Harrison James

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by tgfny, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    SE Michigan (frequent NYC visitor)
    It's difficult to find the common thread in the failures of LB, Sulka, and Harrison James, especially if you're not in the business.

    HJ and Sulka were highly priced "house brand" stores. Sulka, unlike HJ, had an international and established reputation. LB, at that time carried many unknown English labels (Sexton, Wells of Mayfair shirts-little name recognition), again at high prices. It was very large and had a large staff. So why could Louis make it in Boston, in a very high-rent district, but fail so quickly in NYC. Simply more competition? But note too that Zegna, widely known and extensively advertised everywhere, closed the store close to Bergdorf. Did it just move?

    Maybe just the high rent overhead was the cause (but does Bergdorf own or rent the men's store location?). Maybe competition? Four Seasons Hotel, about 3 minutes walk from LB, seems to be doing fine at Park & 57th, despite being east of the park.
     


  2. tgfny

    tgfny Senior member

    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    I bet Holland and Holland topped 'em all. Have heard some crazy numbers about their worldwide losses when they were in full expansion mode.
     


  3. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    The ill-fated Dormeuil shop charged way too much for Edward Green shoes and their "bespoke tailor", Timothy Everest, left much to be desired.  After you get past that, they basically were just an expensive cloth store.
    Grayson
     


  4. tgfny

    tgfny Senior member

    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
     


  5. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Problem with Holland & Holland is they are a gun purveyor, and they tried, in vain, to appeal to those NYers who, while not into shooting themselves, might want to look the part: All hat, no cattle, as they say in Texas. The authenticity of much of their apparel was lacking. I'll never forget speaking with Edward Sexton's son, who ran the "bespoke" clothing department at H&H and after telling me about the great heritage of H&H bespoke, confided in me that everything was actually made in Brooklyn, NY, by Martin Greenfield. I wondered then if Holland & Holland might have referred to the Holland Tunnel.
    Grayson
     


  6. tgfny

    tgfny Senior member

    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    I bet Holland and Holland topped 'em all.
    Problem with Holland & Holland is they are a gun purveyor, and they tried, in vain, to appeal to those NYers who, while not into shooting themselves, might want to look the part: All hat, no cattle, as they say in Texas. Â The authenticity of much of their apparel was lacking. Â I'll never forget speaking with Edward Sexton's son, who ran the "bespoke" clothing department at H&H and after telling me about the great heritage of H&H bespoke, confided in me that everything was actually made in Brooklyn, NY, by Martin Greenfield. Â I wondered then if Holland & Holland might have referred to the Holland Tunnel. Grayson
    Chanel bought them in 1989. Haute tweed just doesn't cut it. They tried to charge Chanel prices for H&H product. I had a shooting suit made at my tailors in Edinburgh in my tweed for 1200GBP. That included both vests, plus twos and trousers, and 2 bonnets. The same outfit off-the-rack at H&H would've been 3 times the price in the H&H tweed and nowhere near the quality. Later they switched to a bright green bag in an obvious homage to Hermes.
     


  7. demo5

    demo5 Senior member

    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    (lisapop @ April 18 2005,08:11) Opposite direction: LB was situated on 57th St. off of Lex, which is an area known for lots of cheesy luggage shops and lowrung boutiques. Grayson
    It's difficult to find the common thread in the failures of LB, Sulka, and Harrison James, especially if you're not in the business. HJ and Sulka were highly priced "house brand" stores. Sulka, unlike HJ, had an international and established reputation. LB, at that time carried many unknown English labels (Sexton, Wells of Mayfair shirts-little name recognition), again at high prices. It was very large and had a large staff. So why could Louis make it in Boston, in a very high-rent district, but fail so quickly in NYC. Simply more competition? But note too that Zegna, widely known and extensively advertised everywhere, closed the store close to Bergdorf. Did it just move? Maybe just the high rent overhead was the cause (but does Bergdorf own or rent the men's store location?). Maybe competition? Four Seasons Hotel, about 3 minutes walk from LB, seems to be doing fine at Park & 57th, despite being east of the park.
    Zegna moved down the street, actually into a much larger space. They decided to pair Agnona, which they also own and which makes mostly women's clothing and the Zegna boutique into one store. Now it's on 5th between 54th and 53rd, I believe.
     


