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What are the greatest menswear brands of all time? - Page 6

post #76 of 500
very interesting read. best of luck with the article. as with all lists of this nature, it will be hard to nail it, and no matter what you do there will be inclusions and exclusions that people will argue with.

i havent really thought about it at length, and i dont have the vast knowledge that fok and others have displayed here about the history and different values and innovation many brands.

my thoughts thus far are.

brands that i think must be on such a list,

ralph lauren, zegna, brooks brothers, levis.

despite the fact that i agree with bourbon regarding rolex as a brand, and despite the fact i am a huge watch geek, i would not list it in your menswear list. it is a watch, not a garment. bringing that in opens the concept up too wide to make any kind of useful list imo.
post #77 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by JensenH View Post

If this list is ranked by the criterion who is the most financially successful menswear designer, then Ralph Lauren absolutely and irrefutably belongs at the top spot.
If, on the other hand, the ranking is based on design innovation and influence on the fashion industry, R.L. do not even belong in the top ten.
Mr. Ralph Lipschitz is a brilliant merchandiser and businessman, and his lines are loved by all segments of economical class.
But a designer? Hardly.
To wit: The Ivy Look -- from B.B. and J. Press.
The ubiquitous polo tee shirts -- Lacoste
Jeans and denim wear -- Levis
Outdoor rugged clothing -- LL Bean. (A fashion writer who interviewed him had noticed Mr. Lipschitz and his brother cutting out photos from a Bean catalog in his design studio)
RLPL -- Savile Row
RLBL -- Hedi Slimane
Polo tailored clothing -- again, B.B. and Press.
Everything he puts out is derivative. I honestly can not think of one innovative design from him. Can you?

I don't think anything has to be a net-new to be considered innovative. This is almost like arguing Edison wasn't innovative because he didn't technically, by himself, invent the lightbulb. Nothing in menswear especially exists in a vacuum, and if someone invents something that does it probably isn't super popular right out the gate unless it is a strictly functional item that is later made fashionable.

Ralph Lauren (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZywE0AT1qY&t=24s) helped solidify these looks together from somewhat disparate pockets of Americana (especially the New England WASPy look that was pretty regional) and definite it as THE American look of the latter 20th century till today. That's pretty innovative, and we kind of take it for granted like it just always existed.
post #78 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by JensenH View Post

If this list is ranked by the criterion who is the most financially successful menswear designer, then Ralph Lauren absolutely and irrefutably belongs at the top spot.
If, on the other hand, the ranking is based on design innovation and influence on the fashion industry, R.L. do not even belong in the top ten.
Mr. Ralph Lipschitz is a brilliant merchandiser and businessman, and his lines are loved by all segments of economical class.
But a designer? Hardly.
To wit: The Ivy Look -- from B.B. and J. Press.
The ubiquitous polo tee shirts -- Lacoste
Jeans and denim wear -- Levis
Outdoor rugged clothing -- LL Bean. (A fashion writer who interviewed him had noticed Mr. Lipschitz and his brother cutting out photos from a Bean catalog in his design studio)
RLPL -- Savile Row
RLBL -- Hedi Slimane
Polo tailored clothing -- again, B.B. and Press.
Everything he puts out is derivative. I honestly can not think of one innovative design from him. Can you?

RRL?

also, i think a lot of the PRL stuff is original to them.
post #79 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsoftz View Post


I don't think anything has to be a net-new to be considered innovative. This is almost like arguing Edison wasn't innovative because he didn't technically, by himself, invent the lightbulb. Nothing in menswear especially exists in a vacuum, and if someone invents something that does it probably isn't super popular right out the gate unless it is a strictly functional item that is later made fashionable.
Ralph Lauren (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZywE0AT1qY&t=24s) helped solidify these looks together from somewhat disparate pockets of Americana (especially the New England WASPy look that was pretty regional) and definite it as THE American look of the latter 20th century till today. That's pretty innovative, and we kind of take it for granted like it just always existed.

 

+1. Ralph has got to be the greatest brand of all times. Pound for pound no one is even close.
post #80 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

i think a lot of the PRL stuff is original to them.

Ralph is a lifestyle genius but rarely original in design. He took a million British and American classics and gave them a small tweak, usually with color combinations.

What is often forgotten is that in the early years he was one of the few mainstream designers to offer almost exclusively natural fibers. He may have been one of the only fashion sources of 100% cotton khakis in the late 70's. The quality of his early clothing was exceptional, especially the fabrics.
post #81 of 500
RL and BB.
post #82 of 500
psg, very interesting that last part. did not know.
post #83 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay View Post

RL and BB.

y u no say, zegna?
post #84 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

This is a really great discussion.
Some thoughts:
First, I guess Jesse and I are mostly doing tailored clothing + things you might wear with tailored clothing. So sportswear and streewear are out, though I don't know if designer tailored clothing remains (I haven't talked to Jesse about it). Given that, I think certain brands such as Filson and Nike are out, as are Bathing Ape and Stussy (a shame, but on the upside, it helps us narrow this list down a bit).

