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raleigh denim

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by robbie, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. whodini

    whodini Senior member

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    Not necessarily. My understanding is that the final cost of the product is also largely determined by the perceived value of the market... I think the makers of Raleigh Denim are not making anywhere near the $200-300 per pair the jeans are selling for.
    Assuming they're getting a 2.2-2.4 margin on these the way they are on their other models... Where is the rest of the price coming from? Raleigh isn't a huge company to begin with so their product is already limited.
    I think you're right in saying that it's definitely possible that they are making a bit more profit (for the reasons you stated) if it is just two people. It doesn't necessarily have to affect the retail price.
    No, it doesn't, it just gives greater pause when you compare these jeans' value to the rest of the market.

    However, the way the jeans are made, through sustainable methods and local means (in and around North Carolina), the quality factored in with a limited production run (which is pretty unique) puts a product out there that is quite unlike what other brands are doing. Not saying other brands aren't creating products of similar quality, but I think the limited production run is a valid factor in determining the retail price. Also, the last I checked the jeans are selling for $215, 235, 275, 315, etc. on the Barney's website. I still think it's a fair price for quality and ecologically thoughtful manufacturing.
    If people want to buy these jeans simply because they love NC so much then they should probably marry them, too. Plenty of other companies do limited runs of jeans both abroad and domestically. If you can't think of any then you might be doing your research in the wrong library. Again, this is a tiny company. "Limited" is an inherent part of their company.

    And what's so unique about this specific limited production? The denim used? The hardware? The pattern? For the price they're asking, you can have comparable jeans made to measure in the US.

    Of course Barney's is selling denim at all price ranges but what specifically about these jeans make them worth the $315 instead of the $200~ that the rest of their line goes for? I'll consider believing you about the price being "fair" when you show me your receipt for these things although I'll probably accompany it with a slight chuckle, the same chuckle I gave when I read your bit about their "ecologically thoughtful manufacturing."
     
  2. Razele

    Razele Senior member

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    I don't get why you would buy these over crates.

    IDK.
     
  3. grouper

    grouper Senior member

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    The waist looks terrible in the second to last picture.
     
  4. theom-

    theom- Senior member

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    i just can't get over how bad those pockets look.
     
  5. grooveholmes

    grooveholmes Senior member

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    Whoa whoa whoa, whodini. Your cynicism is not compelling. I'm not saying that other companies do not produce limited runs. What I AM saying is that I don't know of any other companies out there that are intentionally crafting denim through local means with environmental sustainability in mind. That comes down to where the materials are made, how they're made and shipped. If Raleigh Denim keeps everything within a 200-mile radius, it might be turn out to be a good model for local economies as well as have low environmental impact. There are definitely non-denim Japanese companies who follow similar models (which I have some experience with), but far less American companies. Given their model, coupled with their constraints, which I believe necessarily results in a limited run, I think that's all pretty unique and worth the retail price. For the record, the price point argument is moot-- it's whatever a retailer and consumer thinks is fair market price. You and I obviously disagree, which is fine. I'm saying I think their price point is fair, if the quality is good and it is "limited" compared to their other models. If the demand is there, they'll sell, which I think they're doing. If Denim Demon, Levis, Sugar Cane, etc. charge more for limited runs compared to their other lines, I don't begrudge them for having higher retail value. We can look at receipts all we want, but we all know the concept of "scarcity" is what's driving the established price point. I don't think Raleigh Denim is necessarily inferior to these other brands. I don't know what I did to merit the tone of your response except disagree... For the record, I'm not trying to attack you personally, but trying to add the discussion.
     
  6. whodini

    whodini Senior member

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    What I AM saying is that I don't know of any other companies out there that are intentionally crafting denim through local means with environmental sustainability in mind.
    The Apolis of denim. It's a tougher sell for me being that they are coincidentally based out of NC, an area with the means for such a project. Sure, it's smart marketing on their part but I don't see it as righteous as they make it out to be, let alone warranting the price tag. It's like selling sand from the Gobi while touting how green you're being for not importing sand from other deserts.

