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Kabbaz Shirts

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    I said that I see no reason to assume why his shirts are any good. You aren't me. You own his shirts; I don't.

    No one is asking -- or has ever asked -- "you" to "assume" that AK shirts are good. Some people have tried to respond to your questions about AK shirts, only to be told that our responses are woefully inadequate, possibly dishonest, and motivated by greed. The only person who cares what you think of AK shirts is you. I used to care, when I thought you were a reasonable person asking honest questions, but that ended some four days ago.
     
  2. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    I just thought that since you're one of the few forum members who own Kabbaz shirts, it would be nice of you to offer an evaluation of the construction details

    I've offered a detailed written explanation of what I think of AK shirts. I have nothing to add to what I have written. It goes into construction details and the fitting process at some length. I gather it has not satisfied you. I mildly wish that it had. Oh well. For you to keep insisting that no discussion of AK quality has ever been attempted puts you firmly in the Bresch-mafoofan category.

    I posted a picture in this thread. I don't have a good enough camera to post close-ups of the needle work.
     
  3. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    I'd be more willing to believe that this line of 'inquiry' was based on something more that Alex's internet popularity if there were similar threads about William Westmancott , for example.

    Or Fioravanti. He charges $6,000 for a suit that he doesn't personally make, and that uses a machine padded canvas. WTF? Why aren't we bashing the crap out of him day after day, and demanding that he come here and justify himself?
     
  4. AlanC

    AlanC Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe this has gone on for 10 pages.

    Just wait until the discussion moves to whether or not Kabbaz will or won't and should or shouldn't offer black shirts...
     
  5. RJman

    RJman Well-Known Member

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    Now I understand how a johnapril is created.
     
  6. Pariolino

    Pariolino Well-Known Member

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    Or Fioravanti. He charges $6,000 for a suit that he doesn't personally make, and that uses a machine padded canvas. WTF? Why aren't we bashing the crap out of him day after day, and demanding that he come here and justify himself?
    I read on the Andy sight where Artisan Fan wrote that the canvas was such a minor part of the lapel that machine stitching it really did not matter at all. Perhaps this is why Fioraventi does it, not to save time but to quickly take care of one of the less important parts of a suit so that he can put more time in on the important stuff. Apparently, he is in with Kiton and this is what they beleive and why they do it.
     
  7. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Well-Known Member

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    I've offered a detailed written explanation of what I think of AK shirts. I have nothing to add to what I have written. It goes into construction details and the fitting process at some length. I gather it has not satisfied you. I mildly wish that it had. Oh well. For you to keep insisting that no discussion of AK quality has ever been attempted puts you firmly in the Bresch-mafoofan category.



    I posted a picture in this thread. I don't have a good enough camera to post close-ups of the needle work.


    Put me in whatever category you want, but I've searched and can't find that discussion. I'm actually not sure which discussion it was. I hope you're not referring to something that got lost in the crash.
     
  8. Teacher

    Teacher Well-Known Member

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    Banned already? Anyway, it seems that you are in the Nantucket Red camp, thinking that I have some obligation to be dour and serious all the time, like some sort of clothing forum Walter Cronkite.

    I believe it was Ted Koppel who related a story about Cronkite dropping a huge steamer in the network bathroom, not flushing or spraying, and then tricking (?) a fellow reporter into the trap, only to be locked in with the brown lurker.
     
  9. Teacher

    Teacher Well-Known Member

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    Just wait until the discussion moves to whether or not Kabbaz will or won't and should or shouldn't offer black shirts...

    I would think a man of God would have the decency not to do such a thing as you have, sir!
     
  10. Pariolino

    Pariolino Well-Known Member

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    I believe it was Ted Koppel who related a story about Cronkite dropping a huge steamer in the network bathroom, not flushing or spraying, and then tricking (?) a fellow reporter into the trap, only to be locked in with the brown lurker.
    I know how that can happen, suh. Even if it is not on purpose.
     
  11. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

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    It's all done by machine--so why so pricey?

    Perhaps some people prefer to have a shirt done on a machine that's rarely used anymore, and are willing to pay for it. In the grand scheme of things, I'm not sure why AM is any more justified charging 5x more than a Jantzen than AK charging 2x more than AM.

