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

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

  1. Riva

    Riva Distinguished Member

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    I've always wondered who shops at stores like Malmaison but the Armoury seems to be flourishing well with unsold stuff channeled through Drop93.
     

  2. am55

    am55 Distinguished Member

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    The answer is 3 letters long :D

    But more seriously I probably would, past a certain net worth. It's just nice to be able to walk in, see for yourself, and walk away with the item you want, not wasting a few hours looking for a good deal, negotiating, wondering if you'll get some kind of grey market horror, etc. I guess I'm making Derek's point.

    And to be honest despite going to Charvet in place Vendome many times I was always a bit fearful of touching the merchandise, given the temple-like atmosphere inside; whereas the Malmaison sales guy encouraged me to play with the ties and get a feel for the springiness of those wonderful Charvet weaves and try tying a knot and was happy to show me around everything they had as well and spray every single Malle fragrance. Well, I haven't been there for years so maybe it's closed and been replaced by some kind of supermarket for LVMH portfolio brands with dead-eyed service...
     

  3. gfmozart

    gfmozart Distinguished Member

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    Sooooooo true. I played with my first charvet tie in bergdorf. Didn’t step in until my 4th trip in Paris. It’s was so intimidating back then and still is now. the temple of charvet is still there and it still is an edifice of stressful shopping. But almost zero parasitical shop assistants who stick to you like a leech when compared to the rest of now-burning Paris.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

  4. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Here's a counterpoint. You live in the Bay area, and benefit from the b&m stores there. For me, in Idaho, a store in Stockholm or Osaka is just as valuable as a store in San Francisco or New York.

    Also, the curation you value is highly overrated. I think that you know this as much as do I.
     

  5. gfmozart

    gfmozart Distinguished Member

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    Hahaha. Reminds me of the good old days of Paris. When you get ignored because your skin ain’t white enough and they assume u don’t speak the language, and your camera phone was a sure sign of photographs to send a copy back to somewhere in Asia for counterfeiting. Now it’s a please take more photographs so your entire prosperous village can buy up my store stock...
     

  6. gfmozart

    gfmozart Distinguished Member

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    I will agree here that some aspects of the preaching are too myopic. Reinforcing the idea that historical tastemaking alpha cities should be leading the way and the other less fortunate folk who do not live in these palaces of urban cosmopolitanism don’t know better and should not have too much aspirations and options. Apparently Amazon/Walmart does know better, as do a lot of internet shops. Accessing the consumer with the same desire but not the same availability.
     

  7. troika

    troika Distinguished Member

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    Ok so if the future of b&m retail is experiences, can we call out some brands that are doing this really well?

    I haven't been there yet but I hear the new Nike in soho is supposed to be dope. And of course totokaleo and DSM are great examples. Even the temp space toto was in is super dope.
     

  8. Loathing

    Loathing Distinguished Member

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    No one is asking you to change your shopping habits if you live in area with crappy shops. You are tilting at windmills.
     

  9. JJ Katz

    JJ Katz Senior Member

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    Interesting intersection of descriptive (what is) and normative (what ought to be) posts, in this thread.

    I think many here agree with the basic thesis that the signalling and non-utilitarian content of clothing is on a long-term diminishing trend and that the same is true of the retail distribution industry. Aside from a diminishing cohort of hold-overs, nostalgics and aficionados, each year there are fewer men who value tailored, quality clothing and shopping for it in well-appointed, full-service premises.

    On that basis, without getting too fancy about retail / distribution microeconomics, I think the implications for many ‘CM’ brands and retailers are evidently direr.

    At the same time, long-tail/cultural fragmentation and economic bifurcation effects should allow certain places to retain a storing offering and London has been cited as one such example, followed by other world cities like NYC, etc.

