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MC General Chat

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dieworkwear, Aug 4, 2012.

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  1. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Don't think I've ever liked any of the algorithm suggestions for books, movies, or music, which seem like they'd be a lot easier to code than for than clothes.

    IMO, creating a store around the idea of efficiency (lower prices, faster shipping, better suggestions) is the wrong way to go about it. The first two are just an arms race; the second I don't think is possible (mechanically anyway).

    If you can't give customers the opportunity to feel and try stuff on in person, then you need to inspire them in other ways -- ways that aren't as easily executable in a traditional B&M shop. That can be:


    • Creating the idea of a lifestyle (some B&Ms do this, but it takes a lot more than good interior design)
    • Communicating stories, like I mentioned above. The whole heritage movement, where we see stuff like factory tours, stories about a company's history, or the history of a garment, is essentially this. If they can't let you try on a bomber jacket in person, then they'll show you the factory, tell you the history of the bomber jacket, and talk about the company that made it. If an SA stood next to you and jabbered on for as long as you spend looking at this stuff online, you'd kill yourself. People are consuming a great deal of information nowadays just to buy a pair of socks.
    • Create lookbooks in order to inspire certain ways of dressing. In the past, magazines and catalogs did this, but they're somewhat of a dying thing. Most guys, I think, get their inspiration from blogs, forums, friends, or seeing people on the street. Unfortunately, not that many sites do online lookbooks well, but I think there's a lot of potential here. Even Mark Cho getting street styled in a bunch of Drake's and Armoury stuff is a subtle way of doing a lookbook

    The ideal, obviously, is to be considered some kind of tastemaker or harbinger for style. Sort of like what Saks was in the early 20th century, or maybe even Fred Segal in LA back in the '90s. Then you don't have to compete with anyone and people buy your stuff just because you stocked it. But getting to that place is more and more difficult, IMO, when you have an online marketplace because as soon as you've found one cool thing, everyone and their mom stocks it. It's much harder to stay ahead of the curve when you're competing against so many people.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  2. johanm

    johanm Senior member

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    +1 on lookbooks. Or even WAYWT for that matter. Nothing motivates me to buy clothes more than seeing an item executed well in a real life setting by someone whose style I share or aspire to.
     
  3. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    I like recommendations when they're unobtrusive.

    +1 on NMWA setting new standards.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  4. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Senior member

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    Obtrusive vs. unobtrusive is a design thing. Could be programmed via a lookbook or related pieces.

    I don't think that NMWA is doing a bad job (obviously), but I'm saying that I'm interested to see how these technologies will be improved and used in the future.
     
  5. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    I look forward to the day when a site has a little paperclip that pops up and says "Did you mean to buy Robert Geller instead?"
     
  6. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Senior member

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  7. circumspice

    circumspice Senior member

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    It AMAZES me that Amazon shows me lenses for incompatible camera bodies. If I bought a body from you within the past two years, what is the likelihood I am looking for a lens for a different platform?
     
  8. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    So my coworker bought her husband a tie from NMWA. She ordered it online at like 11am. When she got home it was at her doorstep with a handwritten note thanking her for the purchase. Her mind was blown and hubby happy. :slayer:
     
    2 people like this.
  9. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I was in Barcelona recently and visited Bel y Cia. They make most things in their in-house workroom under the same roof as the store with the exception of some knitwear, shoes, ties and accessories. One thing about all of their clothing and accessories (RTW, bespoke, private label or in-house made) is that it only has their label and the label is small, elegant, descreet. I would like to see this as a new trend. Smaller brand labels please.
     
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  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    There are a lot of small brands in NYC, and while a lot of them have a lot of passion for what they do, knowing real quality is their downfall. It is often not that they don't want to offer it, more of they don't even know anything further exists.

    A lot of B&M places in NYC I find horrible, poorly curated mishmash of unrelated fashions and such. Those places end up being like trying to find a gem in a thrift store. I also think, in general, a lot of the smaller labels in NYC cater 90% to more casual streetwear.
     
  11. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think the "mishmash" is just trying to catch the next "thing" rather than having a sense of their own style.
     
  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I also think it is store buyers, and owners that don't have discerning taste.
     
  13. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    Adapter rings still exist, and you might value getting a great deal on a lens even if you have to buy an adapter for it. Just buy one and leave it on the lens, and voila. It fits your platform.

    The algorithms can't take everything into account. Though it would be nice for e-bay to tailor its recommendations to my size. That system is entirely fucking useless as it is now. No way to adapt my foot to a size 12 shoe, even if it is a great deal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  14. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It is much harder than it looks to have the discipline and vision to source, edit and buy a cohesive look and style for a retail store. Great buyers have more than good taste, they can see how it will all come together. They don't fixate on individual items. They have a clear idea of their endgame.

    Most buyers weakness is that they "get excited" about something and forget how it fits into the rest of the retail story.

    On a personal level. Look how often we buy something and then feel like "what was I doing?" or "It seemed like a good look at the time".

    At the same time, a retailer that doesn't take some chances and make some mistakes is boring and too cautious.
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    there's something that can be done to take care of that...
     
  16. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    will the presales/sample sales ever happen?
     
  17. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I've considered lipo, but the cost to have all of my jackets altered would cost more than the surgery.
     
  18. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    We are concentrating on the presales right now. In particular, we are looking to expand our GMTO (Styleforum's version of FUBU) program, particularly for those brands that are not well represented by our affiliates. For example, we would not do Edward Green since Skoatiebolaget already does a great job, at a great price. Instead, we would concentrate on makers who we could benefit, and who could benefit from us ordering out of the usual production season - thus extending their earnings.

    We've done a really nice job with Viberg (paging @rydenfan ), have most of the logistical kinks worked out, and I'm stoked to start with other vendors as well. For vendors who already have a strong representative on Styleforum, we'll seek to make the affiliate vendor a partner. Everyone profits. We profit, the brand gets more exposure and sales, and the affilaite vendor has an opportunity to get some extra sales with a much lower risk. Since it is GMTO, we have payment upfront, and we know what it is that people really want (as in, people are committed enough to buy/lay down a deposit) and can buy accordingly. By having an affiliate vendor aboard, we can offer more GMTOs and more styles, since Styleforum would not have to put as much money up front, since those costs would be split.

    Sample sales are a logistical nightmare, and the margins are so slim, that we often lose money on a sale. The problems are that there are too many individual SKUs, and since the customers are both price driven and fairly picky, the overhead is really, really, high, compared to the revenue. I have been looking at the numbers, and unless we were working on the scale of like, Shop the Fiinest, it's not feasible, especially in this day when anyone can have a webshop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  19. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    awesome!
     
  20. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Heard that Louis Boston will be closing mid-year. I haven't been to the newer location since they moved in 2010. In its heyday, it was an amazing place and it was the retailer who got Luciano Barbera to debut a menswear collection in their store. The very early Zegna products in Louis were incredible too. Talk about a menswear Mecca. But, those days are long gone.

    So long Louis.
     
    1 person likes this.

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