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OFFICIAL Simon Crompton thread (PermanentStyle.com)

St1X

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Most of the time they'll bill you later when they get home. You won't pay sales tax or VAT but you could be tagged with import taxes.
They come to the US with a clear intention to sell goods and services on the US soil. It looks like they'd be liable to pay taxes in the US. When you visit US you have to fill in the immigration form and there's a point where they ask you if you intend to sell goods and services during your trip. Seems like a grey zone to me. One call from a person unhappy with the 15k coat or 2x up charge to their representative and it might start a tax evasion investigation 🤷
 

Texasmade

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They come to the US with a clear intention to sell goods and services on the US soil. It looks like they'd be liable to pay taxes in the US. When you visit US you have to fill in the immigration form and there's a point where they ask you if you intend to sell goods and services during your trip. Seems like a grey zone to me. One call from a person unhappy with the 15k coat or 2x up charge to their representative and it might start a tax evasion investigation 🤷
Not really since you're paying import taxes.
 

jonathanS

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Based on Simon's post, doesn't seem like The Armoury and non trunk show prices are that different excluding VAT. I've never ordered L&L through The Armoury but I imagine those prices include import but excludes sales taxes.
I think it’s less. But fittings in Italy. So factor that in.
 

jonathanS

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IMG_1676.png


Not to beat a dead horse, but the pleat shouldn’t be opening like that…. And for 15k, they should be altering it every season for free if he gained weight (I hope that’s the issue, because 15k)
 

Treble

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He said it wasn't worth the 15k cost to him - he is a relatively normal London family man running his own small business. Of course it isn't. Not sure why that would be a surprise to anyone.
 

btheodore213

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Question for this forum. I have attempted to post the below three times on Simon Crompton’s PS article about the $15k Ulster coat but it is not showing up in the comments thread. Am I doing something wrong?

******

Simon,

It is a beautiful coat. My concern, rather, is one of forthrightness concerning comments to the effect that the pricing has gone up disproportionately and your response that this is an exercise in responding to inflation generally and maintaining margins specifically. And that one is entitled to one’s opinion but that such is at best a subjective exercise.

At issue, for me, is that this cuts again your broader argument that many of the joys of bespoke and well-made clothing are its sustainability, its support for local artisans and merchants, its value even to the common man.

And what I suspect is actually going on, because I have seen it done in other industries, is that Liverano and similarly situated companies are engaging in optimization pricing, having determined that they can maintain or even increase their profitability by making fewer products at higher prices.

And the problem herein is that this is in fact less sustainable — it requires the same overhead and increased travel costs to produce fewer goods; it is less local — the emphasis becomes on selling overseas rather than in the local community, which also significantly increases the environmental footprint; it supports fewer craftspeople, salespeople and component merchants — making fewer items means less business and the underlying goods costs and labor rates are more commoditized and thus fixed in nature; it makes these goods unaffordable for people of more modest means and destroys the long-term value proposition — if fewer people can save up to purchase such an item they will move down market to lower-quality, less-sustainable goods that provide less benefit to local communities.

To which you may respond that I am entitled to my opinion and such are the ways of the world. But this is not universally the case: were I of the opinion that it is better for me to fly my private plane around Europe rather than rely on the rails, such would be permitted to me by license but it wouldn’t be good for the planet or my fellow inhabitants. And analogous arguments are easily permitted here.

And my specific concern is that I suspect you actually could uncover these truths as part of your journalistic mission. Is Liverano in fact making as much product as it was five years ago, such that this is simply an exercise in supply and demand pricing and responding to increasing costs, or is it taking advantage of a captive audience and what is essentially free advertising on sites like PS to sell fewer goods at higher margins? You wouldn’t need to know their underlying financials to find this answer — and you could then share it with us to our mutual benefit.

You enjoy a privileged position in this small intimate market, and I gather you benefit from it enormously: in sales and advertising revenue, in consulting work, in preferential treatment from makers (more attention to your products knowing a review is in the offing, opportunities to purchase expensive goods essentially at cost).

But this is a privilege afforded by your readership, not the makers of these luxury goods, and I would argue that you owe it to the former to do some investigative work and take a more critical approach to the underlying business practices (not just the narrower comments on craftsmanship and quality) that characterize these artisans.

