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Just read the John D. Erickson page

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I just got done reading all of the clothes section, as well as his blog. First of all, I found it at least somewhat insightful. It was interesting to track his maturation -- went from not knowing crap, to being obsessed with quality and being put together, to them cultivating his own "style." But I also found his blog to be quite annoying. First, he asserts that those who shop at Louis only during the sale are simply "ignorant" of the service that those in Louis provide. Well, I've been in Louis during non-sale time, and all I found were a bunch of a**holes working there. Further, for him to suggest that the Louis markup is "modest" is absolutely absurd -- the markup is at least 25% and the service does not account for that. They don't even charge a reasonable amount of alterations, something most stores will do for free or for not much at all. Second, I found it pretentious for him to say something like "I find something romantic about a professor who makes $65,000 a year wearing only handmade shoes." Romantic? If said professor has children to feed, I'd find it absurd. Erickson's criticism of male fashion is undifferentiated between those who can afford to shop at Louis and those who can't. His criticism of the guy who sees the NY Times article about wearing jeans with a blue blazer who then wears a sack blazer over baggy Gap jeans, where Erickson instructs the person to go buy a snug fitting pair of "expensive" jeans by some designer who you've never heard of, fails to see that some people should be commended (perhaps) for "trying" but not succeeding because they are of modest means. I really hate the pretention that everyone should go shop at Louis, even if it means "walking out with only a couple pieces you could afford." Well, I'm not sure I could afford ANYTHING in that store at regular price. And I make quite a nice living. Sorry for the rant.
post #2 of 22
Yeah, I'm not defending his opinions but respect the fact that he is willing to express them even though he is in the industry (I believe he works for Bizzochi now?)
post #3 of 22
Blogs are ussually for personal expression. He can express his way of thinking. Of course, we can comment on it as well. I do prefer blogs that allow for coments, so that we can vent of our disgust at a particular article. BTW, I actually liked some of his articles, just not all of them. Said that... I do agree with a lot of what you mention on your posting. I do not think people are "ignorant" because they shop or don't shop at a particular store. First of all, people know about different topics, and not everyone choses to learn about clothing (it doesn't have to be a topic of your choice). Secondly, even if someone knows about clothing, it doesn't mean that person has to go into any particular store and buy at retail. If that person decides to buy only marked down, so be it. Also, 25% of markup is a very small markup. I bet they do more than that. Regarding the professor example... This is a free country. If you choose to minimally feed your children in order to buy custom shoes, it is your choice. Unfortunately most people in this society don't have their priorities in what I consider the right way (other people may differ, of course). People should worry first about education, health (not only healthcare, but health habits), shelter, and self reliance at all stages of their lives (including retirement, and avoidance of government subsistance now and in the future). Transportation and clothing should be an accessory to meet the priorities first, and then, as priorities are met a luxury to be enjoyed. I doubt that at a salary of 65,000 USD, with a family, you can have the luxury of custom made shoes after paying a mortgage, quality education for your children, and maxing his retirement and investment venues to assure a healthy and wealthy future. I myself with double that salary would prefer more modest shoes so that I can meet my priorities first. But then again, those are only my comments, and it may happen that when I finally try a custom made shoe, I get addicted to them and can't never wear a regular one. Until that day, I will agree with your coments. Happy holidays.
post #4 of 22
He has some interesting stuff, and at least seems to have attained a pretty competent array of clothing knowledge relatively fast. Too bad I agree with you in that he strikes me as pretty pompous and embodying the "snobby salesman" stereotype. I also can't help but get that feeling his knowledge came from memorizing a training manual rather than an effort over time to learn about clothing and fashion out of genuine personal interest. Back when he posted his rant about sale shoppers, I called him out on his blog about it to say, in polite fashion, that there are such things as knowledgable customers who realize that retail prices are inflated and understand clothing enough to shop without heavy assistance, and that customers shouldn't be condescended for trying to maximize their utility at a cost within their means. I even gave him a respectful invitation to join the forum. I pretty much lost all my respect for him when, the next day, he deleted all the comments and disabled posting, along with some whiny rant about how some people had the gall to disagree with him on his page. This is one reason why I generally HATE blogs/livejournals: sure, it's your space, but you're the one who decided to post your opinions on the whole internet for everyone to see, and yet you can't handle it when someone out there might disagree with you? Anyway, I recall A Harris and a few others jumping in to say he was a great guy, but just from the way he writes on his blog, he seems like kind of a douche.
