05 November 2010

Urban Outfitters & J. Press

Coming Monday. It's not all bad news. It's not all good news either. Stay tuned for a visit to the J Press collection at Urban Outfitters.


Giuseppe said...

You've got to hand it to J. Press for realizing that in order to stay in business and remain relevant you've got to reach new customers. The old ones have a nasty ahbit of dying, you know.

Brooks Brothers thinks they know this, but they've been missing the mark for years now.

Anonymous said...

I think we're going a bit Narnia here, Wardrobe; where did those nasty hobbits come from...and why are they dying stuff?


Anonymous said...

As a young guy interested in ivy style, I'm actually pleased to see J. Press reaching out to my generation. The key to success in this venture will be accessibility and price. Urban Outfitters is accessible to somebody my age, more so than a store you described as "full of old men who laugh at the younger customers." Price is the bigger issue in my opinion though. J. Press is a gold mine of design - they easily have the most pitch perfect tie designs anywhere - but the catch is the price - $125. If they can carry their color choices and design skills to Urban Outfitters, and reduce the price - they have their first customer.


brohammas said...

Are you questioning a fictional wizard's gender, or simply transposing dueling fantasy writers?

bmackintosh said...

If J. Press become like a Gap, designing clothing made in sweat shops and selling for 39.95 a shirt and 49.95 a pair of cords, then I will no longer be a J. Press customer.

If J. Press walks away from the core customer group and cheapens the line (main streaming the line) then they will go the way of Florsheim and Hart Marx.

Anonymous said...

as with everything else, the best lowering standards instead of making it a height to rise to. Same goes for museums, for schools, etc.

Maybe Press will have a specialized fit for that ass showing ghetto look.

jake said...

Everyone is having a hissy fit over nothing.

I'm guessing J. Press had zero to do with this. In fact, I imagine that if you went to any of their stores, none of the codgers who work there would have the slightest idea what you're talking about.

Somebody at Urban Outfitters decided to capitalize on the current trend for traddish stuff, helped along no doubt by Kanye West Tweeting about his Press tie. And so they worked out a licensing deal with Onward Hashimoto or whatever that company is called that owns Press. And then the designers at UO put it together. Nobody at Press is even smart enough to put a belt on the back of their trousers.

A handful of pieces sold via the UO website to kids, 98 percent of whom have no idea what a J. Press is, will not lead to either the revitalization or the doom of Press.

As for me, I'm looking forward to their cheap version of a shaggy sweater.

bmackintosh said...

"the best lowering standards instead of making it a height to rise to." My thoughts exactly. The younger generation should bow to tradition and quality, and not expect tradition to bow to the younger, "mass consumption" generation.

Also they should support the cost of craftsmanship, the kind of craftsmen who can vote in a multi-party election, unlike those in Asian sweatshops.

Silk Regimental said...

I thinks the two companies will make it work, as long as they don't stray too far off the J. Press standard. IMO JP sets it.

Giuseppe said...

The younger generation needs to buy stuff too. A lot of people are broke. Are you suggesting that those of us with less money be relegated to wearing garbage for the rest of our lives? Penury doesn't imply a lack of taste.

Old guys die. Young guys need to feel welcome to take their place. That's not a bad thing, considering that the younger generation (mine) has been fed on nothing but crap all their lives. What's wrong with a little intro to the good stuff? Baby steps and all that. Some of the young dudes who find this at a place like Urban Outfitters may wind up in J. Press proper.

If things are going to get any better, it has to start somewhere.

Besides, if a company becomes irrelevant, it will fold, and then we'll all be left with nothing. A business can't afford to be standoffish and stuffy these days. Why don't we save the judgment until we actually see the clothes?

bmackintosh said...

I agree that younger guys should feel welcome to "take their place." There is no excuse for making younger men feel unwelcome if they are willing to pay the price for craftsmanship and tradition.

But I don't agree with lowering standards to come to a price level affordable for the masses. The Press and other such older Trad brands should retain their quality, priced at a level that supports a non-sweatshop craftsmanship.

There are plenty of affordable options for men just starting out, i.e. LL Bean, J. Crew etc. I would not call Bean "crap."