I look forward to your response.

Thomas

PS I should note that my own economic situation—I am a Manhattan-based business professional—would make a purchase such as this entirely in the realm of the possible. But I come from more modest means and so have a special animus towards economic practices that limit access to good, beautiful things that can bring joy for decades. And I am concerned that Liverano is trading on its sprezzatura reputation while engaging in practices that are essentially capitalist (i.e., profit maximizing).
 

ppk

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Question for this forum. I have attempted to post the below three times on Simon Crompton’s PS article about the $15k Ulster coat but it is not showing up in the comments thread. Am I doing something wrong?

******

Simon,

It is a beautiful coat. My concern, rather, is one of forthrightness concerning comments to the effect that the pricing has gone up disproportionately and your response that this is an exercise in responding to inflation generally and maintaining margins specifically. And that one is entitled to one’s opinion but that such is at best a subjective exercise.

At issue, for me, is that this cuts again your broader argument that many of the joys of bespoke and well-made clothing are its sustainability, its support for local artisans and merchants, its value even to the common man.

And what I suspect is actually going on, because I have seen it done in other industries, is that Liverano and similarly situated companies are engaging in optimization pricing, having determined that they can maintain or even increase their profitability by making fewer products at higher prices.

And the problem herein is that this is in fact less sustainable — it requires the same overhead and increased travel costs to produce fewer goods; it is less local — the emphasis becomes on selling overseas rather than in the local community, which also significantly increases the environmental footprint; it supports fewer craftspeople, salespeople and component merchants — making fewer items means less business and the underlying goods costs and labor rates are more commoditized and thus fixed in nature; it makes these goods unaffordable for people of more modest means and destroys the long-term value proposition — if fewer people can save up to purchase such an item they will move down market to lower-quality, less-sustainable goods that provide less benefit to local communities.

To which you may respond that I am entitled to my opinion and such are the ways of the world. But this is not universally the case: were I of the opinion that it is better for me to fly my private plane around Europe rather than rely on the rails, such would be permitted to me by license but it wouldn’t be good for the planet or my fellow inhabitants. And analogous arguments are easily permitted here.

And my specific concern is that I suspect you actually could uncover these truths as part of your journalistic mission. Is Liverano in fact making as much product as it was five years ago, such that this is simply an exercise in supply and demand pricing and responding to increasing costs, or is it taking advantage of a captive audience and what is essentially free advertising on sites like PS to sell fewer goods at higher margins? You wouldn’t need to know their underlying financials to find this answer — and you could then share it with us to our mutual benefit.

You enjoy a privileged position in this small intimate market, and I gather you benefit from it enormously: in sales and advertising revenue, in consulting work, in preferential treatment from makers (more attention to your products knowing a review is in the offing, opportunities to purchase expensive goods essentially at cost).

But this is a privilege afforded by your readership, not the makers of these luxury goods, and I would argue that you owe it to the former to do some investigative work and take a more critical approach to the underlying business practices (not just the narrower comments on craftsmanship and quality) that characterize these artisans.

I look forward to your response.

Thomas

PS I should note that my own economic situation—I am a Manhattan-based business professional—would make a purchase such as this entirely in the realm of the possible. But I come from more modest means and so have a special animus towards economic practices that limit access to good, beautiful things that can bring joy for decades. And I am concerned that Liverano is trading on its sprezzatura reputation while engaging in practices that are essentially capitalist (i.e., profit maximizing).
Guessing that they are moderating the comments and it might take a bit of time to review.
 

Texasmade

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Question for this forum. I have attempted to post the below three times on Simon Crompton’s PS article about the $15k Ulster coat but it is not showing up in the comments thread. Am I doing something wrong?
Comments get moderated and approved before posting. Normally it's like one business day.
 

St1X

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Question for this forum. I have attempted to post the below three times on Simon Crompton’s PS article about the $15k Ulster coat but it is not showing up in the comments thread. Am I doing something wrong?

******

Simon,

It is a beautiful coat. My concern, rather, is one of forthrightness concerning comments to the effect that the pricing has gone up disproportionately and your response that this is an exercise in responding to inflation generally and maintaining margins specifically. And that one is entitled to one’s opinion but that such is at best a subjective exercise.

