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Hermes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by naturlaut, Mar 19, 2003.

  1. naturlaut

    naturlaut Senior member

    Messages:
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    Feb 27, 2003
    Though Hermes is well-known for leather goods --- undoubtedly so, I do not particularly find their clothing collections as impressive.  I consider their clothing line of shoes, suits and shirts rather fashion-proned, except for their neck wear (ties and ascots) and knits (sweaters, scarves, etc.).  With the exception of equestrian apparel I have tried most of Hermes'.  My humble judgement concludes that the material Hermes uses is exceptional, whether it is cotton or cashmere, but most of them are marred by inadequate tailoring, for example: shoulder/arm-holes of dress shirts are often ill-fitted and stiff (not to mention the horrid plastic buttons that are stitched too tightly); tendency to use heavier suiting fabric, and oddly placed waist line on jackets (not as high as, say, Oxxford, but not as slim overall like the Milanese) or sometimes no waist suppression at all; trousers are badly tailored too; the leather used for shoes were not well treated, and they get worn easily (worn, meaning deterioration in the leather, not aged, as in Edward Greens' or Cleverleys').  

    I guess my point is, the pricing is too high for what they are selling.  Suit starts from around $2500 to $4000, shoes around $600 - $800, shirts from $230.  Silk shirts could go up to $2000 (compared to a Versace silk shirt of comparable quality at around $900 and up).  Through the past months I have sold most of my Hermes (except for neck wear, and a pair of worn shoes) on eBay, and people are very willing to pay a very high price for them ($180 for a corduroy shirt and $130 for a cotton shirt, almost $300 for a pair of loafers, etc.).

    My girlfriend recently purchased a pair of evening sling-backs that costs more than a Blahnik but half as comfortable. Fortunately we bought them at Hermes' sales, though I really don't think it worth $400 (the original was $700+). She later sold some on eBay too.

    On the other hand, there has to be a reason for such pricing and demand.  Hermes has been around for a century and people has been buying.  Maybe I am missing something.
     
  2. hermes

    hermes Senior member

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    canada
    well i do agree with you overall, the pricing for hermes is out of bounds for what you get, it is great quality cashmere or silk or cotton, and the pieces i've had i cannot complain about, but you are correct, it is not exceptional tailoring or styling but very staid, conservative, almost as if they are trying to test the waters of time, but out of whack for the prices you pay

    the cache of hermes does stem from the name and the fact that they are more renowned for their leather goods and women's scarves than anything else, and the balance of the goods offered by hermes is just filler (i think i read somewhere once that something like 90% of their sales are from leather goods and perfumes, which is on par with gucci and prada i believe)

    hence, given a basic women's birken or kelly bag starts in the $4,500 range, they price their other goods accordingly to maintain that certain exclusiveness to the brand

    although their leather goods are exceptional and perfectly made, the rest is simply priced to remain constant with the leather goods, and is not an indication of their quality
     
  3. Joe G

    Joe G Senior member

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    I'm going to have to sound a note of dissent. I really like some of Hermes' clothing. Their fabrics are first rate, and I find the tailoring to be a clear step up from "designer" (the Gucci crowd) stuff, if not up to Knize bespoke levels. One Hermes piece that struck me for F/W 02-03 was their peak-lapel suit. Conceptually, I find Hermes collections speaking to me more often than most designer lines.

    Also, I take issue with the notion that a Versace silk shirt is in the same quality ballpark as an Hermes. Versace's materials are not nearly as special. (That said, I wouldn't wear either.)

    All of that said, I don't know much Hermes clothing. Basically, two coats and a cord sportcoat.

    As for the shoes, not much to say, except that none of them have fit me properly.

    Peace,

    JG
     
  4. naturlaut

    naturlaut Senior member

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    A little detour from the main topic:

    Actually, from my many years of collecting Versace, I have been pretty satisfied.  Of course, I am not talking about suits and dress shirts, as they are purely a fashion house; my main collection consists of silk shirts and knits --- in fact, I have built up quite a collection.  My first silk shirt was from 1993.

    As I might have posted here before, one of my favourite Versace fabrics is a 35% cashmere, 35% silk, and 30% wool blend.  Does anyone here know what I am talking about?  They made it every season: v-necks, crewnecks, turtlenecks.  I often wear my knits (in the winter) together with my Brioni's or Barbera's tailored suits, and in no way do they diminish the overall look. A similar Gucci sweater started 'peeling' after a few wear. My first Versace sweaters were from around 1996/7, and I am still wearing them. Thracozaag: do you know that red turtle neck I wore last week is at least 4 years old (since Juil)? It still looks like new.

    Silk shirts in Versace collections are the main attraction for mens' wear.  Of course, I am not talking about the Jeans couture or Versus. I, too, am very picking about fabrics, whether it is for shirts, suits, shoes, or even hankerchiefs. Joe G: exactly which material you had problems before?

    Stephano Ricci also makes beautiful silk shirts, which I have had a chance to see in person at their shop in Shanghai.  However, they style, ie., targets are older generation men.  They sell for about US$1200 and up.

    And I agree with you that Hermes' shoes do not fit well, except for the Quik Shoes.  

    A further detour:
    Anyone here tried Made-To-Order shirts (Fray or Battistoni) from Barney's?  I just found out Fray takes order at Barney's.  Since Turnbull and Borrelli both have a minimum of six shirts, I am looking for other houses with lower minimum.
     
  5. hermes

    hermes Senior member

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    Location:
    canada
    i do have some of the versace 30/30/30 (as i call it) blend pullovers/sweater and what would be described as a casual dress shirt - very nice, have had one for about 10 years now and it wears well and doesn't look worn at all either, so i agree with you there

    the only thing i hate with some of ones that have buttons are the plastic coloured medusa head buttons on it, i had the buttons on the one replaced as they looked aweful over time

    back to hermes, i have some dress shirts, they fit me well and i really can't complain about that but for the price you pay, even on various sales, you'd expect the tailoring to be a bit more neater, i have had threads hanging out, some slightly off seams, messy button holes, buttons that fall off quite easily, minor things like that which irk me given the price you pay and the quality you expect - however, i've found their ties to be exceptional and have a few sweaters/pullovers that are very well made

    so i guess it's a love hate relationship type thing
     
  6. cristobal

    cristobal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Apr 12, 2002
    I can't speak for the rest of the Hermes collection, but three of my favorite ties are Hermes. I can tie any knot in rather sloppy fashion and still get flawless knots with their silks.
     

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