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Discussions about the fashion industry thread

circumspice

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I wonder if any of this makes any sense at all - in this thread, we have Seattle dudes talking about the Nordstrom flagship, NYC heads talking about the Bergdorg flagship, but those experiences are not really mutually intelligible because the Nordstrom experience in NYC and the Bergdorf experience outside of NY (or NYC/LA?) would be diminished by comparison. In a world with ecommerce, does it really make sense to hide new brands you are experimenting with in a flagship?

I have only ever spent 72 hours in Seattle, but I can assure you that visiting the Nordstrom flagship wasn't on my to-do list - it isn't in my head that it would be all that different from what I have locally available.
 

thatboyo

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Interesting. Haven’t stepped foot in BG in years since I assumed they would list everything they carry on website and most of website stock is kind of bland.
 

smittycl

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Interesting. Haven’t stepped foot in BG in years since I assumed they would list everything they carry on website and most of website stock is kind of bland.
Someone posted elsewhere that BG is selling Post Imperial in their store but I don't see it online. Maybe as a test?

 

BlakeRVA

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Bergdorf carries all the brands you listed in store save Visvim, which they used to. The whole entire third floor of their NY men's flagship is dedicated to streetwear and carries a lot of Beams, Bode, KITH, Ahluwahlia, ALD, Post-Imperial, FOG Zegna, etc under their BG imprint. (None of those brands appear on their website though.) Bruce Pask who runs their menswear buy is really giving it an honest go.
That's good to hear! To Nordstrom's credit, I think they're giving a good effort if they have a national brick & mortar footprint, yet rival an NYC-only department store in high end brands being offered. Upstreams seems to be the only direction
I wonder if any of this makes any sense at all - in this thread, we have Seattle dudes talking about the Nordstrom flagship, NYC heads talking about the Bergdorg flagship, but those experiences are not really mutually intelligible because the Nordstrom experience in NYC and the Bergdorf experience outside of NY (or NYC/LA?) would be diminished by comparison. In a world with ecommerce, does it really make sense to hide new brands you are experimenting with in a flagship?

I have only ever spent 72 hours in Seattle, but I can assure you that visiting the Nordstrom flagship wasn't on my to-do list - it isn't in my head that it would be all that different from what I have locally available.
The flagship will have the most upscale brands offered, but they are available online and in some of their stores throughout the country. For someone living in Indiana, Nordstrom might be the only place to see Off White or Balenciaga in person. The OP was laughing at Nordstrom being painted as "edgy", but in the context of your average shopper, they are edgy even if they don't carry the full breadth of designer labels in-store nationally.
 

clee1982

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Interesting. Haven’t stepped foot in BG in years since I assumed they would list everything they carry on website and most of website stock is kind of bland.
BG still use NM stock I think BG hasn’t gone 100% list of everything they own I think
 

blacklight

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In a world with ecommerce, does it really make sense to hide new brands you are experimenting with in a flagship?
I don't get it either. Their buys on newer brands are fairly small so I would guess how the NY audience reacts is some sort of lead indicator for how it'll do elsewhere? They did mention that their super clients are the ones that really like to handle stuff so perhaps they are gauging from them how those brands do among a clientele unaware of their media hype.

From the buyers I've spoken to there's something of a trial approach going on with those brands due to them getting a lot more social media traction than actual people buying, which I think is the issue most are currently having with their audiences. Their accessories and sportswear collabs do incredible numbers. Their couture does not.

They were also highlighting newer Black-owned brands like Brownstone, an initiative I believe Jian was at least a part of, if not leading. The problem--again, as far as I can tell--is that Nordy's hasn't really promoted/cared about that aspect of the business as much.

I'll put it this way: Jian seems cool, knows a lot of cool people, and with him at Nordy's I'm watching more what they're doing than I was before.
At the NY flagship those brands were placed in their own section near the front the men's store. I don't know how this stacks up compared to BG's approach, which has been to place them on racks directly next to their best sellers, but I think both are missing something. Something I thought interesting was that the SAs are often unfamiliar with those brands and their stories, which is a critical part of converting eyeballs into sales when considering the lack of name recognition on floors shared with Dior, Off-White, etc.

