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Do you trust a brand when it ventures outside its core competency?

stevejobs

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I have always thought luxury brands like Ralph Lauren made quality clothes, but I am more hesitant to buy their products that stray from their core historic competencies. A designer like Ralph Lauren might know how to assess fabric quality and contruct a garment well, but he and his staff are not experts in the home furnishings or decoration (even paints!) market, so those products are of suspect value, given the price premium for the brand.

Consumers do not know what they are getting because the brand's strength weakens as it strays farther and farther outside its historic roots, from which its reputation was built. How does one justify patronizing a brand if most of the non-core products are outsourced to white label manufacturers? Is mere association with a brand enough to confer the aura of luxury upon goods that don't in of themselves have the same reputation as the core product?

What say you?
 

TheFusilliJerry

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They start up whole new departments and sink money into it.


At the end of the day, if it looks good, and the quality is there, do what you want. that being said it's prob overpriced.
 

JayJay

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Generally speaking, no. However, there are exceptions such as shoes from Ralph Lauren.
 

tonylumpkin

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I think more often than not it is a licensing deal where (in your example) Lauren is merely selling the rights to the use of his name on a certain line of products. In most cases I tend to shy away, or judge the product soley on its own merits, disregarding the "designer" name.
 

lee_44106

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Sites like Styleforum helps people to assess relative quality without being clouded by brand-names. Nontheless, brand name still drives a lot of purchases, but probably because people start buying the image something confers rather than quality.

Examples,

RL purple label shoes are Edward Green made; that's very very good stuff. Purple Label suits are St. Andrews, that's also high quality stuff there.

I can't speak about Ralph Lauren paint, but I would trust that some paint aficionado website would do some objective analysis. Most likely RL would re-badge some high quality paint.

I do have a problem about the likes of Cucinelli when it strays into other clothing items. According to some objective reviews posted here previously, the quality did not justify the price. Same thing when Ferragamo strays into suits. But this goes to my original assertion that sometimes people buy into the idea of a lifestyle (Cucinelli = Italian gentry) and actually ignore the quality.
 

rach2jlc

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There is a difference, though, between RL shoes and RL paint (I think). Of course all brands license everything out to others; it isn't cost effective to have little old ladies hired by RL to sit in his studio and sew every garment.

But, he's a clothing designer, so all things related to clothes makes sense and, assuming they license it well, I'm for it.

Paint, though? I mean... I know RL is trying to make himself (or HAS made himself) into an entire lifestyle brand, but I agree the idea is sort of corny.
 

Wvillager

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On this topic what about the sudden proliferation of Missoni-labeled products in discounters. No desire for a Missoni leather belt.
 

HermesGuy

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Varies by brand. For years Givency and Valentino (and Cardin, and lots of others) licensed their names to anything and everything if it meant a buck. (Most of these companies have done away with this practice as it destroyed their brands.)
As for PRL I can only attest to what I have seen recently and that is that PRL has an enormous building on Madison Avenue, across the street from Polo fashion, which is dedicated to PRL-Home. It is comprised of hundreds of people who create, with exhausting precision, the entire PRL Home collection. It's amazing and incredibly impressive. They slave over every detail.
The same cannot be said for Tiffany, for example, and their various "designer" labels (Paloma Picasso, for example).
 

TCN

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Originally Posted by Tarmac
I love my Usher cologne


You mean the ladies love your Usher cologne.

Amazing how many of these wastes of space also fancy themselves to be superb fragrance creators.
 

rach2jlc

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Originally Posted by TCN
You mean the ladies love your Usher cologne. Amazing how many of these wastes of space also fancy themselves to be superb fragrance creators.
Exactly. Or, in the case of P.Diddy, they're just smart enough to copy an established classic that's usually too expensive for the masses to buy (in this case, Unforgivable= Creed MI).
Originally Posted by HermesGuy
Varies by brand. For years Givency and Valentino (and Cardin, and lots of others) licensed their names to anything and everything if it meant a buck. (Most of these companies have done away with this practice as it destroyed their brands.) .
Yep... they all did it and it just about killed the lot of them. Dior, YSL, Balenciaga were some of the worst offenders, but they have managed to get their credibility back up. Cardin is so diluted nothing could bring him back, IMHO. Others never really licensed too much CRAPPY stuff, but they just made too many diffusion lines and it lead to confusion. Gianfranco Ferre and Versace fall into this category... at one point there was Gianfranco Ferre, Ferre, Ferre Jeans, Ferre Studio, GFF, Gieffeffe, Ferre Studio 0001, Oaks Ferre, etc. etc. etc. With Versace, they had Versace V2, V2 Classic, Gianni Versace, Gianni Versace Couture, Versus, Versace Jeans Couture, Versace Sport, etc. etc. etc. The latter two have streamlined (like Valentino), with Versace getting closer to being on track and Ferre still a long way to go. Valentino seems to have done pretty well, though...
 

binge

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RL paint was at one point made by Sherwin-Williams. I good friend of mine was the assistant plant manager in Emeryville, CA and told me as much. This was back in 2000, so they may have farmed-out the production to another since then; I really don't know.

In my friend's opinion, the quality of the paint was pretty much the same as the SW top-line; the main difference was the exact colors in the RL line, oh-so-slightly different than what was in the SW lines.
 

hadamulletonce

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Originally Posted by binge
RL paint was at one point made by Sherwin-Williams. I good friend of mine was the assistant plant manager in Emeryville, CA and told me as much. This was back in 2000, so they may have farmed-out the production to another since then; I really don't know.

In my friend's opinion, the quality of the paint was pretty much the same as the SW top-line; the main difference was the exact colors in the RL line, oh-so-slightly different than what was in the SW lines.



Great information. I wonder if it's still Sherwin-Williams. Great company and excellent service.
 

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