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#1 2017-09-20 02:41:33

4F Hepcat
THE Cat
Posts: 14333

J.Press Website

Anyone know when the new J.Press website will be back online, will they continue with the online store?

How long has it been down?

Thanks.


Vibe-Rations in Spectra-Sonic-Sound

 

#2 2017-09-20 02:51:05

McGeorge Bundyburger
Member
Posts: 588

Re: J.Press Website

It hasn't been down too long, I was looking at it only a couple of weeks back.

 

#3 2017-09-20 04:37:29

Tim
Member
Posts: 84

Re: J.Press Website

Down since Sunday evening. Rumour has it on a-n-other forum that it's going to more closely resemble the Japanese version of the website and include a modernised online store to tie in with the opening of their new shop in NY.

 

#4 2017-09-20 05:00:41

GeorgieBoy
Member
Posts: 195

Re: J.Press Website

Went down Sunday evening. Thursday night, I bought 3 madras shirts for next year in the sale and they arrived Monday AM. Unbelievable work.

 

#5 2017-09-20 11:35:24

alkydrinker
Member
Posts: 66

Re: J.Press Website

^Did you buy those short sleeve madras shirts on sale for around $40 and have you tried them on?

I bought one and, holy hell, it was huge. I am a 42 Long and started with a medium that fit like a very full large. I then got a small, which actually fits nice, even in body length. I am 6'2" with a 42" chest and 35-36" waist (a true 42 Long)....never in my adult life have I worn a garment labeled as a "small," until now. The size small is somewhere near 23" pit-to-pit, and 18.5-19" shoulder.

I noticed that after I bought the medium they added language to the description saying something about it being a "full fit." I'd say the shirts went beyond full, and are mis-sized.

 

#6 2017-09-20 12:16:33

GeorgieBoy
Member
Posts: 195

Re: J.Press Website

alkydrinker wrote:

^Did you buy those short sleeve madras shirts on sale for around $40 and have you tried them on?

I bought one and, holy hell, it was huge. I am a 42 Long and started with a medium that fit like a very full large. I then got a small, which actually fits nice, even in body length. I am 6'2" with a 42" chest and 35-36" waist (a true 42 Long)....never in my adult life have I worn a garment labeled as a "small," until now. The size small is somewhere near 23" pit-to-pit, and 18.5-19" shoulder.

I noticed that after I bought the medium they added language to the description saying something about it being a "full fit." I'd say the shirts went beyond full, and are mis-sized.

Yeah I did, I got a small too but I'm somewhere between a small and medium with a lot of brands so they fit fine.

 

#7 2017-09-20 12:27:07

stanshall
Moderator
From: Gilligan's Island
Posts: 11005

Re: J.Press Website

Tim wrote:

Down since Sunday evening. Rumour has it on a-n-other forum that it's going to more closely resemble the Japanese version of the website and include a modernised online store to tie in with the opening of their new shop in NY.

can't wait to see good old J. Press getting the geezed-out Yalies into "Prodism," "Limited Crazy Patterned Shirts," "Wooden Sleepers," etc., and some groovy Paraboots

http://www.jpress.jp/###

http://www.jpress.jp/info/assets_c/2017/09/2017-AW-%E3%83%A1%E3%82%B8%E3%83%A3%E3%83%BC%E3%83%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%89%E3%83%9A%E3%83%A9-thumb-595x842-112886.png

http://www.jpress.jp/info/assets_c/2017/09/onlinelimited0908-thumb-600x396-112734.jpg

http://www.jpress.jp/info/assets_c/2017/08/newsuit.600848-thumb-600x849-111697.jpg

http://www.jpress.jp/info/assets_c/2017/09/jpressusapopup-thumb-600x800-113391.jpg

https://crosset.onward.co.jp/img/product/SE1/SE1LHW0405/SE1LHW0405_030_C001_pm_BT20170809140623080.jpg

https://crosset.onward.co.jp/img/product/KHO/KHOVHM0450/KHOVHM0450_pb_201705021921340039.jpg

https://crosset.onward.co.jp/img/product/HSO/HSOVHA0329/HSOVHA0329_ZZZ_D006_pm_BT20170821200643079.jpg

https://crosset.onward.co.jp/img/product/HSO/HSOVHA0324/HSOVHA0324_ZZZ_D001_pm_BT20170821120944026.jpg

https://crosset.onward.co.jp/img/product/SE1/SE1LHW0410/SE1LHW0410_005_C001_pm_BT20170910180944139.jpg

https://crosset.onward.co.jp/img/look/00018931/00018931_pz_0001.jpg

https://crosset.onward.co.jp/img/look/00018930/00018930_pz_0001.jpg

https://crosset.onward.co.jp/img/look/00018257/00018257_pz_0006.jpg


"bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay"

