Originally Posted by mbaum
This is getting harder than hunting for Alden shell ...
Empathetic with you, Mike. I put in a pre-order for some Alden shell in Dec. 2012 and still no ETA. Similarly, I slept on the oxford tunics last season and – as you can see by my continual reiteration of that – "learned my lesson."
The economics of EG are so curious to me. Requesting their stock lists is such an eye-opening experience.
It's easy to perceive EG as a widely popular brand; though my interest in it obviously skews the proportion to which I see it mentioned, I think anyone with a tangential interest in #menswear would call them a darling brand. Their lookbooks and drops receive an absolutely incredible amount of coverage which unilaterally laps praise upon Daiki Suzuki (and Nepenthes as a whole). However, when you realize that only one shop in the world is stocking a particular pair of their pants, it means that at most 3 pairs were made in a given size. Extrapolate that across a size run, and you're looking at less than 15 pairs made. Total. There are no more. As Westerners, we're spoiled with the availability of what we want: you never have to worry about J. Crew running out of white dress shirts.
While popular items like navy Bedfords or seasonal staples in obviously desirable fabrics (like brown homespun) are more widely produced, we're still not talking about a thousand individual pieces. However, the vast majority of the stock completely sells through. Evidence this by the fact we're talking about the availability of a $500 patterned robe in the throes of summer and saying, "Damn – this shit is hard to get unless you kop it immediately." They have to be turning some kind of profit off of this. Yet, still, there are only 5 or 6 stores stocking any individual item. It's a supply-constrained market and its distribution is still so
small in scope.
Another anecdotal piece: Jack Straw sold through the majority of their SS14 shirt stock well before sale season and were surprised there was a small amount of restock available from Nepenthes.
So, darling as they are, EG is still a very boutique, non-mainstream business. In a way, it seems almost like Supreme's purposefully small supply: it ensures a total liquidation and exponentially increases demand. They feel too humble to be hype-riders like that, though, which makes me wonder if I'm naive or if there are other complications to their production I'm simply ignorant of.
I would absolutely love to hear Gary or Steven riff on this as someone mediating the supply and demand of niche-yet-popular $200 work shirts and $500 patterned blazers.
When it's all said, though, there's a thrill to the beginning of each season's drops to see if you can procure (let alone afford) what you're convinced is going to sell through immediately.