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Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by LA Guy, Jan 8, 2013.
Great thread, thanks for doing this.
My pleasure - I was interested too. And I thought they were saying that it's not reverse, that it is split.
Significant price rises for no apparent good reason?
Sometimes I feel like we - menswear enthusiasts - have somehow created a monster.
I don't want the artisans to be poor, but - and I know this is a nebulous concept - I want them to be honest.
Have you ever (say) looked at a Drakes tie and wondered what makes it worth $175? Or looked at a pair of EGs for $1200?
How much are the workers who make them paid per hour? How many ties or shoes can they make per hour? How much did the raw materials cost? What are their overheads? Is my money going to the real artisan, or to the corporate types?
When did the "artisanal companies" go from struggling for their craft to, well, cashing in? At what point does vice overtake virtue?
I know the usual answers will come out - they charge what the market can bear, yadda yadda - but when was that line crossed where the artisan wondered how much the market could bear?
I don't know about other things, or about this really, but I have heard that cotton and wool prices increased significantly in the past few years. Would be nice to confirm if and by how much they went up and if they've stayed up.
Umm...suppose you made a product that people wanted. You set the price at $100, and sell out very quickly. People start offering you $200 to get in on the next run. You're going to say no, I only want to charge $100? Even if you will only be able to sell 75% as many you'll still make more money.
I have never understood complaining about prices. You don't like a price? Go somewhere else or wait for a sale. There are others willing to pay more than you, and they should get the items. Producers and retailers have every right to charge what they choose.
I guess moderators are not immune to skimming posts, huh.
The problem with the artisanal concept in an Internet world is that it is self-defeating. Let's say I run a one-person, bespoke shoe operation somewhere in Central Europe. Someone buys a pair of my shoes, posts them on SF. Everyone goes, "where can I kop", and within no time, my order ledger is more than full. Now, I've got a choice: I either up prices to reduce the demand, or hire another person to increase my production. In the short run, however, that will cost me in productivity, as I need to train this person, etc. etc. Also, it increases my overhead as I need to start paying someone else a salary, so that will also result in a price increase. Similar things happened to the brands and producers that got picked up by SF and other websites, such as Drakes, Liverano, WW Chan, Crockett & Jones, etc. Sometimes, the next step is a corporate takeover, as the business is now so profitable that it becomes a clever investment. There are two ways to stay ahead of the curve: purchase from new artisans when they are discovered and stay with artisans that give you "old customer prices". Another thing you could think of is localizing your strategy. In the UK, for example, there's an increasing number of traveling tailors who provide their services at the fraction of Savile Row cost. There are great tiemakers popping up everywhere on the Internet. I have a friend who's become his own shirtmaker. In other words, you're not IN traffic, you ARE traffic.
Woops - something seems to have gone wrong. I swear I only hit the post button once.
I think you are correct - I guess the inevitable conclusion of that line of thinking is that identifying a "find" is the worst possible thing you can do for yourself.
Vox was indeed wise.
No, it is actual the outside of alligator/crocodile leather which got sanded or sand-blasted to achieve a matte finish. Market leader in unusual finishes for exotic leathers is Roggwiller (formerly "Tannerie Des Cuirs D'Indochine Et De Madagascar") which is owned by Hermes. (They used to have a web-site, but they have taken it down. Probably got too many hits by dunces like me, who were only ooh-ing and aah-ing.)
Two GazianoGirling samples in sueded alligator:
I have seen samples of sueded shark and elephant leather.
There probably are other tanneries which offer unorthodox and unusual finishes. I'm sure, a visit to one of the main leather fairs would show a lot of interesting stuff.
In my rather limited foray into exotic leather, elephant skins hold up the best.
I read your entire post. Just because you say, "now the counter argument will be this blah blah blah" doesn't mean that the counter argument is wrong. Artisans should always be wondering what the market can bear. I don't see any inconsistency between artisanal goods and solid business sense. Nor does a high price imply any sort of dishonesty.
Also, most artisans are stil struggling. They're just the ones you don't hear about here, that's all.
Font of knowledge as always
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