 

#8 2017-09-20 14:18:23

Berkeley_Breathes
Moderator
From: Rick's Cafe Americain
Posts: 1348

Re: J.Press Website

That t-shirt I would wear. Everything else is gonna have to be a hard no.


Bertie: "What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?"
Jeeves: "There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter."

Blog: https://rehearsingtheblues.blogspot.com/

 

#9 2017-09-20 14:59:26

stanshall
Moderator
From: Gilligan's Island
Posts: 11005

Re: J.Press Website

haha you think?  the t-shirt is for Woof's nephew ............................................


"bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay"

 

#10 2017-09-20 17:59:36

stanshall
Moderator
From: Gilligan's Island
Posts: 11005

Re: J.Press Website

in all seriousness I really do hope J. Press finds its way back, I wish them well with their forthcoming US website, their highly anticipated new store at the Yale Club of New York, and eventually their permanent new American flagship store in New Haven, I'd like to see them regain their former position as a reliable, dependable purveyor of hardcore traditional Ivy campus and Madison Avenue 1952-66-style American and Trans-Atlantic clothing made in the USA, England, Scotland, and Ireland for people in the academic, legal, and diplomatic professions, for businessmen, executives, people in government and the intelligence services, and anybody else who enjoys the look, including good old preppy students of every kind.

their decade-plus-long lack of direction and puzzling missteps with McNairy and the Ovadias, their bad luck with the condemnation and then the destruction of the historic old York Street building, the loss of the lease for the New York store, the disastrous York Street fashion line aimed at skinny twenty-somethings, the outsourcing, the alpha-sizing, the Canadian square shoulders fiascos, all of it has been sad to witness, maybe everything will magically be alright with them again and we'll have our old place back ......


"bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay"

 

#11 2017-09-20 18:11:00

Berkeley_Breathes
Moderator
From: Rick's Cafe Americain
Posts: 1348

Re: J.Press Website

They're trying to be cool, when their entire reputation is built on not being cool. I think we often draw a parallel with Brooks Brothers but the reality is they're trying to be J. Crew - fast fashion at slow prices with a "premium" reputation that falls apart as soon as their clothes start to. Look where J. Crew ended up following that strategy... I also wish J. Press would get back on track, they have the back catalog to certainly outpace Brooks Brothers if they wanted to... But this move seems like doubling down on a failing strategy. J. Press has no name recognition outside of fora like this, and Japan... They just can't compete as a trendy brand, and they're turning away those who know and love their name with every new development...

As much as today's Brooks makes me despair, the Brooks of 2017 seems like it's related to the Brooks of the 90s, 80s, 70s, etc... If J. Press keeps down this road I'll have to start thinking of them like Abercrombie & Fitch - related to the glorious past purely in name.


Bertie: "What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?"
Jeeves: "There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter."

Blog: https://rehearsingtheblues.blogspot.com/

 

#12 2017-09-20 21:08:02

stanshall
Moderator
From: Gilligan's Island
Posts: 11005

Re: J.Press Website

/\  ay caramba Beebs, sad but true .... hard to accept .... I wish J. Press well ... Ametora my foot ........


"bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay"

 

#13 2017-09-20 22:46:23

Babbling Brooks
Member
Posts: 190

Re: J.Press Website

There's got to be novelty with a company's output but equally there's got to be constant supply of the bread and butter staple goods. Which are a completely unflinching in the face of trends and rely on being classics. Adidas are a good example of this, and they're not in an easy market.

Brooks and JPress were late to the ivy party of 2006-2016 when they should've been hosting, they dIdnt even get an invite to their own party and by the time they did get there they were so insecure they let themselves get influenced by some real 'cool, young cats' as to try and not appear like the old creepy guy in the corner. When in fact that's exactly what we all wanted, the appeal of the look was under the radar of what fashion deemed cool and was off beat.

