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February 11, 2006 at 10:30 pm
If there is a 50% sell through, I will eat my shorts. Even the most diehard fashion follower has his limit, and $750 shorts say “fashion victim” even to Elton John.
February 11, 2006 at 10:57 pm
If he sells most of the items besides the shorts he could reach it or if you do it in dollars he just has to sell the big ticket items like the beautiful sportscoats to hit that number. He doesn’t have a huge buy there or maybe he has not shipped it all yet. Shipping alone has killed many perfectly salable collections.
What i’m talking about has more to do with merchandising than just fashion
February 12, 2006 at 12:52 am
Fear not Thom Browne, a lot of folks were very impressed by the Emperor’s new clothes.
February 12, 2006 at 7:31 am
Thom Browne just shows again that designerlabels are the most overrated things in the fashion industry.750 $ for shorts? Nah, this is not a good marketing, sorry.
February 12, 2006 at 10:58 am
I agree with pure, that’s just highway robbery. Don’t get me wrong, Thom Browne knows his menswear and I happen to like them, but that’s just too much. Way too much.
February 12, 2006 at 11:42 am
It really is all about the merchandising, isn’t it? When you look at the true greats in retailing, say Louis Boston, they always attribute their success to knowing their customer. Jeffrey has certainly done well so I will give him the benefit of the doubt, however your assessment of the risk to Thom Browne is right on the money.
Who knows, maybe there are enough guys out there who want to live out an English school boy fantasy.
There has long been a strategy in retail of adding a little “spice” to the assortment to make it appear more interesting and to help sell more core product. Mr. Browne’s risk is being all spice and no meat.
February 12, 2006 at 12:04 pm
One who buys TB doesn’t really care that they’re paying the premium…I think they rather like it. It’s Man Couture. Mr. Kalinsky, I believe, is very loyal to TB…and he knows..that there are a small legion of TB men who have the wherewithal…not to mention the 30″ waists. Besides $750 ain’t what it used to be.
February 12, 2006 at 1:44 pm
I completely agree with the “Man Couture”, What Thom stands for in mens is closest to what John Galliano’s Dior means to women’s. It is well made, conceptual and directional. Unfortunately, Thom is unable to cash in big on the hype because he doesn’t yet have the mountain of auxiliary products to sell that Dior does.
I have no idea the real relationship between Thom and Mr. Kalinsky but the relationship usually changes as the store becomes increasingly dependent on the sales they receive from a particular designer. How Jeffrey buys Jil Sander has always seemed more safe to me than how the collection is shown in the Jil store uptown. Jil is a big percentage of his buy and therefore he takes fewer risks. The only unknown regarding how Jeffrey buys Jil is how many pieces (usually the best pieces) never make to the floor because they are sent directly from the box to the houses of his best customers on approval. If this is indeed happening, it drains some of the excitement from the store but is is very good business. After all, I don’t have to pay his bills so he can run his business however he wants.
February 12, 2006 at 4:01 pm
I don’t think TB is interested in cashing in and exploiting the “hype”. He’s been perfectly positioned to license his name, as well as advertise for a while..I think that’s part of why his customers are loyal and support him….it’s almost a “cause”. Not selling out, maintaining an exclusive brand, and refusing to size clothes for guys that shouldn’t be wearing it…is kinda hot. The last thing I want to see is my paunchy neighbor accross the hall wearing TB, sorry. I think all would be lost if he strayed from his expensive idiosyncratic convictions.
February 12, 2006 at 5:03 pm
Unless Thom wants to be Alaia he will have to cash in to some extent.
February 12, 2006 at 5:29 pm
To paraphrase the famous quote “write whatever you want about me, just spell my name right.”
February 13, 2006 at 11:31 am
I had to wear woolen shorts as a child at school and they are probably the most uncomfortable and impratical items of clothing I have ever known. Why on earth would you want to resurrect them?
And as for the price tag, I just don’t get it. You could fly to bermuda and have a tailor there make you up some shorts for the same price.
February 28, 2006 at 5:38 pm
If the shorts you are talking about are the ones that I’ve seen (cream with gold/yellow brocade flowers that looks like a tapestry or drape) I think the reason behind them being sold for $700 is the material. It is quirky and kind of eccentric. If they were a suit wool then I wouldn’t expect them to be over $500. The fact of the matter is that someone is going to buy them (I mean you have ladies out there paying $3000 for Dolce & Gabbana jeans with a little bit of astrakhan here and there…men can afford to shell out $700 for these shorts); however, I won’t be the one buying them (I will stick to the tie made from that fabric). Anyways, point of the matter, I am really into Thom Browne (the dress shirts for $280-450 a pop are the best I’ve owned, even compared to some MTM I have). I am going tomorrow to buy my first suit from him at Ron Herman. I was planning on going into his studio to get it; but, my plans to go to NY anytime in the near future fell through.
January 11, 2007 at 4:55 am
Thanks, Sartorialists for the insight on fashion merchandising. I’m learning a lot just by reading this post.