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Chinese billionaire William Fung sews up Savile Row


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#1 hutch48

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 12:18 AM

This is certainly an interesting development.

 

http://www.executive...vile-row-gi70fj

 

 


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#2 Henry Hall

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 03:43 AM

What do you say? On the one hand you think: 'Okay, super. The whole thing gets a marketing makeover and the craft is safe-guarded'. On the other, you have to remember how corporate capitalism thinks and then prepare for a slew of nonsensical marketing gimmicks and 'restructurings' that tries to marry old-world craft products with today's mass-marketed, mass-consumption production. Gieves & Hawkes for a while have been selling a RTW line, now I see why.

 

One could say: 'Oh, but they're trying to give a taste of luxury to everyone..' but that's nonsense. The whole Savile Row thing is an elitist market by definition. A smartphone is not a luxury because almost anyone can have one if they really want one.

 

These billionaires can't encounter anything without seeing a 'business opportunity'. Remember the Outer Hebrides Tweed production fiasco? 

 

The article is a bit misleading in suggesting that it has only just opened up from a closed-shop mentality. only patronised by the public-schooled aristocracy. Actors and new-money business people have been patronising Savile Row for many years now. American trips are decades old for some of the houses.

 

Okay, something positive: Savile Row will be saved. One may even be able to buy a Paul Smith tie there...


Edited by Henry Hall, 11 July 2015 - 03:43 AM.

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#3 Schneidergott

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 07:27 AM

I'd be more impressed if he had bought up the buildings that were former tailor shops, kicked out who or whatever can pay the exorbitant rents and re-established Savile Row as a street for bespoke tailors.


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#4 tailleuse

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 07:37 AM

I'd be more impressed if he had bought up the buildings that were former tailor shops, kicked out who or whatever can pay the exorbitant rents and re-established Savile Row as a street for bespoke tailors.

 

At least he didn't tear down the building so he could erect luxury condos, which is what is happening in New York City.  :Money Eyes:  The phenomenon is called "hypergentrification."


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#5 greger

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 09:18 AM

It seems many of the owners of SR firms really aren't to bright in the business world. Swinging on the coat tails of past business methods has a dead end. Can you imagine the owners having fireworks? Henry Poole did, and he is the one who made the street famous, not the dead beats there now. If they knew proper tailoring business they wouldn't be turning to pre-made garbage (mass-produced clothes). It is better to swallow a table spoon of pride and continue on than to swallow a ship load and sink. SR is supposed to about custom made, and not mass-produce ready made, or even, mtm. I don't see a future for SR. They don't have an understanding of the business to keep it.
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#6 Henry Hall

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 10:06 AM

I confess to being a little confused by your post Greger. Are you saying they should remain exclusively bespoke, but embrace modern methods of business? That's only going to lead to a contradiction because the majority of modern business methodology is about larger volumes and massive customer bases. That means factory made to enable cheaper sale prices. The minority of smaller operations making low-volume, higher price articles are not able to adopt that methodology and they sell to a target customer.

 

It seems to me Savile Row can only ever be of the second sort to remain who they are doing what they do. They make trips half-way around the world to chase business, that's quite an effort in itself. There has to be a point of diminishing returns with everything.They can't make hand-made suits for everyone without being a factory and anyway the factory method is what has brought tailoring to where it is now; that genie is not going back into the bottle. 

 

I don't believe it's anything to do with SR's alleged Victorian-style retail ideas.


Edited by Henry Hall, 11 July 2015 - 10:08 AM.

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Each phenomenon which is taken up should be treated with as much thoroughness as possible at that standpoint... One thing at a time and that done well!

 

- Otto Jespersen (How to Teach a Foreign Language).


#7 tailleuse

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 10:40 AM

It seems many of the owners of SR firms really aren't to bright in the business world. Swinging on the coat tails of past business methods has a dead end. Can you imagine the owners having fireworks? Henry Poole did, and he is the one who made the street famous, not the dead beats there now. If they knew proper tailoring business they wouldn't be turning to pre-made garbage (mass-produced clothes). It is better to swallow a table spoon of pride and continue on than to swallow a ship load and sink. SR is supposed to about custom made, and not mass-produce ready made, or even, mtm. I don't see a future for SR. They don't have an understanding of the business to keep it.

 

It appears that numerous SR firms or SR-trained tailors feel the need to offer made-to-measure (standard pattern customized) and RTW clothes because their bespoke businesses aren't generating sufficient revenue. Surely they've considered the impact of the other services on their core and signature business. I don't know why you assume they're all idiots.  Maybe there is another way, but it's hard to say the path many are choosing is irrational.

 

If I had trained and worked as a bespoke tailor I would be very upset about these developments, but what are the alternatives?


Edited by tailleuse, 11 July 2015 - 10:41 AM.

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#8 hutch48

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 03:13 PM

If I understood the drift of the article, there is a large demand in China for well made English clothing and this is probably why he bought the Savile Row businesses(s). While it is probably no longer profitable to rely solely on true bespoke, it still functions as a status symbol as the flagship of a line of clothing so you may end up seeing a graduation from expensive bespoke to RTW to off the shelf clothing. Now this will tend to keep the old skills alive while catering for the lower priced production made garments that help keep the entire business profitable. Profitable = survival so a decent business plan will probably work for all from the skilled tailors down to production workers.


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#9 tailleuse

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 12:47 AM

.. so you may end up seeing a graduation from expensive bespoke to RTW to off the shelf clothing.

 

In the U.S., RTW means off the self or off the rack.  Does it mean something different in Australia?


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