I don't get it, why buy a €5000 Brioni or Kiton suit when you can go bespoke?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Young Gentleman, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't think blogs or bloggers have nearly as much impact as they think on actual sales. I think maybe three blogs impact sales. I think there is an overwhelming supply of them to the point where most of them are useless. They are glamorized facebook profiles.

    I think putting the Rubinacci's and Ambrosi in with a conversation about bloggers isn't really appropriate because while somebody like Luca may get photos taken of him, I know many people who just know him as "that guy". I kind of think that somebody like Ambrosi who might have had the number one Google hit being Foo's thread was only due to Foo's thread being one of the few things about him on the internet.

    I still think there is not a lot out there that explores the world of tailoring. There are a few, Will is one of the big ones. But it is like, ok, if you don't care about trends and fashion what's for you?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012


  2. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    To address the bolded point first - yes and no. There are a lot of blogs out there, and certainly, a few of them have outsized impacts on tailoring brands. And "that guy" recognition is not insignificant. For every 100 "that guy" recognition, there may be one new client. That's may be enough impact to keep one firm afloat while another languishes. Certainly, I will not argue that small tailoring houses are probably less impacted by the internet than larger firms.

    Fashion brands, for example are much more affected. There is a reason that brands throw clothes at celebrities, and it is not because they love them so much. In fact, that system has become so sophisticated that instead of just lobbing product at celebrities in hope that something will stick, or just taking them around to a look room, where they essentially shop for free, there are personal shoppers whose jobs it is to "buy" free stuff for celebrities. Everyone gets a kickback.

    To illustrate the impact of the internet, let's take a specific example, from the shoe world. Trickers has emerged as a leader. Now, they are good, but there are equally good shoemakers that are not doing nearly as well, nor are as well known. A large part of that has been due to some strategic alliances with very well publicized retailers who are great marketeers for Trickers. In return, there are options that Trickers keeps exclusive to those retailers.

    It's not that hard to understand. You just have to look at the growth of internet sales, and the increasing impact of the internet, in general, and combine that with an understanding of the differences between the internet and "traditonal" media, where few voices have a a lot of impact. Unlike traditional media outlets, the internet can better be regarded as a lightning fast, global, word-of-mouth system. And since word of mouth is important for small businesses, it can affect tailoring houses as well. I think that it is reactive, and honestly, silly, to insist otherwise.
     


  3. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    Just to focus on bespoke tailoring for moment...

    Tom Mahon re-established his tailoring business through the English Cut blog.

    If you are unfamiliar with the details, you can read about it here:

    http://redcouch.typepad.com/weblog/2005/04/english_cut_the.html

    Nevertheless, for every success using an Internet-based strategy, there are many failures. Primarily, these failures pertain to tailoring start-ups that scale impressively with their online presence but who then are incapable of scaling their business to match. Recent history is littered with such failures. One might say that the comparitive low cost of online PR compared to print PR encouraged (or encourages) a lot of foolishness when it comes to business expectations. Good tailors, moreover, are not reliably good businessman.

    Bespoke trade can increase only one of two ways: the tailor travels to visit more and clients; or more and more clients travel to the tailor. Neither scale efficiently as online reputation (or lack therof, or destruction therof.) I can't think of a tailoring house more hotly and continuously discussed on SF than was Rubinacci...and yet, I doubt all that sturm and drang dredged more than ten new customers and among those, probably just a few multiple buyers.

    If we dig beneath the thin veneer of the bespoke clientele in the StyFo MC forum, who pay full retail, you immediately hit the great mass of members who seem to consist overwhelmingly of off-price buyers. That the tastes of such buyers would influence large retail marketing operations seems far fetched to me, even though such operations take into account the cash flow from gray marketing their unsold wares.

    I mean, does Gilt give a f*ck about what StyFo MC members want? And they started out with a prominent SF member as one of their senior buyers.

    Things might be slightly different in the menswear space inhabited by Pitti attendees, since there is small-scale merchandizing and a few stores here and there associated with that type of product. These seem to rely a bit more on social media.
     


  4. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You'd think all my PR work for Corneliani, Polo, James Smith & Sons and the chelsea boot industry would net me some free swag.
     


  5. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    pls, check your pm. bsp. shoe trees, ya know. ty
     


  6. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    Have you tried a Baroni suit?
     


  7. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    No, but were I sent one for free, I'm sure I'd have only positive things to say.

    I wonder what proportion of clothing sales are "off-price" these days. I have to assume outfits such as Brooks and Polo count on doing a large chunk of their business during sales. Such is the power of the Internet -- no one wants to pay full price, and now no one needs to.

    It's been interesting to see the collision of SF's tastes and the mainstream fashion revival, such that it can be called a mainstream revival. A lot of the stuff promoted here has been appropriated for the pages of GQ. At the same time, GQ and its ilk seem to have much more sway over tastes here than in days gone by.

    Funny to think that tweed, once the lifeblood of the forum, now has its own thread, a little reservation set aside amid the westward expansion of blue shoes and skintight pastel trou.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012


  8. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    How do we account for those who buy only when it is marked up? :confused:
     


  9. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  10. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    Depends.


    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012


  11. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    Bespoke or RTW?
     


  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    This is true of all sorts of enterprises. What you seem to be saying is that there are good strategies and bad strategies. Good businesses, and bad ones. I can't argue with that, except to say that the same holds offline as much as online.

    Definitely, the smaller brands and smaller retailers are better scaled to make good use of social media and niche communities, like Styleforum and its ilk. That's not to say that larger brands can't do it, it's just harder to do it right, and many times, the overall strategy often has to be different. Generally, an owner/proprietor is definitely a better spokesman than an intern with no passion for the product and no real desire to learn. Many brands use agencies instead of inhouse talent, which makes successful use of this type of social media even more difficult unless you are working with a rare agency (it happens sometimes). Scalability is a problem in any business. Part of what I do is to help companies develop effective and realistic online strategies.
     


  13. Fred49

    Fred49 Senior member

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    I have 2 Bologna suits but they smell after 3 weeks so I went to Baroni they only smell if I forget to shower
     


  14. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    Mmmm...thinly sliced Fra Mani mortadella sandwich.

    [​IMG]
     


  15. Fred49

    Fred49 Senior member

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    Damn you always have go one better. I suppose your having Steed make this up as I type?
     


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