Bummer, because really, I think that the influence that Nike has had is undeniable. Filson, Pendleton, those are more debatable. And I really think that Stussy has had as much influence on how men dress today than any number of fancy names.
Quote:
I'm then curious about a few things. First, what was your reason for The GAP? The most memorable thing I can think of is the khakis campaign and its role as a kind of mass-outiftter (on three different levels). If we're taking that, I wonder if old mass outfitters such as Burton should be included, given our "tailored wear" focus. Perhaps Burton might represent a kind of "dark suits for the every day man" age in Britain? And that makes it "great?" Don't know if I'm stretching here.
Yeah, it's role as a mass outfitter and it's incredible marketing. It achieved penetration the way brands had not even though possible before them.
Quote:
I'm also curious about your inclusion of Hanes. No idea who is "greater" - them or Fruit of a Loom.
Two words: white tee.
Quote:
As for John Paul Gaultier, are we talking about his suits with exaggerated proportions? Crazy wide, padded shoulders with tight bodies? Did that have an impact outside of the designer world? Not that his work is discounted because it's just in the designer world, but I thought I'd ask. Could one say that his work was a bridge between the deconstructed Armanis in the 80s and the Lang and Prada minimalism in the 90s? I feel like those three had a bigger impact on the commercial world, for whatever that's worth.
For his flirtations with skirts. Though he failed, he set the precedent for designers after him to play with gender. Others during the same period promoted the idea, but he was best known for this. I mean, does anyone remember that Armani actually tried this as well?
Quote:
For Zegna, are you suggesting them for their vertically integrated business model? Essentially going from cloth to suit manufacturing? Do you know if they were one of the first to do that? I think Cerruti does too, no?
Yes, and they were instrumental in bringing "conservative" Italian men's fashion to North America. Cerruti does it too, and iirc, it started earlier than Zegna, with Hitman, where Armani got his start. But it never got the penetration that Zegna had, and imo, success is an important criterion in this case.
Quote:
Have a few more thoughts, but have to turn to some other work for now. I'm enjoying this discussion though.

Ditto.
post #85 of 500
Jensen, I think you're right about design, actually. Much of RL's success, IMO, is about business and marketing achievement, not design. But I'm not sure if greatness in fashion - particularly in men's clothing - can be judge on just design terms. It's not a pure art form in the way music or painting might be. It's very much a commercial enterprise. The only place where design can exist as just as design is at schools such as Central Saint Martins, where students put on runway shows and are encouraged to be as creative as possible. For everyone else, fashion (and, again, particularly menswear) is one part design and one part business.

All the companies you named as RL's sources for inspiration, actually, are just as much commercial successes as design successes.

I suppose put another way, can you name a "greater" menswear brand than Ralph Lauren?
post #86 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

1. Ralph Lauren
2. Yamamoto (includes a variety of brands)
3. Giorgio Armani
4. Hedi Slimane (for Dior Homme)
5. Helmut Lang
6. Zegna
7. Hugo Boss
8. Calvin Klein
9. Issey Miyake
10. Levis
11. Barbour
12. Mackintosh
13. Burberry
14. Adidas
15. Stussy
16. Bathing Ape
17. Converse
18. Hanes
19. Diesel
20. A.P.C.
21. Versace
22. Gianfranco Ferre
23. Thierry Mugler
24. Schott
25. GAP
26. J. Crew
27. Filson
28. Vans
29. Paul Smith
30. Clarks of England
31. Gucci (more for the loafer than anything else, though Tom Ford's era is definitely influential)
32. Gieves&Hawkes
33. Huntsman
34. Anderson and Shepherd
35. Pierre Cardin
36. C.P. Company
37. Nike
38. Brooks Brothers
39. Prada
40. Perry Ellis
41. Valentino
42. Jean Paul Gualtier
43. Belstaff
44. Brioni
45. Donna Karan (though her influence in womenswear is much larger)
46. Rubinacci (London House sort of started that whole thing, so...)
47. Woolrich
48. Dolce & Gabbana
49. Abercrombie&Fitch
50. Tommy Hilfiger (one of the first "manufactured" brands)

Solid list. Only brand I expected but didn't see is Baracuta.
post #87 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post


Yes, and they were instrumental in bringing "conservative" Italian men's fashion to North America. Cerruti does it too, and iirc, it started earlier than Zegna, with Hitman, where Armani got his start. But it never got the penetration that Zegna had, and imo, success is an important criterion in this case.

is there anyone who manufactures as much high end tailored clothing, for as many different brands and lines, as zegna. i imagine not. and despite that, they have managed to keep their own line pure, and distinguishable, and highly respected. while they quietly produce the clothing for some top tier brands, while most of the public is none the wiser.

i mean, just the sheer number of high end clothing they produce, with very solid quality control, is afaik, not equalled by anyone else. i could be wrong, but that is my impression. not to mention their importance in fabric sourcing and manufacturing. they made that transition, or really, addition, more successfully than anyone i can think of. no one looks at them as the textile company that also makes clothing, or the clothing company that also makes textiles.

for all that, i think they are a clear choice for the list, and high up on it too.
Quote:
Ditto.

+1
post #88 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaplan View Post

Solid list. Only brand I expected but didn't see is Baracuta.
I thought about it, and decided to leave them out. It's a solid brand, but really, it's only a minor commercial success, and only really has one well known product to their name. I would put Dickies, Pendleton, Northface, all before Baracuta. Think of it, I don't know how I could have forgotten about Northface.
post #89 of 500
another point of great note for RL, imo, is their ability to brand across the entire spectrum. from chaps all the way to RLPL. not many, or maybe any, other companies, can a make a line for kohls and the like, that you can pick up suits for 100 bucks or so, and shirts for 10, and not have that take away from their ability to brand items that cost tens of thousands of dollars. offen producing the former, causes people to not take the latter very seriously.

the fact they are able to cover literally all bases, and be looked upon favorably in each area, is, i think, unparalleled.
post #90 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by NORE View Post

You ruined an otherwise thought provoking question by doing this:
Originally Posted by JensenH View Post

...
Mr. Ralph Lipschitz...
Mr. Lipschitz

 

 

And why did you do this, JH?


Edited by SeaJen - 9/21/12 at 12:39pm
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