To come out with spray-on jackets and trousers..trying to make men look like boys was just weird and mcnairy what ever his credentials isn't a great talent imo took the worst elements of an out of date hip hop look and imposed it over ivy and prep not to any great result.

I think jpress is going to reflect van jac now which is ironic seeming as it was initially the other way round all those years ago.

If you're struggling with what 'the look' is, go back to basics, then build from there. Or do what Ralph did for a large part of that company's life and just copy classics. Understand the idea of what timeless really means in terms of design, but also play around and have fun.

Ivy doesn't have to smell of mothballs and stale urine, it should be young and dynamic that's pretty much it's core attitude if anything, but the novelty only works because of the classic form. The sweet spot is a foot in each camp and the Japanese often get the balance right but sometimes it can go a bit tits up

Last edited by Babbling Brooks (2017-09-20 23:11:10)

 

#14 2017-09-21 07:53:58

stanshall
Moderator
From: Gilligan's Island
Posts: 11005

Re: J.Press Website

Babbling Brooks wrote:

There's got to be novelty with a company's output but equally there's got to be constant supply of the bread and butter staple goods. Which are a completely unflinching in the face of trends and rely on being classics. Adidas are a good example of this, and they're not in an easy market.

Brooks and JPress were late to the ivy party of 2006-2016 when they should've been hosting, they dIdnt even get an invite to their own party and by the time they did get there they were so insecure they let themselves get influenced by some real 'cool, young cats' as to try and not appear like the old creepy guy in the corner. When in fact that's exactly what we all wanted, the appeal of the look was under the radar of what fashion deemed cool and was off beat.

To come out with spray-on jackets and trousers..trying to make men look like boys was just weird and mcnairy what ever his credentials isn't a great talent imo took the worst elements of an out of date hip hop look and imposed it over ivy and prep not to any great result.

I think jpress is going to reflect van jac now which is ironic seeming as it was initially the other way round all those years ago.

If you're struggling with what 'the look' is, go back to basics, then build from there. Or do what Ralph did for a large part of that company's life and just copy classics. Understand the idea of what timeless really means in terms of design, but also play around and have fun.

Ivy doesn't have to smell of mothballs and stale urine, it should be young and dynamic that's pretty much it's core attitude if anything, but the novelty only works because of the classic form. The sweet spot is a foot in each camp and the Japanese often get the balance right but sometimes it can go a bit tits up

very good stuff Bop, I really wish they could see this and take it to heart and follow your advice.


"bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay"

 

#15 2017-09-22 11:30:09

Berkeley_Breathes
Moderator
From: Rick's Cafe Americain
Posts: 1348

Re: J.Press Website

Babbling Brooks wrote:

There's got to be novelty with a company's output but equally there's got to be constant supply of the bread and butter staple goods. Which are a completely unflinching in the face of trends and rely on being classics. Adidas are a good example of this, and they're not in an easy market.

Brooks and JPress were late to the ivy party of 2006-2016 when they should've been hosting, they dIdnt even get an invite to their own party and by the time they did get there they were so insecure they let themselves get influenced by some real 'cool, young cats' as to try and not appear like the old creepy guy in the corner. When in fact that's exactly what we all wanted, the appeal of the look was under the radar of what fashion deemed cool and was off beat.

To come out with spray-on jackets and trousers..trying to make men look like boys was just weird and mcnairy what ever his credentials isn't a great talent imo took the worst elements of an out of date hip hop look and imposed it over ivy and prep not to any great result.

I think jpress is going to reflect van jac now which is ironic seeming as it was initially the other way round all those years ago.

If you're struggling with what 'the look' is, go back to basics, then build from there. Or do what Ralph did for a large part of that company's life and just copy classics. Understand the idea of what timeless really means in terms of design, but also play around and have fun.

Ivy doesn't have to smell of mothballs and stale urine, it should be young and dynamic that's pretty much it's core attitude if anything, but the novelty only works because of the classic form. The sweet spot is a foot in each camp and the Japanese often get the balance right but sometimes it can go a bit tits up

This is great. Adidas is a great analogy, good example of how to get a hard balance right.


Bertie: "What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?"
Jeeves: "There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter."

