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Discussion in 'General Chat' started by FIHTies, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. esquire.

    esquire. Well-Known Member

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    (Nick M @ April 15 2005,08:55) There were two over at Andy's site: "Joe G", and "Joe G." (note the full stop). Can't remember which was which, though.
    I do not recall ever posting at Andy's site, though perhaps I did at one point and simply cannot recall it. At any rate, the search function there seems defective so I cannot say if one or either of those people using my name is me.
    I looked thourgh the archives, and I can only hope that was a troll. I believe in the freedom of speech, but some things are better left unsaid even if you truly believe that. Even then, I refuse to believe that any sane person who has access to the truth, undistorted by the propaganda of their governments, would truly feel this way. Otherwise, you have to be a sicko to state things like '9-11 was not unique in its horror. The people of Palestein live under the same threat of terrorism from the Israelis who massacre them using American made weapons.'
     
  2. Carlo

    Carlo Well-Known Member

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  3. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Well-Known Member

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    There are many. many reasons not to post information about the suppliers to small niche trades.

    One of them is that tradespeople spend an entire lifetime investigating their resources and these become prized possessions which they guard with jealousy from all, but especially from clients. Why? My client of this year may be John the Shirtmaker's client of next year. Do I really want my client to know that I buy my interlinings from Sam's Austrian Interlining Company so he can tell that to John the Shirtmaker next year?

    Another is that, specifically in the industry of fabrics, mills weave thousands upon thousands of patterns each year. Clothing clients will find hundreds of these attractive. Mills will require a purchase, usually of 60 meters minimum per pattern and per color. That, in the field of shirts, is 30 shirts per pattern per color. It is the rarest of clothiers that can possibly sell this quantity of shirts in every available pattern. Therefore, by making knowledge of these available, one does nought but cause a great deal of disappointment when the chosen maker simply cannot afford to purchase every single fabric pattern a client might happen to want.

    Another is that most of the resources you were posting are, by virtue of the miniscule size of this niche trade, small firms. Their sales/customer service staffs are, likewise, small. I use the specific example of a member who, last month, posted the contact information for the U.S. Agent for Pantherella socks. By increasing the quantity of telephone calls from a wholesale level of a few hundred shops to a retail level of thousands of interested sock wearers, the agent will have to increase the size of their sales force. The only way they will be able to pay for this larger staff is by increasing the price of the socks. Is this in the interest of the sock wearer? I, personally, think not. And that is exactly what I said to the poster who, upon reflection, deleted the contact information from his post.

    Another is that, in any trade, from hair cutters to machine shop operators, there is, by virtue of the fact that the tradesman knows how to do what he does and his clients do not, a certain amount of "mystique". Just as my awe exists at the work of some of my clients ... living in a multitude of homes, travelling amongst them on their own jets, running some of the largest firms on the Planet ... so does theirs for me in that I know how to take a set of measurements and manipulate them into a garment that fits, hopefully well. As I told you:

    When it came time for me to figure out how to properly execute an industry first, The Collection of Sartorial Excellence, I realized that I would not be able to answer everyone's questions all at once; that I would need assistance. In that context, I considered only two people. One was my oldest son, Damien, who has been cutting shirts since the age of eleven and is now an importer of fine shirting fabrics. The other was you. You, in response, asked me to explain exactly what you would be doing and I replied thus:

    From my e-mail dated 12/4/2004:

    Dear Mathew,

    It would involve your having an opportunity to learn how professionals in this field work with clients. It would require that you begin to understand that any business - except perhaps a hot-dog stand - has a certain mystique about it. Not everything about how, from where, and why a product comes into existence is revealed to the purchasers of that product on the first day. Some things are never revealed. As an example, someone on Andys asked me, "Is there a trick to fitting someone who has large or prominent pectorals?" My answer was, "Yes, there is. And I'm not going to tell you how."

    The finest example I can give you is a magician. The rule in the magic field is, "NEVER tell how a trick is done." I am not saying that custom-making should go to that extent. However, it seems to me that your sharing of the vast knowledge you have acquired has absolutely no bounds whatsoever. You need to begin to set certain limits on what you will and what you won't share. I would like to see you address this issue with me as this is the second time in as many months that I have brought it up with you.