  8. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    What also did H&H in was the vast space they had.  In contrast, Beretta, the fine Italian gun purveyor, is doing well in much smaller quarters at 718 Madison Ave.  Just wish Beretta still sold their ties made by Marinella. The other more "indigenous" H&H---H&H Bagels---probably makes more money than anyone.
    Grayson
     


  9. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    3,365
    Likes Received:
    320
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    Business's fail for all sorts of reasons

    LB. The store was not that welcoming. It was sort of an odd layout. The location was wrong. New Yorkers are lazy. Why should they walk two blocks out of their way.
    I think Herzfeld is also feeling the pinch of a location that is just slightly off the mark.
    The old Dunhill location on 57th and Park never felt right to me either.

    JH Was just expensive and rather imposing. There was no real name, history, or cache to draw on.

    Sulka was run into the ground by people who ran it as if it was a much larger company. The attempt to grow the wholsale business was part of that problem.
    The fact that the management did not control expenses was the main problem.

    The group that took over the Custom Shop from Mr. Levitt just ran out of money. They had great ideas and should have succeded, but again expenses were too high and could not go back to the well for more Money.

    There is a major catch 22 in running a business. If you are small and watch expenses then you can do well, but you don't get the benifits of the economy of scale. Get bigger by using other people's money. Then you have more people to answer to and more people to manage.

    It ain't easy.
    How much is the lottery paying off this week?

    Carl
     


  10. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

    Messages:
    7,805
    Likes Received:
    66
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    Heart of America
    I recently picked up a Beretta paisley tie on ebay that I adore. I'd wondered who the maker was. It doesn't mention Marinella on the tie anywhere, so I assume it's not one (but maybe I'll imagine it is, anyway. [​IMG] ).
     


  11. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

    Messages:
    7,805
    Likes Received:
    66
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    Heart of America


  12. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    I recently picked up a Beretta paisley tie on ebay that I adore. I'd wondered who the maker was. It doesn't mention Marinella on the tie anywhere, so I assume it's not one (but maybe I'll imagine it is, anyway.
     


  13. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    18,647
    Likes Received:
    102
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Location:
    In the not too distant future
    Must say that if you're into that, ironically Holland & Holland does a lot of those motifs in their selection of ties at Saks. Cordings in London does a lot too.
     


  14. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    What is really ironic is that stores that sell hunting gear, such as Holland & Holland and Beretta, also pay loving tribute on their ties to the very wildlife they help to kill.  I have friends who are avid hunters, so no offense intended to those who enjoy the sport, I just can't quite reconcile the love of wildlife with then suiting up with camouflage gear and zoom lenses, and going out to kill Bambi.  I say strap on a pair of antlers and go after a deer one on one.
    Grayson
     


  15. Horace

    Horace Senior member

    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    (lisapop @ April 18 2005,08:11) Opposite direction: LB was situated on 57th St. off of Lex, which is an area known for lots of cheesy luggage shops and lowrung boutiques. Grayson
    It's difficult to find the common thread in the failures of LB, Sulka, and Harrison James, especially if you're not in the business. HJ and Sulka were highly priced "house brand" stores. Sulka, unlike HJ, had an international and established reputation. LB, at that time carried many unknown English labels (Sexton, Wells of Mayfair shirts-little name recognition), again at high prices. It was very large and had a large staff. So why could Louis make it in Boston, in a very high-rent district, but fail so quickly in NYC. Simply more competition? But note too that Zegna, widely known and extensively advertised everywhere, closed the store close to Bergdorf. Did it just move? Maybe just the high rent overhead was the cause (but does Bergdorf own or rent the men's store location?). Maybe competition? Four Seasons Hotel, about 3 minutes walk from LB, seems to be doing fine at Park & 57th, despite being east of the park.
    Doesn't Louis own the bulding on Newberry/Boyleston? Used to be the old Museum of Natural History I think.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by