    --Andre
     
  12. Drinkwaters

    Drinkwaters Well-Known Member

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    I think that most people here have missed the point that some products just meet the criteria of Exclusive Luxury Goods that come at a premium. Lets break it down.
    Exclusive; A product that is not readily available to the mass market and holds a cashe of being a one of a kind or limited availability. This often means that the price could be X,Y or Z depending on what the sellers deems necessary for the product to hold the prefered market value of the brand.
    Luxury; Often these products are made outside of the standards of other makers to bring an exceptional offering to their clients. Luxury is the axiom of the Brand and in order to hold up the level of exclusivity one must always market this way. Luxury can only be appreciated by the consumer who is willing to commit to the brand. Consumers who support the brand will also be those who's expectations of "Added Value" have been forfilled. Added value has no known cost calculation other than what the client percieves as the service rendered to procure the product.
    That being said, we cannot put a value judgement on what someone would, will pay for any product. I have always maintained that a customer who would not see value in one product often will out spend what another might feel excessive for another.

    Gary
     
  13. Omegablogger

    Omegablogger Well-Known Member

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    For me at least clothing isn't a cold hard profit/loss calculation, it's all about how it makes you *feel*. I think the emotional side of the purchasing decision only increases the further up the price level you go.

    There seems to be a modicum of agreement that Mr Kabbaz is amongst the best shirtmakers in the world, lets be harsh and say 2nd after AM. Now how much would you pay to have a shirt made by, unarguably, the finest shirtmaker in the entire USA? And if money was no object why not have your shirts made by the best? How would that make you feel?
     
  14. WSW

    WSW Well-Known Member

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    The answer is really very simple: It is worth it to some, but not to others. And the reasons why they are either worth it or not worth it are personal.
     
  15. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    Put me in whatever category you want, but I've searched and can't find that discussion. I'm actually not sure which discussion it was. I hope you're not referring to something that got lost in the crash.

    It was on Ask Andy, which I have also pointed out repeatedly.

    OK, not that I expect this will convince anyone on the underlying question. But I do hope it will convince our resident flat-earthers to stop saying that everyone is too cowardly, or too in the pocket of Kabbaz, to say what they think about his shirts.

    What are the things that make them better, in my opinion?

    1) The fitting process. He is the only shirtmaker I have tried -- and that includes all the NY makers, plus Charvet, T&A, Ascot Chang, and Borrelli -- to make a sample shirt. This is not your first shirt that you pay for and keep no matter how it turns out. This is a shirt made at his cost, for his purposes. He will make as many as he thinks are necessary. In my case he made two. For one client I sent to him, he made three. He keeps making samples until he is certain that anything that might be wrong with a finished shirt can be fixed without having to remake the shirt. Even then, if necessary, he will remake a finished shirt -- again at his cost.

    As a side note to this: other makers make a paper pattern. I have seen my pattern at Geneva, for instance. But I have never seen anyone refine a pattern like Kabbaz. He will make changes to every edge of every piece of your pattern if he thinks it necessary. I believe, but can't say for certain, that this goes well beyond what most cutters do. AK brings the pattern with him to hotel fittings and makes all the adjustments right there in pencil while you are still wearing the shirt.

    As I have said, I have gotten a well-fitting shirt from Geneva. The first one was fine, subsequent ones have fit better. But it the onus was on me to suggest changes to marginally improve the fit. They made every one of those changes, exactly as I asked for them. But had I not asked, they would not have been made. And I had to pay for every shirt in the process. With AK, you can put yourself in his hands, and get the same or better result. Which is what I did.

    He has a greater willingness to correct mistakes than any maker I have worked with. For one shirt, I had asked for quarter stitching rather than edge stitching on the collar and cuffs. The shirt nonetheless came with edge stitching, which I had asked for on the prior shirt. I pointed this out and AK took the shirt back without saying a word. A few days later I got it back with quarter stitched collar and cuffs. Geneva has never made a mistake with one of my orders. But another shirtmaker that did refused to acknowledge the mistake or correct it.

    Alex is also most accomodating to, shall we say, picky customers. As has been discussed before, he makes his sleeves differently. Most shirtmakers make a somewhat tight cuff and a slightly overlong sleeve. That way they pretty much guarantee that the sleeve cuffs falls to the same spot every time, even if the sleeve length is off by a fraction of an inch. It also prevents the cuffs from riding up as you move your arm. AK prefers to make shirt sleeves like coat sleeves, pitched and tapered to the hang of the arm, and at the precise length necessary. He takes care of the "riding up" problem through high armholes, some excess room at the elbow, and other little tricks I frankly did not understand. Anyway, we had a devil of a time getting my length correct. I don't remember how many times he "fixed" it, but he kept at it until we were both completely happy.

    2) Construction.

    Yes, it's all sewn by machine. But the machine stitching is the neatest, tightest, and smallest I have ever seen. More stitches per inch than I have ever seen.

    The seam allowances are different: slightly wider, but also flatter and smoother. They almost never pucker in the wash, and in the rare instance when they do, the puckering presses out with ease.