    Alex

    After years and years of visiting virtually every cutler I could locate, I became convinced that what they were saying was true which was that the brass handled shirt cutting knives were no longer being manufactured. You learned to the contrary after a few years of searching and sent me the information. I responded:

    E-mail from Kabbaz dated 8/20/2004:
    Dear Mathew,
    That is awesome. Thanks for finding them.
    Alex


    Mathew, I believe the unpleasant tone of your post is unwarranted for reasons much greater than the examples you cited. You have failed to mention that, since your first contact with me back on November 5, 2002, you have always indicated that the field of men's bespoke clothing is of great interest to you and one that you wanted to consider for your career. As such, due to the dearth of youngsters entering these trades an your ebullient enthusiasm for all things sartorial, I have always encouraged you to the hilt. I suggested a number of firms with which you could apprentice. I invited you to come to my shop and spend time learning how shirts are made. I tried to work out the details so you could spend a Summer here as an intern in my clothing shop and really "get your feet wet" in the trade. I spent an entire day here in my studio with you and your Mom discussing all of these matters and trying to ensure that your parents, both esteemed physicians, would have no problem with you not adhering to your former goal of following in their footsteps.

    This may not seem like much to you, Mathew, but to me it was a big deal. I have always sought - even in posts on this very board - to find people interested in entering the bespoke trades at a young age. Believe it or not, it is one of the issues for which I have praised Michael Alden to the hilt, for his work in trying to cultivate the art of bespoke making closely parallels mine. Continuing the art of bespoke making can only be the responsibility of those in the trade, for none other are capable of such. Most makers, as you are well aware from your contacts, trials, and tribulations, consider this responsibility nothing but a pain-in-the-butt. That was not the reception you received. Quite the contrary was the case.

    Although I am unaware of the interactions you had with Chuck, I do know that he and I discussed your situation a number of times. I do know that both of us were racking our brains for many months on your behalf to try to find ways for you to get greater experience in the field while not interefering with your completion of your university studies. And then one day, sans explanation, you just broke contact. If you recall, I tried numerous times to find out from you what had gone wrong. Finally, after a series of e-mails from me, you responded simply that you were busy with school and that nothing else was wrong.

    Finally, as to your contention that the fora have become commercial, I both agree and not. While it is true that those makers who particpate do earn their livings through the making and selling of clothing, it is that very fact which gives us the knowledge we have. Do we cite our own work in our responses to members? Yes, when necessary. Is that a bad thing? Personally, I don't think so, for it is our own work which has provided the knowledge base from which we share. If we were not to use our own work as examples, what, then, would we use? Be our positions commercial or not, I really don't believe that you, or any other member, would contend that we have been anything less than forthcoming in the sharing of that knowledge when it applies to the questions a member might pose.

    I have no intention, nor desire, of beginning a debate on this matter. However, although on the face the facts you cite are correct, you have failed to state them in context. I have tried to set the record straight for the benefit of those who might otherwise view your post. Finally, if you have truly decided that bespoke making is other than your chosen career path, it makes me sad to lose such an enthusiastic and capable person as a future member of the trade.
     
  4. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    Alex,

    I have to disagree with this completely. As a scientist, I think that information sharing and technological transfer is vital and should be encouraged as much as possible. And as a free marketer, you should agree with Mmathew is free to do with what was essentially his "intellectual property" as he sees fit.

    As for the whole magician thing, I think that is just bogus. I have lots of friends in the fashion industry, and except for the real assholes, there is camaderie among the small designers - they give each other heads up on good manufacturers, laundries, etc... and anyone who tries to take advantage of the situation is ostracized by the rest of the community.

    No, you don't have to tell people all the secrets of your trade (I guess that in a business like yours, where designs do not change from collection to collection, this would be akin to telling everyone what your designs are going to be before having shown them,) but information sharing about suppliers, good manufacturers, good mills, etc... this is just part of professional courtesy.

    And BTW, it does sort of turn me off that you care that your clients are rich and/or famous. I know more than one (very well respected) jeans designer who would rather see his product on a real jean freak who seriously cares about the product than some rich celebrity who doesn't give a damn. In fact, and this may have been a stupid move on his part, he often charges celebrity clients extra, and has refused to make a product for a particularly obnoxious celebrity.
     
  5. MCA

    MCA Well-Known Member

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    Gimme a break. As if it were a great secret.

    Shirtmakers have showed me 3 different ways to fit prominent chests.

    If anyone has this concern with their shirts, and would like to see a picture of my shirts using 1 of the strategies, let me know, and I'd be happy (and my shirtmaker) to share it.

    Cheers.
     
