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Discussion in 'Designers and Collections' started by Crying Diamonds, Jan 30, 2012.
Bruno Pieters has finally made a return to fashion.. with an innovative take on it.
Thanks for the link to the website. I already see a ton of things I want Everything is quite pricey but assuming the pieces are worth the price I hope I can get a few things. Love the beautiful cuts and soft colors. And I'm glad that he uses organic garments and that eco-friendly fashion is becoming more of a trend over here in Europe.
I don't see anything in that video .. I'm glad for Bruno, he deserves exposure more than most people that get it these days.
good for him. its nice that designers besides linda loudermilk and rogan are doing lines like this.
^not to mention one with his technical prowess.
i don't have time to post everything but here's the full collection.
i think given its concept and direction,i quite like it. it's very easy,accessible and versatile....but still very bruno.
A fashion revolution?
January 30, 2012 2:01 pm by Vanessa Friedman
By far the most exciting thing I saw last week during the couture in Paris wasn’t couture at all, but a website that launches today: www.honestby.com. The brainchild of Belgian designer Bruno Pieters, late of Hugo Boss, it is the most subversive etail initiative I have seen. I think it has the power to transform the fashion industry. Really. You know I don’t say these things lightly. Indeed, my natural instinct whenever a fashion person tells me they have something “revolutionary” happening is to roll my eyes and grimace. But then, Pieters didn’t tell me this – I thought it up all on my own when I saw his project.
Because this site, which will sell a collection of 56 pieces for men and women (only 20 items of each style will be made, including different sizes) by Mr Pieters, and then start offering collections by guest designers in three months (he wouldn’t tell me who they were), is transparent, and mostly sustainable. Let me say that again: transparent financially and in terms of manufacturing.
Since I know this is hard to imagine, let me explain. You go to “collection” and, say, you click on a coat. Under the section “material information” you will find the description of material used, its composition, weight, yarn or piece-dyed, the origin of the raw material, who spun it, who wove it, whether it is organic, if so, what certificate it has earned (and what said certificate means), and a website for the supplier – and you will find this for the fabric, the zipper, the lining, the trim, the label, the buttons, the thread and so on.
Meanwhile, under “price information”: you will find out the cost per metre of the fabric, how much was ordered, how much was used, how much labour was involved, what the mark-up was, and how the profit was used.
In other words, by the time you press “buy” you will know exactly what you are paying for. Zounds!
Nothing like this has been done in my living memory. Fashion, especially high-end fashion, is a business built on opacity: things cost what they cost because of ephemeral matters like “heritage” and “hand-work” and “brand equity” and the less the consumer knows about the literal value of these, the better off the brands are (and the more they can charge). Though he says most of the suppliers and designers he approached were enthusiastic, some were “upset, and said we shouldn’t communicate on this.”
It is precisely this attitude that Mr Pieters wants to change – he thinks it breeds consumer mistrust – and why he wanted absolute clarity in his own brand. Indeed, he says if orders go up and he achieves economies of scale, his prices will come down.
It seems to me this has the potential to be a real game-changer in fashion, because if consumers get used to having this sort of information available, they could start demanding it from other brands. Once information is out there in the world, it’s impossible to get it back. And then – goodness me. I can barely contain myself.
the mark ups are what i know to be industry standards...
i don't really understand why they are still marking up this much...
it's fine to be transparent and show where the money is actually being spent in terms of the development and production of the goods...
but it doesn't really change anything...
it's still the same mark up...and it's still expensive!...
i guess there are a lot of luxury retailers who push the boundaries in terms of the standard 2.0 mark up...
ie - hermes, who hasn't really got much overhead in terms of development since they use the same designs for the most part...
i don't know...
i'm not sure i see the benefit of this to the consumer...
i guess if you are really ignorant about how much production and materials cost, then there is some good info there...
but i don't think most luxury customers really care how much the zipper costs or who made it...
and do we really think that other luxury brands are going to adopt this strategy?......
Well, while that may seem to be the industry standard how it actually plays out at luxury brands, and any other tier of the apparel industry for that matter, is a bit different. Things change based on circumstance.
