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The CM Graveyard: First Sartoria Partenopea... next J. Crew?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jrd617, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. jrd617

    jrd617 Stylish Dinosaur

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    Recently stumbled on this post from October saying that Partenopea went bust. I had no idea!



    Something similar is happening at (lower end) J. Crew. Does anyone else remember the time (circa 2010) when they were doing really well? Their basics, Ludlow suits, desert boots, Alden shoes, chinos, Timex watches were all very liked by SF. Sad!!! Their name is strong enough though where they will saved by PE should they go bankrupt.

    Are there any other recent fatalities?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017

  2. NickPollica

    NickPollica Distinguished Member

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    Basically all of traditional retail is on the verge of going bust due to the rise of over proliferation of product, online shopping and fast fashion. Nearly all major department stores (aside from Nordstrom) are reporting record low numbers. Saks fired 2000 employees last week. It's rumoured Nieman Marcus will go bankrupt within the year and Bergdorf Goodmen men's may close.
     

  3. jrd617

    jrd617 Stylish Dinosaur

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    Yeah I know there's a big glut of apparel stores in all markets (men, women, kids). We had a discussion here. RL is probably fine. https://www.styleforum.net/threads/end-of-an-era-ralph-lauren-closing-fifth-avenue-flagship.540477/

    I think I heard about Nieman. Did not know about Bergdorf

    I was saddened over S. Partenopea. They don't have a big store footprint. It seems their issue was that the founder died.

    J. Crew should still be doing well. It seems the president got too cocky and tried to get into high end stuff. Should have stuck with the basics everyone likes. That's where the big $$$ is.
     

  4. kashmir

    kashmir Senior Member

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    Any news if the SP name is being bought out or whether the production facility (the tailors) is being utilized by another entity?
    Something similar happened a few years back when Zegna dissolved their Madova plant. Wondering where all those good tailors went.
     

  5. NickPollica

    NickPollica Distinguished Member

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    It had little to do with their founder - Sartoria Partenopea had basically no business at all. Eidos actually kept them afloat for the 1.5 seasons they produced our tailoring but when we moved back to Michelangelo they closed. The reality is that less and less people want to buy tailoring and its getting very difficult to maintain the kind of volume that can keep a factory open.

    I don't feel like the media's characterization for J. Crew's downturn is really fair or accurate. They never stopped making basics. There are just a ton of other options in that space now and they've trained all their customers to wait for a sale that will always happen. Who is going to pay full price when you know you will be able to get something for 60% off in a month?

    This is also an issue for RL, which is in very real trouble.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017

  6. taxgenius

    taxgenius Distinguished Member

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    Why can't they compete with "fast fashion"?
     

  7. NickPollica

    NickPollica Distinguished Member

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    Because stores like H&M and Zara have very short development cycles and production lead times. They can basically copy anything that is trending in the expensive designer world and have it in stores in a matter of weeks for much cheaper.

    Unfortunately outside of this forum most people don't care about quality goods, which take time to develop. People want the look of something for as little as possible so they don't care about throwing it out when the next trend comes along.
     

  8. NickPollica

    NickPollica Distinguished Member

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    All of this is not to say that niche brands focused on quality cannot be successful, the problem is that these huge companies cannot sustain their marketshare with the space being so fragmented.
     

  9. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Stylish Dinosaur

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    Speaking of Nordstrom, I was listening to the radio and someone was talking about how Nordstrom shifted its focus from its full retail stores to emphasize the off-price Rack locations. They now have more Racks than regular Nordstroms which is why they have been far more successful than other retailers. Macy's, one of the floundering chains, is trying to help itself by focusing on the very profitable cosmetics market, though I don't know how far they can take it without radically changing the kind of retailer they are.
     

  10. NickPollica

    NickPollica Distinguished Member

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    Nordstrom also does more business on their website than Target does.

    But the focus on off price only reinforces my previous point. Most people want more disposable things cheaper. This is not good news for fans of CM. SP and J.Crew are just the beginning.
     

  11. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Stylish Dinosaur

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    I don't doubt it. Their website is, of course, massive and difficult to navigate. I usually hate buying online from department stores because the focus is nonexistent. I'd rather go directly to the manufacturer's website and get specific information rather than the generic info that most dept. stores provide. Nordstrom provides detailed info online when possible, which helps a lot.
     

  12. NickPollica

    NickPollica Distinguished Member

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    Yeah, they do a much better job on digital than their traditional competitors.
     

  13. SuitedDx

    SuitedDx Distinguished Member

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    I wonder of the numerous made to measure places (i.e., MySuit in NYC) greatly impact the tailored market. At least in NYC, there's a trend of dressing up; however, it's not like most can afford CM favorites.

    I wonder how these brands do overseas. It seems that "American" brands (e.g., RL, Levi's) still command a demand, even if it's a lower price-point market.
     

  14. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Stylish Dinosaur

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    It's well-known that the women's clothing market is much larger than the men's. Because of that I don't know how much of an impact this phenomenon has but at least for menswear I see more attention paid to quality and craftsmanship than in previous decades. you can find documentaries on Netflix devoted to classic menswear brands, The reemergence of heritage quality products, etc. i'm probably biased but I think the most successful menswear brands, including the Online MTM, are the ones that take a different trajectory from the fast fashion model. This probably doesn't apply to women's wear. My wife still, and probably always will, by trendy clothing that she intends to wear for a season.
     

  15. poorsod

    poorsod Distinguished Member

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    I am not surprised that traditional retail is dwindling. Over the past few years I have bought very little from brick and mortar stores. I mostly buy bespoke or online. I used to browse at Barneys, Bergdorf and etc but I don't even bother doing that these days
     

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