  6. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Well-Known Member

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    LAGuy,

    You are free to disagree, of course. From the point-of-view of the small entrepreneur, there is a world of difference between the advantages to the human race through the advance of science and the competetion of the free-market which, by its very nature, decrees that some business will succeed while others fail. Were that not the case, businesses large and small would not be investing in security systems designed to safeguard their proprietary information. You may consider that wrong; others generally do not disagree with one's right to protect intellectual property.

    Also correct. However, at the time Mathew had indicated that he was interested in entering the bespoke clothing business. It would not serve him well therein to have published all of his resources for all of the reasons which I specifically enumerated and which you have ignored in your post, such as the inordinate burden placed on extremely small suppliers and the consumer price increases which are the inevitable result of such a burden.


    I was more specific than that. I am - as I carefully said - in awe of their ability to manage such large holdings successfully. Hopefully, they do so to the benefit of the hundreds of thousands they keep gainfully employed. For my part, the largest number of employees I've ever had was approximately 100 - and I shall never forget how difficult it was to fairly manage the needs and desires of so many. It is not a case of "caring that they are rich", but a sense of awe that they are capable of succeeding at such large enterprises.

    Here we completely agree. For my part, I have taught more shirtmakers more technical things about shirtmaking than I have ever heard of any other shirtmaker doing. What I was quite specifically cautioning against was the sharing of resources with the public-at-large (again, for the exact reasons I enumerated), not one-on-one with fellow members of the trade as a professional courtesy.
     
  7. PHV

    PHV Well-Known Member

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    Sep 23, 2004
    The finest example I can give you is a magician. The rule in the magic field is, "NEVER tell how a trick is done." I am not saying that custom-making should go to that extent. However, it seems to me that your sharing of the vast knowledge you have acquired has absolutely no bounds whatsoever. You need to begin to set certain limits on what you will and what you won't share. I would like to see you address this issue with me as this is the second time in as many months that I have brought it up with you.
    Alex, I have to disagree with this completely. Â As a scientist, I think that information sharing and technological transfer is vital and should be encouraged as much as possible. Â And as a free marketer, you should agree with Mmathew is free to do with what was essentially his "intellectual property" as he sees fit. Â As for the whole magician thing, I think that is just bogus. Â I have lots of friends in the fashion industry, and except for the real assholes, there is camaderie among the small designers - they give each other heads up on good manufacturers, laundries, etc... Â and anyone who tries to take advantage of the situation is ostracized by the rest of the community. Â No, you don't have to tell people all the secrets of your trade (I guess that in a business like yours, where designs do not change from collection to collection, this would be akin to telling everyone what your designs are going to be before having shown them,) but information sharing about suppliers, good manufacturers, good mills, etc... Â this is just part of professional courtesy. Â And BTW, it does sort of turn me off that you care that your clients are rich and/or famous. Â I know more than one (very well respected) jeans designer who would rather see his product on a real jean freak who seriously cares about the product than some rich celebrity who doesn't give a damn. Â In fact, and this may have been a stupid move on his part, he often charges celebrity clients extra, and has refused to make a product for a particularly obnoxious celebrity.
    I can see what you mean LA Guy. However here is the difference, you are an academic scientist, as far as I can gather you are not part of any private initiatives (I could be wrong). The sharing of information in academia is crucial, information is academia's currency, therefore the more you present, the better off you are in the eyes of your peers. Alex is making a living doing something in a private enterprise in which he has developed techniques that are unique to him. I very much agree with him that he has a right to ask someone to not publish his secrets. He is obviously not being secretive and paranoid given that he took so much time to share the information in the first place, he just doesn't want his tricks of the trade which took years to develop to evaporate in seconds from full disclosure. Also, your jeans comparison is apples and oranges. Jeans, though becoming expensive, are still at the end of the day in a different league than dress shirts. The latter are worn by the very customers whom Alex holds a great deal of respect for, so I wouldn't fault him on admiring the people for whom the bespoke shirt is meant.
     
  8. Valmont

    Valmont Well-Known Member

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    I could be wrong but this dosen't really sound like admiration of managerial capabilities, more like boasting about ones clientele. Not that there is anything wrong with that, businesses do it all the time not to mention universities that constantly flaunt their famous but not necessarily very bright alumini.
     
  9. RJman

    RJman Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what anyone posting on this thread still is trying to prove.
     
  10. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    My last word on the subject. Actually, information sharing *can* adversely affect you in academia, just as it can in business. You are constantly competing for grant money, and if a competitor consistently publishes more articles than you based on your results, and not citing you as a co-author (happens), you can figure out who gets screwed. A large contingent on academics jealously guard their "trade secrets" as it were for this very reason, and I see this as a very sad reflection on the corporatization of the academic world. Maybe Ayn Rand will see her utopia post mortem after all - it'll be a shittier world for it though.
     
