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polyfusion

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I thought the same thing, I’m glad I’m not the only one. Jumpers I treasured that cost a fortune were on the floor with £45 stickers scrawled across them. It was disconcerting, I must say.

I picked up a fair few things and do wish that I picked up more.

As for financial difficulty, they did the same thing in 2019 in collaboration with Ettinger if I recall correctly, so I think they’re alright in that regard.
Yeah it’s hard to process.
I mean the counter argument is that real fans of the brand got amazing bargains and clothes that may have been wasted , weren’t. Which is no bad thing
But i did find the whole thing hard to stomach too. The year my wife bought me 3 full priced ties for my birthday for example, which was a real stretch for her and a meaningful present to me, suddenly didn’t sit well with me.
I also didn’t really enjoy watching the drakes staff , all of whom I really like, have a pretty bad day clearing up after everyone.
 

zenosparadox

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Yeah it’s hard to process.
I mean the counter argument is that real fans of the brand got amazing bargains and clothes that may have been wasted , weren’t. Which is no bad thing
But i did find the whole thing hard to stomach too. The year my wife bought me 3 full priced ties for my birthday for example, which was a real stretch for her and a meaningful present to me, suddenly didn’t sit well with me.
I also didn’t really enjoy watching the drakes staff , all of whom I really like, have a pretty bad day clearing up after everyone.
Yep, it definitely kills the aura. And I wasn't even in a sample sale city, so I have no illicit spoils to show for the murdered aura--just the image of a once desired jumper carelessly trampled underfoot.

Edit: reminds me of the last bit of Beckett's Murphy (after Murphy's cremation), which I love: "Some hours later Cooper took the packet of ash from his pocket, where earlier in the evening he had put it for greater security, and threw it angrily at a man who had given him great offence. It bounced, burst, off the wall on to the floor, where at once it became the object of much dribbling, passing, trapping, shooting, punching, heading and even some recognition from the gentleman's code. By closing time the body, mind and soul of Murphy were freely distributed over the floor of the saloon; and before another dayspring greyened the earth had been swept away with the sand, the beer, the butts, the glass, the matches, the spits, the vomit."
 
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Honestly, I felt pretty sick today going in.
Went in and so many clothes I’d spent a lot of money on over the last few years, all reduced to nothing. Ties I’d spent £145 on down to £25, knitwear I’d bought at 200 down to 45.
£1200 jackets were £195. I’d always considered drakes quite special and a visit there special, and it suddenly felt like visiting primark.
Wish I’d have bought more but something about it didn’t sit right and I almost couldn’t do it.
Lost a bit of respect for Drakes maybe?
Also seriously wondered if Drakes has financial issues?
I wondered the same having been down again today (actually went inside this time as there was no queue!). The cost reductions were almost silly in the last couple of hours. Picked up 5 ties, scarf, braces, sport coat and 2 Galway for less than the cost of a normally priced Galway. I am seriously reconsidering the value of brands like Drakes and Edward Green now. Hope both brands are healthy financially but I now think the full prices they charge are no longer good value to me. £595 for cordovan boots that would normally be £1600+? That markup is stupid and will make me more likely to support Vass and Antonio Meccariello more in future.
 

keepondigging

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In terms of pricing and value, I do agree with the points being raised. But in a way this is an age old dilemma. You either pay the crazy RRP when it’s fresh and in their flagship store, and this gives you the security of knowing you are going to own a piece you really wanted in your exact size (also the flex points on Instagram if you are that way inclined). Or you play the waiting game and risk losing out on getting exactly what you want, but then if you do get the chance, you may get if for a steal.

There have been plenty of drakes pieces over the years that sold out at full price and were never seen again at any sale, so buying at rrp from them is still reasonable if it’s a piece you really want. I think if you’re savvy enough though you kinda have to predict what pieces will go and what will sit. It’s not great to ask that of your customers, but it is what it is. Once a brand gets that South Korean and Chinese money, the prices can easily start getting out of hand, and those are probably some of their biggest emerging markets.