At issue, for me, is that this cuts again your broader argument that many of the joys of bespoke and well-made clothing are its sustainability, its support for local artisans and merchants, its value even to the common man.

And what I suspect is actually going on, because I have seen it done in other industries, is that Liverano and similarly situated companies are engaging in optimization pricing, having determined that they can maintain or even increase their profitability by making fewer products at higher prices.

And the problem herein is that this is in fact less sustainable — it requires the same overhead and increased travel costs to produce fewer goods; it is less local — the emphasis becomes on selling overseas rather than in the local community, which also significantly increases the environmental footprint; it supports fewer craftspeople, salespeople and component merchants — making fewer items means less business and the underlying goods costs and labor rates are more commoditized and thus fixed in nature; it makes these goods unaffordable for people of more modest means and destroys the long-term value proposition — if fewer people can save up to purchase such an item they will move down market to lower-quality, less-sustainable goods that provide less benefit to local communities.

To which you may respond that I am entitled to my opinion and such are the ways of the world. But this is not universally the case: were I of the opinion that it is better for me to fly my private plane around Europe rather than rely on the rails, such would be permitted to me by license but it wouldn’t be good for the planet or my fellow inhabitants. And analogous arguments are easily permitted here.

And my specific concern is that I suspect you actually could uncover these truths as part of your journalistic mission. Is Liverano in fact making as much product as it was five years ago, such that this is simply an exercise in supply and demand pricing and responding to increasing costs, or is it taking advantage of a captive audience and what is essentially free advertising on sites like PS to sell fewer goods at higher margins? You wouldn’t need to know their underlying financials to find this answer — and you could then share it with us to our mutual benefit.

You enjoy a privileged position in this small intimate market, and I gather you benefit from it enormously: in sales and advertising revenue, in consulting work, in preferential treatment from makers (more attention to your products knowing a review is in the offing, opportunities to purchase expensive goods essentially at cost).

But this is a privilege afforded by your readership, not the makers of these luxury goods, and I would argue that you owe it to the former to do some investigative work and take a more critical approach to the underlying business practices (not just the narrower comments on craftsmanship and quality) that characterize these artisans.

I look forward to your response.

Thomas

PS I should note that my own economic situation—I am a Manhattan-based business professional—would make a purchase such as this entirely in the realm of the possible. But I come from more modest means and so have a special animus towards economic practices that limit access to good, beautiful things that can bring joy for decades. And I am concerned that Liverano is trading on its sprezzatura reputation while engaging in practices that are essentially capitalist (i.e., profit maximizing).
Pardon me, but this post is a complete nonsense. Communism doesn't work. Period. And as a business professional who's engaging in capitalist practices you should understand that in the first place.
 
Joined
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Question for this forum. I have attempted to post the below three times on Simon Crompton’s PS article about the $15k Ulster coat but it is not showing up in the comments thread. Am I doing something wrong?

******

Simon,

It is a beautiful coat. My concern, rather, is one of forthrightness concerning comments to the effect that the pricing has gone up disproportionately and your response that this is an exercise in responding to inflation generally and maintaining margins specifically. And that one is entitled to one’s opinion but that such is at best a subjective exercise.

At issue, for me, is that this cuts again your broader argument that many of the joys of bespoke and well-made clothing are its sustainability, its support for local artisans and merchants, its value even to the common man.

And what I suspect is actually going on, because I have seen it done in other industries, is that Liverano and similarly situated companies are engaging in optimization pricing, having determined that they can maintain or even increase their profitability by making fewer products at higher prices.

And the problem herein is that this is in fact less sustainable — it requires the same overhead and increased travel costs to produce fewer goods; it is less local — the emphasis becomes on selling overseas rather than in the local community, which also significantly increases the environmental footprint; it supports fewer craftspeople, salespeople and component merchants — making fewer items means less business and the underlying goods costs and labor rates are more commoditized and thus fixed in nature; it makes these goods unaffordable for people of more modest means and destroys the long-term value proposition — if fewer people can save up to purchase such an item they will move down market to lower-quality, less-sustainable goods that provide less benefit to local communities.

To which you may respond that I am entitled to my opinion and such are the ways of the world. But this is not universally the case: were I of the opinion that it is better for me to fly my private plane around Europe rather than rely on the rails, such would be permitted to me by license but it wouldn’t be good for the planet or my fellow inhabitants. And analogous arguments are easily permitted here.

