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Do you expect a decline in quality of clothing?

upnorth

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With the mess going on economically, courtesy of just a few bankers and regulators, would we see a fundamental and irreversible shift towards an overall decline in clothing and shoe quality in an effort to reduce prices to up sales volume and improve the bottom line? It may force some already struggling "trad" names to relocate to less costly countries.

It is all too common hearing people lament about how the general level of quality has deteriorated over the years. Modern management and manufacturing has always been finding ways to reduce cost and usually this corresponds to a deterioration in quality. Obviously, there is little economic incentive to make things last longer. Planned obsolescence is the reason why many companies continue to make profits year after year.

Do you fear that perhaps in the next 20 to 30 years, things we take for granted now like goodyear welted shoes, vintage selvage denims, full canvas suits might only be within the reach of the rich and famous. Your thoughts?
 

rach2jlc

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I don't think quality will go down, either, but I do think that many of the smaller/less established companies might go under altogether. For example, I think we could live without some of the 9000 "premium denim" brands out there.

The major players will be fine, though they may have to scale back, and the super-top superlative makers will probably be fine overall because (even in a downturn), there are still rich people out there to buy their wares.

Hermes, for example, has seen a whole lot worse than this downturn and been alright...
 

acidboy

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quality won't go down much I believe.... most brands already farm their products to foreign factories with the lowest cost. what they'd probably do is renegotiate for even cheaper toll manufacturing rates later on. what i won't be surprised with, specially with the high-end brands are mergers and consolidations in the future.
 

Star

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I would have no sympathy for a company like Lacoste going out of business. Used to love those Polo's with the tag 'Made in France' now those same Polo's same price are made in Eastern Europe,Asia or South America.....pffft
 

Bruce9241

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Originally Posted by Star
I would have no sympathy for a company like Lacoste going out of business. Used to love those Polo's with the tag 'Made in France' now those same Polo's same price are made in Eastern Europe,Asia or South America.....pffft



So?
 

bleachboy

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Originally Posted by Bruce9241
So?

First, a garment should make the wearer look AND feel good. Perhaps Star doesn't like the idea of what is essentially slave labor?

Second, there is a value element. A Lacoste shirt made in France was made by an employee being paid a decent wage, getting decent benefits, and working decent hours. Probably a happy employee. Happy employees produce better products. When Lacoste began switching their production to Peru, then to other points East, they were in effect having their garments produced by increasingly disgruntled employees. Did they pass those savings on to you? If I'm paying eighty bucks for a simple knit polo, I expect a quality product, not a branded product designed solely to maximize profits for a giant corporation. (See also: Tommy Hilfiger)
 

cs1

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Originally Posted by garmentmerchant
NO quality wont go down it will only get better over time. Prices will fluctuate im sure, you may see labels with cheaper versions of their garments

That sounds like wishful thinking.
 

fuji

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No. There will always be high quality clothing because there will be a demand for it. It will probily raise in price though. I think high end brands will start more lines of low quality clothing, lets hope Armani doesn't go any lower then A/X.
 

orthofrancis

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If the economy heads the way of the Great Depression, then seeing people in fancy suits, PS, Cuffs, Rolexes, and bespoke shoes might be perceived poorly, or resented by the general public(be it jealously, or distaste for Wall Street), who are struggling not to starve..

As far as decline - do you mean a decline as in the use of cheaper fabric, or formality of dress (everybody in T-shirts/jeans, because it's cheap)?
 

Eagle

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I caution, do not under estimate the potential of the global economy's present woes! As we proceed through a potentially painful time in our lives, bargains and opportunities such as we never imagined, will present themselves. Keep your eyes open and your hope alive!
 

rach2jlc

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Originally Posted by fuji
No. There will always be high quality clothing because there will be a demand for it. It will probily raise in price though. I think high end brands will start more lines of low quality clothing, lets hope Armani doesn't go any lower then A/X.
Yikes... how much lower could he go? Armani Basement? Armani Dregs? Armani Derelicte? Armani Cardin? Giorgio Armani for Target? Anyway, in all seriousness, during this decline, I think there will be a further exploration/expansion into emerging markets that may not be feeling the pinch like we are. So, maybe some of the brands will scale back in our market, but expand into others. This is what some brands (versace, ferre, for example) have been doing with Russia. Russians love their Versace!!!
 

bleachboy

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Originally Posted by rach2jlc
Yikes... how much lower could he go?

Blah. Quit being such a snob. Have you even tried the Luciano Barbera Old Navy collection? It's really pretty nice stuff.
 

rach2jlc

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Originally Posted by bleachboy
Blah. Quit being such a snob. Have you even tried the Luciano Barbera Old Navy collection? It's really pretty nice stuff.

I've avoided Old Navy ever since they had the ubiquitous, annoying ad campaigns with that goofy old lady with the gigantic glasses!
 

acidboy

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Originally Posted by bleachboy
First, a garment should make the wearer look AND feel good. Perhaps Star doesn't like the idea of what is essentially slave labor?

Second, there is a value element. A Lacoste shirt made in France was made by an employee being paid a decent wage, getting decent benefits, and working decent hours. Probably a happy employee. Happy employees produce better products. When Lacoste began switching their production to Peru, then to other points East, they were in effect having their garments produced by increasingly disgruntled employees. Did they pass those savings on to you? If I'm paying eighty bucks for a simple knit polo, I expect a quality product, not a branded product designed solely to maximize profits for a giant corporation. (See also: Tommy Hilfiger)


I understand and am with you in the concept of whatever savings corporations get from shipping their manufacturing overseas should be passed on to the consumer... then again, with the cost of cloth increasing, maybe the fact that their wasn't any considerable price increase over the last few weeks is enough. In any case, I have to disagree with what you stated above about disgruntled employees- fact is these employees in our corner of the world are very happy they got the job.
 

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