To me the pricing now is aiming towards luxury, and when you have an audience like that captivated, you don’t necessarily have to be consistent with price:value ratios. Then you have sample sales like these where the thrifty menswear nerds hoover up what’s left in one mad rush. From a marketing perspective too, stuff like that video of the queue outside by that London fashion blogger posted a page back is worth its weight in gold in terms of exposure. More than makes up for any losses on their end from the bargain basement prices inside.
 

zenosparadox

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OMG...historically, so many complaints in this thread about how high Drakes pricing is. Now, the prices are too low?
I've never personally complained about high prices--inconsistent pricing, yes, although I think @keepondigging elucidates a lot of the market forces undergirding that apparent volatility--and I'd certainly prefer lower to higher prices. To be as vague as I can, because I'm sure my claims won't hold up to real scrutiny, it just seems as if Drake's was one thing until two or three years ago, and now they're quite suddenly another thing. And that isn't bad by any means--I'm not nostalgic for a smaller, quieter, happier Drake's that likely never existed, and never for long if so--but I don't think they've properly managed the transition between the old scale and the new. Not that there's any good way of managing this, and I for one haven't noticed any deterioration in the quality of the garments, which is the important thing. (Although many have noticed this, and I don't think I'm qualified to say whether their observations are valid or not.) They just seem a bit more incoherent to me as a brand than they used to, which is somehow perfectly crystallized for me by the image of a gorgeous sweater I would have wanted to buy at retail being carelessly dropped onto the floor from an overstuffed bin. Again, this is all vague and impressionistic, but that's all I have to offer at the moment!
 

emptym

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It seems to me that they probably sold some if not all of the items at a loss, which would be better than a total loss, or burning the goods, as some brands do.
 

zenosparadox

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It seems to me that they probably sold some if not all of the items at a loss, which would be better than a total loss, or burning the goods, as some brands do.
Yes, and I think we also have to account for how drastically the retail and cultural environment (demand) has changed over the last 18 months. They had their manufacturing directed towards making products that would have made more sense pre-pandemic, and then had to adapt to an ongoing and uncertain situation. You can’t turn on a dime—if you’ve made lots of ties and have a bunch of makers contracted to make more ties, you can’t just take those skillsets and materials and just start making leisurewear the next day. In many cases, it was probably more prudent to fulfill certain production quotas—to give people work and to use already acquired materials—even with the full knowledge that the goal was more to use labour and other resources than to satisfy demand that had shifted so quickly. Then you end up with more product, or at least more of the wrong product, than you could possibly sell at value, and it’s better to clear it out and perhaps recoup cost of materials than it is to let the product sit.
 

keepondigging

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Yeah the loss of their factory shop too meant that they no longer have a place to absorb that swell of mismatched odds and ends that they accumulate over time. Better to just dump it in one crazy sale and cut their losses with it than to have it sat in warehouses inaccessible to the public. The online archive sales are probably a big headache on their end too, so that’s not always a viable option for excess stock clearance. There was a fair amount of stuff at the sample sale yesterday that was genuine sample stock aswell as stuff which was irregular or had suffered minor damage, and would not fit into their archive sale model anyways.
 

Nickd

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I wondered the same having been down again today (actually went inside this time as there was no queue!). The cost reductions were almost silly in the last couple of hours. Picked up 5 ties, scarf, braces, sport coat and 2 Galway for less than the cost of a normally priced Galway. I am seriously reconsidering the value of brands like Drakes and Edward Green now. Hope both brands are healthy financially but I now think the full prices they charge are no longer good value to me. £595 for cordovan boots that would normally be £1600+? That markup is stupid and will make me more likely to support Vass and Antonio Meccariello more in future.
Edward Green have always been that kind of price and lower in their factory shop. Depends whether you mind buying seconds and overstocks and not having as much choice as you do at full price.
 

dieworkwear

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Edward Green have always been that kind of price and lower in their factory shop. Depends whether you mind buying seconds and overstocks and not having as much choice as you do at full price.
I think these sample sales have been going on for a while now. This is the flyer from 2012

In the past, sometimes they did these with Mackintosh. They traditionally happened about once a year in London. At some point, it included NYC.


tumblr_m79d7sphDr1qa2j8co1_1280.jpeg



May have gone further back than 2012. I know each of the factory stores held big sales about once a year or so. Then at some point, they started doing these sales together.

The Choosey Beggar used to list sample sales in NYC. The J. Press warehouse sale used to have the same chaotic energy. TCB often posted photos.
 

ChasingStyle

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I think moving stock at reduced prices in a once-every-so-often event is just good inventory and cash flow management. The opportunity cost of all that sitting inventory, particularly in times like these, is not insignificant for a niche companies like Drake's or EG.
 

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