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Discussions about the fashion industry thread

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Seems like people are talking about totally different markets. Some retailers can't pull back from East Asia because they mainly compete on price. Fast fashion retailers mostly produce in East Asia, and they did relatively OK last year. Inditex only saw a 20% decrease in profits from 2019 to 2020.

I don't think mid-tier companies are suffering because they produce abroad. They're suffering because they're too big to produce anything unique, but aren't low-end enough to compete on price. So they have to make generic, mid-priced goods that get comparison shopped to death. Many are also reliant on B&M sales. They've seen online retailers eat into their market share and their rents are soaring in big cities.

Perhaps some may pull back from East Asia. I don't know. Todd Snyder had one of their best years last year. Their best seller: made-in-Vietnam sweats that aren't as expensive as luxury label sweats, but are better made than H&M sweats.
 
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double00

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I don't think mid-tier companies are suffering because they produce abroad. They're suffering because they're too big to produce anything unique, but aren't low-end enough to compete on price. So they have to make generic, mid-priced goods that get comparison shopped to death. Many are also reliant on B&M sales. They've seen online retailers eat into their market share and their rents are soaring in big cities.
agree with this. pandemic deepened an active shift in consumer taste so now a bunch of product/brands don't resonate, and for one reason or another don't have the capacity to tap into fashion currency
 

Nobilis Animus

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Seems like people are talking about totally different markets. Some retailers can't pull back from East Asia because they mainly compete on price. Fast fashion retailers mostly produce in East Asia, and they did relatively OK last year. Inditex only saw a 20% decrease in profits from 2019 to 2020.

I don't think mid-tier companies are suffering because they produce abroad. They're suffering because they're too big to produce anything unique, but aren't low-end enough to compete on price. So they have to make generic, mid-priced goods that get comparison shopped to death. Many are also reliant on B&M sales. They've seen online retailers eat into their market share and their rents are soaring in big cities.

Perhaps some may pull back from East Asia. I don't know. Todd Snyder had one of their best years last year. Their best seller: made-in-Vietnam sweats that aren't as expensive as luxury label sweats, but are better made than H&M sweats.
Ironically, I really like Todd Snyder's made-in-LA henleys. Definitely worth the price.

Maybe you're right, but I have to believe that a big part of comparison shopping is a mentality like: 'Why spend $50 on this thing when I can get the same one for $25 over in that place?' That's only possible because the retailers are producing a basically-equal product from the same factory.

Fast fashion is another animal. People either buy that because they have to or out of convenience. The selling point is a cheap price either way, so obviously the supply has to be similarly cheaper for the retailer.
 

Nobilis Animus

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agree with this. pandemic deepened an active shift in consumer taste so now a bunch of product/brands don't resonate, and for one reason or another don't have the capacity to tap into fashion currency
Right, so maybe customers didn't shift away from the mid-market because of their suppliers, but because it was boring. In that case, all the boring clothing seems to be coming out of the same supply chain.

I think the retailers' supply issues could be alleviated if they had more control over their network, since they wouldn't be on the hook for orders in the same way.
 

dieworkwear

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Ironically, I really like Todd Snyder's made-in-LA henleys. Definitely worth the price.

Maybe you're right, but I have to believe that a big part of comparison shopping is a mentality like: 'Why spend $50 on this thing when I can get the same one for $25 over in that place?' That's only possible because the retailers are producing a basically-equal product from the same factory.

Fast fashion is another animal. People either buy that because they have to or out of convenience. The selling point is a cheap price either way, so obviously the supply has to be similarly cheaper for the retailer.
I don't think companies are producing "basically equal products from the same factory," but it's true that many consumers treat clothes in this way.
 

cb200

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Prada and Zenga just bought a cashmere factory. Those brands with deep pockets and or a vision will likely find now a great time to invest in securing their supply chains.
 

ValidusLA

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I don't think companies are producing "basically equal products from the same factory," but it's true that many consumers treat clothes in this way.
While in general this may not be true, it not a totally false statement.

I've toured factories overseas using the same processes on $40 denim and $150 denim. I've seen laundries in LA using the same processes on $40 denim as $250 denim.

This of course doesn't mean fiber content is the same.
 

Nobilis Animus

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I don't think companies are producing "basically equal products from the same factory," but it's true that many consumers treat clothes in this way.
The Gap, J Crew, and others like them are basically the same products, yes. How do they substantially differ?

Everyone likes to talk about a 'point of diminishing returns' in terms of clothing prices getting more expensive. That concept works in reverse, too - there's a point of cheapness at which everything more or less sucks equally. In America, I understand this is called democracy.
 

