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Random Fashion Thoughts (Part 3: Style farmer strikes back) - our general discussion thread

LA Guy

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cb200

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Is this pretty much the first time since 1985?
Likely. I was super interested in their stated intent years ago to push more into self owned retail and cut back to limited key accounts. They too may have been called by the siren song that the DTC world was singing at the time. But if they can't "just do it" and make the pivot, who can?

Sure the smaller brands and shifts are hitting them, their direct strategy seems to not be working, and products are feeling stale for some and expensive to others, but it's a bit like Coke loosing customers to Dr Pepper. They are still the massive gorilla in the market by a long shot.
 

Texasmade

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Speaking of Nike and Adidas, the German Football Association is switching from Adidas to Nike. Nike is offering twice as much money per year over Adidas and the FA really needed the cash.
 

zissou

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Man, The North Face x Undercover gear looks sooooo good. If I had unlimited money, I would buy everything in this color way.

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Well, I went all-in on the TNFxUNDERCOVER SOUKUU collab, purchasing everything in the brown/blue colorway except the Nuptse jacket. To me, it's the perfect combination of favorite colors, weird gorpcore, TNF technical fabrics and construction, and Japanese design. Plus, it's all 50-60% off at the moment. This is gonna be me at the grocery store sometime soon.


1697798726-tnf_fw23_soukuu_whiteset_wardkweskin_0465.jpg
 

casterofdreams

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I picked up both colorways of the hoodie and t-shirt. I thought they were alright. The kangaroo pocket and that second hood were disappointing though.

I also picked up the full set of the base layer. That was the better purchase for me.

I tried the 50/50 jacket at Dover Street Market in Manhattan. It was incredibly disappointing. I was going in thinking it would be something close to the Summit Series 50/50 Breithorn jacket (I don’t own it, but when I tried it out, I liked it), but it wasn’t even close. No internal pockets. I’ll stick with the standard Breithorn.

The employee mentioned that outside of the 800 ProDown, it’s purely a fashion piece, not a technical one. And that’s okay. It just wasn’t for me.

They announced a second series today.

Edit: I found that some of the Nike Gyakusou and Nike Undercover stuff was much better. Here are some of those examples:
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zissou

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But that Breithorn jacket is just so… boring ;) For technical down outerwear, I prefer Marmot, anyway. And I already own more than enough for that.

I’ll definitely be wearing the Soukuu gear for fashion purposes, so I’m not too bothered.

I was attracted to some of the early Gyakusou gear but never considered myself much of an actual runner. Jun Takahashi definitely has a talent for combining fashion with function.
 

cb200

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I'm pretty sure Nike pulled back on Gyakusou. They were a leader in the running as fashion potential thing for sure so maybe part of their culture machine missed something. Construction and materials wise I was a bit disappointed in the apparel I saw but it was fairly priced and looked good. And running crews too, if we're talking about moving the culture and making things appealing like Nike can... they seemed to be all over that for a while. Possibly a misstep to drop that or just too early. Folks running from what I see dress, for the most part, way more stylish than they did when Gyakusou first dropped.
 

xeoniq

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Construction and materials wise I was a bit disappointed in the apparel I saw but it was fairly priced and looked good.
Yea, it always just felt like slim cuts on otherwise low-end polyester that you could find for a 5th the price from Nike's own mainline. Cottweiler was a brand who I felt did the runner's fashion niche well, including their Reebok collaborations. It is a shame they seem to have disappeared a few years ago.
 

LA Guy

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I have some Gyakusou stuff, I think the leggings are really great still but the GIRA jacket that I have started to smell funky after 1 or 2 runs where as stuff like Tracksmith keeps great through an entire sweaty summer.
I don’t understand why Nike, and other companies like The North Face, change the materials instead of just v the design for their fashion collabs. It’s frustrating., There’s no reason the fashion collabs can’t also be perfectly functional as well. But invariably, that’s why I so often pass on them.
 

cb200

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There’s no reason the fashion collabs can’t also be perfectly functional as well.
Simplest is to follow the money, better margin with simple construction and cheaper materials.

That said, I feel like there may be some weird senses of purity or authenticity for the athletic / functional apparel. And there is the idea that performance has to look a certain way and someone who concerned about style won't really care about function ... or really use the stuff.
There's also lots of ideas and bias about what a "real runner" or "real skier" etc would value, wear, or need - as well as who they are and what they look like.
 

LA Guy

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Simplest is to follow the money, better margin with simple construction and cheaper materials.

That said, I feel like there may be some weird senses of purity or authenticity for the athletic / functional apparel. And there is the idea that performance has to look a certain way and someone who concerned about style won't really care about function ... or really use the stuff.
There's also lots of ideas and bias about what a "real runner" or "real skier" etc would value, wear, or need - as well as who they are and what they look like.
I don't think that the follow the money works here - the collabs are typically whole integer multipliers more than the actual performance clothing. I think that it's a opportunity lost though. There is nothing gained from using less tough, less performance oriented fabrics. In fact, for a brand like The North Face, which built its reputation on durability, sometimes at the expense of weight, it seems even rather counter productive.
 

xeoniq

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I don't think that the follow the money works here - the collabs are typically whole integer multipliers more than the actual performance clothing. I think that it's a opportunity lost though. There is nothing gained from using less tough, less performance oriented fabrics. In fact, for a brand like The North Face, which built its reputation on durability, sometimes at the expense of weight, it seems even rather counter productive.
I used to live near a Nike outlet that was a dumping ground for their global retail network. Full size runs of Gyakusou, JFS, and other collabs were always there at 50-70% off, rotting on the racks. An assortment of ProCombat, RUN and other mainline brands were kept at their RRP as the store got considerable traffic.