With a brand like Hermes I actually do believe their mark up more or less reflects their actual costs, they actually keep very low margins due to using more expensive and laborious production systems. Handmade products, as opposed to a machine operated by hand, cost a lot.
NOW, large conglomerates like LVMH and PPR are a different story. You would be appalled at their mark ups. They are far beyond x2. FAR beyond.
That Pieters is being transparent is a big deal, if Celine were totally transparent with its mark up I doubt people would be so in love. You know what I mean?
The usual mark-up in fashion retail is between 2,5 and 2,7, depending on who is being charged for transport costs.
On the fashion company's front, the mark-up to calculate wholesale prices can vary greatly between the different companies and product categories offered... Chanel small leather goods for instance has a 600% mark up applied to the entire chain from wholesale to retail (taking into account they do not wholesale to anyone but franchised stores, it's hard to know exactly how this translates to ready-to-wear etc.), whereas some independent, upstart companies apply much lower to help lower otherwise by far too expensive wholesale prices... Then again, it really depends on the overall maintenance costs of a fashion house - The show production, showrooms, press agencies, advertising etc. all need to be covered from these product margins.
Having said that, it seems to me that this new Bruno Pieters enterprise calculates rather modestly based on a 400% up charge margin altogether - and yet the prices seem high for quite a few of these styles.
The second designer contributing to this project is in fact Paris-based, Canadian designer Calla Haynes.
Great to see the return of Mr Pieters. I shall always remember the beauty of his SS10 collection.
As to this Honest.by launch collection it has a bookish charm. And a sort of girlish sweetness. Yet at the same time an androgynous quiteness. Never for a moment straying into frou nor titillation nor cliche, there is nevertheless an undercurrent of seduction. Ultimately though a collection of the mind not the body.
The turn to the 'away from the body' silhouette initiated, we might say, by RAF Simons for Jil Sander SS11, can still read aesthetically awkward when accompanied by too much boxiness and/or gaudy colour. But when rendered with quiet ease, as here, it feels very right.
I am wondering whether 'away from the body' could be said to stand as a metaphor for moving beyond the cultural centrality of the Body in philosophy (Foucault, Kristeva, etc) and in art since the 90's. I don't know about that and it could be that fashion is, here, taking the cultural lead. This collection has a connect to what has become a dirty word - the intellect.
In a way it is unfortunate that all the talk of the book-keeping openess in the reviews has somewhat taken attention away from the work itself.
Whilst I wouldn't for a moment think of the provision of all the costing information to be in anyway a marketing 'ploy' (I've no doubt the price transparency is born not of cynicism but of a genuine intent to be, indeed, honest) yet we are, there, in the territory of marketing. It's a radical way of selling, of course, and turns fashion branding away from appeals to the senses and 'desire'. As challenging of the status quo and as newsworthy as that departure is, one does just wonder if it might be a little too dry and rational. When making a purchase doesn't the consumer in fact want to dream rather than engage in auditing? Even fairly fair trade is nevertheless trade. To have the cold facts of things like mark-ups put in front of us at point of purchase may well in fact be a turn-off? Just something we'd rather not think of, information we'd really rather stayed hidden.
Having expressed doubts as to whether it's a form of fashion marketing that really has any broad appeal to consumers, I do however delight, at the level of theory at least, in how deconstructive the approach might be applied to those major brands who spend so much of each item's price on maintaining the brand name. The truth of the adage that you really do 'pay for the name'. It's a lead that LVMH, PPR, etc won't follow because they absolutely can't. (And let's not think for a minute about mark-ups in the whole of the parfums sector omg!). And I suppose therein lies the point. Differentiation.
I'm afraid it doesn't herald any sort of 'revolution' because the followers of the major high profile brands will continue to stay locked in the psychology of desire and supporting brands because they know the name. (And which blind allegiance will continue to be mirrored in the level of attention the major houses receive at show time in these forums).
Some of us might long for a more rational and equitable world but we aren't about to get that any time soon. A least, though, in the meantime, we can heart Bruno Pieters.
This was so beautiful to read. Maybe a bit too esotericist for my taste in some parts, but there are some interesting thoughts...
source: honest by. newsletter
what a beautiful essay from bruno.