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Cashmere Sweater Hierarchy

Charles Knight

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@TokenMao - exactly.

But here’s the main thing:

I think Charles was making a broader point, justifying the prices of Cucinelli by explaining how much they spend on their people and products, especially in comparison to other luxury brands.

How exactly that breaks down on the balance sheet isn’t as important.

Every article I’ve read about Cucinelli mentions the locally-sourced materials and personnel, and how unique the facilities are in Solomeo are.

I think that’s a remarkable story. And it also highlights how expensive true sustainability and ethical manufacturing is.

Thank you, this is the point I want to highlight. Ill admit I made a mistake to @dieworkwear about the markup being ~3x from manufacturing costs, when in fact it was from wholesale. I honestly dont know what the markup from manuf cost is or what the industry std is. I dont really think it matters, the point that i tried to make before was that the way we do business (in a broad sense) is generally very expensive but its what we believe in.

If yall want to get into the nitty gritty of the details im afraid I cant really divulge anything more. TBH I probably already have spoken too much (granted no one here in italy knows what SF is) but I would hate to have this thread printed out on my desk monday morning if you catch my drift.
 

Blake Stitched Blues

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Sure, but given the fuller picture, how would it make sense that a Cucinelli suit costs more than a bespoke Savile Row suit?
For the same reason that rebranded Astorflex desert boots sell for borderline Crockett and Jones money at Drakes. They charge what the market will bear.

This was (repeatedly) pointed out to you before but you didn't want to hear about it.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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For the same reason that rebranded Astorflex desert boots sell for borderline Crockett and Jones money at Drakes. They charge what the market will bear.

This was (repeatedly) pointed out to you before but you didn't want to hear about it.
Huh?

You made the argument that they're just rebadged. I said they are not -- it's a different last and different materials. The materials they use also cost more (e.g. synthetic vs real leather). This was pointed out and confirmed by people who actually bought the two shoes to compare.

Whether that difference is worth the premium is totally subjective and up to the person buying the shoe. I only clarified that these are not rebadged.
 

Blake Stitched Blues

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Huh?

You made the argument that they're just rebadged. I said they are not -- it's a different last and different materials. The materials they use also cost more (e.g. synthetic vs real leather). This was pointed out and confirmed by people who actually bought the two shoes to compare.

Whether that difference is worth the premium is totally subjective and up to the person buying the shoe. I only clarified that these are not rebadged.
What materials exactly? Knock-off Dainite soles and 'premium leather'?
 

dieworkwear

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What materials exactly? Knock-off Dainite soles and 'premium leather'?
Are you OK, man? Seriously, every day you come onto this site just angry.

Anyway, I clarified in that thread the differences between Astorflex and Drake's. If you care to look it up, you can. I've never made a claim that someone should purchase one over the other. I was only clarifying that they are not the same shoe, just as I did when you said those loafers were made with glued-on soles, when in fact they're Blake stitched. I suppose having a name like Blake Stitched Blues but not being able to recognize Blake stitched soles is sorta like writing about workwear on a blog called Die, Workwear.
 

Sartorium

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Sure, but given the fuller picture, how would it make sense that a Cucinelli suit costs more than a bespoke Savile Row suit? You would have to increase the wage so much that it would almost seem fantastical. British wages are, on average, higher than Italian wages. A bespoke suit costs many more hours to make. Bespoke tailors likely pay more for their cloth. Like Cucinelli, they also keep everything domestic. Etc.
This is pretty easy to get to if Cucinelli considers things like their contributions to the city of Solomeo (parks, schools, etc.) to be part of the cost structure of the company.
 

dieworkwear

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This is pretty easy to get to if Cucinelli considers things like their contributions to the city of Solomeo (parks, schools, etc.) to be part of the cost structure of the company.
This conversation seems to have taken different turns.

This originally started because Charles said that Cucinelli's mark up is only 3x, which was in response to someone else's claim that their mark up is 10x. I asked if this is from manufacturing cost or total cost of doing business. Charles said that it's from manufacturing cost. I said I didn't understand how that can be given their prices. Their double-breasted suit retails for $8,000, which would suggest it costs about $2,666 to manufacture. Yet, a fully handmade bespoke suit from Savile Row costs about $2,000 to make -- how can a machine-made suit cost more to manufacture than a fully handmade suit? It was later clarified that 3x is the mark up from wholesale price, and not manufacture, which makes more sense to me.

I have no idea what's the cost of their doing business, what they invest into the community, what they pay workers, or what's their actual manufacturing cost. I was only saying that it would surprise me if it cost $2,666 to manufacture a machine-made suit given what I know about bespoke tailoring.
 

PairOfDerby's

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I've seen a lot of love for John Smedley's sweaters on the forum and snagged a couple from ebay on the strength of the comments around these parts but I have to say I couldn't recommend them. TK Maxx (a chain store that sells end of line designer stuffs) is full of Smedley sweaters, they aren't exactly a niche brand.
This means zero. You can buy Loro Piana in TKMaxx for £200.
John Smedley make thin jumpers. That is why their strapline is "The World's Finest Knitwear". They're not really in the market of big chunky jumpers. You can wear a John Smedley between a shirt and a suit jacket. You seriously have missed the point.
 