And my specific concern is that I suspect you actually could uncover these truths as part of your journalistic mission. Is Liverano in fact making as much product as it was five years ago, such that this is simply an exercise in supply and demand pricing and responding to increasing costs, or is it taking advantage of a captive audience and what is essentially free advertising on sites like PS to sell fewer goods at higher margins? You wouldn’t need to know their underlying financials to find this answer — and you could then share it with us to our mutual benefit.

You enjoy a privileged position in this small intimate market, and I gather you benefit from it enormously: in sales and advertising revenue, in consulting work, in preferential treatment from makers (more attention to your products knowing a review is in the offing, opportunities to purchase expensive goods essentially at cost).

But this is a privilege afforded by your readership, not the makers of these luxury goods, and I would argue that you owe it to the former to do some investigative work and take a more critical approach to the underlying business practices (not just the narrower comments on craftsmanship and quality) that characterize these artisans.

I look forward to your response.

Thomas

PS I should note that my own economic situation—I am a Manhattan-based business professional—would make a purchase such as this entirely in the realm of the possible. But I come from more modest means and so have a special animus towards economic practices that limit access to good, beautiful things that can bring joy for decades. And I am concerned that Liverano is trading on its sprezzatura reputation while engaging in practices that are essentially capitalist (i.e., profit maximizing).
Thank you for writing this up and voicing it to Simon, I have been pondering similar thoughts but never put them into a comment, although I had drafted one on his earlier posts asking about questions for him.

I would note that his reply (https://www.permanentstyle.com/2024/02/liverano-ulster-coat-style-breakdown.html#comment-1994442) is quite discouraging (at least to me) when thinking about the future direction of his blog. While he does admit his privileged position (something he has not done explicitly before as far as I am aware), he seems to perceive himself purely as a benevolent moderator and does not even ponder whether an investigative aspiration towards the industry similar to that he has towards products might be worthwhile. Which is also a bit surprising (or, perhaps, wholly unsurprising) given his background, which would make him quite well equipped to take this more journalistic approach. So while he may not be a fanboy and blindly cheerleading the tailors of his choice, he seems nonetheless so far ingrained into the network of industry people that he willingly looks away from practices that contradict values that he says he holds (and even more ones that I personally hold). Overall, I think this is just one step in his persona morphing into yet another of the numerous representatives of menswear writers and photographers that populate the little world of Negronis and cocktail attire. I hope the qualities that have so far discerned him from other members of this group (which are still visible in the very article this discussion has spun out of) will hold on in his writing a little longer, but I am not sure how much.
 

Mirage-

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I certainly don't think the coat warrants such an outrageous price, but let's for the sake of argument assume that it does because it's just that expensive to make (with a typical margin included ofc).
Then that means bespoke tailoring's value is utterly and completely gone. I mean, it largely already has become more luxury than value, no matter what Simon tries to tell, but 5k is still something achievable by good earners, maybe once every several years. If you truly use such a garment for a very very long time, perhaps a decade or two (already very unlikely) it just might end up being a reasonable cost.

But now we're getting into the price of a small car.
I am Italian, literally no one that works a normal job could entertain the thought of that sum here for a coat, not even really well paying jobs.
Big celebrities, sure, but then...
I guess what I'm trying to say is it doesn't even really matter how good the product is if no normal person can buy it. It begs the question whether the product should even be made in the first place, rather.
And if those were really the necessary prices for bespoke tailoring, I'm afraid the trade would die out for good, there's probably not enough A-list celebrities to sustain it.
 
Last edited:

vegancrabcakes

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I've always believed that bespoke tailoring has little to no value proposition (assuming you have a relatively average-sized/shaped body that can adapt to MTM or MTO programs). How much is a Liverano or Savile Row suit these days? Perhaps 8-9k USD? My understanding is that one of the main appeals of bespoke tailoring is the ability to have the garments repaired or altered if necessary. But I have seen here on Styleforum that some simple alterations on such a suit by a top-level maker could cost over $1000 USD. For the cost of such alterations, I could almost purchase a new fully-canvassed Ring Jacket suit from the Armoury. It is unclear to me that bespoke tailoring could ever have any financial benefits.
 

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