Also I don't agree that Press will become irrelevant due to pricing. Look at Hermes, Gucci and others. They are niche products that are appealing to a particular customer. The Press would be better suited to stick to their current customer but perhaps open more stores, like in Chicago. Or sell in a few select department stores like Von Maur's.

Anonymous said...


As much as I agree with you on your thoughts about LL Bean and J. Crew, I'm going to have to disagree when it comes to J. Press as a luxury brand. If I went up to somebody my age with average intelligence and worldliness and asked them if they knew Gucci, almost everybody would say yes. Hermes would render less recognition (most would be from trendy female,) but J. Press wouldn't be recognized by anybody.

~ Greg

PS: TinTin - I seem to be unable to log into the comments under my Google Account, do you know why?

To succeed as a luxury brand, the brand has to be known by the general public. That's why people strive to become financially successful and purchase a Rolex watch, Ferrari car, and Hermes belts - because they treat it as a status symbol. I think you are looking at Hermes and Gucci as brands that succeed through their niche marketing, but in reality their customers are those who try to fit into the brand image. People my age don't strive to fit into a J. Press brand image, because the brand has already lost it's relevance to the generation. To succeed as a high price brand, people have to want your products - and not just wealthy old men.

bmackintosh said...

I only mentioned Gucci and Hermes as examples of two companies who target a specific customer who does not make decisions on price nor mass consumption. I did not mean to imply that the companies shared any other similarity with Press and I certainly would not want to see Press attempt to become a Gucci, or pursue status-seekers. I agree with your remarks concerning “luxury brands.”

However, I don’t believe success, nor relevancy is measured by mass appeal nor affordability. Some brands remain relevant by sticking to their traditions.

I just hope there are enough men like me (who like their current model of business) to keep Press profitable.

Anonymous said...

Nice belt, horrible tin-tacky buckle.


those tricks said...

Well put, Giuseppe.
I agree!

Giuseppe said...

People in the ghetto wear fake Gucci, becasue it's covered in logos. Luxury is, too often, the tackiest game in town.

I'm all for quality and tradition, but I might never be able to afford it. I probably never will. That doesn't mean that I don't understand or appreciate it. I've known plenty of rich guys who have no clue.

J. Press is a business, apparently run by people wise enough to see a widespread trend amongst fashionable young men for the aesthetic they practically invented. I applaud them for embracing the moment rather than looking down their noses at young guys who want to do what they can to dress well. Seriously, shouldn't we all be glad on some level that young men actually want to wear proper clothes again, even if they were made in China? Isn't that better than sloppy jeans and silly t-shirts?

For what it's worth, I hate Urban Outfitters. I probably won't buy any of this stuff. But I have no problem with it being out there.

oldschoolprep@gmail.com said...

As Justice Brandeis apocryphally wrote "nobody wins the race to the bottom", the promise of an Urban Outfitters - J. Press combination causes me to shudder.

But then again, the United States and our profit-addicted corporations have been destroying cultural icons for years. If this venture implodes, Pree's Japanese owners will take it in the wallet. Sort of a Third Millenium Redux to their ill-fated investment in Rockefeller Center.

Cmackintosh said...

I just stumbled upon these comments but from what I was reading earlier about you guys talking about young people feeling welcomed didn't resonate with me very well. I'm 19 years old and while it is true that no friends of mine except myself has ever heard of J Press, I don't care about my generation (or myself) being included in relation to price. The only thing I have bought from J Press was a tie for my dad at the MidTown store last summer. I loved the traditionalism of the store and how among all the mainstream retailers of today it kept that same traditionalism. Their products are still made of a quality that blows away the more mainstream luxury brands (Ralph Lauren, Jcrew, Lacoste, etc) while having a majority of products made in free countries. I actually prefer to pay their high price tags if I know that their standards of quality, traditionalism, and fair labor are kept. I may not be able to afford the clothing now but I would rather wait till I can, than have Press lower the quality of its products, lose its traditionalism or sacrifice fair labor just to attract consumers like me, because I wouldn't buy anything from Press if they were to kill their foundation.