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English RTW in the US

gladhands

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The two countries most often associated with tailored menswear are England and Italy. While you can walk into any half-decent men's shop in the US and have your pick of a half-dozen Italian makers, there's almost no English RTW. Why is that? It's not as Italy is a bastion of manufacturing efficiency?
 

TRINI

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Because there are very few established English RTW brands.
 

Blackhood

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Not to mention that English and American ideals don't really mix. English tailoring is all about understatement, heritage and propriety, whereas American consumers prefer either "Home Brew" products or Italian style which has more flair than standard American fair.
 

Nicola

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What's left in the UK? Burberry? How much else is made in the UK?

The UK became a service economy or at least moved that way.
 

Not Ed Harris

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Originally Posted by gladhands
But why is that? I'm sure there's no shortage of English RTW in the UK.

Being in London I get a fairly skewed view of things as a lot of what I might take for granted here, I'm not likely to find elsewhere. If we're talking about brands that are available reasonably easily in-store nationwide, then there's Austin Reed (who carry a range by Richard James), Paul Smith, Hackett, TM Lewin, Jaeger, John Lewis has ranges by Chester Barrie and Richard James, Aquascutum and you might find Oswald Boateng in the odd higher-end specialist shop.

A lot of these don't necessarily conform with the understated style that Blackhood proposes though.

[Edit] Forgot Burberry, though beyond scarfs and jackets there isn't that much around outside London. Also, list above is of brands originating in the UK, most of which is probably made in China now.
 

gladhands

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Originally Posted by Not Ed Harris
Being in London I get a fairly skewed view of things as a lot of what I might take for granted here, I'm not likely to find elsewhere. If we're talking about brands that are available reasonably easily in-store nationwide, then there's Austin Reed (who carry a range by Richard James), Paul Smith, Hackett, TM Lewin, Jaeger, John Lewis has ranges by Chester Barrie and Richard James, Aquascutum and you might find Oswald Boateng in the odd higher-end specialist shop.

It's odd that, besides Paul Smith, none of these brands have made any real traction in the US market. The shoemakers, have made a much bigger (niche) impact.
 

TRINI

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Originally Posted by gladhands
But why is that? I'm sure there's no shortage of English RTW in the UK.

Because none of these brands, save say Paul Smith, looked to branch out globally.
 

imatlas

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Originally Posted by Not Ed Harris
Being in London I get a fairly skewed view of things as a lot of what I might take for granted here, I'm not likely to find elsewhere. If we're talking about brands that are available reasonably easily in-store nationwide, then there's Austin Reed (who carry a range by Richard James), Paul Smith, Hackett, TM Lewin, Jaeger, John Lewis has ranges by Chester Barrie and Richard James, Aquascutum and you might find Oswald Boateng in the odd higher-end specialist shop.

A lot of these don't necessarily conform with the understated style that Blackhood proposes though.

[Edit] Forgot Burberry, though beyond scarfs and jackets there isn't that much around outside London. Also, list above is of brands originating in the UK, most of which is probably made in China now.


Then there's Gieves and Hawkes, which is actually Chinese owned these days.
 

TRINI

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Originally Posted by imatlas
Then there's Gieves and Hawkes, which is actually Chinese owned these days.

Unless the Chinese are designing the clothes, does it matter if they're Chinese-owned?
 

mlongano

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Originally Posted by TRINI
Unless the Chinese are designing the clothes, does it matter if they're Chinese-owned?
I would say that it does matter, as business decisions will be made in light of their culture as opposed to the British culture....also when a company is sold, more often than not, the heart and soul of the company disappears along with the original owner. If Huddersfield, Lessor and other cloth mills were sold to the Chinese, I would expect a change in the quality of the output, wouldn't you?
 

TRINI

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Originally Posted by mlongano
I would say that it does matter, as business decisions will be made in light of their culture as opposed to the British culture....also when a company is sold, more often than not, the heart and soul of the company disappears along with the original owner.
Disagreed. If you're an investor buying an existing successful business, you're not going to come in and try and change the culture to your own. Did all the British luxury car brands' heart and soul disappear when the Germans and Americans (and now Indians) bought them?
 

Nicola

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You mean like

Jaguar
Bentley
Rolls Royce
Land Rover
Mini?

I think the quality all went up when the UK owners were replaced.

I'm responding to mlongano if it's not obvious.
 

mlongano

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Originally Posted by TRINI
Disagreed. If you're an investor buying an existing successful business, you're not going to come in and try and change the culture to your own.

Did all the British luxury car brands' heart and soul disappear when the Germans and Americans (and now Indians) bought them?


I don't think my opinion on this matter is unusual at all...would you continue to purchase from the following folks if they were sold to the Chinese (or any other foreign country)?

Drakes
Sam Hober
Gibson Guitars (had to throw in at least one musical reference)
various cloth mills

The reason we appreciate and support these companies is because of their dedication to the quality of the finished product. They are dedicated because they have history, blood, guts, and tears in the business. That dedication does not often transfer to another owner. The new owner is usually only interested in the company from a cash flow viewpoint, often with little to no experience or appreciation for the product that is being produced.

I'm sure we probably won't agree about this matter, and that's okay. My experience over the last thirty years with numerous M&A of small to medium firms has taught me that whatever made a company successful in the past is rarely repeated after it has been sold.
 

mlongano

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Originally Posted by TRINI
If you're an investor buying an existing successful business, you're not going to come in and try and change the culture to your own.
Believe it or not, this is exactly what most new owners do soon after the dust has settled.
 

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