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What’s a $4,000 Suit Worth? - Page 8

post #106 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by imanewbie View Post

not many can afford a 4k suit.  To be able to want a 4k suit means you are really going out to some place special like really special like a major million dollar party of some sorts. Not even movie stars buy 4k suits, well actually they get made for the movies for themselves, but in their everyday wear and business meetings negotiating a movie deal they dont even wear a expensive suit.

Its mean to say, but he needs to find something else on the side to make some money for him to afford his own suit. A 1500 to 2500 suits majority fine unless your the 1% and even then when your 1% who gives a crap what you wear, right.

+100
post #107 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post


this is just wrong. there are far more wealthy people in industries other than celebrity, that are more than happy to pay that kind of money for a suit. some of whom frequent this site.
personally, if i had the money, i would go bespoke no question. would be much better for my body type.


Absolutely.  I use Poole myself for suits.  Really, you can get a good fit RTW if you are fortunate and persistent.  With bespoke however, you can get the exact fit you want.  I feel it's worth it.

post #108 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grammaton Cleric View Post


My understanding, as a long-time bespoke customer who has patronised quite a few SR tailors, is that ET is right and you are mistaken. To share but one example, when Mahon cut at Anderson, and was a partner at Steed, he did not travel to the U.S. to meet customers he routinely cut for (invalidating your claim that the vaunted 'rock of eye' requires a more involved fitting process with the original cutter.) And as Eustace has correctly noted, all the other big SR tailors also send their cutters on these trips, negating the idea that a block or draft-based system somehow makes the fittings easier.

 



I can confirm that Poole sends the cutter along for the fittings in the States.

post #109 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirkweems View Post


Sorry imanewbie. You are very wrong. I'm no movie star and I don't go to major million dollar parties. I'm just a working man, a real nobody. I wish my suits cost $4,000. They cost a bit more than that. I like wearing clothes that fit, and clothes that are my own. There is nothing special or extremely one-off and original in what I wear. You've probably passed me on the street and may have thought " nice suit". I'm not the only person on SF who wears bespoke suits from Savile Row. There are many other rather ordinary/normal non celebrity people here who probably spend more on their bespoke suits than I do.
Movie stars are the worst dressed people. They dress no better than tramps. And when they dress for the red carpet they are usually wearing clothes loaned to them for the occasion by a major fashion label just so that the star mentions the name on tv or in print. The clothes don't fit well...sleeves too long, big trouser break etc. in the old days movie stars always wore suits and always looked like stars. They patronized Savile Row. Now it's shorts and flip,flops.
The fact that the tailor cannot afford to make a suit for himself is because the opportunity cost is too high. If he spends 70 hours making a suit, it better be one he gets paid to make. As he doesn't go out and see clients, a suit for himself is a luxury he cannot afford at the moment.


Well put.

post #110 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by celery View Post

This is all true, but it is a huge leap for an artisan to make. I'll myself as an example, I make leather bags one by one, cut, hand-stitched and finished by me. I'm the whole team, sitting at a table (upgraded from living room floor) doing the work. At most, I could probably crank out 4-5 bags per week. And that's if they're simple to construct. I can usually do 1-3 bags.
Working in small batches increases your unit cost as I can't buy leather hides in bulk (first of all I don't have the capital to buy 1,000 hides or anywhere to store them). Same for brass fittings, thread, needles, dye, top finishes, etc. So if I were to ramp up my business, I'd still be constrained by my own ability to produce, it's a fairly fixed rate. So my only hope is that my quality continues to improve (until it plateaus) and that I gain enough demand through word of mouth that higher prices can be sustained.
And this part is important, once you pass a certain threshold of price, you begin to compete with different people. My first year I essentially worked for free and ended the year in the red (I'm supporting myself through traditional office job means) just so I could get traffic. It wasn't too difficult to sell product because my prices were very cheap compared to even non-luxury items. As my prices rise, I know that once I get into a certain zone, I will be competing against some very good and well known brands - can I hang in that arena at all? Probably not right now, so I won't go there.
That's where the artisan finds a hard spot. Mr. Frew might make really exceptional things, but if he continues to raise his prices, it becomes a question of who he's competing against. If he's competitive and has orders in the $4000 market, that doesn't mean he can compete against really big players who can factory produce items at the same price. Kind of a weird balancing act, you move when you can.
Basically, building a brand is a massive feat and not as simple as opening a store on Madison Ave. You need recognition, and to be seen as a status indicator - hence the success of branded items. So it would take a huge investment to create an operation similar to what you speak of, and he would be bottle-necked by production once again. He could toss out some of his values and split into mainline / diffusion line and have off the peg suits made in China for $1,500 to pay the bills while continuing his bespoke work, but it's a dangerous route to take.
Once that happens, if he finds success in it, it becomes very tempting to drop the quality altogether and just mass produce everything (you've seen it happen many times - it's an old story). It's a shame we (society) don't nourish artisans as much as we should.
Personally, I know that slow, one at a time, hand constructed production isn't the path to riches. But I do it anyway, just because I want it to exist. I may eventually give it up, but I hope to have a positive impact in a sea of mass manufactured disposables.
Very well put and I understand exactly what is being said here - do I want to stay true to my craft and quality or do I want to make lots of money? I personally believe the former as each piece has part of my soul in it and that gives me huge job satisfaction, especially when the client tells you how thrilled he or she is with the finished item. This is not the same feeling a brand owner builder will get from his job I feel. The more artisans who stick to their principles the better I say - I'm still enjoying it after nearly thirty years. KBO as Winston Churchill said!
Best wishes and good luck,
Tim Hardy
post #111 of 123

To me the article just couldn't shake the mentality of "if you are going to go into business, expand a grow at all costs and make more money". What is wrong with staying a small/medium business making a fair profit, employing local people, making quality products? Taiwan is a good example, a very well balanced economy I think.

post #112 of 123
+1
post #113 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by havabeer View Post

To me the article just couldn't shake the mentality of "if you are going to go into business, expand a grow at all costs and make more money". What is wrong with staying a small/medium business making a fair profit, employing local people, making quality products? Taiwan is a good example, a very well balanced economy I think.

