A visit to Astor & Black

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by xkmasada, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    Sounds like pure mismanagement, which based on their history here, isn't too surprising.

    Crazy executive pay + out of control expenses + poor operational efficiency = disaster waiting to happen.
     


  2. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    actually the real moral of the story is to be vertical if you own one of these companies. We could trash Tom James all day for their ho hum suits made here in the USA by honestly antiquated manufacturing, but at least they own the fabric mill and the factories that go into their garments. Probably why they've been around since the 60s
     


  3. CousinDonuts

    CousinDonuts Senior member

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    I'm pretty sure Schottenstein started the business by buying a production facility in China. So he was partially vertical. But you're right, other parts of the chain he was missing.
     


  4. Docofcloth

    Docofcloth New Member

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    Great business lessons to learn here..he never owned factories, all subed
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013


  5. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    Well don't be misled...Not many brands whether RTW or custom are actually vertical entirely. A&B was just one example. Also, a custom clothier may have a supplier who builds and owns all the patterns in house so manufacturing is more "owned" than otherwise.
    The problem within production was less about proper production efficiency and more about relationships efficiency. Let's say the leader of Tom James (Spencer Hays) suddenly institutes policies that start to screw the employees in their factories. Yeah, he'd still be verytical but an an ensuing strike due to poor people management would screw production. Same with A&B. David Schottenstein has been out of the picture for quite some time, as well, so he really had nothing to do with the collapse. I'd name the guy(s) who really specifically did but that wouldn't be professional
    It is definitely something in the clothing business that definitely didn't need to happen. A&B was in debt, yes, but it was business debt just like any other business has debt. Stopping up the production/shipping of garments stopped a crucial flow of financial blood across the entire company much like slitting the jugular. The company could've been sold and the new owner would've been very happy inheriting quite a large book of good business, but the liaison in between effectively wrecked that possibility.
    Again, I won't name him by name but I hope someone higher up in this industry ladder catches onto this fact whether from this post or not because that guy's factory deserves to suffer for over 100 ppl needlessly losing their jobs.
    What company would want to get in the production bed with a guy who would do that??
     


  6. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    To anyone following this thread:

    Astor & Black "the name" was bought by an old A&B agent and will be selling those garments again. I'm sure he bought the name because a great big client list came with it. So, if you see A&B pop up in the #menswear sphere again, that's why.

    Secondly, I have 6 suits that were never received by former clients that I am looking to part with. They all fall in the 40-42 size range. They were made for 2 different clients. 3 for one and 3 for the other.
    Without giving a ton of details right here, 3 are about a size 40R to 40L. Those 3 are made in char grey chalk stripe w/ vest, grey glen plaid with blue overcheck, and navy blue pinstripe in tom ford style (big lapels, 5 button sleeve cuff, 2'' trouser cuff etc). Each of these 3 suits is super 120s wool in all season weight.
    The other 3 were from a higher end client. Size range is more 42L. One is a navy glen plaid with blue overcheck. The suit is made in a 3 roll 2 style with all patch pocket front, single vent and double track pick stitching all around. The shoulder is spalla camicia. The second one is a Lora Piana mid grey solid plain weave travel light. The 3rd is a 3 piece zegna trofeo with full hand construction.
    All are fully canvased and 2 have full hand finished inside and outside buttonholes etc.
    Message if interested. Prices are probably half or lower than retail.
     


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