    Die Workwear notes the shift, among clothes-conscious men, from shopping in one or a few locations to shopping (or remote ordering) from a larger number of suppliers. I think the mix of smaller/narrower inventory and low search costs make this inevitable. The only physical shops that offer a broad set of options appear to be priced for people who would typically wear upward of 3-4k of clothing at a time (you know, Bresciani socks, C&J shoes, Ring Jacket blazer, etc.). That’s probably, what, 0.01% of men?

    On the ‘showrooming’ issue, personally I avoid it but it’s inevitable. I recall a particularly distasteful ad campaign in the UK years ago (form an electronics website) that actively encouraged people to do this. In the case of a brand that has single-brand retail outlets and an online presence, I think it’s much less objectionable and indeed we’ve seen on-line-only brands open showrooms for marketing purposes.
     

  10. Riva

    Riva Distinguished Member

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    Well RJ can be as low as $350-600 so hardly 4k total unless you're counting the watch. SF members know better than to spend that much. But I get your point. It's perhaps higher and more common to see people walking with that much valued clothing when they're wearing fashion brands.
     

  11. smittycl

    smittycl Distinguished Member

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    I agree. All us CM dudes here on Styleforum probably do dress daily in that price range but ensure we don't actually pay full retail. Today's wardrobe (not including overcoat, scarf, gloves or watch):

    Ermenegildo Zegna brown plaid cashmere sport coat ($3k retail, paid $400 NWT from favorite eBay vendor)
    Turnbull & Asser tie ($200 retail, $50 NWT again from eBay)
    Ermenegildo Zegna air force blue flannel pants ($400 retail at Barneys, $100 at Barneys final sale)
    Hickey Freeman blue dress shirt ($250 retail, $100 on sale)
    C&J Chelsea boots ($600 retail as I have a rough time getting shoes that fit so online rarely works for me)
     

  12. Riva

    Riva Distinguished Member

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    I bet you'll have to shell out a lot more if you bought those from a B&M store. Blessed are online stores.
     

  13. smittycl

    smittycl Distinguished Member

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    Definitely. The NWT stuff is seemingly always end-of-season merchandise from the big luxury retailers. Occasionally it's NOS. Lots of Barneys, Saks, even Oxxford (not a big retailer but topshelfapparel on eBay gets samples and MTM items that were not picked up for some reason). They just need to get rid of it to make room for the next season's items. I'm sure to them it's just a big tax write-off at that point. Much different situation than what a small retailer faces.

    I'm happy to hunt for this stuff as it's basically my hobby as well.
     

  14. Riva

    Riva Distinguished Member

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    Aren't we all? So who buys the $1500 jacket IRL?
     

  15. smittycl

    smittycl Distinguished Member

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    I would guess people at the level of wealth where those numbers don't matter. My first time in Barneys on the suit floor I was in summer tourist wear and the head salesman looked up from his paper and smiled over to his associate, obviously passing off a low-roller. My wife was miffed but I thought it was funny. (I ended up buying a fantastic Canali Exclusive summer suit, on sale of course). I imagine folks in NYC come in and buy several Isaia at once or set up an MTM appointment for Brioni. The junior associate indicated as much without being too specific.

    They apparently stock Sartorio as a gateway drug toward full-up Kiton. Get the young bankers and Wall Street types hooked early and lead them into the $10k suits.

    Funny somewhat-related story: Our next trip to NYC my wife went back to the hotel for a nap and I hit Paul Stuart and Barneys again. Thought I'd stop by Ralph Lauren's Polo Bar for a Rye Manhattan when it opened at 5:00. Doorman explained they are not really a bar but require reservations (implied: to keep the riff-raff out so Kanye and Woody Allen can enjoy a quiet drink I guess). I said I just wanted to come in for a cocktail as I'd heard the place was great. He spoke into a mic and put his hand to his earpiece like a Secret Service agent. I saw the manager (amazingly attractive 30-something) check me out through the glass and and nod her head. This trip I was dressed well and passed pseudo-1%er muster I guess. :blush:

    Two Whistle Pig Rye Manhattans plus tip was around $90 so they stuck me pretty good as the saying goes.
     

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