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French Tailoring Thread (e.g. Camps de Luca, Cifonelli, Smalto and etc.) - Page 65

post #961 of 1360
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirnelli View Post

That's a 7% price increase per annum if my calculation is correct.

Eyeballing the UK CPI for the approximate same period, I get a yearly average of ... TWO percent!

I would submit that going RTW is not the only way: Anderson & Sheppard seem to have started a haberdashery, Poole (I think) has RTW but only in Japan, etc…I should think both had access to capital in order to expand, whereas many other firms do not. I fail to see how those ventures have had any effect, good or bad, on their core bespoke businesses.

I think you can also continue, long-term, as a bespoke-only outfit, without outside capital, as long as 1) the firm remains small enough to be owned and managed by one or two individuals 2) the succession process keeps working (i.e., enough profit is generated so that the younger cutter/director can progressively buy out the senior one, and, simultaneously, a new, younger, one can be brought in and groomed to eventually take over). It will not make anyone rich (low margins) but, since the owners are the cutters, they can maintain quality and earn a decent living, albeit with much travel.

This is what my own tailors (Jones, Chalk & Dawson a.k.a. Meyer & Mortimer) seem to be doing, with help from some military contracts and rental income from sub-tenants. This is what I prefer, speaking as a customer, because my dealings are with the principals directly and because I do not have to worry about the tawdry and cheapening influence of ready-to-wear patch[1].gif .

Frog in Suit
post #962 of 1360
Some of the great tailoring houses of today will die, just like some of the great tailoring houses of the past have died. Cifo and Camps have now incorporated the remnants of others. You can easily find a list of the great Savile row houses of the 60s and many no longer exist. If rtw helps ensure the brand's survival then that is a very good thing for bespoke customers.
post #963 of 1360
If you are a bespoke tailor who wants to cash in on your heritage brand name recognition by launching a ready-to-wear line, I would say there's never been a better time to do it than now. The big boys of Luxury are circling around tailoring houses like hawks, and are going to make offers that can't be refused. We can wager that they won't have the same reluctance about expanding these brands into ready-to-wear once they get their hands on them. So, for some of these tailors, expanding into ready-to-wear now, on their own terms, might be the best thing for the brand's integrity, rather than letting the LVMH's of this world screw it up for them (cf. Arnys).
post #964 of 1360
^
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frog in Suit View Post


Buy now, while you can…

btw, how long before PPR jumps in the game?
post #965 of 1360
With Brioni, have they not already?
post #966 of 1360
^i meant trying to buy a tailoring house and develop a bespoke platform. is it possible to get a bespoke suit at brioni? another way for a tailor to broaden the revenue stream is to also offer mtm...
post #967 of 1360
I can't say whether it is enough, but reports from the training academies and apprentice programs on Savile Row and in Italy is that young people ARE entering the trade. And it should not be surprising. Those are good jobs in places where jobs are scarce.
post #968 of 1360
Yes, a ton a young dudes are entering the trade. They work for 2-3 years and then think they know enough to set out on their own. So many of them don't stick around in the top houses. Top tailors claim it takes over 10 years in training to make a bespoke tailor.
post #969 of 1360
I beleive Brioni can accomodate bespoke requests.
post #970 of 1360
^I never knew that

I suppose it is only fair that I add Hermes with JLP as another example of bespoke and rtw working well together (but again like Charvet there the business owners/developers aren't also supposed to be involved in the actual making of the bespoke product, and it is perhaps more an example of a luxury conglomerate purchasing a bespoke brand and improving it).

Nice photos of the mesure samples in Paris from all the stores to be polished, etc and returned to the boutiques here: http://brieuc75.fr/soundtracktomylife/2014/05/les-souliers-sur-mesure-de-john-lobb/
Edited by Kuro - 6/21/14 at 5:47am
post #971 of 1360
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirnelli View Post

If you are a bespoke tailor who wants to cash in on your heritage brand name recognition by launching a ready-to-wear line, I would say there's never been a better time to do it than now. The big boys of Luxury are circling around tailoring houses like hawks, and are going to make offers that can't be refused. We can wager that they won't have the same reluctance about expanding these brands into ready-to-wear once they get their hands on them. So, for some of these tailors, expanding into ready-to-wear now, on their own terms, might be the best thing for the brand's integrity, rather than letting the LVMH's of this world screw it up for them (cf. Arnys).

It is a bit of a Catch 22 situation: to develop a RTW line (and publicize it and sell it…), you need pots of money. If you are an old traditional SR house, you do not have pots of money. There are exceptions: Anderson & Sheppard (Rowland money), Huntsman (Messrs L’Roubi and Lagrange’s money, I would surmise chiefly the latter’s), Gieves and Hawkes (Who owns them?) but, as far as I know, this is about it.

The others (Poole, Davies, Dege, Meyer & Mortimer, Benson & Clegg, Kent Haste & Lachter and all the rest -- I know I am forgetting some, with apologies) are probably doing well, generating enough income to keep their owners happy (I would also suggest that the owners in question are doing something which they like doing and which gives them deep satisfaction) but they remain small businesses, with low margins and difficulties recruiting, training and retaining qualified makers.
I cannot conceive of a large conglomerate bringing anything that will improve things for the customer of a small firm. Anderson and Sheppard have notoriety, especially in the US market (but did they not have that before “Tiny“ Rowland bought them?), a very professional website and, now, a side line in accessories and trousers. Is that going to change things for the better for their bespoke customers? Gieves and Hawkes are now chiefly RTW. Are their bespoke customers better off? We shall see what happens at Huntsman. I am not sanguine. If my tailor were acquired by PPR or LVMH, I would change tailors.