    For the record, the price point argument is moot-- it's whatever a retailer and consumer thinks is fair market price... We can look at receipts all we want, but we all know the concept of "scarcity" is what's driving the established price point. I don't think Raleigh Denim is necessarily inferior to these other brands.
    The price is whatever Barney's thinks it can upsell to its customers, the same way that Japanese stores upsell Made in America goods. Again, using words like "scarcity" is laughable with a company that looks like it moves a couple hundred units a year (read: that's already pretty limited.) Using denim that is widely available on the market and used by other companies, I, too, doubt that Raleigh is necessarily inferior to other brands. The question, though, is are they any better to demand that $315 price tag?
     
  7. grooveholmes

    grooveholmes Senior member

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    It's like selling sand from the Gobi while touting how green you're being for not importing sand from other deserts.
    It's VERY similar to that. Importing items does have an environmental impact. At the end of the day, there really is something to be said for keeping things local. Keep in mind the $315 price tag that is listed for the "limited edition" denim. Other retailers sell "limited edition" denim for higher price relative to the cost of "regular" runs. It's not an unusual practice. The pricing for their other styles start at $215. Is a $10 drink at a bar worth $10? It's not an easily answerable question if there are people who are willing to pay that much. Now if I know a bartender who can make a damn good drink, then mmmaybe it's worth the $10 I throw down. Or at least it stings my wallet a little less. Like I said, we disagree on whether the particular pricing of this product is warranted. I don't think anyone is trying to be more righteous that anyone else. If you think that attempting to put forth a model with sustainability and locality in mind is tantamount to being "righteous", why try different models/modes of production at all? If textile manufacturers in Kojima are repurposing leftover tatami mat edges or make paper from denim scraps with the environment in mind, it doesn't make them any more righteous than an American designer who wants to take a more thoughtful approach toward environmental waste and ways to curb emissions. It's knowledge and awareness put into action. Additionally, a designer with the desire to keep it small and maintain a "hands-on" approach wins because it does keep their costs low and allows them to continue to work and improve their craft. I'd be more skeptical of large corporations like Wal-Mart that attempt to pawn off eco-friendliness. If Tellason can do something similar on the West Coast, I don't see why Raleigh Denim can't on the East. The pricing is somewhat comparable at the $200-250 mark.
     
  8. DBoon

    DBoon Senior member

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    Whodini, I agree with you mostly, but your blatant antagonism shows when you try to discredit the guy for being "coincidentally located in NC, an area with the means for such a project." The intrastate manufacturing may be a coincidence rather than some premeditated environmental plan, but it doesn't make it any less true. grooveholmes, your point is technically valid, but I think the Barneys shopper is not exactly the posterboy of legitimate sustainable practices. i.e. it would be - to put it lightly, pompous - to buy $200+ jeans due to a tagline about their environmentally-friendly means of production. I don't know if it was always under this brand heading of Raleigh Denim, but Victor Lytvinenko has been producing jeans since at least early 2008. They have always sold at this $200-300 price range, and this was originally for non-selvage denim. So the point I'm trying to make is that discrediting the eco-friendliness of Raleigh Denim isn't exactly the tragedy of the commons. And the bottom line is that there are much more sustainable practices (locally-thrifted Levis + local tailor). There are jeans of similar look/fabric/quality for $150-200. And there are better jeans for this $200-300 price range. And the back pockets are fugly [​IMG]
     
  9. poly800rock

    poly800rock Senior member

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    i feel like price is arbitrary so much of the time. what justifies ande whalls? rogue territory? what justifies the price of iron hearts? 45rpm? jeanshop? samurais? value is in the eye of the beholder right? if you like it buy it, or seek out a cheaper/comprable alternative.....
     
  10. London

    London Senior member

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    It is interesting be a fly on the wall, listening to the debate about the inherent "value" of goods.
     