  11. Lindsay

    Lindsay Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure that my best friend who's a prominent chef in the City would NOT be divulging all his recipes to a competitor. He probably wouldn't share all the details with a bus-boy either, which is what it sounds like we had here in this situation. What's to keep the newbie employee (prospective employee) from taking this info to the chef at the restaurant across town.

    He might mentor him, and teach him a few "tricks of the trade", share his wealth of kitchen tools, basting shortcuts, etc... but it is entirely up to him HOW MUCH and WHAT he chooses to divulge.  If the protege wishes to do some research on his own, that's GREAT.  He should be taught in this nascent station in his career to use discretion, even though he's anxious to tell the world what all he knows.

    Note:  I don't know either party involved here in this particular situation, but that allows me to be completely objective.
     
  12. Carlo

    Carlo Well-Known Member

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  13. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Well-Known Member

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    Wish I could have said that so simply and concisely.
     
  14. Lindsay

    Lindsay Well-Known Member

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    Understandable.. don't be a stranger.  All the best in your new life sans GF.
     
  15. bryce330

    bryce330 Well-Known Member

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    (Joe G @ April 18 2005,00:16)
    There were two over at Andy's site: "Joe G", and "Joe G." (note the full stop). Can't remember which was which, though.
    I do not recall ever posting at Andy's site, though perhaps I did at one point and simply cannot recall it. At any rate, the search function there seems defective so I cannot say if one or either of those people using my name is me.
    I looked thourgh the archives, and I can only hope that was a troll. I believe in the freedom of speech, but some things are better left unsaid even if you truly believe that. Even then, I refuse to believe that any sane person who has access to the truth, undistorted by the propaganda of their governments, would truly feel this way. Otherwise, you have to be a sicko to state things like '9-11 was not unique in its horror. The people of Palestein live under the same threat of terrorism from the Israelis who massacre them using American made weapons.'
    Nope, that had to be the real Joe G. That's his schtick - racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-American hatemongering. He's been doing it for several years - I remember he was one of the most active posters on the old Modern Man forum when that was the place to be (before SF and AA were started). The quote you found is actually one of the least objectionable things he's posted. It's amusing to see that he claims he no longer posts because he's lost interest in clothing, since he never seemed to be all that interested in clothing in the first place. However, I'm glad to see that his life has presumably improved to the point where he no longer needs to spend massive amounts of time posting vile, hateful rhetoric on boards ostensibly dedicated to men's clothing.
     
  16. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Well-Known Member

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    A bit better than yesterday, all day vomiting for
    Man, I was "away" from SF for the weekend fighting a horrible intestinal virus. Now I read this and the "what's the solution" and Kingsly Street threads and the gut ache I had doesn't seem so bad.
     
  17. bryce330

    bryce330 Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of missing posters, is drizzt3117 still around?  I haven't been around much myself the past few weeks, so I may be mistaken, but I haven't seen any posts from him lately.

    EDIT: just realized there was a separate thread re: drizzt3117.
     
  18. mkk

    mkk Well-Known Member

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    Dear Chuck and Alex,
    Despite what has been aired out publicly I hope that we may yet clear things up privately. (There's hope: just refer to Beaman vs Mahon) I shall look to contact you soon.


    Best,
    Mathew
     
  19. christian

    christian Well-Known Member

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    I'm confused about all these charges of libel, and if that's why lisapop was banned from this forum. After all, it seems Beaman himself made libelous accusations against Mahon when he accused Mahon of lying about his credentials and that Mahon was a hack.
     
  20. Carlo

    Carlo Well-Known Member

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    Matthew - I look forward to hearing from you, was very sad and confused when I saw your post.

    Christian: Darren certainly stuck his foot well down his own throat on that one and apologized and it seems a few folks will never let him forget it. Thomas Mahon evidently has better things to do as evidenced by what he said to me on the matter which is posted below. The odd thing is why so many folks who were not involved are so desperate to re-ignite the flame war which can do nothing but hurt both of these guys who've asked that it be dropped. So the question is - why do those unaffected so desperately wish to endlessly refight a battle long ended? In Thomas' own words:
    __
    Dear Charles,

    The next time I see Darren, I hope we'll have a beer and a good laugh about this.

    It's definately dropped with me. Things like this don't have a place in my mind.

    You can quote me on that.

    Take care,

    Tom.
     

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