Wednesday, 17 February 2010

NY pt 2 - Menswear

Though my visit last year to NY wasn't a business trip, I did manage to sneak in a few menswear stores for a good look at what other brands and stores are up to. It also provided a good opportunity to compare what we do here, and see how it stacks up.
For the most part it was very heartening to see that our Cloakroom concept is as good as anything I saw. But most importantly good to see that the level of service we try and offer is up there.

Barneys - Madison Ave
Department stores have never been my cup of tea, but Barneys was a great place to see the full collections of brands such as Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Maison Margiela and Richard James.
Here in Aust it's a bit disappointing as we only see snippets of their ranges in stores, but never a fully presented story.

The blogger from What I Saw Today had been in at Barneys and done sketches as you can see above the rack.

From the right it is Jil Sander, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and Margiela.

The customer service and demeanour of the staff at Barneys was really fantastic.
Some interesting stand alone sections within the store included gems such as the LaLabo stand alone bar.

Lord Willy & Duncan Quinn - Nolita
Wandering in Soho and Nolita I came across stores such as Duncan Quinn and Lord Willys. Their concept of a small store with an off-site team of tailors was not disimilar to the way our business is set up. Though much of what they do is quite conservative with a strong focus on suits for working guys.
When I came back to take some pics they were both closed unfortunately.
Tailored suits were US$2000+.

Freemans Sporting Club - Rivington st
This quirky store incorpates a small range of off the rack pieces, a tailored service (suits & jackets) and a barber shop, which occupied the back half of the store. They also sold ties, gloves, shoes and bikes.
These guys also used a lot of 'deadstock' fabric that they sourced in NY. This included some really interesting wools that were a decade or more old.

I walked away with a tie in 'deadstock' wool and a pair of canvas PF flyer sneakers.

Yigal Azrouel - W 14th st
One of the more interesting shops I saw was the Yigal Azrouel store in the Meatpacking district. It contained an eclectic mix of mens and womenswear and a really interesting fitout.

Probably the biggest disappointment was Opening Ceremony. I'm sure they do some great stuff, but we must have caught them on an off day. The service was very cold and prices very high.

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