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

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

  1. bing

    bing 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..

    Only read the first few posts:

    This is a great TED video that i think identifies with this point.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/se...s_we_lead.html

    Seth Godin suggests that instead of mass-marketing, you take a niche product and you take it to where the people who are interested in it congregate (where they form tribes). The internet subverts geographic constraints in this case.

    What this thread suggests about clothing v. forums i've been doing for the last 10 years with niche market automotive parts. It's an incredible business model that can be fantastically passive.
     


  2. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Yes, Doc's post makes a lot of sense. It will be fun to watch when the Vox/Foo/Phat Guido of the structured look finally arrives, especially if he is vociferous as well as a good self-photographer: how will the various prominent posters coexist? Will the forum split up? Will the current sellers introduce structured stuff (well, accessories that go with that look) or will new sellers spring up?

    RSS had posted his Huntsman and Richard Anderson a while back at AAAC. He just doesn't seem as vocal as others. I mean to try RA sometime in the future but I'm not yet sure I can justify the price.
     


  3. Guero

    Guero Senior member

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    Yes, Doc's post makes a lot of sense. It will be fun to watch when the Vox/Foo/Phat Guido of the structured look finally arrives, especially if he is vociferous as well as a good self-photographer: how will the various prominent posters coexist? Will the forum split up? Will the current sellers introduce structured stuff (well, accessories that go with that look) or will new sellers spring up?

    I see this from a slightly different perspective. My own preference for "unstructured" suits and coats did not originate from any notion of aping Vox, PG or anyone else. Rather, it probably evolved from the very American sensibility that a less rigidly structured coat is more comfortable on me. No doubt SF helped me evolve from Brooks Brothers and Zegna to Isaia, but it was because of exposure to the possibility of wearing coats that, on my frame, simply felt more comfortable -- not because I cared to look like anyone else. Perhaps what I'm saying is that often far too much is made by the forum elders of the notion of "groupthink" or an SF orthodoxy among we acolytes. I would venture to guess there's a fair few free thinkers among us.

    Enlightening discussion, all the same. Merry Xmas.
     


  4. aj_del

    aj_del Senior member

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    Yes, Doc's post makes a lot of sense. It will be fun to watch when the Vox/Foo/Phat Guido of the structured look finally arrives, especially if he is vociferous as well as a good self-photographer: how will the various prominent posters coexist? Will the forum split up? Will the current sellers introduce structured stuff (well, accessories that go with that look) or will new sellers spring up?

    What would be the difference in accessories between a soft look and a structured look ?
     


  5. RLP

    RLP Senior member

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    post feed this post is quite informing for myself
     


  6. academe

    academe Senior member

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    As much as I'm enjoying the various discussions in this thread, I'll toss out what i think is a fairly simple explanation. For most posters, SF is their primary exposure to men's style. They are far more likely to see something new and interesting here than in real life. And not only might they see it once, as they might in a GQ ad, they might well see it over and over again, such as when PG adopted the bicolor knit. It's an advertiser's dream -- targeted, repeated product placement to a niche audience with money to spend and needs they didn't know they had. Suddenly, the forum's created its own market for bicolor knits, at least until PG moves onto his next fad.

    In short, groupthink as it exists here isn't just a case of mindless sheep copying trends, but a reflection of the relatively little exposure most guys have to the world of men's style.

    It's only natural, then, that sellers would spring up to meet the forum-created demand, especially when -- as in Kent's case -- the seller is part of that demand.

    I do believe that sooner or later someone will win forum converts to something other than the soft-shouldered SF house style. Whether that person will be a Huntsman bespeaker who posts often enough in WAYW or the likes of RL/Tom Ford, we'll have to see.

    It'll help, of course, when the winds of RTW shift enough that some new styles are available on deep discount.


    +1

    Sadly, with the demise in more recent times of publications like Apparel Arts, the level of subtlety and sophistication in men's wear publications seems to have nose-dived, in favour of more transient "fashion" rather than "style" oriented publications (e.g. GQ, etc.)... I also like that the SF retailers are interacting with and responding to direct consumer interests, rather than trying to "set the agenda"for consumers, as large fashion houses are wont to do...
     


  7. MBreinin

    MBreinin Senior member

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    I think the 'soft', 'drapey' style resonates more with Americans than does the quintessential military influenced British style.

    I think many Americans admire it, but find it too ostentatious.

    Speaking generally of course.


    I like this look very much. As Bill said below, I have been known to wear it here. However, it has not been very well received in WAYWRN on me, whereas the soft shouldered look has been. I use WAYWRN as my main feedback device, because in the real world most people don't know a damn thing about fit and composing a good overall fit.