  11. Strombollii

    Strombollii Senior member

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    On a completely different note, I emailed them after looking around for slim fits and raw denim and finding none. They're excruciatingly nice:

    Hi Christopher,

    Thanks for your interest. I too am partial to the dry denim. Right now there are three raw styles available(Lincoln, Graham, and Wilkes. The Lincoln and Graham are selvage.) We are finishing up(actually today) a new stye called the Jones which is a thin leg(still straight from the knee down, but thinner) which will be available at Barneys in a few weeks, or you can come to our shop sometime and check them out. If you come by the shop I can take the leg in a little on any of the styles if you want. Feel free to give me a ring if you have any other questions.

    Best,


    --
    Victor Lytvinenko
    Co-founder/Designer
     
  12. whodini

    whodini Senior member

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    It's VERY similar to that. Importing items does have an environmental impact. At the end of the day, there really is something to be said for keeping things local.
    And then selling them to Barney's to ship to distribution centers to ship to Co-Ops... They're business people, not organic farmers selling to local markets. Let's not get confused here. They might be minimizing their impact but it's still $$$>mother nature.

    Keep in mind the $315 price tag that is listed for the "limited edition" denim.
    I'm going to ask one last time, what is so "limited" about the denim they are using? It looks like standard 14.25oz White Oak to me. I've seen their "regular" stuff before and it's the same that other similar brands are using.
     
  13. grooveholmes

    grooveholmes Senior member

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    I don't think it's "limited" in quality so much as it is in production number or perhaps exclusivity (for Barney's only). And I'm not saying I personally buy into the idea that just because something is produced less that it is indeed worth more (it isn't to me), but I get that retailers would price it accordingly and consumers would be willing to pay more for it because it is "limited". It doesn't surprise or bother me that someone would put value into that. If someone is willing to pay $$$ for a Karl Malone rookie card, that's fine, but I think he's a turd and I could care less about the man, but I understand that it has a certain value associated with it.

    I don't believe anyone here is naive enough to think that in a consumerist society that business people are only in it for the environment. If you've read some of their interviews, Victor and Sarah aren't deluding themselves into thinking that their vision of being environmentally conscious drives their bottom line. They're designers, in America, selling their goods through semi-luxe retailers like Barney's CoOp and Steven Alan. It's still refreshing to me to see that they're at least serious about what impact their work has on local economies and the environment and adds to it's appeal. If we're really serious about sustainability, then as someone stated before, we should all just hit the thrift stores and/or repurpose old items and that should be the end of things. But being a consumer, I'm ok with living in the tension between ecology, community and business. In other words, if I really were committed to ending pollution, or sustaining local economies I would have to sacrifice more than I am willing. I don't lose sleep over this, but am aware of it and am open and interested in alternative ways to bring those elements into closer harmony. It sounds a bit hokey, but I've learned a lot from studying some Japanese business practices. There are some really neat things going on over there.

    Anyway, it's an interesting business model/experiment and only time will tell if it's viable or not. I can only wish them success.

    On a somewhat related note to a post on here, I did just move into the area and shot an email to Victor after reading about them on newraleigh.com. He was just as warm and generous in his advice and was very cool to offer to hem my jeans (should I buy a pair through Barney's or otherwise) at their shop. They're good people.
     
  14. reidd

    reidd Well-Known Member

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    I live in NC and personally went by their workshop in Raleigh and purchased a pair of "Edmond" raw denims.

    They are really nice people and I love their jeans. They are the only jeans that I wear and I plan on getting another pair when the 2010 spring/summer collection comes out.
     
  15. grooveholmes

    grooveholmes Senior member

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    I live in NC and personally went by their workshop in Raleigh and purchased a pair of "Edmond" raw denims.

    Nice. Any chance you can post pics?
     