Blog: https://rehearsingtheblues.blogspot.com/

 

#16 2017-10-18 05:18:24

Horace
Member
Posts: 6216

Re: J.Press Website

stanshall wrote:

in all seriousness I really do hope J. Press finds its way back, I wish them well with their forthcoming US website, their highly anticipated new store at the Yale Club of New York, and eventually their permanent new American flagship store in New Haven, I'd like to see them regain their former position as a reliable, dependable purveyor of hardcore traditional Ivy campus and Madison Avenue 1952-66-style American and Trans-Atlantic clothing made in the USA, England, Scotland, and Ireland for people in the academic, legal, and diplomatic professions, for businessmen, executives, people in government and the intelligence services, and anybody else who enjoys the look, including good old preppy students of every kind.

their decade-plus-long lack of direction and puzzling missteps with McNairy and the Ovadias, their bad luck with the condemnation and then the destruction of the historic old York Street building, the loss of the lease for the New York store, the disastrous York Street fashion line aimed at skinny twenty-somethings, the outsourcing, the alpha-sizing, the Canadian square shoulders fiascos, all of it has been sad to witness, maybe everything will magically be alright with them again and we'll have our old place back ......

I was thinking about this the other day.  And agree, albeit I'm probably in the minority in thinking that McNairy wasn't bad.  Didn't care for all of it.  But he injected something occasionally fun or interesting or clever.  Almost Chippian.  (I almost wrote "into the brand" -- which is the problem -- when you consider J Press a brand -- at least in the US (maybe it works in Japan) you kill it -- you really alter what it was).  The "Canadian square shoulder fiasco" is what I remember.  Fucking unwearable man.

Too much schizophrenia.  I'm not even sure why one needs to adapt or change really.  At least significantly in the aesthetic.  Business practices are one thing.  The look is another.

Speaking of which, I listened to this podcast from the CIO of Brooks:

https://www.cxotalk.com/episode/digital … s-brothers

It was interesting to me.  A big company like that, you've got to do things, natch.  And a lot of it makes sense (the main argument:  better handle on customer data (both individual and aggregate by region however defined) and ability to have product and individual preferences available based upon that data across all platforms (stores, website, MTM/custom program,  et al).

But what's telling to me -- (obviously haven't thought it through), is the way all these guys think about a place like Brooks or Press or the rest of it as a "brand."    There's something bizarre about the concepts of "brand" (and equally so) "life-style".    It's a hollowing out or evacuation of meaning.  To use another term that has currency these days, these concepts seem to me the opposite of "authentic". Brand and "story" -- it's all bullshit.  Castles in the sand. 

It really is a different world though.  The podcast alluded to the way that that guys are going on the 'net to become "better informed"(!) about the clothes they are going to buy.

Having said that, I still buy the Brooks OCBD.  I wanted to go with some of the Press shirts but I found them hit or miss.  When they hit, they were great.  But when they didn't, they weren't.

Edit:  one should probably draw a very large distinction between Brooks and Press.  Esp. in the USA.  Two different animals entirely.

Last edited by Horace (2017-10-18 05:20:00)


""This is probably the last Deb season...because of the stock market, the economy, Everything..." - W. Stillman.

 

#17 2017-10-18 05:44:17

Horace
Member
Posts: 6216

Re: J.Press Website

Just thinking aloud here, but your comments here and elsewhere on this thread got me to thinking.

Berkeley_Breathes wrote:

They're trying to be cool, when their entire reputation is built on not being cool. I think we often draw a parallel with Brooks Brothers but the reality is they're trying to be J. Crew - fast fashion at slow prices with a "premium" reputation that falls apart as soon as their clothes start to. Look where J. Crew ended up following that strategy... I also wish J. Press would get back on track, they have the back catalog to certainly outpace Brooks Brothers if they wanted to... But this move seems like doubling down on a failing strategy. J. Press has no name recognition outside of fora like this, and Japan... They just can't compete as a trendy brand, and they're turning away those who know and love their name with every new development...

I think there's something to this, esp. trying to be J Crew (I remember when Crew came out in its "current" incarnation.  Mail order catalogs.  A few preppies I knew who literally wore the old proverbial hand-me-down Brooks gear at school found it post-school from their younger siblings and it was kind of in the same vein as other prep wear but "hipper" if you can describe it as such in this post-post-ironic days.  It injected some whimsey and color to the ol' Curriculum if you will (not that the Curriculum itself didn't have that built it).

