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A&S

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Honestly I'm happy for Anderson & Sheppard. If this helps them survive ... I'm all for it.
     
  2. Frog in Suit

    Frog in Suit Senior member

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    Please forgive my jumping, uninvited, into the conversation. I have never set foot into the A & S shop, neither the old one nor the one on Old Burlington Street and never ordered anything from them. I am only looking in from the outside, so to speak.

    I do not think their survival is at stake. There is money in the business, from the Tiny Rowland fortune (nothing wrong with that, of course).

    I think they are just giving in to the temptation of “cashing in” on the “brand”. Norton, with Tautz, is probably doing exactly the same thing at more or les the same time. It must be SO tempting, once you think you have established yourself as an international “brand”, which, you hope, has become synonymous in many people’s minds with “Savile Row”, to try and sell higher margin goods under the SR umbrella and build a small-scale “luxury” business à la LVMH or Hermès or whatever.

    The first and very real risk they face is to “turn off” their bespoke customers. If I bought my clothes from A & S, I would not like to run into yobs showing off their RTW “A & S“ sports coats or whatever. I would change tailors.

    The second risk is going against the “big boys” (LVMH, Hermès, etc.) who have the deep pockets which enable them to buy market share through advertising and promotion, while being able to afford excellent quality (best materials, training and retaining specialized craftsmen/women in Western Europe, etc.). If A & S ever became a threat to one of the international luxury brands, I am sure they would not last long…

    Just my two cents…

    Frog in Suit
     
  3. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    Reeks of double standards really. To turn down Ralph Lauren and then open your own branded store?

    :confused:
     
  4. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    C'mon guys - what is so wrong with selling A+S branded ties, umbrellas, pocket squares etc? The bespoke brand is diluted in no way, and its a nice and easy way for the business to make some $$$. And lest we forgot the world we live in, A+S is still a business and not some utopian artisan's collective.
     
  5. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  6. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    That bad?
     
  7. sellahi22

    sellahi22 Senior member

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    I think survival is one part of it. Historically some % of customers of A&S, Huntsman, Norton, etc. were educated professionals. Now in the internet age, the younger guys in that category are learning that better value is found outside of Savile Row. A quick google search would reveal that Richard Anderson, Steed, etc offer better quality at lower prices than the established houses. At the same time, there's more competition for the rich brand-conscious guys from newcomers like Ozwold Boateng, Richard James, etc. The end result is that they no longer dominate the bespoke market the way they did even a decade ago. Their brands are declining in prestige, so they need to cash out while there is still some cachet left (through RTW, coffee table books, etc).
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  8. mack11211

    mack11211 Senior member

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    At the same time there is lots of new megamoney that wants a famous name, and in the school of A&S, none is more famous than A&S itself.

    Many of the SR houses have offered RTW for decades, if discreetly. This may have happened with the age of jet travel, when rich Americans would pop in without understanding that a bespoke suit could not be made up while they waited.

    Chester Barrie made for many of these. From the ones I've sold, I say there was not much distinguished about them, but they bore the right label.

    A&S has two things to sell: one is the cut of its coats, and the other is everything that the label evokes.

    From the sounds of this product range, A&S is not offering RTW coats. It will offer things to which A&S can add 'value' because A&S represents Englishness of a certain taste and style.

    Good luck to them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  9. andreyb2

    andreyb2 Senior member

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    I, personally, don't see any problem with A&S offering RTW accessories. For starters, they sell RTW ties for *years*.

    FiS, I doubt A&S will start to sell the kind of accessories you will find on a young hippy.

    Though, knowing H&B story, everything is possible... :(

    Andrey
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  10. greger

    greger Senior member

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    Mafoofan, have you tried other tailors, other than Rubinacci, yet?
     
  11. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    Well, of course they would argue there's a significant difference in brand profile between the two, which would account for their viewing the two potential retail shop differently.

    It's far from a cast-iron argument, in my opinion, but it's possible to see how one could spin a justification/line of reasoning around that. The actual reasons for the difference may well be different from such a justification of course... we'll probably never know... :)
     
  12. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I've had occasion to wear my jacket a lot the past couple of days. While it still suffers from the issues discussed at length above, I have to say, there is something to Mr. H's admonition that the coat has be worn before you really know how it fits. It does "settle" and conform with wear. It's changed considerably. The non-parallel stripes are still an issue, of course, and the left sleeve is still funky in back but in terms of the waist, it still looks tight but does not feel tight. It's super comfortable and I no longer "feel" my wallet in the breast pocket, which is nice.

    The shoulders are totally conforming and breaking down, much earlier than I have experienced with other tailors.

    So, jury still out but it's improving, though of course "settling" is not going to fix various other issues.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  14. Master Shake

    Master Shake Senior member

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    It sounds like A&S is hiring people from the menswear section of the department store in "Are You Being Served?"
     
  15. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Then it sounds like a good time to show them the problem areas again. You've legitimately worn the thing, now they should have no excuses.
     
  16. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  17. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    lol

    Sadly, it's only funnny until you realize it could be very well be a real conversation.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    They've been telling customers that 'the coat has be worn before you really know how it fits' for ages ... long before there was an Are You Being Served? ... hell, long before there was television. Do you suppose the AYBS? writers? No!

    The coat I wore to an old AAAC meetup (Iammatt, Manton, & Will) brings to mind a similar situation ... albeit with fewer issues than Manton's coat seems to have. Anyway ... it was my first wearing after taking delivery ... and it appeared to have a problem with drop. Manton noted so and he was right. I wore the coat few more times ... although paid little attention. Then I took it with me to London, put it on right there at A&S ... and I'll be damned ... it fit perfectly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  19. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  20. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    I'll assume you are speaking to me.

    I'm not certain. Who at A&S uses the letter G? Except for John and whats-his-name, I don't really know the new crew. Now back in the 70s and 80s, it was different.

    Now I must go back to Dumb Treads ... something about a SF tag-team fight to the death.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011

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