• We would like welcome Sprezzaboxto the Styleforum family as an official Affiliate Vendor! SprezzaBox is a monthly subscription service for men, delivering a unique selection fashion and lifestyle accessories right to your doorstep.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Discussions about the fashion industry thread

LA Guy

Opposite Santa
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Mar 8, 2002
Messages
45,624
Reaction score
18,923
Article on DTC with a bit more of a bite than the NYT piece...
https://thebaffler.com/latest/barons-of-crap-kaiser-schatzlein
Many of these companies do not offer anything new. Their real "innovation" is at their core in decreasing labor costs, often coded directly in the language used, and in many cases, doing so in a way that makes the retail experience more convenient, but less complete. A proper optical, for example, stocking frames in store,. and which can be supported by pretty much any small town, can offer sizing advice, adjustments, etc...

The industrialists of the 20th century at least brought us faster, and eventually, more affordable transportation, safe food, refrigeration, etc... A lot of what is offered today is "the same, but cheaper",

Another thing differentiates many these companies from the great industrialists of the early-mid 20th century is that the dream is rather small, and at the same time, rather entitled - that you can get out of the game, and are guaranteed a seat at the next game. The end game for many of these companies is an acquisition, and then onto the next scheme. The only way that this can be done successfully is if you paint by numbers. So, less rock star, more... boy band.
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,640
Reaction score
1,456
I think it's a particularly American mindset to want to make something that gets bought out in some exit strategy.

Many people would rather own a profitable, but not hugely wealthy, business or see and idea to fruition where it's not disrupting the market, or being sold for $x00,000,000 to some mega-corp. It seems start-up culture (in the States) has totally false in this dichotomy of either failing (by having a product and business that makes a modest profit) and succeeding through selling some bumpkin bullshit to a company that's happy to bleed money to carve back market share from an attractive marketing campaign and a corner cutting approach.
 

LA Guy

Opposite Santa
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Mar 8, 2002
Messages
45,624
Reaction score
18,923
I think it's a particularly American mindset to want to make something that gets bought out in some exit strategy.

Many people would rather own a profitable, but not hugely wealthy, business or see and idea to fruition where it's not disrupting the market, or being sold for $x00,000,000 to some mega-corp. It seems start-up culture (in the States) has totally false in this dichotomy of either failing (by having a product and business that makes a modest profit) and succeeding through selling some bumpkin bullshit to a company that's happy to bleed money to carve back market share from an attractive marketing campaign and a corner cutting approach.
It's prevalent in the US because of the amount of VC money being thrown around, but it's also in London, and I am aure other places as well - I am just most familiar with the US and the UK.

I know of a fair number of startup companies that failed because they were bound to fail - not because they couldn't build a nice business doing what they were doing, but because no matter how much money they were spending, the think that they wanted to make into the next unicorn was just a regular old draft horse, and no amount of wizardry was going to change that. That said, the founders are sometimes as trapped as everyone else. They can't go to a VC and pitch a nice, reasonably profitable niche business that will grow to become good medium sized company.

Incidentally, this type of institutional quicksand is not limited to tech startups. It's not like an academic can say "Well, I won't be able to publish papers for at leats 3 years, and then we'll have some preiminary results. Or maybe it just won't work."
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,640
Reaction score
1,456
Sure but I think the difference between those is that a business does not necessarily require an institutional apparatus in the way academic publishing does.

One can start a small business with no intention of being funded by VC and bought by FAANG.

One can't really publish without institutional backing/support/resources and is, therefore, much more susceptible to the trends and pace pushed by those places. Not an enviable situation.
 

clee1982

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
13,101
Reaction score
2,126
right but this article is about mba chicken soup after all, if you were not aiming big might as well go to Wall Street...

Exit problem is true in a lot place too, and a lot business is hard to be small in the “disrupting crowd” as you either go big or sink, can’t really just “be there”
 

LonerMatt

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,640
Reaction score
1,456
Surely then the model is inherently flawed?
 

Todd Shelton

Senior Member
Affiliate Vendor
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
432
Reaction score
219
Which menswear brands under 20 years old (those that launched during the e-commerce era) have established a healthy, financially-sustainable business?

Edit: Which menswear brands under 20 years old (those that launched during the e-commerce era) do you think - as an outsider looking in - have established a healthy, financially-sustainable business?
 
Last edited:

bry2000

Distinguished Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2004
Messages
6,824
Reaction score
3,133
Which menswear brands under 20 years old (those that launched during the e-commerce era) have established a healthy, financially-sustainable business?
Kith jumps to mind.

How would any of us know if they are financially stable businesses when most of these companies are private and do not make their financials publicly available?

Edit: are you asking only about “menswear” (ie, CM brands) or SW&D brands also?

Edit 2: phrase your questions more carefully in the future.
 
Last edited:

bry2000

Distinguished Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2004
Messages
6,824
Reaction score
3,133
More:
Engineered Garments
3sixteen

I am sure a number of SF affiliates would argue they are financially stable (at least insofar as they are still paying their affiliate fees).

I am sure there are many more, but financially stable is murky term and a brand’s outlook can change very quickly.
 

cb200

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
278
Reaction score
217
Two that come to mind, with wild speculation about their business, are John Elliot and Outlier.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
15,186
Reaction score
35,223
Which menswear brands under 20 years old (those that launched during the e-commerce era) have established a healthy, financially-sustainable business?

Edit: Which menswear brands under 20 years old (those that launched during the e-commerce era) do you think - as an outsider looking in - have established a healthy, financially-sustainable business?
I'd say Engineered Garments. Launched in 2002. Interest in the brand is still very strong.
 

Luellwitz

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
16
Reaction score
9
Taylor Stitch and Gustin come to mind
Which menswear brands under 20 years old (those that launched during the e-commerce era) have established a healthy, financially-sustainable business?

Edit: Which menswear brands under 20 years old (those that launched during the e-commerce era) do you think - as an outsider looking in - have established a healthy, financially-sustainable business?
 

Todd Shelton

Senior Member
Affiliate Vendor
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
432
Reaction score
219
I'd say Engineered Garments. Launched in 2002. Interest in the brand is still very strong.
Neither Engineered Garments or Common Projects (which seems strong to me) have their own e-commerce sites - I don't think. Running an e-comm brand takes a lot of attention and resources. I wonder if those brands not being distracted by e-comm, and focusing on brand and product - has helped them be above the fray.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
15,186
Reaction score
35,223
Neither Engineered Garments or Common Projects (which seems strong to me) have their own e-commerce sites - I don't think. Running an e-comm brand takes a lot of attention and resources. I wonder if those brands not being distracted by e-comm, and focusing on brand and product - has helped them be above the fray.
Mister Freedom does e-comm and B&M retail, and they seem to be doing well. They started in 2006
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How wide do you like your leg opening on your trousers?

  • 7”

    Votes: 77 17.1%
  • 7.5”

    Votes: 149 33.1%
  • 8”

    Votes: 133 29.6%
  • 8.5”

    Votes: 50 11.1%
  • 9”

    Votes: 20 4.4%
  • 9.5”

    Votes: 9 2.0%
  • 10”

    Votes: 3 0.7%
  • 10.5”

    Votes: 9 2.0%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
433,138
Messages
9,306,252
Members
195,302
Latest member
guojia
Top