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The Rise of Style Forum-born Entrepreneurs and their Impact on Style

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by F. Corbera, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  2. Coburn

    Coburn Senior member

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    Well, FWIW, this is consistent with the long-tail theory: the internet has enabled entrepreneurs to market to small, but global, consumer niches.

    I don't buy bespoke but I have abandoned RTW for MTM in shirts, trousers and, recently, jackets. Increasingly, I'm using the internet for most accessories such as socks, shoes, and ties.

    The impact of SF on me is more subtle but significant. It made me conscious of the limitations and compromises of RTW and large retail outlets. In the past I accepted these compromises, unthinkingly. But, now, in addition to the SF based entrepreneurs, I have the ability to obtain better quality/better fitting goods from European based retailers.

    In the last year, I've made purchases from Yount, Wang and Panta. Additionally, I've purchased C&J shoes from a London based internet site, Dore-Dore from what I believe is an Paris based site, ties from Drakes and Hober (Thailand?) and a pair of trousers from a Japanese site. And, of course, Hemrajani's MTM shirts are workshopped out of HK.
     
  3. Night Owl

    Night Owl Senior member

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    i will be monitoring this thread closely

    -n
     
  4. OttoSkadelig

    OttoSkadelig Senior member

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    zero impact on taste. minor to negligible impact on buying habits.
     
  5. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    in, for a review later...
     
  6. mickey711

    mickey711 Senior member

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    ^I wanted to say that [​IMG]
     
  7. aportnoy

    aportnoy Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I was having a chat with a 99.9% departed SF member yesterday

    How is Vox?
     
  8. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    Conformity isn't all bad.
     
  9. tj100

    tj100 Senior member

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    Well, FWIW, this is consistent with the long-tail theory: the internet has enabled entrepreneurs to market to small, but global, consumer niches.

    I think that's exactly the phenomena that we're seeing here. Clothing of a certain quality level (and style) is all but unavailable in mainstream shopping centers, and where it is available in the traditional brick-and-mortar model, it is punitively expensive.

    A lot of what the 'SF entrepreneurs' are providing are things that are in such low demand in any given city, that as a retail proposition, they could not survive. But as an online business serving the world, they can. Over time, we'll probably see an increasing number of these kind of long-tail specialty businesses emerge, particularly in mature industries where proverbial corners are cut to increase profit (or just lower prices).

    I think it's an interesting question, for each of them individually, as to what their long-term goals are for their businesses. Do they hope to transition into being mainstream/retail brands? Are they satisfied with a long-term niche? etc.
     
  10. js4design

    js4design Senior member

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    no love for Eric Glennie?
     
  11. srivats

    srivats Senior member

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    I was having a chat with a 99.9% departed SF member yesterday, and he raised an interesting point about narrowing of taste on Style Forum. By narrowness, I think that he meant a type of close-mindedness about style that is not as simple as being plastered against "the rules," but the type that is pedanticly dressed-by-the-Internet and is closed off to learning or appreciating things beyond that.

    I'd like to add a contrary opinion. More than the entrepreneurs, it is the highly visible (and sometimes vocal) forum members that set the tone for the current taste. It keeps evolving as new members learn and try to have a style of their own, but one cannot ignore the indirect but strong influence Foo, PG and even yourself.
     
  12. MTLGuy

    MTLGuy Well-Known Member

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    zero impact on taste. minor to negligible impact on buying habits.

    For me it's minor impact on taste and major impact on buying habits (i.e. I never bought clothing online before stumbling into here).

    I can't get on board with all of the looks that I see in the WAYWRN thread but I do appreciate the information.
     
  13. taxgenius

    taxgenius Senior member

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    I think that's exactly the phenomena that we're seeing here. Clothing of a certain quality level (and style) is all but unavailable in mainstream shopping centers, and where it is available in the traditional brick-and-mortar model, it is punitively expensive.

    A lot of what the 'SF entrepreneurs' are providing are things that are in such low demand in any given city, that as a retail proposition, they could not survive. But as an online business serving the world, they can. Over time, we'll probably see an increasing number of these kind of long-tail specialty businesses emerge, particularly in mature industries where proverbial corners are cut to increase profit (or just lower prices).

    I think it's an interesting question, for each of them individually, as to what their long-term goals are for their businesses. Do they hope to transition into being mainstream/retail brands? Are they satisfied with a long-term niche? etc.


    Well said.
     
  14. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This forum gets a lot of bashing and there are a lot of love/hate relationships with it for a lot of people, but it does offer a lot of solid education. Sure there is some conformity here, but I think it offers looks, brands, and styles that one might not come across in your typical brick and mortar establishment. F. Corbera is in Boston, I am in New York and I have come across the same thing really. If you shop retail you are forced into some sort of conformity, and the same thing goes for Style forum to a degree. I think it offers more variety and ideas that you may not come across without it and I feel benefits many people sartorially, (at least in their own eyes, which is all that really matters).

