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Kabbaz Shirts - Page 10

post #136 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
Honestly it bothers me a bit that Alex does not answer the questions here. He is a member here and could give us more information on his shirts. I suspect there are some good reasons for the shirt price but I would like more info.
This really has been discussed already ad nauseum. I don't really see why Alex has to spend time "defending himself" every year or so just because somebody didn't read his old posts.
post #137 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim View Post
This really has been discussed already ad nauseum. I don't really see why Alex has to spend time "defending himself" every year or so just because somebody didn't read his old posts.

Thanks for the link, Tokyo. I wanted to include it in my post but couldn't find it. A quick search didn't turn it up, and I was too lazy to search through all Alex's posts to hunt it down.
post #138 of 231
Strange. I found it in about two seconds using the search function.

post #139 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim View Post
Strange. I found it in about two seconds using the search function.


Clearly you missed the part where I mentioned my laziness. Didn't you see all that typing I just did?
post #140 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
I'm going to set aside the jokes to address what I see as the white elephant in the room: I suspect there's not much need for an in-depth discussion/detailed pics on Kabbaz's shirts because there's not much to say or see.

There seems to be an implied expectation that there's something almost magical about the $1,000 shirt. It's as though some folks want the shirts to be woven of gold and held together with unbreakable thread. But I imagine a photo essay would show us a shirt that looks much like many other single-needle stitched, machine-sewn shirts of good quality.

Here's the rub: We've already stipulated that cloth quality is beside the point, and we all know the role personal preference plays in shirt fit. So what does that leave us to discuss about Alex's shirts? If the seams are sewn well, if the collars fit well, if the client is happy, there you go. I don't mean to speak for Alex, but he's repeatedly said the value of his services isn't just the shirt, but his commitment to pleasing the customer and the long-term service he provides. His customers pay for his ability to meet their wants and needs, and, honestly, the prestige of wearing his costly shirts. A photo essay isn't going to reveal any of that.

Some folks seem to want someone to come along and prove that one of Kabbaz's shirts is worth $750 or $1,000. Well, I'll say it: They're not. At least not to me, and I can say that without ever having owned one. But Alex's regular customers clearly feel the opposite, and that's fine. I don't think Kiton suits are worth their price, or Borrelli MTM shirts, or Berluti shoes. Ultimately, Alex's shirts are products the same as these. There's nothing supernatural about them; in the end, they're just shirts. Reasonable people can disagree on the value, just as they can disagree over Paris v. Geneva.

With that, I'll step down from my soapbox. Perhaps some of you guys have enough shirtmaking knowledge to tell me what I'm missing here. If so, in all seriousness, please do.

First of all, there's probably no useful objective metric for what makes one shirt 'better' than another (in an absolute sense), but there are certainly various qualities and features that are more costly than others. Second, just because we can't come up with one universal and objective metric doesn't mean there aren't some metrics that might be helpful for some people.

Merely saying that a Kabbaz shirt is worth what it's worth bypasses both these concerns. Obviously, everything sells for its market price--otherwise the price would be lower. Yet, that doesn't stop us from determining what's 'worth it' and what's not. We do this by looking at exactly what elements contribute to the market price. Some elements are more valuable to some people.

So, as applied to cars: is a Ferrari F430 'better' than a Honda Accord? According to my thinking, this isn't an intelligible question. But the F430 is certainly faster, and for some, that matters. It also costs more to make a car go faster, so the price can be partially explained.

As applied to shirts, I'm not sure my Anna Matuozzo shirts are any 'better' than a $200 Paris/Geneva shirt. But, there are certain features in a Matuozzo shirt that are certainly more costly to implement, namely the hand-stitching and fabric quality (she charges the same price for all fabrics, including Riva and the like). Given even this basic level of transparency, one can understand why a Matuozzo shirt costs so much, even if he doesn't think it's worthwhile.

The problem with talking about Kabbaz shirts is that it is much less transparent why they cost so much. The shirt is completely machine-stitched, except for the buttons and buttonholes. Now, great care may go into the machine-stitching, but I wonder how much added cost there is associated with this greater care. It's simply less obvious than what goes into a hand-stitched shirt. As I understand it, Kabbaz offers a very involved fitting process--and that's great--but won't most of the world's great shirtmakers do the same? They aren't charging a grand for a shirt. But who knows? Maybe Kabbaz is the world's best fitter.

I have never seen a Kabbaz shirt in person, and its supposed benefits are not appreciable in pictures or description. Does this mean the shirts suck? No. It just means their value is less discernable. I don't condemn Kabbaz for his pricing. Good for him if he can get what he charges. But I also see no reason to assume his shirts are really that great either.
post #141 of 231
^^^The buttonholes are machine done as well. Only the buttons are hand attached.
post #142 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
First of all, there's probably no useful objective metric for what makes one shirt 'better' than another (in an absolute sense), but there are certainly various qualities and features that are more costly than others. Second, just because we can't come up with one universal and objective metric doesn't mean there aren't some metrics that might be helpful for some people.