post #5 of 22
Great story, aybojs. Hilarious.
post #6 of 22
I have a pretty sensitive jerk radar but I never got it from Erickson . He has strong opinions and he doesn't mince words in expressing them. I don't agree with everything he's said in his articles and blog entries, but he's interesting even when I do disagree with him. As for the comments removal...I operate a blog myself and allow comments but I can dig why someone would remove them or not allow them. He who pays the bills, makes the rules -- though I don't care for those too sensitive to take criticism. Besides, he might have been comment spammed and removed them on those grounds. I've been tempted to do the same some days.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
I don't think he's a jerk so much as a totally aloof faux-member of the "elite." I don't mean to sound rude, but he was basically a floor salesman at a retail store until he got some sort of job with MB. While certainly I would never disparage that as a profession, to then turn's one nose up at people who shop at Louis merely during sale week is utterly maddening to me. I must say that it is probably very, very easy to dress stylishly if you work at Louis -- you get deep discounts, you have access to the best clothes (quality and style), and there is absolutely no expectation that you dress "conservatively," which is something he disparages Manhattan businessmen for doing. He simply has no sense of the real world.
post #8 of 22
I must say that it is probably very, very easy to dress stylishly if you work at Louis -- you get deep discounts, you have access to the best clothes (quality and style)...
I think he mentioned several times on his web site that he couldn't afford to buy very many quality pieces even with a discount -- and I doubt salesmen at LB or any other high-end shop would be paid particularly well. They are, regardless of where they work, ultimately register jockeys to management.
post #9 of 22
I agree with your sentiment there, salespeople acting superior to their customers is a bad attitude, and will likely lose them sales. I've had to put salesmen on a few occasions and would liked to have done so on far more. However, I do think that his knowledge of brands seems to be substantial, at least enough so to be able to discuss them here with gusto.
post #10 of 22
What is his web site?
post #11 of 22
post #12 of 22
Well, I don't want to get semantic, but I guess my choice of insult terminology refers more to a passive type of annoying behavior. A jerk, in my mind, refers to someone who's overtly rude and/or hostile. My impression with Erickson is that he's probably a decent, polite guy in person, but I imagine that he's the type of salesman, who, after dealing with a customer who didn't fit his standards, would turn around, roll his eyes, and whisper to a coworker about how unbearable _those people_ can be. I think, to go along with what johnnynorman said, he seems like a young guy who let the exposure to top of the line luxury goods and a wealthy clientele get to his head. I'd have some respect if he stood behind his words rather than hiding behind his "disable posts" button, but it was disappointing to see him act like a kid who takes his ball and runs home once other people ask if they can play with it. I agree with the "owner sets the rules" mentality, but it's still bush league to post something inflammatory and avoid accountability. I didn't mean to make a blanket statement with blogs, but you'd be amazed at how many times I've seen people publicly post insulting entries about specific individuals or groups and then throw a fit when the target finds out and calls them on it (I think Erickson's was the third blog I've prompted to disable comments without saying/doing anything particularly offensive). Oh well, I guess I probably shouldn't shop at Louis, lest I be blacklisted, right .
post #13 of 22
He seems pretentious. And that's just me being polite
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
I don't work at an accounting firm or a brokerage house or even an investment bank. I work at a law firm, arguably the best in the world.
post #15 of 22
Second, I found it pretentious for him to say something like "I find something romantic about a professor who makes $65,000 a year wearing only handmade shoes."  Romantic?  If said professor has children to feed, I'd find it absurd.
Well, as someone here who doesn't make $65k a year (and a wife & 2 daughters), it depends on how you define "handmade shoes". I have Alden (Sierra Trading Post), Allen Edmonds (AE's ebay store) and Grenson Masterpiece (Bennie's) in my closet. Of course, I'm the sort of guy who only shops during sale week. (I bet that 'romantic' college professor shops at sales, too. Wait, I've taught college--am I romantic? I'll have to ask the wife...) I don't wear bespoke (obviously, but what does the future hold?) but you could do pretty well on $65k. Keep in mind the average American household income is around $40k. I do get annoyed at salesmen in stores who, as has been pointed out, are, well, salesmen in a retail store. It's an honest living, but don't get all haughty about it. I doubt they can afford the clothes any more easily than I can (not counting their discount). And as someone who has a weblog myself, I've never disabled comments, although I have deleted some profanity. I figure it's fair to let people have some outlet of response. Obviously, that's up to each individual blogger.
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