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Discussions about the fashion industry thread

kjb

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The New York Times discovers Ssense

 

clee1982

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I think their special material first approach has benefited the brand in exposure. In today's market getting ignored or lost in the noise is a death sentence. That said, with their founders coming from the ad world their branding and story have always come first. Materials served the story. Not everyone or brand needs to have design and development at their core but I consider that being closely tied to craft and material knowledge of apparel is simply more authentic. And by that I mean better.
agree, but I would somewhat find the material angle “not real”, I can’t imagine they have access to something that fundamentally North Face couldn’t do it, whether it’s overkill or not different story etc. I’m really just interested to find out if the angle is performance then is the performance back by some reality
 

cchen

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agree, but I would somewhat find the material angle “not real”, I can’t imagine they have access to something that fundamentally North Face couldn’t do it, whether it’s overkill or not different story etc. I’m really just interested to find out if the angle is performance then is the performance back by some reality
it's not about having access - any brand can access almost any materials. its about the commercial proposition. TNF wouldn't use these materials because of the cost, hence Vollebak's high prices.
 

snow

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TNF is not the comparison to make (since it’s mainly a fashion brand, just at a lower price point). As I posted earlier there’s nothing special about the materials - schoeller stuff is ‘fine’, dyneema is pretty widely used and the way they are using it is dumb as hell, etc.

you can compare the puffer to something like this:https://featheredfriends.com/collections/winter-expedition-apparel/products/feathered-friends-khumbu-expedition-down-parka which is cheaper, half the weight, made in USA, and good enough for actual mountains, and decide if the design/marketing is worth the $$$. But don’t fall for the hype and think they are actual performance jackets.
 
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zissou

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Vollebak is all marketing. On the one hand, it was super interesting that they made a watch out of e-waste and talked all about sustainability. Then, they go and make a jacket with copper wire that’s the most wasteful thing I’ve ever seen. And, really, who needs a hoodie that’s supposed to last a century?? I feel like this brand was made for techbros who just want to one-up each other.
 

zissou

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I think their special material first approach has benefited the brand in exposure. In today's market getting ignored or lost in the noise is a death sentence. That said, with their founders coming from the ad world their branding and story have always come first. Materials served the story. Not everyone or brand needs to have design and development at their core but I consider that being closely tied to craft and material knowledge of apparel is simply more authentic. And by that I mean better.
The reality, though, from performance and sustainability perspectives, many of their materials actually suck big time. Their textiles are massively over engineered and unsustainable. To me, the brand is the epitome of [email protected] the Earth to look cool.
 
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cb200

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agree, but I would somewhat find the material angle “not real”, I can’t imagine they have access to something that fundamentally North Face couldn’t do it, whether it’s overkill or not different story etc. I’m really just interested to find out if the angle is performance then is the performance back by some reality
I'd say some of the fabrics qualities independent of the designs they are used in are legit, but their application in the product may not add up to a performance package in terms of use case.

Same could be said with a critical eye on that puffer that was linked to. It is a sew-through baffle construction using a Pertex face fabric that has a coating/membrane that means both cold spots and thousands of perforations through the membrane that would degrade the listed waterproof properties in the spec given. So, in a hydrostatic head test the fabric could test as waterproof but in application fail due to construction choice.

That same jacket seems like it's got a hell of a lot of down in it. While that's going to make it warm it could be too much jacket for many environments and situations / use cases. Always trade offs in technical garments and applications can undermine raw materials performance.
 

gdl203

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The New York Times discovers Ssense

Press does not know how to cover online retail. Ask me how I know 😁

They will gush over a little store that just opened close enough to Mulberry street because they can send a guy to take a few photos of wood floors and a vintage poster on the wall behind a rack of clothes... and write a generic blurb about a "unique assortment" of clothes, but if they can't do that, they just immediately give up. Every single serious menswear writer has at one time or another told us: I really want to do a piece on you guys, and then they have no idea how to write about an online store, so they move on to the next shiny object.

Here, there's funding, there big numbers, so there's something to talk about. So they write.
 

kjb

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Press does not know how to cover online retail. Ask me how I know 😁

They will gush over a little store that just opened close enough to Mulberry street because they can send a guy to take a few photos of wood floors and a vintage poster on the wall behind a rack of clothes... and write a generic blurb about a "unique assortment" of clothes, but if they can't do that, they just immediately give up. Every single serious menswear writer has at one time or another told us: I really want to do a piece on you guys, and then they have no idea how to write about an online store, so they move on to the next shiny object.

Here, there's funding, there big numbers, so there's something to talk about. So they write.
I think the solution is probably to launch No Man E-coins Alone which would be accepted as the sole form of payment and boom, you’ll have to beat back the swarm of tech and fashion writers with a box of Thuya’s.

But on a more serious note that’s unfortunate that every article needs a “buzz” to get written. I would think your ethos and policies and social action would be enough but I guess not. Everything has to be a hit or the next big thing I guess. No time for the stores that want to stay small and do well.
 

gdl203

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I think the solution is probably to launch No Man E-coins Alone which would be accepted as the sole form of payment and boom, you’ll have to beat back the swarm of tech and fashion writers with a box of Thuya’s.

But on a more serious note that’s unfortunate that every article needs a “buzz” to get written. I would think your ethos and policies and social action would be enough but I guess not. Everything has to be a hit or the next big thing I guess. No time for the stores that want to stay small and do well.
I think if there's a physical location that's pretty enough to photograph, they'll do it because it's easy: publish 2 nice pics and 15 lines, done. You don't need to be Caramanica to do that. But how many articles do you see in mainstream press about Porter or other shops that are dedicated to online? Nothing unless/until there is a big event (funding/merger, etc...). Compare that to how many pieces were written on Bode opening a shop or the Aime store, etc...

It's understandable : some stuff is easier than other

Anyhow, SSense success story is super impressive
 
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