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Rising incomes, rising tests

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gregory, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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  2. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    None of the examples cited in the article seemed particularly high end as the theme would suggest. With perhaps the exception of MaxMara.

    Also I believe they are inaccurate in stating that Sephora has only two other outlets as the Sephora chain is evident in many a large city.
     
  3. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    LabelKing: The writer was trying to demean those brands mentioned in the article (Pottery Barn, MaxMara, Tiffany & Co., Starbucks, Ferragamo, Zegna, etc) as goods preferred by the middle-class, who thinks that those brands represent upper class sensibilities, when upper class products are usually more discrete (Smythson, Holland & Holland, etc.).
     
  4. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    This article is from 1999, during the tech boom. Incidentally, University Village (described quite accurately in the article) is right down the street from me. They have lately fulfilled their dream of acquiring a Crate & Barrel, though, along with some other pointless shops. I really wish for a good haberdashery in there, to go poke around in, but I imagine the rent is too high and the clientele too poseurish to appreciate the type of wares I'd like to drool over. Instead we have Abercrombie, Gap and Banana Republic, and Butch Blum, where you are guaranteed a glare from the two counter girls as you peruse the Boss suits available there.
     
  5. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Ahh, Smythson, they make wonderful clothes. [​IMG] Seriously, their products really are first grade, if not somewhat overpriced, since one can get similar leather goods else where in the world for less, stationary on the other hand is a whole other matter and it is where they truly shine. Jon.
     
  6. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    This article pisses me off in its treatment of Restoration Hardware. RH quality is off the charts better than Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel, and though the expensive it is not nearly as expensive as non-"chain" stores that sell overpriced crap.
     
  7. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    There is nothing "˜middle-class' about Zegna, especially anything in the trofeo cloth range and higher and there especially nothing middle-class about Napoli Couture items. How many "˜middle-class' people have Zegna suits? Have many of them have MTM Zegna suits / jackets / trousers / vests with 15milmil15 cloth? How many of them have Napoli Couture items? Bought at full retail BTW, I'm not counting forumners who are experts at buying at 75% off, I speaking of the greater population that encompasses the label of "˜middle-class'. Most people think that Armani is the height of quality not Zegna. Granted Zegna has moved down market with some new products, but has for all intents and purposes kept up with their quality in their regular and extra-regular lines. To walk into Zegna and purchase +$9000 (so three suits and a few shirts / ties) in sartorial goods is not a privilege usually associated with the "˜middle-class'.

    I will leave you with one thought though, what is "˜middle-class'? I'm serious. What is "˜poor'? You think you know? How? Based on government computations telling you at what income level one is considered "˜poor'? Or "˜middle-class'? Class is not based on money, but rather solely on perspective. One perceives what is wealthy and what is not based on your particular standing in life. If someone has $50 billion dollars, he / she might think that a person with $4 billion is poor (and so compared to him / her, he / she technically is), which in turn might think that a person with $500 million is poor, which in turn might think that a person with $50 million is poor, who in turn might think that a person with $1 million is poor, who in turn might think that a person with $100,000 is poor, and so on and so fourth...

    Wealth is at the end a perception of the mind. I recall my mother speaking to a person once (I cannot recall the circumstance of the conversation) and she mentioned that she and her husband where very well off, for together they brought home a whole $80,000. To her, she was well off, and far be it for my mother to tell her otherwise and dissuade her from her perception of what is wealth. Her perception tells her she is wealthy, just as Warren Buffet's perception tells him he is wealthy. Whether you agree with the woman or Mr. Buffet is your discretion, for it is what you particularly think that will ultimately lead to your interpretations of such concepts.

    The only real "˜class' if you wish to call it that is noble titles, for they truly are an item that can only be inherited through blood (in most cases, yes I know they sell lesser titles, and yes I know new titles can be created, but when is the last time a Royal Monarch {HMS QE II comes to mind} created a noble title {which is not sellable}?).

    Jon.
     
  8. 1Dgaf

    1Dgaf Senior member

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    I don't think a title necessarily confers 'real' class. I think that comes with good bearing and treating people well. Carry yourself well, show respect to others, and don't speak too loudly.
     
  9. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    Jon:

    I'm not sure if your comments were directed to me or the author or generally, but anyway, I am not necessarily agreeing with the author. That's why I described her article as class snobbery. Because people like her tend to differentiate people by their values; upper class liking things that are discrete, of quality, rare, handmade and can be handed down to grandchildren etc etc while middle class buy things to create a lifestyle and to self-affirm.
     
  10. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    I was speaking in general, I would only disagree directly with point / counterpoint, not in "˜implied' general terms.

    I was just stating a point of view regarding class labels that are thrown around but really do not have concrete meanings, since they are based on individual perception.

    Jon.
     
  11. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    The only real "˜class' if you wish to call it that is noble titles, for they truly are an item that can only be inherited through blood (in most cases, yes I know they sell lesser titles, and yes I know new titles can be created, but when is the last time a Royal Monarch {HMS QE II comes to mind} created a noble title {which is not sellable}?).
    I don't think a title necessarily confers 'real' class. I think that comes with good bearing and treating people well. Carry yourself well, show respect to others, and don't speak too loudly.
    Perhaps I should have been more precise. By class I mean not the act of comporting oneself to societies full behavior standards, but the word class that is used as a distinction between one group of people and another. My point was that the only truly attributable separation of "˜class' which is generally accepted and based less on perception and more on tradition and a set standard of rules which in turn is the basis for the right of noble birth is the only truly measure of class separation which can theoretically be measured and accurately gauged. Jon.
     
