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Thomas Mahon doing MTM & RTW

patrickBOOTH

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I am not sure if this has been brought up on here, but I am curious to know what some people's feelings are on this. Thomas Mahon an avid supporter of bespoke clothing is going to be offering MTM and RTW. It seems strange coming from him because of his passion for bespoke, not just his bespoke, but bespoke in general. Any thoughts? Here is the excerpt from his site:

This year English Cut will change expectations again. We believe we can make a true made to measure and ready to wear alternative. I know some people will say they've heard this before and quite frankly I don't blame them, because so have I.
All I ask is that you trust me. It's your opinion that matters so let me first give you the basic facts and an outline of what our new range will achieve. If you have opinions or would ultimately like to try our collection please let me know and we'll get some of you wearing our clothes. This will of course be the real test of our workmanship. Here's my simplified manifesto on what you should expect of our English Cut clothes.

Myself and Paul Griffiths (our head coatmaker) have worked personally over the last year on designing the pattern, cut and construction.

Everything is made exclusively for English Cut and no other houses.

Hand made, as our bespoke, fully canvassed with hand buttonholes etc.

English fabrics and the best trimmings available.Most importantly, they're to be as close as possible to our bespoke. Capturing the natural look and feel which is of no comparison to what's currently available.

My last statement regarding the feel is arguably the most important factor. It's certainly how our clothes feel that have kept us full to capacity throughout this miserable depression that's seen so many tailors struggling. I know our new range have this quality as my existing clients have told me so. Of course this had to be my first stop to get an honest opinion. I can promise you that my clients of several years thought they were trying on one of our own jackets made here in our workshops.

In the end you want to know the cost of these, well here you are. A made to measure will be around £1400 ($2200) and ready to wear at £1100 ($1700). Initially I'll be measuring for these in the UK and USA. We'll also be providing a ready to wear selection at smaller specialised men's outfitters, again here in the UK and also in the US (if that may be you, please let me know).
Before you ask I will continue as we are and why not, this is what we love to do. I do hope however that our hard work will make life a little more pleasant and affordable for you. We have no intentions of marketing these clothes on a huge budget with models, magazines and other trendy media. We wont need to. As we've always done, we'll let the clothes do the talking for us.
 

mack11211

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Sounds like a micro-Oxxford, or Norton's Tautz without the sheen of fashion.

Prices are reasonable.
 

gdl203

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I just don't think any tailor can create a lot of wealth for himself, his family and his partners without either expanding operations (and therefore have others cut and represent the operation) or branching out into other revenue streams. It seems like Mahon is going for the latter.
 
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I swapped some emails with Tom way-back-when, and he always seemed like a super nice and super helpful guy. Wish him the best with his new venture.
 

academe

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Originally Posted by gdl203
I just don't think any tailor can create a lot of wealth for himself, his family and his partners without either expanding operations (and therefore have others cut and represent the operation) or branching out into other revenue streams. It seems like Mahon is going for the latter.

+1

So long as the RTW and MTM work does not affect the quality of is bespoke product, I don't see any of this as a problem...One has to make a living after all, and Tom's post seems quite forthright on this matter...
 

sellahi22

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I don't begrudge anyone for trying to make money but I'd be surprised if this becomes a successful venture. I'd imagine that consumers of $1700 RTW suits are too preoccupied or indifferent to appreciate the fine details which separate Mahon's suits from the dozens of other suits at that price point.

Cultivating an elaborate fictional brand image (like Isaia, RL, Corneliani, Canali, E Tautz, etc), and doing the corresponding heavy marketing in GQ, WSJ, etc probably goes a lot further than explaining the nuances of crooked shoulder seams to this type of customer.

The other risk is that the more someone learns about Mahon and his background, the more he might be discouraged from buying RTW.
 

patrickBOOTH

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I kind of feel that if you are in the market for a $1,700 suit, why wouldn't you just get the $2,200 MTM? Then I told myself that if you can't afford his bespoke you shouldn't be buying a $2,200 MTM either.
 

academe

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Originally Posted by Will
My first reaction was "No wonder my three jackets are not back yet." That was probably unfair and I do wish Thomas well, but I will bet I am not the only bespoke customer with a similar thought.

In fairness, they have also just had a baby!
 

Holdfast

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I wish him very well and hope the project succeeds.

I'm not convinced there will be a large market for these, esp. the RTW. RTW generally needs a large advertising budget to establish a brand. The English Cut/Thomas Mahon brand is strong in some respects, but I would have thought currently lacks the presence to drive a significant RTW expansion. The MTM sounds a bit more likely to do well, as sometimes even a bespoke customer will choose to get a rarely used or frivolous item in MTM if they can't justify to themselves commissioning it as a bespoke item.

Having said all of that, it does not sound that Mahon wants either of these items to become large operations. If one thinks of his bespoke as a cottage industry, these could be more of a "townhouse industry", if you'll pardon the overextended metaphor, growing organically and not requiring really heavy overhead investment beyond what he already spends. Many small businesses work well with this model, with owners happy with that kind of growth.

Again, good luck to him!
 

radicaldog

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I think it could work. Kiton, Brioni etc. were unknown at first, and I don't think they started out with massive advertising.
 

Beaune Head

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Good news for me at least, because now I can afford a Thomas Mahon suit...
 

A Y

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G&G had a similar plan, though I'm not sure how it's panning out. They wanted an RTW line so it would be the primary funder for their livelihood, and that would let them do bespoke the way they really wanted to do it. This may turn out to be a good thing for English Cut's bespoke business.

--Andre
 

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