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Discussions about the fashion industry thread

Gus

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Interesting points in this Quartz article: https://qz.com/1631310/us-consumer-spending-has-remained-the-same-with-one-exception/

- In 1987 US shoppers devoted about 5% of their discretionary spending to clothes. In 2017 it was about 2%.....What’s driving the decrease, though, isn’t consumers buying less clothing: Deloitte notes that the number of clothing items US shoppers are purchasing grew consistently over the period studied. Rather, clothes are getting cheaper because of pressure from “market forces,” the firm says.

- In its surveys, Deloitte asked shoppers their reasons for choosing to shop at a retailer. Price was the most common response...Next to last on the list was “alignment with core values.”

- As Deloitte noted in a previous report, retail is polarizing toward the high and low ends just as the same happens in American incomes and the middle class shrinks.
I have a lot of contacts in Home Decor accessories. They have commented for the last 5+ years that they were able to continue to move production from one country to another to find cheaper costs from the late 80's until now. There was always another country where they could have a product like kitchen towels made cheaper, especially to sell to the mass and big box retailers. They say now that there really aren't any new options left. So we have probably seen a halt in downward pricing, at least in things related to fabrics for home or apparel in mass market retail.
 

Todd Shelton

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I have a lot of contacts in Home Decor accessories. They have commented for the last 5+ years that they were able to continue to move production from one country to another to find cheaper costs from the late 80's until now. There was always another country where they could have a product like kitchen towels made cheaper, especially to sell to the mass and big box retailers. They say now that there really aren't any new options left. So we have probably seen a halt in downward pricing, at least in things related to fabrics for home or apparel in mass market retail.
I've heard that too but I don't think we're even close to bottoming out, here's an article from this month: https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/ethiopian-garment-workers-are-being-paid-worlds-lowest-wages/11098232

- Ethiopia is trying to become the new Bangladesh of garment factory labour by promising the lowest wages in the world, but the workers themselves report they're struggling to survive on US$26 a month while stitching clothes for Calvin Klein, H&M and other brands.

- An Ethiopian government brochure for potential foreign investors advertised: "Cheap and skilled labor: 1/7 of China and 1/2 of Bangladesh."

There's dozens of countries in Africa, not to mention on other continents, with big populations that are years or decades away from being tapped.
 

dieworkwear

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This is basically the flying geese model for development:


one of the reasons why companies skip around is because countries move up the global production chain, so their wages increase as labor productivity increases. Which seems like a good thing?

IMO, the real issue is the fast fashion system. Cheap clothes can be great (Hanes is cheap). It's the cycling of trends IMO that's causing all the stuff we don't like, which is connected to cheap prices but still distinct.
 

cb200

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Hi end or low end. Don't get caught in the middle.
Came across some signs of market forces in this table today of clothing retailers. Brutal.
D8EreSxUwAAqXZD.png-large.png
 

smittycl

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Never heard of the guy and I subscribe to Esquire. Article behind paywall so I couldn't read it. Thought maybe it would be on Esquire's page but not yet apparently.
 

Gus

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Never heard of the guy and I subscribe to Esquire. Article behind paywall so I couldn't read it. Thought maybe it would be on Esquire's page but not yet apparently.
I would expect that they would have an event to introduce him to the media. Something where they have photos of as many influential people around him to project an air of authority and being connected. I truly wish him the best of luck. I especially hope he can re-boot the Black Book in a big way.
 

smittycl

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I would expect that they would have an event to introduce him to the media. Something where they have photos of as many influential people around him to project an air of authority and being connected. I truly wish him the best of luck. I especially hope he can re-boot the Black Book in a big way.
That would neat. The last few Black Books were just re-tread articles and the same ads from all the other mags.
 

dieworkwear

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I'd like to see an American menswear publication that's just about clothing and, possibly, a very narrow definition of clothing-related issues. We had this discussion on a Slack channel I'm on. One guy characterized Will Welch's work at GQ as "oddball steez and urban consumption." He wanted the old Arnold Gingrich template of a men's lifestyle magazine about everything under the sun plus some capital-j journalism.

Personally, give me oddball steez and urban consumption. I don't want to buy a men's style magazine and have 90% of it filled with stuff about things that clearly have nothing to do with clothing, let alone style (e.g. politics, sports, movies, literature, etc). That prob makes me sound like a philistine, but I would rather get my book reviews from Bookforum, investigative journalism from NYT, etc.

I'd love to see the emergence of an American version of something like Free & Easy.
 

Bromley

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I'd like to see an American menswear publication that's just about clothing and, possibly, a very narrow definition of clothing-related issues. We had this discussion on a Slack channel I'm on. One guy characterized Will Welch's work at GQ as "oddball steez and urban consumption." He wanted the old Arnold Gingrich template of a men's lifestyle magazine about everything under the sun plus some capital-j journalism.

Personally, give me oddball steez and urban consumption. I don't want to buy a men's style magazine and have 90% of it filled with stuff about things that clearly have nothing to do with clothing, let alone style (e.g. politics, sports, movies, literature, etc). That prob makes me sound like a philistine, but I would rather get my book reviews from Bookforum, investigative journalism from NYT, etc.

I'd love to see the emergence of an American version of something like Free & Easy.
Dude, you should do it. Start it out as a zine. Would be very cool.
 

dieworkwear

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what about sz magazine
There's been a bunch of them over the years. Inventory, Fantastic Man, SZ. But since you're dealing with small numbers, the price per issue is high and thus most people are just going to resort to the internet.
 

smittycl

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Maybe I’m in the minority but I’d pay ~$25 for a quality mag.


Hoping Esquire succeeds. The Rake is running out of Golden Age Hollywood actors and louche Euro trash royalty to profile. :p
 

LA Guy

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I'd love to see the emergence of an American version of something like Free & Easy.
I mean, that's another cool avenue, right, and the revenue is built right in - as in - everything is sponsored. It's just a well designed advertorial. Personally, I have nothing against the model - I think that good styling and attractive photography adds value, but it's very much NOT in the vein of investigative journalism of unbiased reviews. It's completely in the vein of "cool stuff." And it's not like you have to take every advertiser - just those that fit your magazine.
 

London

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I'd like to see an American menswear publication that's just about clothing and, possibly, a very narrow definition of clothing-related issues. We had this discussion on a Slack channel I'm on. One guy characterized Will Welch's work at GQ as "oddball steez and urban consumption." He wanted the old Arnold Gingrich template of a men's lifestyle magazine about everything under the sun plus some capital-j journalism.

Personally, give me oddball steez and urban consumption. I don't want to buy a men's style magazine and have 90% of it filled with stuff about things that clearly have nothing to do with clothing, let alone style (e.g. politics, sports, movies, literature, etc). That prob makes me sound like a philistine, but I would rather get my book reviews from Bookforum, investigative journalism from NYT, etc.

I'd love to see the emergence of an American version of something like Free & Easy.
Dieworkwear, you're one of the best writers on the topic. You should do a bi-yearly book style magazine. I'd gladly plop down my money for that.
 
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