PairOfDerby's

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I own about 20 cashmere jumpers. From October through to Spring, I wear them everyday. I get home and change into a Sunspel t-shirt with a cashmere jumper over the top.

Most of what I know about cashmere is from the same source. This is a guy that has worked in the cashmere industry for over 30 years. His business basically buys all the overstock from Scottish (and one English) manufacturers and sell (mostly) under their own label but sometimes with the original label still attached.
When I walk in, he will say "these are from Johnston's, these are Barrie" etc. So I always know what I'm buying.
This is what I have learnt from him.
The best mill in the world is Todd and Duncan. Then, one in Italy and then another Scottish. I forget the names of two and three.
Howick Knitwear made the best in the world. They produced for some of the most expensive designer labels but nothing under their own label. I have two from Howick, one 2 ply and one 4 ply and they are solid jumpers. Heavy weight, no pill. They are my favorite jumpers. Howick went into administration 2 or 3 years ago. They are back now and the new MD told me they are in the same factory with the same machines and workforce (albeit a much smaller workforce). I haven't spoken to my guy yet on whether the quality is what it was.
Barrie is number two. John Laing is also Barrie but is their own label mainly for the French market. Turnbull and Asser say their cashmere is made by John Laing but they mean Barrie (the John Laing label has more prestige I suppose). I really like my John Laing jumpers because they a more fitted than the more traditional manufactures like Johston's. Barrie (and therefor John Laing) is owned by Chanel.
Johnston's of Elgin are also high quality. They manufacture for many designer labels.
The old Howick Knitwear are my favorites and I will buy more if they come in. Anything from Barrie/John Laing are next.
I also like Johnston's but the are much softer to start with. Howick and Barrie are not that soft in the shop but get softer with wear and wash.
Another brand I really like, who are relatively new are Moray. Moray are small and fairly unheard of but their yarn is all grade A and the finishing is up their with the best. Moray are based in Bristol, England.
Some people are snobbish about where their cashmere is made. I have several Alfred Dunhill cashmere jumpers that are made in Mongolia but over 10 years of wear, they have proven excellent quality.
However, the worst jumper I have is a Ralph Lauren cable knit that was made in China.
 

TheShetlandSweater

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I own about 20 cashmere jumpers. From October through to Spring, I wear them everyday. I get home and change into a Sunspel t-shirt with a cashmere jumper over the top.

Most of what I know about cashmere is from the same source. This is a guy that has worked in the cashmere industry for over 30 years. His business basically buys all the overstock from Scottish (and one English) manufacturers and sell (mostly) under their own label but sometimes with the original label still attached.
When I walk in, he will say "these are from Johnston's, these are Barrie" etc. So I always know what I'm buying.
This is what I have learnt from him.
The best mill in the world is Todd and Duncan. Then, one in Italy and then another Scottish. I forget the names of two and three.
Howick Knitwear made the best in the world. They produced for some of the most expensive designer labels but nothing under their own label. I have two from Howick, one 2 ply and one 4 ply and they are solid jumpers. Heavy weight, no pill. They are my favorite jumpers. Howick went into administration 2 or 3 years ago. They are back now and the new MD told me they are in the same factory with the same machines and workforce (albeit a much smaller workforce). I haven't spoken to my guy yet on whether the quality is what it was.
Barrie is number two. John Laing is also Barrie but is their own label mainly for the French market. Turnbull and Asser say their cashmere is made by John Laing but they mean Barrie (the John Laing label has more prestige I suppose). I really like my John Laing jumpers because they a more fitted than the more traditional manufactures like Johston's. Barrie (and therefor John Laing) is owned by Chanel.
Johnston's of Elgin are also high quality. They manufacture for many designer labels.
The old Howick Knitwear are my favorites and I will buy more if they come in. Anything from Barrie/John Laing are next.
I also like Johnston's but the are much softer to start with. Howick and Barrie are not that soft in the shop but get softer with wear and wash.
Another brand I really like, who are relatively new are Moray. Moray are small and fairly unheard of but their yarn is all grade A and the finishing is up their with the best. Moray are based in Bristol, England.
Some people are snobbish about where their cashmere is made. I have several Alfred Dunhill cashmere jumpers that are made in Mongolia but over 10 years of wear, they have proven excellent quality.
However, the worst jumper I have is a Ralph Lauren cable knit that was made in China.
Interesting. I'm pretty sure Ben Silver stocks Hawick Knitwear. Did your source say anything about William Lockie or other places you hear about on here like Harley or Scott and Charters?
 

induere_to

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Damn, all these comments and not one person asked where he got this sweater from ? Care to share .. it's amazing !!
The last time I tried answering another persons question, I got my post reported and taken down... still trying to figure out how to become an affiliate vendor if I don't even have a registered business...

That being said, I have this friend... he's experimenting with starting a brand and this was a prototype of his.

:slayer:
 

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