"Exclusive" labels

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by STYLESTUDENT, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    Back in the late '80's, in the days of "M" Magazine, many of us bought the brand instead of the clothes. Take Charvet: 150-year old house, retail headquarters in a mansion in a "good" part of Paris, expensive (and therefore exclusive), and pictured as being worn by various wealthy (and well-dressed) members of the French aristocracy. Well, that's how an M reader wanted to picture himself, so he'd buy Charvet for the "image" (yes, someone else's image). M never really discussed quality of construction.

    Now we have mass-marketing (chiefly of logos), EBay (where a real Charvet tie starts at "$1 NR"-not very "exclusive"), and legions of Asian fakes copying "logoed" brands that are too easily recognizable (e.g. the ratio of Hermes tie fakes to real on EBay must be 20:1 and "Hermes" belts start at $9.95).

    SF emphasizes knowledge of quality and construction, not a "famous old name" (unless the name itself is high quality). It's opened my eyes in this regard (though I admit that I'm continuing the bad habit of buying Hermes ties).

    Apart from Japan, I wonder if, in 10-15 years time, the "prestige" Vuitton, Hermes, Rolex, etc, brands will still enjoy reputation and high mark-ups or will "name" for most consumers just be related to familiarity with style (inexpensive Polo goods all made in Asia?). What's your opinion and does it matter at all?
     


  2. stache

    stache Senior member

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    I'm watching to see if Coach hits the skids now that it is being made in China.
     


  3. Roy

    Roy Senior member

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    Labels will always be. Not for me anymore though. I try to buy my clothes always from the viewpoint of quality and style as opposed to buying a brand.

    Sometimes however I see an Armani (or any other brand) trouser or shirt I really like and still buy it. But that's purely for the look. The days I thought the big brands were the best quality are gone.
     


  4. Luc-Emmanuel

    Luc-Emmanuel Senior member

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    To be honest with you, the new snobs are kiton, attolini, borelli... Paying $10,000 for a RTW suit, even sewn with vestale's hair, is the new snobbery.

    .luc
     


  5. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

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    That's okay because now that I've got my hands on a Carlo Franco tie, I don't see myself buying Hermes anytime soon. I will most likely be going exclusively Carlo Franco for a while (with my ties).
     


  6. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    StyleStudent raises an important marketing question. I believe the web simply takes us back to an earlier time that predated the brand movement of the past thirty years.

    Before brands, people who bought good clothing got it from independent resellers who typically sourced the goods themselves. We wore what we saw the best dressed people at the club wear.

    The age of brands started as the winners in that game grew into large businesses and began marketing the image of quality over quality. That's why we see ill-fitting fused suits with live sleeve buttonholes at the Oscar's.

    The web gives us back the ability to form relationships with independent sellers who deliver quality. I've been buying clothing from Europe for a decade. Now that experience is available without most of the travel.

    Only in the last five years have I imagined I could order shirt fabrics from a mill in Italy and send it to a Hong Kong shirtmaker. Or commission tweed from a Scottish mill and send it to a New Jersey tailor. I live in San Francisco. I've done both this year.

    Carlo Franco couldn't have existed ten years ago. For those of us who try to buy real quality rather than the image of it, it's a wonderful time.

    Will
     


  7. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

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    I couldn't agree more, Will. [​IMG]
     


  8. Pink22m

    Pink22m Senior member

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    Louis Vuitton is a perfect example of the brand vs. quality, since its ubiquity can be illustrated by merely stepping outside and seeing the many LV's logos plastered everywhere.
     


  9. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Interesting thoughts. I don't have anything to contribute of significance, with perhaps the observation that products of "private label" stores no longer appear to have the cachet that they once did. (Perhaps there are exceptions). Or perhaps for most consumers it wasn't about the private label's cachet as much as it was that they weren't concerned with "brands". Out of my league here as I know little about this sort of thing.

    I do know that most of us are interested, for many reasons, who the maker of such and such a store is, no? But that's another concern, isn't it?
     


  10. tgfny

    tgfny Senior member

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    The thing is with Hermes, you know you're getting quality. You are paying for it, but if you buy a pair of Hermes gloves, you know they are made by one of the best manufacturers of gloves in the world. With other brands like LV and Coach, you pay for a big logo, not quality. I don't understand that, but hey, I wear Charvet ties on occasion. I do know that I try to figure out the manufacturer of Hermes's products as producers when my line grows.
     


  11. Kaga

    Kaga Senior member

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    Belvest = Hermes suits
    Swaine Adeney Brigg = H umbrellas
    Michaela Frey = enamel bracelets
     


  12. tgfny

    tgfny Senior member

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    Atelier de Lyon SA (partially owned by Hermes) = scarves and ties.
    Johnstons of Elgin = cashmere scarves

    Would be very interesting to see who else produces what for Hermes. They do find excellent producers.
     


  13. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    Seraphin = Hermes leather jackets
     


  14. PHV

    PHV Senior member

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    Where does this notion come from that Vuitton is of poor quality?

    Saying that leads me to believe that you've probably never examined a piece up close, and you're just bitter about the social decay that it is part of.

    Vuitton has lost a lot of it's exclusive cachet, however it's quality remains. One of my father's suitcases is still going strong after 30 years....
     


  15. tgfny

    tgfny Senior member

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    (tgfny @ Mar. 04 2005,05:56) The thing is with Hermes, you know you're getting quality. You are paying for it, but if you buy a pair of Hermes gloves, you know they are made by one of the best manufacturers of gloves in the world. With other brands like LV and Coach, you pay for a big logo, not quality. I don't understand that, but hey, I wear Charvet ties on occasion. I do know that I try to figure out the manufacturer of Hermes's products as producers when my line grows.
    Where does this notion come from that Vuitton is of poor quality? Saying that leads me to believe that you've probably never examined a piece up close, and you're just bitter about the social decay that it is part of. Vuitton has lost a lot of it's exclusive cachet, however it's quality remains. One of my father's suitcases is still going strong after 30 years....
    Agree, the old stuff was amazing quality. Most would agree their quality has gone down greatly. I looked at my girlfriend's bag one time and couldn't believe the quality (or lack thereof.) I collect vintage Goyard and it was incredibly well made.
     


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