I think the reason for this is that the market is completely different for the performance and the fashion collab lines. The customers who buy the fashion collabs above all else want novelty in design, which is a very time sensitive demand, but they are willing to pay for something that is subjectively "just right" in aesthetics to stand out; and are a very small minority in total consumers compared to the mainstream. Meanwhile the performance gear market often buys clothing as a necessity rather than as a frivolous distraction, they don't want to stand out but rather to fit in, and if the shorts they buy fall apart in 15 wears, they will simply swear off Nike and buy from a competitor. The mainstream performance gear market has far more consumers but each consumer buys much less clothing than the fashion-conscious one and is also more price-sensitive.

Thus, the performance gear must be more robust and last longer, perform "better" and be at a more competitive price; but the benefit is that can sit for sale for a long time in those basic mainstream designs and has considerably more consumers it can appeal to.

The fashion collabs are only desirable for a few months at the very most until something cooler comes out, have to be marked up significantly in order to recoup the costs of distributing these niche lines to enough retailers for awareness and this probably explains why the vast majority of the pieces are going to be very cheaply made and thus "worse performing" or non-robust. They not only don't have to be performance-tier quality because the consumer will have dozens of other fashionable pieces to cycle and rotate through, but they cannot afford to make them at a high per unit price for stock that will quickly become unsellable to the niche fashion market they are targeting, even at discount, and which the performance market wouldn't touch in the first place because of the eye-catching designs.
 

Texasmade

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I used to live near a Nike outlet that was a dumping ground for their global retail network. Full size runs of Gyakusou, JFS, and other collabs were always there at 50-70% off, rotting on the racks. An assortment of ProCombat, RUN and other mainline brands were kept at their RRP as the store got considerable traffic.

I think the reason for this is that the market is completely different for the performance and the fashion collab lines. The customers who buy the fashion collabs above all else want novelty in design, which is a very time sensitive demand, but they are willing to pay for something that is subjectively "just right" in aesthetics to stand out; and are a very small minority in total consumers compared to the mainstream. Meanwhile the performance gear market often buys clothing as a necessity rather than as a frivolous distraction, they don't want to stand out but rather to fit in, and if the shorts they buy fall apart in 15 wears, they will simply swear off Nike and buy from a competitor. The mainstream performance gear market has far more consumers but each consumer buys much less clothing than the fashion-conscious one and is also more price-sensitive.

Thus, the performance gear must be more robust and last longer, perform "better" and be at a more competitive price; but the benefit is that can sit for sale for a long time in those basic mainstream designs and has considerably more consumers it can appeal to.

The fashion collabs are only desirable for a few months at the very most until something cooler comes out, have to be marked up significantly in order to recoup the costs of distributing these niche lines to enough retailers for awareness and this probably explains why the vast majority of the pieces are going to be very cheaply made and thus "worse performing" or non-robust. They not only don't have to be performance-tier quality because the consumer will have dozens of other fashionable pieces to cycle and rotate through, but they cannot afford to make them at a high per unit price for stock that will quickly become unsellable to the niche fashion market they are targeting, even at discount, and which the performance market wouldn't touch in the first place because of the eye-catching designs.
You make a good point about the performance gear. I tried buying cheaper workout clothes from Target that would lose shape or fall apart so I never bought again.

Now I spend big bucks on workout shorts, weightlifting pants, athletic socks that are all extremely robust and have held up to years of wear. Weightlifting pants are the hardest to buy that now I don't even wait for a sale. I just buy if I see a pair I like.
 

LA Guy

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I used to live near a Nike outlet that was a dumping ground for their global retail network. Full size runs of Gyakusou, JFS, and other collabs were always there at 50-70% off, rotting on the racks. An assortment of ProCombat, RUN and other mainline brands were kept at their RRP as the store got considerable traffic.

I think the reason for this is that the market is completely different for the performance and the fashion collab lines. The customers who buy the fashion collabs above all else want novelty in design, which is a very time sensitive demand, but they are willing to pay for something that is subjectively "just right" in aesthetics to stand out; and are a very small minority in total consumers compared to the mainstream. Meanwhile the performance gear market often buys clothing as a necessity rather than as a frivolous distraction, they don't want to stand out but rather to fit in, and if the shorts they buy fall apart in 15 wears, they will simply swear off Nike and buy from a competitor. The mainstream performance gear market has far more consumers but each consumer buys much less clothing than the fashion-conscious one and is also more price-sensitive.

Thus, the performance gear must be more robust and last longer, perform "better" and be at a more competitive price; but the benefit is that can sit for sale for a long time in those basic mainstream designs and has considerably more consumers it can appeal to.

The fashion collabs are only desirable for a few months at the very most until something cooler comes out, have to be marked up significantly in order to recoup the costs of distributing these niche lines to enough retailers for awareness and this probably explains why the vast majority of the pieces are going to be very cheaply made and thus "worse performing" or non-robust. They not only don't have to be performance-tier quality because the consumer will have dozens of other fashionable pieces to cycle and rotate through, but they cannot afford to make them at a high per unit price for stock that will quickly become unsellable to the niche fashion market they are targeting, even at discount, and which the performance market wouldn't touch in the first place because of the eye-catching designs.
I suppose that I’ve been wearing the same plain black Under Armour compression shirts for at least 16 years, just replacing them as they wear out. That said, I know fabric prices, and they are really a small fraction of even the lower prices of the performance clothing. And in lines line Carhartt WIP, which are in house and have perennial pieces, the fabrics are not as durable as those on the regular line. It’s frustrating. I have a feeling that it’s not just a cost issue. And some companies, like Stussy, seem to be able to do collabs with no quality decreases. And every single sneaker collab seems to be made the same as the mainlines, and often with better materials, including novel designs like the Rick Owen’s Converse.
 

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