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