Texasmade

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The Gap has Kanye doing stuff for them, BB has buy 3 non-iron dress shirts for $200, while J Crew has some guy most people never heard of as creative director.
 

dieworkwear

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The Gap, J Crew, and others like them are basically the same products, yes. How do they substantially differ?

Everyone likes to talk about a 'point of diminishing returns' in terms of clothing prices getting more expensive. That concept works in reverse, too - there's a point of cheapness at which everything more or less sucks equally. In America, I understand this is called democracy.
I don't understand the vanity of small differences on this forum and how many members nitpick over the smallest details, but then assume all the clothes that come from the same factory are the same.

When people post fit pics, someone will say "oh, the sleeve pitch is off" or "I wish the pants were 0.1" roomier in the thigh." Some people write really long posts about how leather was tanned or the exact way some cotton fiber was picked.

But when it comes to factory back sourcing, people will assume that factories are just pushing out the same products and slapping different labels on them. There's a huge disconnect.

It's true that some factories just white label the same products. Shoe factories sometimes do this. But many clothing factories work off different patterns, trims, design elements, etc. In one suit factory, Ralph Lauren's Polo line is made on the same line that produces for Men's Wearhouse. Yet, the clothes that come out of that factory are nowhere near the same.
 

Nobilis Animus

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I don't understand the vanity of small differences on this forum and how many members nitpick over the smallest details, but then assume all the clothes that come from the same factory are the same.

When people post fit pics, someone will say "oh, the sleeve pitch is off" or "I wish the pants were 0.1" roomier in the thigh." Some people write really long posts about how leather was tanned or the exact way some cotton fiber was picked.

But when it comes to factory back sourcing, people will assume that factories are just pushing out the same products and slapping different labels on them. There's a huge disconnect.

It's true that some factories just white label the same products. Shoe factories sometimes do this. But many clothing factories work off different patterns, trims, design elements, etc. In one suit factory, Ralph Lauren's Polo line is made on the same line that produces for Men's Wearhouse. Yet, the clothes that come out of that factory are nowhere near the same.
I guess there's a bit of a difference in noticing issues of proportion and the like, and believing that the solution to that is a different brand or model.

Factories are tricky, because we're already talking about a product that is below the level of tailored/couture/exclusive, so quality has more to do with what the retailer wants. Maybe I'm just spoiled, but I have yet to handle a suit or shirt from different Eastern clothing factories that wasn't basically the same as the others to me - and yes, that includes Polo and all the rest. It's not a matter of cost either - places like American Apparel used to make great casual-quality shirts for a reasonable price (too bad they went under a while ago).

So I have to assume that the reason they continue to use those factories, and the reason the prices are so much lower, is that they wish to gain the maximum amount of profits. Knowing that, why would I want to feed into that system as a customer? I believe that's why many of these places are doing badly today. The supply chain squeeze is because they themselves are feeling the squeeze of the market.

And ultimately, they could probably improve that issue by controlling their own supply chains - but that wouldn't be cheap.
 

dieworkwear

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Factories are tricky, because we're already talking about a product that is below the level of tailored/couture/exclusive, so quality has more to do with what the retailer wants. Maybe I'm just spoiled, but I have yet to handle a suit or shirt from different Eastern clothing factories that wasn't basically the same as the others to me - and yes, that includes Polo and all the rest.
That concept works in reverse, too - there's a point of cheapness at which everything more or less sucks equally. In America, I understand this is called democracy.

It feels like you're making this about price and I don't understand why. I mean, didn't you just spend the whole day asking people on the internet if the Dior shirt you found is legit or a cheap rip-off? Apparently, you can't tell the difference between a $750 t-shirt and some cheapo $20 screen print.

People use different factories for different reasons. Some factories are better at producing certain things than others. In some factories, you can have a wide range of products being produced at different price points. And even within the same category/ price tier, products being produced may differ in terms of fit, design, trims, details, etc. My only point is that clothes from the same factory are not always easily reduced like this. It's not about high-end clothing vs cheap clothing.
 
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Nobilis Animus

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I mean,not to call you out, but didn't you just spend the whole day asking people on the internet if the Dior shirt you found is legit or a cheap rip off? Apparently, you can't tell the difference between a $750 t-shirt and some cheapo $20 screen print.
Of course I can't. It's a t-shirt from a thrift store - the difference between that and any other t-shirt is very small, aside from the cotton. That has very little to do with something like dress shirt quality or suit construction, as you well know.

Besides, you're literally arguing that there are significant differences in... what? Factory-made clothes from Bangladesh? I'm sorry, but I don't think anyone, even you, believes that for a second.
 
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