Vass discontinuing US sales?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kabert, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    OK, I'll concede, maybe in Budapest.
    Grayson
     


  2. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Much has been written about the mating aspects of clothing, don't kid yourself.  Watch how women "check out" a man they might be interested in, and how their eyes will travel from the shoes a man is wearing or eventually to the shoes.  Men do the same thing, often without even realizing it.  Hence, the ubiquity of stiletto heels.
    Grayson
     


  3. tdial

    tdial Senior member

    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Vass is a great case study for a ton of different marketing and product marketing issues. It is possible to have an internet/catalog business that does not disintermediate your primary sales channels, though it is an issue that takes delicacy (you have to have lazer focused product segmentation for the styles/price ranges per channel, for example, which leads to more SKUs--difficult for a smaller manufacturer like Vass. You also can't sell the same product at different prices, especially these days where product pricing is so transparent).

    Back to product: simply put, the "value" equation of a product is traditionally looked at as Value = Benefits/price. We all know that, at least instinctively. All of us here on this board and AskAndy have strived to cut through the elements we know over-inflate value to the notion of "perceived" value. We all know that a large part of "perceived" value relates to brand image. We all have chosen to focus on tangible benefits of a product, and not just the label. In shoes, those tangible benefits would would be the styling (colors), degree of handmade elements, comfort, fit, and durability (I would guess). Other "tangible" benefits in that numerator should include a product's "staying-in" benefit AND (take a lesson, Turnbull&Asser) the service the company provides to a consumer.

    But that's just us. No company could ever build a franchise around consumers like us, for the same reason that no company could really build a brand around true bespoke product. There just aren't that many of us who discount brand image to the degree we do. The main purchasing drivers for the vast majority of consumers are the irrational and emotional benefits derived from brand and brand image. We all know this. So for department stores, especially the upscaled ones, they are going to sell the image brands, rather than the quality product "brands." Brands that aren't exactly household words, like Brioni and Kiton, are available, but the department stores are going to make their money on the Armanis, Ralph Laurens, Ferragamo, Prada, Gucci, and Zegnas of the world--companies that spend millions to promote that brand image/intangible value. Why? Because they get A LOT more return on their investment by investing in brand than they do investing on product. Now, this isn't to say that the can just spend spend spend on advertising without addressing their product, but they know the point at which the gap between perceived value and tangible value becomes a purchase hinderance.

    This is a real challenge for manufacturing/product excellence companies like Oxxford and Vass. Growth relies on brand image and distribution. Distribution is only achievable via brand health (or awareness) and/or channel incentives. Pick your poison.
     


  4. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    East Hampton & New York
    I was under the (mis)impression that Style Forum was founded due to just this type of posting on the GQ forum.
     


  5. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

    Messages:
    20,008
    Likes Received:
    97
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    New York City / Buenos Aires
    you're not gonna get l**d
    I was under the (mis)impression that Style Forum was founded due to just this type of posting on the GQ forum.
    Speaking of which: Did modernman shut off their clothing section / forum? I was trying to find the infamous Josh / clear metal collar stays thread but I could not go into the clothing forum. Jon.
     


  6. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Messages:
    34,533
    Likes Received:
    12,124
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Yes, there have been several, quite credible studies, that indicate that (heterosexual) women are more likely then (heterosexual) men to (subconsciously) attach more weight to dress when it comes to attraction to members of the opposite sex. I will leave members to draw their own conclusions.

    However, I submit that a woman who would consciously be impressed by a guy because they wore Prada/Weston/Vass shoes, and this not because she loves beautiful handiwork/design, is not a woman worth talking to.
     


  7. whnay.

    whnay. Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    9,420
    Likes Received:
    282
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    No truer words have been spoken.
     


  8. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

    Messages:
    20,008
    Likes Received:
    97
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    New York City / Buenos Aires
    However, I submit that a woman who would consciously be impressed by a guy because they wore Prada/Weston/Vass shoes, and this not because she loves beautiful handiwork/design, is not a woman worth talking to.
    No truer words have been spoken.
    Ditto. Jon.
     


  9. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    For the record, several very discerning women (and men) have complimented me on my Vass shoes. Wearing my Vass monkstraps is a near "religious" experience [​IMG] Grayson
     


  10. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2003
    I think we hath digressed
     


  11. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Yeth we hath.
    Grayson
     


  12. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    I think we really need to know how many shoes Vass can put out before we can say what their pricing should be, and how effective they can attact the 99% of the populations that buys for brand rather than intrinsic quality. Obviously, if its handmade, this puts a limitaion on output.

    Perhaps, their output is so limited, that it might as well focus on the 1% shoe nerds who've actually heard of Vass. If its that small, then it couldn't justify the money they'd need to put in to raise awareness among the general public. And, if these shoe nerds are attracted to Vass because of the quality and not the value of it, Vass might as well raise their price.
     


  13. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Another issue is that of repeat business, and a tendency of many aspirational shoe fetishists to acquire one trophy shoe of various elite brands and that's it, their desires have been sated.---Of the miniscule % of men who even know Vass, an even more miniscule will buy several pair.  There are limits to how many pedestals one can have on which to display their trophy shoes.
    Grayson
     


  14. lisapop

    lisapop Senior member

    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    What? I was thinking of the word "land." You're not gonna get "land" and become a land-owning aristocrat simply by announcing you own one pair of shoes or another.
    Grayson
     


  15. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    New York City
    You guys still don't seem to get the target market for luxury products. It isn't the people on this forum (for the most part), it isn't the weird Japanese shoe fetishists. Those people make up like .05% of the market.

    The guy who Vass should target is the guy who drives an SL500 , has a closet full of Brioni suits, eats at Ruth's Chris on a Monday night, and reads the Robb Report (and actually buys what's in the RR).

    To catch these people, you need to be expensive. With the current Vass price, these people aren't interested, and there certainly won't be a buzz about the product.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by