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Do you think it is bad form for a tailoring house to publish details of its "celebrity" client list?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by David Reeves, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. David Reeves

    David Reeves Well-Known Member

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    I think this is an interesting question. Starting at Gieves we were forbidden to disclose who our clients were. I remember one girl being berated by Mr Robert because she asked (within the workroom) out loud "are these trousers for Prince William?".

    Even now in the U.S.A I am very much into client confidentiality its just how I was "brought up". So much so that I even ask my clients if I have their permission to take photographs of the clothes I make them and if it is ok to put them online.

    I have noticed though when talking to people in the States people seem to find this attitude rather dated or just plain odd. I have also noticed that even a lot of tailoring houses in the Uk and even on the Row are now, not being shy about who they make for.

    So what do you think? Is this what is done these days and is it a good strategy?
     
  2. othertravel

    othertravel Well-Known Member

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    Went to RL madison, and they happily discussed who buys what. e.g. - Anderson Cooper goes for purple label, as does Mr. Lauren himself.

    And even the local Harry Rosen bespoke shop has pics of all the celebrities that use their services.
     
  3. gaseousclay

    gaseousclay Well-Known Member

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    I think this type of information should be used only at the discretion of the client and business. if a celebrity client is ok with a business that divulges such information, and if it further increases business, then I think it should be ok. we're not talking about attorney/client privelage here but a tailor. in some instances I think it's fair for a tailor to assume discretion, especially if it's someone of royalty or a mega celebrity who doesn't want un-needed attention.
     
    7 people like this.
  4. Claghorn

    Claghorn Well-Known Member

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    The old way has a lot of appeal to me. Tailoring seems intrinsically attached to tradition (otherwise, why tolerate so many wonderful impracticalities?), so the old fashioned has intrinsic value. Not that this value should always trump practical considerations, but given that in this situation a tailor is essentially saying "buy from me because XXXX buys from me" and not "buy from me because you like the quality/design/etc," it seems like the old way is the way to go.
     
  5. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Well-Known Member

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    I'll note that many "celebrities" dress like complete garbage. Especially in the US. Perhaps the other side of the coin is that a tailor doesn't want to align themselves with someone who does not wear their creations well. Or who has gone against their advice. (aka "Make this for me, I'm a celebrity!" vs. "What is your professional opinion? I want to look my best.")

    As an example: So many "celebrities" use Astor & Black and I've never seen one of their suits fit well. Accordingly, I think the abortion-like fits reflect poorly on the house and would never consider them...
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  6. Holdfast

    Holdfast Well-Known Member

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    If the client is happy for their name to be used in conjunction with your brand, all well & good. If they haven't given explicit permission, clearly a no-no in my worldview.

    Assuming permission is given, on the wider question of whether it is good marketing, I think that depends on both the quality (read that any way you like) of the celebrity and whether the linking of the two brands makes sense in terms of the public image you want to create.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. David Reeves

    David Reeves Well-Known Member

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    Actually looking at this local NYC tailor chipp pushes JFK.
     
  8. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Well-Known Member

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    This.
     
  9. Holdfast

    Holdfast Well-Known Member

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    I think it's even worse when someone can't tell them to shut up. At least if it's an alive figure, there can be an overt agreement between the two to use each other for marketing/branding reasons. Or even if the celeb just feels generous/grateful for the service and lets them do it anyway. Chipp is not alone though; many old tailoring firms seem to love talking about their long dead & buried past clients these days.

    I also feel the same way about colleges/universities talking about famous - and frequently historical/dead - alumni in order to build up their rep and so get donations. I understand it on a marketing & financial level, and honestly, would do it too if I were in their shoes and doing their job. It probably works well. I just don't really think very much of it.

    I suspect that part of the origin point of my feelings is that I work in a profession where you just don't do this - confidentiality is central to our work - so that influences my thinking when it comes to other jobs, even if the same needs/strictures don't officially apply.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  10. Bounder

    Bounder Well-Known Member

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    This, exactly.

    For RTW, I can see this. In fact, celebrities get paid to wear clothes from various brands. I'm sure there are people who want to look like Kobe Bryant so that's a plus for them. But for bespoke, it's probably very different. I can't imagine many potential bespoke customers would be really attracted to a particular house because they had produced this . . .

    [​IMG]

    On the other hand, while I, personally, value discretion, I am forced to admit that there is a long tradition of celebrity name-dropping in bespoke that goes right back to the beginning. How many bespoke houses splash about a royal warrant? Which, BTW, they almost certainly paid for the privilege of receiving.
     
  11. David Reeves

    David Reeves Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but what if we said erm, say David Bowie or Bryan Ferry? Good dressers, not idiots.
     
  12. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Well-Known Member

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    TBH there are very few contemporary celebrities that I find consistently "stylish." And I don't know if there are any that I would think of as universally tasteful. I think older generations of celebrities lend more credibility and would be of more value in communicating an image of taste and elegance.

    However, I will say that the two you've mentioned are established style icons in their own right. It's no doubt that their celebrity has made us aware of their styles, but I honestly think people that are cognizant of such details would think of someone like Bryan Ferry as a style icon in the same breath as mention his music. And Bowie has been a fashion icon for decades. So, if your questions revolves around leaking names of style icon clients, then yes I think it's of value (on multiple levels). However, I don't think Huntsman for Justin Beiber does much for anyone.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  13. Holdfast

    Holdfast Well-Known Member

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    Someone, make this happen. It would be glorious. [​IMG]
     
  14. David Reeves

    David Reeves Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes thats what Im talking about. I mean those are the only kinds of people worth mentioning in the context I am thinking really. However very few people if any are famous just for the way they dress (and rightly so). Bryan and Bowie are great dressers no doubt, but of course their music is the star, but then the look and the performance, are all intrinsically part of the "package"....or product if you will.
     
  15. MikeDT

    MikeDT Well-Known Member

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    Some tailors make a big business of their celeb clients.
    [​IMG]

    However they might not be the best tailors in the world...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  16. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Well-Known Member

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    I always felt that you should be going to a tailor because of the product he produces and to hell with whoever else he dresses. I really don't care if he made so and so look good, the real question should be can he/she make ME look good.
     
  17. SuitedDx

    SuitedDx Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if there is a Tailor's "Ethics Code" floating around...

    I had gone to a tailor that had pictures of his clients pictured on his wall. I assume the consumers gave permission else they would not have posed for the pics. Yes, the name-dropping does seem forced but I think the competitiveness of the trade, especially here in NYC, people try to get an edge in whatever way they can.
     
  18. MikeDT

    MikeDT Well-Known Member

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    Sure that would depend on the country. UK, USA or Canada probably yes. Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, etc, most likely not.
     
  19. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    JFK is dead. Mentioning dead clients was always ok.
    In general, it is better for tailors to keep quiet about their clients, both out of respect for the client (few will say no if you ask, but that doesn't mean they want to be asked), and also because it seems like hucksterism. I don't think you really are marketing to celebrity chasers.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Well-Known Member

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    There are public figures and there are celebrities. Either way, the way I see it is, if the 'client' is enjoying free merchandise in exchange for their endorsements, then fair game and this would have been pre-arranged between the two concerned parties. A perfect example of this type of arrangement is the annual Academy Awards and other film festivals where celebrities flaunt their free or loaned wares and happily plug whomever. There are restuarants and other public places with autographed photos of such people on their walls. If the client is actually paying for the product or service, then permission should be asked by the proprietor prior to the closure of the business transaction(s). It is morally and ethically wrong for any proprietor to invite themselves to outrightly invade or comprimise any paying clients privacy. What the law says about it, I will leave to the attorneys here to answer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013

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