A lot of these brands have their die-hard tribes that can really drive sales for them if leveraged right but often times people don't even know their favorite small brand has made into X store, which is a failure on part of both the brands and the retailer. Up to now Bergdorf still has a ton of stuff from the ALD FW20 lookbook everyone was going crazy over on deep sale simply because people don't know it's there.

Beyond those communities the only people making a bee-line straight for things like Brownstone are stylists, who while influential, are still only a very small piece of the foot traffic. Things like Post-Imperial and Telfar if he ever goes retail will move themselves, but I'm not sure most of them + their brand stories are really compatible with the upscale retailers just yet.
 

sushijerk

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Jian DeLeon has been leading the men's side of Nordstrom's for almost a year now and as far as I can tell he's done a good job getting some cool brands in the store. They were also highlighting newer Black-owned brands like Brownstone, an initiative I believe Jian was at least a part of, if not leading. The problem--again, as far as I can tell--is that Nordy's hasn't really promoted/cared about that aspect of the business as much.

I'll put it this way: Jian seems cool, knows a lot of cool people, and with him at Nordy's I'm watching more what they're doing than I was before.
Jian is doing a great job at introducing some more advanced brands to the stores but I don't know if people want to buy those brands from a Nordstroms. Nordstrom still has not broken out of the image of it being where a guy in a c-tier city goes to buy a Ferragamo belt. Everyone I know who will buy Visvim or And Wander would rather buy it from a smaller or more personal store like a Canoe Club rather than a Nordstrom.
 

cchen

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Jian is doing a great job at introducing some more advanced brands to the stores but I don't know if people want to buy those brands from a Nordstroms. Nordstrom still has not broken out of the image of it being where a guy in a c-tier city goes to buy a Ferragamo belt. Everyone I know who will buy Visvim or And Wander would rather buy it from a smaller or more personal store like a Canoe Club rather than a Nordstrom.
Disagree here. Nordstrom's has and always has had exceptional customer service. That's a reason to buy from them. I don't think the Canoe club customer and the Nordstrom's customer are the same at all. I can picture that guy who is buying the Ferragamo belt taking a "risk" with more advanced brands but is only comfortable doing so at in an environment they're familiar with.
 

gdl203

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I think Sam Lobban is the one that’s been turning Nordstrom Men into something more relevant, and probably brought Jian in to editorialize everything and take it a little further to the edge of hype. I don’t think Jian really buys but is part of the whole planning and creative discussion. He’s totally energized the way Nordstrom Men communicates now and is getting a lot of people excited about those initiatives. It’s a great duo.

that said, yeah, support your smaller shops over the massive machines. Also while I think it’s nice to see big retailers recognize smaller brands and I’m elated for Niyi for example, they’re still 5 years behind a smaller shop like us. That’s business, of course, but help smaller shops keep brands like P-I alive and thriving for the 5 years until a Mr P comes in, by supporting them when they do. ✌😁
 
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dieworkwear

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Yea, I think Jian is on editorial. He was brought in from Complex. Sam used to be a buyer for Mr. Porter, so it makes sense that he's bringing that perspective to Nordstrom's. I started noticing they were carrying hyped brands a couple of years ago, but like everyone else, wasn't sure if these things resonated with their traditional customer. And if fashion-forward people would really go shop at Nordstrom.
 

smittycl

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Heading to Seattle in two weeks for some hiking with friends. Will likely hit the Nordstrom flagship store as it’s pretty nice and feels a bit Old World if that that makes any sense. Like what I would consider a “traditional” Department Store.

EDIT: there is also a shop that stocks Eyevan sunglasses I want to check out.
 

London

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That's good to hear! To Nordstrom's credit, I think they're giving a good effort if they have a national brick & mortar footprint, yet rival an NYC-only department store in high end brands being offered. Upstreams seems to be the only direction

The flagship will have the most upscale brands offered, but they are available online and in some of their stores throughout the country. For someone living in Indiana, Nordstrom might be the only place to see Off White or Balenciaga in person. The OP was laughing at Nordstrom being painted as "edgy", but in the context of your average shopper, they are edgy even if they don't carry the full breadth of designer labels in-store nationally.
Nordstrom’s store in Jersey is positioned to a middle of the road crowd. Feels like a different brand than NYC store
 

smittycl

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Nordstrom’s store in Jersey is positioned to a middle of the road crowd. Feels like a different brand than NYC store
They definitely stock different items at each store depending on the demographics.
 

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