  12. Steve B.

    Steve B. Senior member

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    J:

    Really? Can you elaborate further? I've only been to the downtown store, and been treated pretty well, even though I never bought anything.
     
  13. Kaga

    Kaga Senior member

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    (1Dgaf @ 24 Oct. 2004, 09:33) Quote The only real "˜class' if you wish to call it that is noble titles, for they truly are an item that can only be inherited through blood (in most cases, yes I know they sell lesser titles, and yes I know new titles can be created, but when is the last time a Royal Monarch {HMS QE II comes to mind} created a noble title {which is not sellable}?).
    I don't think a title necessarily confers 'real' class. Â I think that comes with good bearing and treating people well. Â Carry yourself well, show respect to others, and don't speak too loudly.
    Perhaps I should have been more precise. By class I mean not the act of comporting oneself to societies full behavior standards, but the word class that is used as a distinction between one group of people and another. My point was that the only truly attributable separation of "˜class' which is generally accepted and based less on perception and more on tradition and a set standard of rules which in turn is the basis for the right of noble birth is the only truly measure of class separation which can theoretically be measured and accurately gauged. Jon.[/quote] The 1999 vintage of the article is particularly telling. That was a golden era in which (along with my hosting Iron Chef specials) business magazines routinely carried cover stories along the lines of "Will the Dow hit 30,000?" and the New Economy was treated as a reality rather than as a collective chimerical daydream. It was the apex of sort of the J. Peterman-ization of the middle class, when we all thought we could become billionaires through day-trading and so every mall needed a Bang & Olufsen (LA dwellers, have they closed the outpost in the Beverly Center yet?). I personally don't think Zegna is particularly middle class, particularly has one has to know _something_ about clothes to be able to pronounce or spell it. Armani or Boss, yes. In terms of noble titles, has not the Queen given out Life Peerages recently? While those cannot be inherited, were not some of them titles? Baroness Thatcher springs to mind (well, she would had she not had a stroke). Additionally, was the power to create hereditary titles not just recently curtailed? The article does remind me of the book Bobos in Paradise, though. I suppose that the reflexive resentment many posters on this forum (and this thread in particular), myself included, is in some part due to the thought that this new enrichment causes people to buy, wear and venerate designers without any appreciation for quality..
     
  14. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    and Butch Blum, where you are guaranteed a glare from the two counter girls as you peruse the Boss suits available there.
    J: Really? Can you elaborate further? I've only been to the downtown store, and been treated pretty well, even though I never bought anything.
    It's very small, and there is little I look at there, but what has always struck me is the rudeness of the help. I don't really have much to offer about their selection, because I've been so turned off by the vibe of the place that I've spent very little time in there. The stuff in there is not really my style anyway.
     
  15. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    (imageWIS @ 24 Oct. 2004, 08:46)
    Quote The only real "˜class' if you wish to call it that is noble titles, for they truly are an item that can only be inherited through blood (in most cases, yes I know they sell lesser titles, and yes I know new titles can be created, but when is the last time a Royal Monarch {HMS QE II comes to mind} created a noble title {which is not sellable}?).
    I don't think a title necessarily confers 'real' class. I think that comes with good bearing and treating people well. Carry yourself well, show respect to others, and don't speak too loudly.
    Perhaps I should have been more precise. By class I mean not the act of comporting oneself to societies full behavior standards, but the word class that is used as a distinction between one group of people and another. My point was that the only truly attributable separation of "˜class' which is generally accepted and based less on perception and more on tradition and a set standard of rules which in turn is the basis for the right of noble birth is the only truly measure of class separation which can theoretically be measured and accurately gauged. Jon.
    I personally don't think Zegna is particularly middle class, particularly has one has to know _something_ about clothes to be able to pronounce or spell it. Armani or Boss, yes.[/quote] Funny. Very funny. Jon.
     
  16. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    I'd like to share another interesting article: http://www.booknoise.net/johnseabroo...ulture/nobrow/ One of the points made by the author: expensive labels get their inspiration from regular brands worn by regular people rather than vice versa. I think this is not always true.
     
  17. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    There's this one house in my neighborhood, a little two bedroom ranch house, cute as a button. Parked on the drive: a Hummer, a huge pickup truck, a Mercedes SUV. Drive your tomorrow tomorrow cards to heaven if you want. I'm not sure money or credit gets you any nearer to smart, happy, love, or peace. But these may not be the goals our society is trying to get us to focus on.
     
  18. fopkid

    fopkid Well-Known Member

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    gregory, nice recommendation on nobrow. like many books penned by staff writers for the new yorker, nobrow is taut and often funny.

    another book which touches on these issues is "trading up" (which was writen by a bcg partner). i haven't read it yet, so i can't give it the same glowing sendoff that i gave to nobrow.
     

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