    The buttonholes are also machine made. But they are tighter and neater than any machine made buttonholes I have ever seen. AK says he has an old buttonhole making machine that is no longer available. We have a disagreement about which is more pretty: I say an Italian handmade buttonhole is prettier; he thinks his are. I disagree with that, but I agree that his are prettier than any other machine made buttonholes that I have seen.

    The interlining is a higher quality than the ones others use. A good interlining needs, in my opinion, two contradictory qualities. It should be soft and pliant, yet sturdy and gutsy enough to hold its shape. AK's fits the bill. I know that he pays more for what he uses than other shirtmakers pay for what they use. When Geneva was asked by another client to buy a roll of the interlining that AK uses, they balked.

    AK prefers to fuse his collars, and he does it in an unusual way, varying the size and shape of the underlining from the top piece. Differing temperatures are also used in the process to build in a very nice roll to the collar leaf.

    The buttons are the best I have ever seen, on any shirt, and are attached better than I have seen on any shirt. They are thick MOP, with nicely rounded edges, that easily pass through the buttonholes -- unlike those Altoids that Borrelli uses. Each one is shanked by hand, with four wraps, and the stitching is like that for suit buttons.

    The pattern matching is the most precise I have ever seen. A lot of makers who do a decent job get it right on large scale patterns, and simply don't try on small ones (where, to be honest, it doesn't matter nearly so much). With AK, he gets an exact match no matter what the pattern size.

    I realize that none of this "proves" that his prices are "justified." The only thing I set out to "prove" is that at least one of his customers is willing to talk about what makes his shirts different. Oh, and don't forget: whether his prices are justified or not, I reiterate that I have decided I don't want to pay them. So any further outrage at Kabbaz prices should be vented in other directions.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    It was on Ask Andy, which I have also pointed out repeatedly.

    OK, not that I expect this will convince anyone on the underlying question. But I do hope it will convince our resident flat-earthers to stop saying that everyone is too cowardly, or too in the pocket of Kabbaz, to say what they think about his shirts.

    What are the things that make them better?

    . . .

    I realize that none of this "proves" that his prices are "justified." The only thing I set out to "prove" is that at least one of his customers is willing to talk about what makes his shirts different. Oh, and don't forget: whether his prices are justified or not, I reiterate that I have decided I don't want to pay them. So any further outrage at Kabbaz prices should be vented in other directions.


    This post needs to be deleted and the thread locked, lest the subject not come up again.
     
  17. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

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    In short: no.

    I very cleary acknowledge in my post that price correlates with much more than production cost. Did you miss the part where I talk about many elements contributing to price? Some expensive things are more expensive for more obvious reasons.


    Ironic that you take such a patronizing tone in a post this incomprehensible. I hope you understand that this is one reason you've been given so many pages of flak in this thread and others over the last few days. Perhaps you don't realize how you're coming across, but it's very offputting.

    As for the substance of your post: You say you're disagreeing with me, I think, but how? You acknowledge that the pricing of luxury goods does not correlate to the production cost, yet your entire tedious crusade for answers is based on the logical fallacy that the price should be quantifiable. The bottom line, as far I can tell, is that the "metrics" you use to determine what makes an expensive shirt worthwhile differ from Alex's. And that's fine. Buy a shirt from Alex and you're paying for a machine-stitched shirt from Alex. If you think your money would be better spent paying the Borrelli corporation for the artisinal labor of a nice old lady in the Italian countryside, then by all means, give your money to the Borrelli corporation. Personally, I think you'd be paying for a handful of romance and a shirt with a collar that might fall off. But that's because we calculate value differently, and that's OK.

    The situation here makes me think of Huntsman. Why do they charge the most of anyone on the row? Because they can. Is it really that hard to accept?
     
  18. JBZ

    JBZ Well-Known Member

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    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.


    Why does it bother you? Unless you're a customer of his, why do you believe Alex owes you any answers to the questions posted here? I don't mean to pick on you specifically, but why is everyone so obsessed with the price of Alex's shirts?
     
  19. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Well-Known Member

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    It was on Ask Andy, which I have also pointed out repeatedly.

    I don't recall your mentioning that

    OK, not that I expect this will convince anyone on the underlying question. But I do hope it will convince our resident flat-earthers to stop saying that everyone is too cowardly, or too in the pocket of Kabbaz, to say what they think about his shirts.

    What are the things that make them better?


    That was my underlying question. The cost issue at this point is a red herring.

    Thank you for posting this.
     
  20. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Well-Known Member

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    It was on Ask Andy, which I have also pointed out repeatedly.

    OK, not that I expect this will convince anyone on the underlying question. But I do hope it will convince our resident flat-earthers to stop saying that everyone is too cowardly, or too in the pocket of Kabbaz, to say what they think about his shirts.

