the wrong: building a business on a fashion bubble

words from the street are that thom browne is in financial trouble. should we be surprised?

started in ’01, thom has been hailed as one of the most influential mens designer (along with hedi slimane) of the 21st century. bergdorf goodman was the first to support him; and you could see him selling the line on the floor personally (he must have pick up that idea from working as a sale rep at armani’s showroom in new york). and that impressed quit a few of the higher-ups insiders of the industry. but what shocked us was the price tag. a grey wool sport jacket was usd 3750. it seemed a bit unreal.

what also seemed unreal was how important he got in the fashion bubble word. you could still find hedi’s sensibility and ‘slimness’ even in middle america. but thom’s? capri’s dress pants? 3/4 sleeves sport jacket? short suits? how influential is that really?

he might be able to turn that ‘talent’ into some good paying consulting jobs. but brooks brothers, moncler, and harry winston are real business. could one really build a real business on buzz and ‘potential’ without any regards for the real world?

2 thoughts on “un-reality

  1. I think its a little funny (but so common) that fashion heads find his aesthetic as “new” when it’s just a slight exaggeration of suits in the 60s. But it really astonishes me how much of a big deal he is in the fashion world. I think some aspects of what he is doing is great (at least bringing SOME interest to American menswear), his shows are hilarious but completely useless. 99% of the things that go down his runways aren’t produced, and when you go to the stores you will find the same gray shrunken suits (which, ironically most people buy unaltered completely removing the Thom Browne Aesthetic).

    As a designer, I find you are doing a disservice to people if you are designing things that will never be made and never be worn. I understand the press aspects of it all (brand image), but I have to quote Alber Elbaz in a recent interview when he said “If it’s not edible, it’s not food. If it’s not wearable, it’s not fashion.”

    An even more relevant quote from that interview…

    “there is nothing scarier than being ‘the designer of the moment,’ because the moment ends.”

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