  16. grooveholmes

    grooveholmes Senior member

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    Well, after all this time, I finally copped a pair from Barneys. The denim feels like butter. I e-mailed Victor again and he was very enthusiastic and invited me down to the shop. I had to work until 5pm pretty much this entire week, and fortunately he was willing and able to accommodate (very cool of him). Anyway, it was very refreshing to meet someone who is very passionate about what they do, and is committed to making a quality garment. He showed me the different rolls of denim and told me about a special fabric they're working on exclusively with Cone Mill. Out of necessity (because newer machines are $$$), but also his own admitted nerdiness, they make everything by hand and old machines. It was interesting to see how some of the older machines weave tighter button holes or create more interesting patterns. I know some people hate the back pockets, but he showed me how the stitching is evidence to the fact that they're handcrafted and sowed on by an individual behind the machine. (Still, you either like or hate the look, which is cool.) Apparently, they've "grown" from just 2 people to about a 10-person outfit. He also showed me a old, old Union Special that was in almost pristine condition, which was very cool. I can definitely vouch for the quality, though I'm sure the opinions about the aesthetics will continue. After the tour, Victor finally got around to hemming the jeans which took all of 2 minutes. He used a red thread for the hem which I think is a nice detail (some other brands use this detail, too). He even offered to fix up my Simon Miller jeans (the button flap is effed up- manufacturer defect) if I brought them in. All in all, it was a great visit, and Victor was very generous in giving his time and energy-- just a cool guy who feels very lucky and thankful to be doing what he loves. Sarah was there too, It was definitely educational for me, as I'd never witnessed the jeans-making process before. I'm sure if any of you are in the area and have some time, they'd love to have you swing by.

    I'll try to post some pics in a few weeks.
     
  17. Man in Black

    Man in Black New Member

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    I just picked up a pair of Raleigh's at Barneys, in the Camden style, Fog wash, which is a grayish white. The cut is thin, and fits me like a glove. The fabric is amazing, like butter. It has a touch of spandex, which makes them really comfortable, and helps with the fit.

    I loved the use of red chain stitch on the inner side of the hem, so I had my tailor cut and reattach the original hem, and he did a nice job. It would have been even nicer if the mill could have cut them to measure, and given me an original hem in my length.

    These are cool jeans!
     
  18. Johnny5

    Johnny5 Senior member

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    Well I have a bit of a mixed review about raleigh denim. I emailed them asking if they could customised anything and Victor is not able to help out and they are really stopping any custom made pairs now due to supplying to the big boys in the fashion industry which is cool.

    Pretty prompt responses until I requested if I can just have a pair tapered and weeks (or months) later a reply came asking me for measurements, i emailed back promptly and weeks later.. till today still no response yet.

    Well I bet if Barney email them they would reply in a heartbeat.

    I do know about pioritizing their work but without individual supporters like us they couldn't go on to the bigger game they have today and I don't see how much time they need to reply my email even if its a No.

    ya I might be bitching about small things like responses but compare to Gordon, Kiya, Mauro, Jay etc... I don't think Raleigh gives much damn about individual overseas customers...
     
  19. grooveholmes

    grooveholmes Senior member

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    My email correspondences with them have been VERY sporadic, too. When I met them, I didn't get the impression that they were very forum-savvy like many of the e-tailers on this site. They of course have heard about sites like SuFu and SF, but definitely aren't contributing members like Mike, Jay, Mauro, Kiya, Gary and the like. I think it's difficult for anyone to balance business with craft. Not an excuse, but certainly the fact that they design and make their product themselves as well as manage the business aspects could be a factor in their inability to correspond with any frequency.

    And if I owned a small business, I would definitely prioritize answering business calls/emails before others. Also, it just might be a really busy time for them. I know when I saw them about a month ago they were preparing to show their line up in NYC (coincidentally, for the "big boys", as you stated).
     
  20. grooveholmes

    grooveholmes Senior member

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    Here are some pics of the "Elliot" jean from RD. A month and a half of steady wear, zero soaks and washes. The jeans are very comfortable and apparently made from Cone Mills black seed cotton-- really nice material. It's getting close to stanky, and I'm of the opinion that if it stinks, it's time to wash. I really like the details-- the back pockets (they've grown on me), the red chain stitch thread, the plain copper buttons, and the "x-ray" pockets signed by founders/designers/makers Sarah and Victor Lytvinenko. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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