    Truth be told, I got just as much positive feedback in the real world when wearing a RLPL with wide shoulders as I do when wearing a soft tailored Corneliani or SP piece. However, I discount the large majority of it because I trust the people here more. Maybe that is sad, maybe that is the wrong way to approach it...I don't know.

    So, much of the RLPL stuff is gone, because it was voted down in WAYWRN. Every time I post something that is structured I hear a chorus of "too much shoulder for you," or "too much waist suppression," and then something soft goes up and it is "this shoulder looks so much better on you," or "you should focus on this type of look from here on," etc. I am not a small shouldered guy, so I hear a lot of "top heavy" and "linebacker" type comments when this type of fit goes up.

    Here is a SC I posted that I personally love, and will not part with. However, it was met mostly with silence and a couple of posts to the effect of "this is very structured, but I guess that is the nature of the coat, I would like it better with less shoulder though....." This is older Polo.

    [​IMG]

    So, while I still like this look, I mostly have abandoned it.

    The extended structured shoulder, heavily draped look was indeed a popular look of the time, and reached an exaggerated endpoint in the early 1950s.

    As early adoptor of Years 1 and 2 of RLPL, I can say one thing with certainty: it was not popular.

    It's fun to see some of it on MBrenin, although I have yet to see the the Nuttery/Blade's versions that I wore on him yet.


    Well, I have pretty much ended my search for the early stuff. I have sold almost all of my CB era pieces, except one suit that I had the shoulders redone to be much less intense. You were one of the only people that seemed to like me in this era RLPL. If something really cool comes along, I would still consider it. However, I have been pushed in the soft direction by feedback here.

    I do regret letting a really cool chalk stripe 2/3 roll SB suit with turnback cuffs slide by about 6 months ago though.

    While many here will admire someone who goes bold, it is not a look they favor. So, in the end you have to decide if you want to wear what you like, and risk derision if you post pics, or follow the pack if you would like positive feedback. That is why I say I have been dressed by SF, because I took the advice and followed the path of praise.

    Mike
     


  8. forex

    forex Senior member

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    Mike,
    perhaps you should stop listening to people here and/or seek for feedback on your fits. It almost looks like you are dressing solely for SF approval. I'd say screw SF and wear what you like as long as you think you feel and look comfortable.
     


  9. aportnoy

    aportnoy Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Be afraid, be very afraid.
     


  10. james_timothy

    james_timothy Senior member

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    Disgree, guys. MBeinins post is honest and well-thought out. Combine that with Docs post and you have a reasonable guide to the meaning of SF for the non-bespoke wearers, especially those who try things out in WAYWRN.
     


  11. Threadbearer

    Threadbearer Senior member

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    I'd say screw SF and wear what you like as long as you think you feel and look comfortable.
    Excellent advice. Nothing left to do but select a color.

    [​IMG]
     


  12. MBreinin

    MBreinin Senior member

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    Mike,
    perhaps you should stop listening to people here and/or seek for feedback on your fits. It almost looks like you are dressing solely for SF approval. I'd say screw SF and wear what you like as long as you think you feel and look comfortable.


    No, I am not. I am dressing based upon what looks were well recieved on WAYWRN. I still do wear what I like, but I have changed my approach to what people who I consider more knowledgeable that I am (or perhaps just have a different take on things), have told me I look good in. People here are clothes enthusiasts, so I take their opinions to heart. That is the entire point of WAYWRN for me. If I did not want feedback that I could use to make adjustments, I would not post fits so often.

    I don't know if Aportnoy's comment was directed to me, but I really am not in the mood for it either way.

    Mike
     


  13. Bartolo

    Bartolo Senior member

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    The main attraction to me of the vendors you've described (particularly HY, Sam Hober, KW and Panta) is that they offer classic basics that I cannot find elsewhere.

    Grey flannel pants, solid grenadine ties and solid knit ties. These are what are on my acquisition list for 2011. Yet no bricks and mortar retailer offers these basics. Why?


    I have no problem finding such basics here. Are they really that hard to find?
     


  14. aportnoy

    aportnoy Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't know if Aportnoy's comment was directed to me, but I really am not in the mood for it either way.
    In no mood for my comment, yet willing to ditch your wardrobe and individual sense of style based on the ramblings and judgments of interwebz yahoos. Perhaps you need to rethink who is your enemy and who is really trying to help you.
     


  15. philosophe

    philosophe Senior member

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    Mike, you are wise not to ditch that SC. It looks great on you. Besides, most of us need some variety in how we dress.
     


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