 

People always want a quick buck but the more ambitious of them really want it all, a huge bank account, vacations all over the world..but they fail to see the dynamics of what it truly takes to be successful and enjoy longevity in going into business.

post #114 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by havabeer View Post

To me the article just couldn't shake the mentality of "if you are going to go into business, expand a grow at all costs and make more money". What is wrong with staying a small/medium business making a fair profit, employing local people, making quality products? Taiwan is a good example, a very well balanced economy I think.


For sure, but I didn't rally get that mentality from the article.  I think it's more just a chronicle of how much it's really a labor of love to make a bespoke garment, and some wishing it could be a little more lucrative for the artisans who practice it.  Which I would agree with, I have as much respect for the guys who do my suits as I do for any business associate I know, regardless of the amount of money said associate makes.

post #115 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by imanewbie View Post

not many can afford a 4k suit.  To be able to want a 4k suit means you are really going out to some place special like really special like a major million dollar party of some sorts. Not even movie stars buy 4k suits, well actually they get made for the movies for themselves, but in their everyday wear and business meetings negotiating a movie deal they dont even wear a expensive suit.

Its mean to say, but he needs to find something else on the side to make some money for him to afford his own suit. A 1500 to 2500 suits majority fine unless your the 1% and even then when your 1% who gives a crap what you wear, right.

With the risk of altering the path of this thread, I read an article that I cannot recall if it was from the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star. It stated that in reality, the 1% in Canada is approximately $160,000 a year combined family income. Sorry, but people making this money living in and around Toronto can't afford any $4000 suits with any regularity. Those 1500,2500 suits could be a stretch depending on your housing situation. I completely agree that the $4000 suits simply are not necessary for pretty much anyone, althought i'd love to be able to have a few in my closet.
post #116 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rene_Lahm View Post

With the risk of altering the path of this thread, I read an article that I cannot recall if it was from the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star. It stated that in reality, the 1% in Canada is approximately $160,000 a year combined family income. Sorry, but people making this money living in and around Toronto can't afford any $4000 suits with any regularity. Those 1500,2500 suits could be a stretch depending on your housing situation. I completely agree that the $4000 suits simply are not necessary for pretty much anyone, althought i'd love to be able to have a few in my closet.

There's no way that is true...
post #117 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

There's no way that is true...

Most likely it isn't, although who knows how someone chooses to calculate these things. Here's an excerpt from a recent study from UBC, quoted in the Globe:

"One needs an annual income of at least $230,000 to be part of the top 1 per cent. The average income in this group is $450,000, compared to only $36,000 for the whole Canadian population. (...) The top 1 per cent of earners amount to 275,000 individuals."

If you generously assume that the gender split is 50-50 and that only every tenth male buys a high end suit each year, that gives you just under 14,000 potential clients. I can see quite a few 4k suits sold to those guys.
post #118 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rene_Lahm View Post


With the risk of altering the path of this thread, I read an article that I cannot recall if it was from the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star. It stated that in reality, the 1% in Canada is approximately $160,000 a year combined family income. Sorry, but people making this money living in and around Toronto can't afford any $4000 suits with any regularity. Those 1500,2500 suits could be a stretch depending on your housing situation. I completely agree that the $4000 suits simply are not necessary for pretty much anyone, althought i'd love to be able to have a few in my closet.

 

They absolutely can if they prioritize it over the big screen TV, Playstation 3, swimming pool and overly large house, etc...

 

I was bringing in around 90k a year when I got my first Poole suit.

 

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post


There's no way that is true...


Sounds pretty plausible to me if they mixed up individual income with combined.  Even then it could be possible if there is only one breadwinner in the household.  The median income of a advanced degree holder in the states is 75k.  Canada has a pretty similar economic profile, obviously

post #119 of 123
Sorry guys I was a bit off with the original post, 70k off, thought i remembered it being lower. However, the article states that to qualifty one has to earn $230,000k /year.



"For all the hue and cry over Canada’s richest 1 per cent, little is known about just who they are.

Until now. A new picture of that rarified club shows they are overwhelmingly men, older men in particular. They tend to have university degrees, and half of them work more than 50 hours a week. They’re not, by any stretch, all bankers: they are also doctors, dentists, managers and veterinarians, who earn at least $230,000 a year to qualify."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/who-are-the-richest-1-per-cent-in-canada-theyre-not-just-ceos/article4231232/

It goes onto state that the average income of the top 1% of Canadian earners average 450,000, but to qualify you have to be pulling in at least $230,000. Still, not as much as one would think the top 1% would be making.
post #120 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rene_Lahm View Post

Sorry guys I was a bit off with the original post, 70k off, thought i remembered it being lower. However, the article states that to qualifty one has to earn $230,000k /year.
"For all the hue and cry over Canada’s richest 1 per cent, little is known about just who they are.
Until now. A new picture of that rarified club shows they are overwhelmingly men, older men in particular. They tend to have university degrees, and half of them work more than 50 hours a week. They’re not, by any stretch, all bankers: they are also doctors, dentists, managers and veterinarians, who earn at least $230,000 a year to qualify."
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/who-are-the-richest-1-per-cent-in-canada-theyre-not-just-ceos/article4231232/
It goes onto state that the average income of the top 1% of Canadian earners average 450,000, but to qualify you have to be pulling in at least $230,000. Still, not as much as one would think the top 1% would be making.


Yeah, that makes more sense for the combined.

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