.

@bourbonbasted You bring up a perfect example of where they missed the boat. This could have been an ideal solution. Imagine if millions of brand new customers of J Crew were exposed to Bill's khakis 5-7 years ago. The Made in USA story was ripe and the brand had a good story. With an updated fit the brand could have been perfect for their audience.

Having consulted with a variety of owners of companies, including fashion brands, I can tell you that when things begin to go wrong fear takes over and it becomes hard for even some of the smartest, well meaning owners to make good decisions. They (and their staff and retailers) often revert to "what we've always done" and change becomes scary. I can only imagine that Bill's traditional retailers would have been very vocal and angry if they did collaborations "you'll ruin the brand!", "What are you trying to do changing do, become a fashion brand? Are you guys crazy???" that sort of thing.

When you own a company you must have a vision, and steel balls when times get tough, to move ahead and change with the marketplace. It's change or die. But all change isn't good. You need the wisdom to move in the right direction at the right time. That takes skill, a great team and innovation.
post #2979 of 3007
I have never owned Bill's, but a Bill's x Junya collab would have been interesting.
post #2980 of 3007
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusW View Post


@bourbonbasted You bring up a perfect example of where they missed the boat. This could have been an ideal solution. Imagine if millions of brand new customers of J Crew were exposed to Bill's khakis 5-7 years ago. The Made in USA story was ripe and the brand had a good story. With an updated fit the brand could have been perfect for their audience.

Having consulted with a variety of owners of companies, including fashion brands, I can tell you that when things begin to go wrong fear takes over and it becomes hard for even some of the smartest, well meaning owners to make good decisions. They (and their staff and retailers) often revert to "what we've always done" and change becomes scary. I can only imagine that Bill's traditional retailers would have been very vocal and angry if they did collaborations "you'll ruin the brand!", "What are you trying to do changing do, become a fashion brand? Are you guys crazy???" that sort of thing.

When you own a company you must have a vision, and steel balls when times get tough, to move ahead and change with the marketplace. It's change or die. But all change isn't good. You need the wisdom to move in the right direction at the right time. That takes skill, a great team and innovation.

For some companies there isn't a right direction--damned if they do, damned if they don't.

post #2981 of 3007
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bry2000 View Post

I have never owned Bill's, but a Bill's x Junya collab would have been interesting.

Would have liked to see a Bills Khakis x Rick Owens collab.
post #2982 of 3007
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

Would have liked to see a Bills Khakis x Rick Owens collab.

Black crotchless M1's, no thanks
post #2983 of 3007
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazedstate View Post

Black crotchless M1's, no thanks

More like a baggy drop crotch
post #2984 of 3007
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRINI View Post


More like a baggy drop crotch

 

Like I said, M1's

 

post #2985 of 3007
Yikes and I bet that is after sizing down a few sizes.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › MC General Chat