Friday, November 12, 2010

Things that make you go

H&M opened yesterday.


I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that I have a little case of sour grapes. You are probably thinking I am scared or worried about them having an adverse affect on my business.

You would be wrong.

We are not even in the same league. They are the third largest retail organization in the world. They do roughly a zillion dollars a year. They can literally spot a trend and have it hit the floor by tomorrow. They have a huge marketing budget and a bunch of employees who can get everything done super quickly.

When I say that we are not in the same league I mean it. I still think the advantage is mine. My clothing is vastly superior. It is well made and impeccably designed. It is strong, timeless and will not fall apart by next week.

I am also going to make a bold prediction. I think the store will start strong but ultimately I do not think they are going to do as well in Portland as in other cities.

I will explain. People in Portland care about quality. They like clothes that are not too trendy and they like them to be well crafted. This is an artesian community. People here like to know where their clothes come from. They like a story. They want their clothes to be made with love. They are also obsessed with reusing things and like to recycle everything. I have a hard time believing that they are going to embrace clothes that you wear twice before they fall apart. They will be annoyed that they cannot donate them to some worthwhile charity or sell them to buffalo exchange. They also do not want to buy a shirt that 12,000 other people are going to own. They are individual and unique.

H&M cannot provide any of these things.

This is not to say that H&M is no good. I think it is a great store for children and teens. Two groups of people who have no need for clothes that last more than 14 days. I think they will do well in those areas.

I find the whole idea of disposable clothing so 10 years ago. I am sure the good citizens of Portland will as well after the hype wears down.

love, blake

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

what I hate about fashion part 1

This is part 1 of a many part series that I will be presenting on my blog. There are many many things that aggravate and annoy me about the fashion business. This is the main reason I do not watch project runway even thought everyone thinks I should. I like clothes. I really love denim. I am very appreciative for the opportunities given to me by this business. I am fortunate to have a successful clothing store with amazing customers. All of that being said, I sometimes really hate this business. There is so much crap that goes on that makes no sense to me.

I think people are so hell bent on making an impression that they will often wear completely ridiculous things just to get people to look at them. They would probably be best served to wear absolutely nothing if they wanted the most people to look their direction. Of course, encouraging people to NOT wear clothes in probably not a good idea for someone in my position. It might put me out of a job. Oh well, I do not always do what is in my best interest…….

So this was in NYC during women’s market. This girl (ninja?) was walking around the trade show. No one could quite figure out why she was wearing this blindfold. As is expected, she was having a very difficult time walking around without bumping in to things. There was a group of buyers from a store in Japan who were fascinated with her and begged her to let them take some pictures. I used this same opportunity to ask her if I could snap some photos as well. She obliged (although I do not know how she would have known either way since she could not see me). She was thrilled with all the attention that we were lavishing on her. I was very excited because at the same time I was snapping the photos, I was coming up with the title of my post. She assumed I was taken with her avant-garde look. She obviously does not know me very well……..

The unfortunate thing is that she seemed like a very attractive young woman. alas, I am an eye man.

Stay tuned for much more. Trust me, there is plenty for me to write about.

love, blake

Friday, October 29, 2010

moved blogs

Hey everyone. We have officially moved this blog to tumblr since it is easier to follow me on that one. Signing up for a account is a snap!!

go to and then ask to follow from there.

I hope you all come see me there......

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

dying doing what you love?

About a month ago I read a really touching story about a young man in Vancouver, Wa. He was young and raced dirt bikes competitively. He died in an unfortunate accident. As I was reading the article I was struck by something. I noticed that when his parents discussed the accident they had an almost positive tone. I do not mean to imply that they were happy about their son passing away, but they definitely had an upbeat tone to their words.

The main reason for the positive tone was because their son had died doing what he loved. They were somehow comforted by the fact that even though his life was prematurely cut short, they were happy that if this had to happen, at least he was happy at the time.

I have heard this same sentiment used in a number of different occasions. Normally it is said when someone dies at a younger age. It will often be used when someone dies playing a sport. This gets a little confusing because in some cases (when the people are professional athletes) they are still doing their job. It is a job that many of us envy because it seems like they are playing for a living and often making outrageous amounts of monty, but it is still a job.