    I think many of the Style Forum based businesses are a great thing because they offer convenience for the people who know what they want. However, many of them, while I still support them are still selling other's products and are basically niche department stores. I think traditional brands are going in this direction as well with all of the collaborations happening; it allows for greater profit from other's designs.

    All of this being said I have been wanting to see an all new brand, not a reinvention, that has a physical presence that combines the old school craftmanship Style Forum desires, and classic styling with more up to date fits. I have recently begun making this a reality albeit a painstakingly slow one.
     
  15. NH_Clark

    NH_Clark Senior member

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    I conform if it meets my taste and budget. Otherwise, it makes for good webz viewing and killing time 'til the workday is over.

    I will say that a byproduct benefit is some ridiculously great deals in B&S [​IMG]
     
  16. Raralith

    Raralith Senior member

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    That's a tough question for me as a consumer. I don't mind wearing dress shirts, trousers, sport coats, dress shoes or suits a few times a week. I like it to the point that I've embraced it, spending both time and money on how to better my understanding and appreciation of what I wear. As a consumer, I welcome enterpreneurs that take the chance to spend the time and build their businesses to supply a small niche that otherwise would have less to go to. I would be wary though, when someone passionate about what they do loses that and just sees us as profits and margins.

    Comformity wise, I think it is a big problem when the masses all mob together. Someone bigger will look over here and want to make a profit, someone else bigger than them will look over here and want to make a profit; a vicious cycle that will end up with Wal-Mart's selling suits in mass? What bothers me is that we take a serious look at a specific clothing tradition, something that requires skill and appreciation, and we give this to everyone who more than likely will not understand, the fat guy in the suit too small and sleeves too long, and it would be a mockery to what we do here. What is the use of clothing comformity if the current "normal" are pants too big, underwear showing, and shirts large enough to fit the morbidly obeses? Doesn't look good for us.
     
  17. Slewfoot

    Slewfoot Senior member

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    From a buyer's perspective, a lot of it comes down to trust. I wholeheartedly trust that guys like Jamison and Ed and Mark and Alan are going to take the time and attention to source only top fabrics products and make them in a style that is in line with my own. That type of trust is valuable and something that cannot be duplicated at larger department stores. Also, they're simply great guys. Keep up the good work!
     
  18. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    FC, I'm not sure a finite palette produces the same looks, if that's what you were trying to say. Perhaps to an outside observer, the well-dressed iGent looks the same but I think there are fairly large differences in style. Even more so in the few times I've met members here IRL and in that case their style of dress was just one relatively small component of the impression they made.

    Evaluation of style just online is distorted because we're often looking at still pictures of headless people and some people (including me) forget how weird that is. The evaluation criteria is what's most subject to conformity it seems: lots of people think the pics we post are the final arbiter of what we actually look like.

    --Andre
     
  19. Neo1824

    Neo1824 Senior member

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    My tastes have changed quite a bit since finding SF, not so much to conform to what I see others wearing but more as my eyes have been opened to different brands and a higher level of quality I found previously in brick and mortars.

    Also, I have grown to really appreciate the history and non-machine work that goes into a lot of the common brands found here...that attachment with years of history and disappearing skills is quite rewarding.

    As noted above, the online sellers from SF (and others such as Lance, Ian, Ben) provide a great product at prices that can't be beat. However, low volume with high inventory carrying does make me wonder on the long term sustainability of these ventures. I try to support them as often as I can with my buying habits and hopefully their success continues.
     
  20. tj100

    tj100 Senior member

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    All of this being said I have been wanting to see an all new brand, not a reinvention, that has a physical presence that combines the old school craftmanship Style Forum desires, and classic styling with more up to date fits. I have recently begun making this a reality albeit a painstakingly slow one.

    I think a lot of us would be pretty satisfied with old school craftsmanship meets slightly up-to-date styling. Of all the SF 'entrepreneurs', I think Panta has the best chance of being what I'm looking for (recognizing that others have their own preferences). Once the long-awaited 'classic cut' emerges from Panta, I'm buying every pair he makes in size 34. From what I've seen, the Panta trouser rivals my all-time-favorite Loro Piana wool trousers in build and materials quality, but are 1/3rd the price ($200 vs $600).

    Leathersoul is another business that is debatable as to whether it's an "SF" business or not, but one that I think hits the mark really well. Really good balance between classic style and worksmanship with some modern updates. They do a great job, and I find it hard to believe that they could thrive to the same degree as a b&m store in Honolulu that they do with the online business.
     

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