    What are the things that make them better, in my opinion?

    1) The fitting process. He is the only shirtmaker I have tried -- and that includes all the NY makers, plus Charvet, T&A, Ascot Chang, and Borrelli -- to make a sample shirt. This is not your first shirt that you pay for and keep no matter how it turns out. This is a shirt made at his cost, for his purposes. He will make as many as he thinks are necessary. In my case he made two. For one client I sent to him, he made three. He keeps making samples until he is certain that anything that might be wrong with a finished shirt can be fixed without having to remake the shirt. Even then, if necessary, he will remake a finished shirt -- again at his cost.

    As a side note to this: other makers make a paper pattern. I have seen my pattern at Geneva, for instance. But I have never seen anyone refine a pattern like Kabbaz. He will make changes to every edge of every piece of your pattern if he thinks it necessary. I believe, but can't say for certain, that this goes well beyond what most cutters do. AK brings the pattern with him to hotel fittings and makes all the adjustments right there in pencil while you are still wearing the shirt.

    As I have said, I have gotten a well-fitting shirt from Geneva. The first one was fine, subsequent ones have fit better. But it the onus was on me to suggest changes to marginally improve the fit. They made every one of those changes, exactly as I asked for them. But had I not asked, they would not have been made. And I had to pay for every shirt in the process. With AK, you can put yourself in his hands, and get the same or better result. Which is what I did.

    He has a greater willingness to correct mistakes than any maker I have worked with. For one shirt, I had asked for quarter stitching rather than edge stitching on the collar and cuffs. The shirt nonetheless came with edge stitching, which I had asked for on the prior shirt. I pointed this out and AK took the shirt back without saying a word. A few days later I got it back with quarter stitched collar and cuffs. Geneva has never made a mistake with one of my orders. But another shirtmaker that did refused to acknowledge the mistake or correct it.

    Alex is also most accomodating to, shall we say, picky customers. As has been discussed before, he makes his sleeves differently. Most shirtmakers make a somewhat tight cuff and a slightly overlong sleeve. That way they pretty much guarantee that the sleeve cuffs falls to the same spot every time, even if the sleeve length is off by a fraction of an inch. It also prevents the cuffs from riding up as you move your arm. AK prefers to make shirt sleeves like coat sleeves, pitched and tapered to the hang of the arm, and at the precise length necessary. He takes care of the "riding up" problem through high armholes, some excess room at the elbow, and other little tricks I frankly did not understand. Anyway, we had a devil of a time getting my length correct. I don't remember how many times he "fixed" it, but he kept at it until we were both completely happy.

    2) Construction.

    Yes, it's all sewn by machine. But the machine stitching is the neatest, tightest, and smallest I have ever seen. More stitches per inch than I have ever seen.

    The seam allowances are different: slightly wider, but also flatter and smoother. They almost never pucker in the wash, and in the rare instance when they do, the puckering presses out with ease.

    The buttonholes are also machine made. But they are tighter and neater than any machine made buttonholes I have ever seen. AK says he has an old buttonhole making machine that is no longer available. We have a disagreement about which is more pretty: I say an Italian handmade buttonhole is prettier; he thinks his are. I disagree with that, but I agree that his are prettier than any other machine made buttonholes that I have seen.

    The interlining is a higher quality than the ones others use. A good interlining needs, in my opinion, two contradictory qualities. It should be soft and pliant, yet sturdy and gutsy enough to hold its shape. AK's fits the bill. I know that he pays more for what he uses than other shirtmakers pay for what they use. When Geneva was asked by another client to buy a roll of the interlining that AK uses, they balked.

    AK prefers to fuse his collars, and he does it in an unusual way, varying the size and shape of the underlining from the top piece. Differing temperatures are also used in the process to build in a very nice roll to the collar leaf.

    The buttons are the best I have ever seen, on any shirt, and are attached better than I have seen on any shirt. They are thick MOP, with nicely rounded edges, that easily pass through the buttonholes -- unlike those Altoids that Borrelli uses. Each one is shanked by hand, with four wraps, and the stitching is like that for suit buttons.

    The pattern matching is the most precise I have ever seen. A lot of makers who do a decent job get it right on large scale patterns, and simply don't try on small ones (where, to be honest, it doesn't matter nearly so much). With AK, he gets an exact match no matter what the pattern size.

    I realize that none of this "proves" that his prices are "justified." The only thing I set out to "prove" is that at least one of his customers is willing to talk about what makes his shirts different. Oh, and don't forget: whether his prices are justified or not, I reiterate that I have decided I don't want to pay them. So any further outrage at Kabbaz prices should be vented in other directions.


    Good information finally. Thanks Manton.
     

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