The only advantage I am willing to concede to adding pots of money to a small traditional SR firm is the opportunity to recruit talented young people and pay them enough to keep them going until they become proficient, keeping in mind the risk of their going out on their own or joining a competitor (Poaching talent is a SR tradition of long standing). Not a winning proposition for a large luxury group fixated on ROI. Otherwise, money will buy advertising, “branding” strategies, “synergies” and pricing power: in other words, the customer will get to pay more for, at best, the same product and, probably, an inferior one wrapped in a fancy package.

Brioni, as far as I know, were already a large enterprise, and active in RTW, before being bought. The “brand” was well-known in the world of “luxury”. Even Poole is by no means a household name. If I were LVMH or PPR, why would I pay good money to buy the Poole name, when I can use the magic words “bespoke” and “Savile Row” (I assume there is no copyright attached) for free?

My (tentative) conclusion: small existing SR firms can go on as small outfits, with prices rising, year after year, way beyond inflation and therefore relying increasingly on plutocrats to support them. Some will disappear because the cutter / proprietor retires and has no successor ready. Some of the “young upstarts” (single man- or woman- firms) may grow into mid-size (by SR standards) but they are more likely to do so by being co-opted into an existing house. Result: there will be fewer and fewer firms, perhaps more single cutter / proprietors. The key factor will be the continuing supply of qualified workers (hence the absolute need for training and decent compensation) working more and more for a number of firms, rather than for a single one, and gaining some pricing power for their skill.

I realize this is terribly long-winded shog[1].gif. Apologies.

Frog in Suit
post #972 of 1360

To talk again about Cifonelli. The main question was "Does bespoke tailor can be advantage from the launch of RTW".

 

If things are done right, Cifonelli can win :

 

More cash flow from RTW (without working a lot, more time on bespoke operations)

Expand shops worlwide (easier logistic with the garments, taxes,  payments and carry more fabrics when visiting the country)

Better packaging (Cifonelli identity, color code, suit carriers, hangers...)

Visual merchandising improvements

Better visuals of their garments (website, lookbooks, ad campaigns)

 

If they can make enough money. They should do like Brioni (Keiring) bought a prestigious building and start a tailoring school.

post #973 of 1360
^^^
You seem to be bent on making up nonsense. Maybe because of your friendship but I think also because you just do not see reality(or at least come off that way).
Nothing you mentioned will get anyone a better bespoke suit and that is the concern that people are speaking about.
Cifo is already the tops and that is due to the cousins' attention. They might not give most of their time to RTW but even a small bit means less.
And knowing fashion managerial types, a lot of pointless, wasteful 'meetings' are in the offing given the people they hired.
It requires a minimum of 5 man hours of management to do what should be decided in 20-40 minutes. Good for boosting employment numbers though.

Best case is the bespoke quality stays the same and prices go up some instead of at a cubic rate.

I take no issue with the cousins attempting to make more money whether their bespoke remains the same or declines but please let us speak about everything as it actually is not through some unicorn lens.

Better hangers? Who cares? If that nonsense matters to you then why did you go to them beforehand?

More shops, better visuals, all for fashion and the masses. If you know the actual quality of garments, how does this help you?
If you are concerned with imagery and the likes there are plenty of choices already. You can have a garbage Armani or a completely overpriced Kiton. Choose whomever has the ad campaign that sings to you the best.
I would wager their current business is sound. If the asset bubble bursts or armageddon hits, well, they would be in trouble either way.

If Cifo became Brioni that would mean it declined. Again, your arguments do not make any sense in terms of how RTW will improve bespoke besides maybe more fabric books which is a minor dete.
Sure, buy a building and school a bunch of people to become tailors. Do you think they will all be as good as they have now?
None of the others are so I will wager with you against it. Plus, even if they did it would take a very, very long time. As mentioned by Dirnelli, master tailor in 2 years is not happening.

This is how most businesses operate in terms of reducing quality at some point to increase their profits and that is, again, fine, but that is what it is. Not good for discerning end consumers which are very few in the world so it works. Quality and mass production do not go hand in hand unless an automaton can do the work. And so far will all the technical advances we have, art has only declined.

The best case which they would never do would be to license so you know they will not spend any time with RTW. But right now I am sure they still have some quality standard they want to maintain so they will keep their own eyes on it. They have very high standards but I have seen some others that were the same and eventually, you wear down and just start to cut a corner. And while I have not read that someone has backed any of this besides themselves, if they have, well, another entity to answer to who will not be concerned about quality.

Let us hope for the best in terms of quality and maybe that it does not go to €20k for a bespoke suit.
post #974 of 1360
^gambit50 - it's pretty hard to follow what you are trying to say, but also evident that you don't really understand what is going on at Cifonelli or anything about the brand. Sorry, but if you have no experience or knowledge maybe it's best to just stay out of the thread. Cifonelli has had RTW for years.
post #975 of 1360
If I'm not mistaken Cifonelli actually does have some sort of licensing or other type of arrangment in Japan. There are Cifonelli departments in Hankyu Men's and last time i checked maybe 3 or 4 years ago the stuff was made in Japan IIRC. Poole had a department there as well. AFAIK, they also sell (or sold) stuff in Isetan, and Mitsukoshi.
Edited by Kuro - 6/15/14 at 8:22pm
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