Merely saying that a Kabbaz shirt is worth what it's worth bypasses both these concerns. Obviously, everything sells for its market price--otherwise the price would be lower. Yet, that doesn't stop us from determining what's 'worth it' and what's not. We do this by looking at exactly what elements contribute to the market price. Some elements are more valuable to some people.

Again, you seem to want to reduce this to a simple equation where price correlates to production cost. But I think that's a very naive way of looking at luxury goods. In terms of high-end RTW, it's conventional wisdom here that that quality does not increase proportionately to price. Why should Alex be held to a different standard? There are no materials on this Earth that would make me consider a shirt "worth" $1,000 -- not even one that's 100 percent Bijan. But Alex should charge what he can, I say. And bully for those who want and can afford to buy his shirts.

If you're really that worried about value per dollar, I fear high-end clothing may prove a poor hobby.
post #143 of 231
High.

From personal experience.

You may fire at will gentlemen.

Not enough stripes for the folded shirt porn?
post #144 of 231
If only the name Kabazz ended in a vowel, certain people could rest assured.
post #145 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
The problem with talking about Kabbaz shirts is that it is much less transparent why they cost so much. The shirt is completely machine-stitched, except for the buttons and buttonholes. Now, great care may go into the machine-stitching, but I wonder how much added cost there is associated with this greater care. It's simply less obvious than what goes into a hand-stitched shirt. As I understand it, Kabbaz offers a very involved fitting process--and that's great--but won't most of the world's great shirtmakers do the same? They aren't charging a grand for a shirt. But who knows? Maybe Kabbaz is the world's best fitter.

One more thought: What you describe in this paragraph seems to me the very definition of transparency, and Alex himself has happily shared the information with the forums. (I presume you've read the thread Slim linked.) Why not accept that you don't think Alex's services, as he has described them, are worth the price he asks? That's a perfectly fine opinion, and I doubt even Alex would fault you for it. There's no reason to imply when you can simply state.
post #146 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
High.

From personal experience.

You may fire at will gentlemen.

Not enough stripes for the folded shirt porn?

What construction details do you feel make Kabbaz shirts higher quality than others?
post #147 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post
Here's the rub: We've already stipulated that cloth quality is beside the point, and we all know the role personal preference plays in shirt fit. So what does that leave us to discuss about Alex's shirts? If the seams are sewn well, if the collars fit well, if the client is happy, there you go.

While there are many things about fit that preferences dictate, there are also many things about fit that are pretty absolute, so I don't think we can put fit into the personal preferences bin. I think some of these things can be pretty subtle too. For example, how does one keep the cuffs on the wrists with the arms in any position without a blousy lower sleeve? How do you keep the upper back of the shirt from being too tight when you reach your arms forward or around something, without having the upper back be too blousy when your arms are down? I think there's a lot of proprietary knowledge that goes into the design of some of these custom shirts, and we're paying for that, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
The problem with talking about Kabbaz shirts is that it is much less transparent why they cost so much.

Not so as far as what it takes to construct them:

http://www.customshirt1.com/_vti_bin..._AskAndy02.htm

If anything, it seems like AK goes out of his way to be extra transparent in his shirtmaking process, to the annoyance of certain posters who see it as only shilling.

--Andre
post #148 of 231
What I find more interesting than all this shirt-making talk is that Kabbaz also used to make leather articles.
post #149 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
Honestly it bothers me a bit that Alex does not answer the questions here. He is a member here and could give us more information on his shirts.

I suspect there are some good reasons for the shirt price but I would like more info.

I disagree, plus, he has already answered many questions RE: his wares 1000X times. Furthermore, if I were him, I'd be out sewing 1000$ shirts instead of responding to manton's idiot posts. Obviously, Kabbaz's prices are prohibitive for most of us, myself included. He doesn't need to defend himself to a message board of which possibly only a handful of posters can afford his shirts.

I personally think hes a little strange (since he send $$ to connie for transport to NYC) but you gotta respect the guy, as I would anyone who opens a business that continues to prosper (quite well I imagine) in this economic climate. You can argue all you want about the quality of his shirts and whether or not they are worth the prices he charges. He obviously has no shortage of clientelle so I say good for him.

MrR

PS- Is Manton the same guy who published a menswear book a while back? If so you really present yourself like a jackass with threads like these.
post #150 of 231
I can't believe this has gone on for 10 pages. Life would have been much easier with the shirts were worn so we could actually see the fit. I really can't place a vote.
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