#48 Made in the USA Vol.6

Bexar Goods Co. is brand based in San Antonio, TX which manufactures (great) bags and accessories. I already mentionned it here in my third volume about American made products but I felt I should focus even more on their products and their history.

The Bexar Goods Co. team is composed of three members of the same family (a geologist, a designer and a mountaineer) who basically decided to come together to hand craft goods that will probably last longer than you.

They use leather from one of the older tanneries in the USA, Horween leather based in Chicago, which I (unfortunatelly) did not have the time to visit when I was there, and canvas from one of the oldest textile supplier in the USA.

Now, enough with the chitchat.

And as a bonus, a great video about the making of their waxes canvas carry!


#47 Made in the USA Vol.5

Corter Leather is a one man operation based in Boston, Massachussetts whose products I cannot wait to put my hands! It was founded a few years ago by a then college student, Eric Heins, and despite the fact that it’s so small, it gained attention from several influential blogs and websites including Well Spent, Uncrate, Cool Material, Hypebeast, and Selectism.

Here are a few of their products.

Here is a geat video about Corter Leather’s project to raise money for relief effort in Japan (the video is a year old).


#46 The Business of Fashion Vol.3 Svpply

One of my blog’s page is dedicated to Svpply.

For those of you who never heard of Svpply, it’s a fantastic way to keep track of what you know you want (for later, when you’re rich), and most importantly, discover amazing things you don’t know you want yet.

Svpply has lot of competitors, like Lyst. Unlike Lyst, Svpply members can bring products in Svpply themselves which adds to the incredible diversity of products, from well know brands sold at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and co, to the most confidential ones, only selling through their Shopify or Big Cartel shop.

That’s why Svpply and its competitors represent a great opportunity for small companies and even bigger ones to promote their products. Indeed, there is snowball effect when a product is added to Svpply by someone. When it’s added to someone’s list, their followers can see them and add them, etc, etc.

A link is provided to buy the product, as unlike Pinterest, the goal of Svpply is to only show things that can actually be bought. Unlike Ryan Gosling and Scarlett Johansson.

Here you can read a great article written by one of Svpply’s founders about their competition, and how he thinks things are going to turn out for these types of social shopping websites.

#45 The Business of Fashion Vol.2 $550 pants?

I read an interesting article (two years old, but still relevant), a few weeks ago, about the real cost of what high end products. The example taken was pants. $350 for a Thom Brown pair, $595 from Giorgio Armani, $495 from The Row. Something might be wrong.

Eric Wilson, the author of the article, assumes that since the luxury bubble burst (when did that happen?), brands have no clue what to charge customers (pigeons?).

David Aaker, who works at Prophet, a brand consulting firms, argues that what is being charged has nothing to do with cost, but who is wearing them, who designed them and who sells them.

I’m going to side with Mr. Aaker.

Designers argue that their products are in fact a steal.

How surprising of them, BTW.

Indeed, that’s what Scott Sternberg  from Band of Outsiders says.

His $550 pants sold at Bergdoff Goodman, are made in Brooklyn and cost around $110 dollars to manufacture (materials+labor). Add the usual mark ups from the brand to the retailer, and then from the retailer to the final consumer and you might get a $550 figures.

Anyway, as long as people are ready to pay that much for that…Business is business.

#44 The Business of Fashion Vol.1 Repetto

This article from the newspaper Le Monde (sorry, it’s in French!), talks about the fact that Repetto,  a brand which was close to bankruptcy in 2002, is now hiring to accomodate its expansion. Indeed, Repetto is going to hire 150 people in a French region seriously hurt by unemployment in order to increase its production from 2,500 pairs per day to 7,500. Sixty percent of production is exported, the brand has now 50 shops worldwide, and its turnover now reached 50 million euros in 2011.

This is good news because it proves that there is still a market for (expensive), French made products, and I hope that Repetto’s success will inspire many others in the near future. The manufacturing industry has lost millions of jobs in France in the past decades, and our only way to keep these jobs in France is to manufacture products with a high value added, as we cannot compete on prices, with countries like India or China.

#43 Made in Italy Vol.1

This is the inaugural post of my “Made in Italy” series.  I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Italy is renowned for its famous house such as Versace, Marni or D&G as well as the outstanding craftsmanship of its artisans, especially when it comes to footwear.

So I decide to focus this first post on a shoe brand called Diemme footwear. This company was founded in 1992 and is located in Onè di Fonte in Northeastern Italy.

According to their website, the area of Montebelluna (where Onè di Fonte is) manufactures over 50 % of the worldwide production of technical mountaineering boots and 75 % of the world’s ski boots.

I do not care about skying but I would wear their shoes anytime! They are distributed in 22 countries including the USA, notably in one of my favorite stores here, Need Supply in Richmond, Va, but also Scoop, Barneys and Mr Porter among others.

I already mentionned this brand in one of my post about (capsule) women tradeshow in Paris.

Please, behold!



#42 Made in the USA Vol.4

I’ll keep doing my “Made in…” series, but I am now going to talk more about the brands and how the products are made (when I can). So far, I’ve been just showing great products but I don’t think it’s enough. Also, I’m going to expand my series to other countries like England, Scotland, Canada, Italy, New Zealand…

I am currently living in a small coastal city in North Carolina so I’m going to start by presenting Raleigh Denim, which as the name suggests, is based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

This is a very cool video about their history and how their jeans are made. Can’t wait to be able to afford those!

They make limited edition jeans (each pair has a number and is signed) and they use denim from Cone Mills White Oak plant, one of the oldest denim supplier in the world.

Here is the Madison Raw high waited, which you can buy on Richmond, VA based shop Need Supply.

Madison Raw High Waisted