You do not hear this ever said when someone is old. If I was 98 years old and I died while sitting on the couch and watching Madmen you could say that about me. I love watching t.v. . I love Madmen. I suppose it would be appropriate in this case. Still you never hear that.

The real reason for this post is this. I love my job. I love fitting people in jeans. I love making a difference in how people feel about themselves, I love that people might walk out of my store with a new confidence that they did not have before they came to see me. Who knows what the result will be from this new positive feeling? Will they feel good enough to get that new job? Maybe go on a date and meet the person that they are going to marry? I am not insinuating that what I do makes that big a difference in people lives all the time, but sometimes it does. Maybe I am trying to justify my career choice (passing up a medical career). Whatever, you get my point.

Back to the original point. I AM NEVER GOING TO DIE DOING WHAT I LOVE. This is a little depressing. I want to be in that elite group. I want to feel that when I have to go, that I am going to be doing something that gives me great pleasure. The chances of that are remote. I suppose that I could be involved in a situation where I am folding someones jeans under and they tumble over, fall on my head and accidentally snap my neck. Wow, what a morbid thought. You get my point. The truth is that I just hope I will be really old.

Maybe I will just go sitting on the couch watching t.v. That would be just fine with me. I love t.v..

Saturday, September 11, 2010

why I am really aggravated with the terrorists

This is not a political blog. This is a place where you are supposed to read about all the cool new brands that we have in the store. It is a place where I am supposed to post pictures of clothes in a way that get you so excited that you run into the store and buy them immediately.

Or it is a place that I am using as my own personal outlet to rant and rave about whatever I feel like. I may complain how no one can parallel park in Portland, or how there are never enough Barry Manilow songs when I feel like singing karaoke.

Today I am using it as a tribute page. Just not for the reason you think.

Is there another date in history that is so engrained in out brains? I do not know about the rest of you, but it seems like I just happen to look at my watch every day at exactly 9:11 both in the am and pm. Most important dates in history talk about the year. This day is the month and date only. I would be willing to bet you might have to think for a second about what year this happened in, but know the date and what it signifies immediately. I would also be willing to bet that no other date of the year is as well know as this one.

I am a huge Portland trailblazer fan, yet cannot remember what the day was when they won their one and only championship. I cannot remember the day pearl harbor was attacked or the day that we dropped the bomb on hiroshima, both of which were extremely significant dates in history. I do remember everything about 9/11 and what happened and where I was. All the details are clear as a bell.

Here we are on this day arguing about whether or not a mosque should be built near the site of this terrible tragedy and yet we still have not built anything of significance on that very important site. That is what people should be upset about. If it was up to me, i would have built a even bigger building there just to show that we are not afraid, but that is just me.....

The real point of this post and the real source of my aggravation today is that this day has another major significance for me. It is my sister Maril's birthday. She now has to forever share this day with the memory of americas biggest tragedy which for lack of a better word, sucks. Every time someone wishes her a happy birthday, they say it with a strange tone. it is almost as though they apologize as they say it.

Today 9/11/10 I am taking the day back in honor of my sister Maril.

I am not going to let them win by ruining her birthday.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the greatest song ever written

I know what you are thinking. I am going to be debating the beatles vs the rolling stones. No offense to either of these super-groups but neither of them have anything on Cee Loo Green for the greatest song ever written. Take a listen and then try to argue with me.

such a catchy tune. too bad it will have to be severely edited for radio play. "forget you" does not have the same ring to it.

how can you argue against that?

love, blake

Sunday, August 22, 2010

shakespeare I love

After countless days of slogging through rows and rows of clothing I yearn for something to lift my spirits. That can either come in the form of a catered Nobu lunch graciously provided by my friends at A.G. This dish is literally one of the five best things I have ever put in my mouth. I highly recommend you indulge in the Nobu black cod with miso if you ever get the chance. It is so good it will make you cry.

or sometimes it just takes a single humorous t-shirt to make my whole trip. I want to thank headline tees for beaming a little ray of sunshine into my day. this made the whole trip worthwhile.