I would gently disagree with the name recognition assertion above.  Or I'd tweak it.  Sometimes it's important to step out of the forums.  Press has name rec. but it's always been relatively small.  It's just that that culture that supported it is dying off.  And all the assumptions and all the shared history between generations is fractured.  Maybe it's being picked up by the forums (not a bad thing at all!)  But that whole way of life is dying out.  It wasn't an "elite club" necessarily but it was a club all the same.  And the password to enter was the knowledge.  And that knowledge was important.  Little signals and whatnot.  But I'm not sure those younger people (in that whole DC/NY/Boston nexus - i.e. what would have been the Ivy base) care about that as much anymore.

Speaking of culture and dying off.  Maybe I'm wrong, but another thing.   I think in the case of Brooks, with the huge expansion of stores.  Either into malls or whatever (and the eclipse of regional shops -- sort of whatever the "Andover Shop" of Cleveland or Pittsburgh would have been).  Those places are dying off.  And it used to be that if you wanted to go to Brooks, you had to go to a larger, "capital" city.  And there weren't many of them.   Hell, even take New York.  It's difficult today to imagine having the continuity of salesmen at those places.  Who can afford today to live in NYC as a Brooks salesman at Madison.  Esp. if he's starting out in his 20's and he wants to make a career of it.  So Brooks came to those regional centers and they can't be the same Brooks and make it there.  They've got to expand, to democratize taste.

As much as today's Brooks makes me despair, the Brooks of 2017 seems like it's related to the Brooks of the 90s, 80s, 70s, etc... If J. Press keeps down this road I'll have to start thinking of them like Abercrombie & Fitch - related to the glorious past purely in name.

Hell, it could be worse.  I was thinking back in the 90's how Brooks wasn't Brooks.  I can't tell you how many times I heard that phrase uttered in conversation then.


""This is probably the last Deb season...because of the stock market, the economy, Everything..." - W. Stillman.

 

#18 2017-10-18 08:40:43

Berkeley_Breathes
Moderator
From: Rick's Cafe Americain
Posts: 1348

Re: J.Press Website

"Esp. if he's starting out in his 20's and he wants to make a career of it." - I want to respond to a lot more in your posts later, Horace, because you're dissecting all of this excellently - but this caught my eye... No point in making  career of it now. Back then it was worthwhile because you were a guru, as a "salesman" you had the knowledge you mention, you held the keys, you built a consistent customer base and you got love and respect because of what you were able to do for them. Now there are many, many fewer things for a salesman to do at Brooks or a Brooks-like institution, because a) there isn't a whole lot more you can do at 99% of Brooks stores that the customer couldn't do themselves by just going to the website, and b) because of culture change, people don't know the knowledge and seek it out or want it anyway (as you say). It's the same with many different industries, I think, and you're right that the problem is especially bad outside of major cities. Not just men's shops but wine shops, auto shops, etc... It ties into a larger shift in craftmanship as something to aspire to, and then the availability of products that you can be a craftsman of. There are less old-style skilled mechanics now because cars are all computers now - you can argue the same for Brooks Brothers.

Edit: c is not the letter that comes after a. I'm still working on this whole alphabet thing...


Bertie: "What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?"
Jeeves: "There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter."

Blog: https://rehearsingtheblues.blogspot.com/

 

#19 2017-10-18 12:53:03

Coolidge
Member
Posts: 1192

Re: J.Press Website

^ I don't have a lot to add to the above three posts, just want to call them out as excellent and perceptive. I am genuinely curious as to who the market will be for Press and such going forward.  The fora are a resource of customers but it's not as though all of the Press aficionados on the fora are actually buying from Press at retail.  A good 50% seem to be thrifting or showing up only at the sale. If Japan has no objection to that kind of loss leader operation, then I guess it's not an issue but you have to wonder what happens to their brick and mortar customer base in a few years...I know a few Yalies who love the place in my age group (early-mid 30s) but not, certainly, overwhelming numbers.

 

#20 2017-10-18 13:20:22

stanshall
Moderator
From: Gilligan's Island
Posts: 11005

Re: J.Press Website

Horace wrote:

... I'm probably in the minority in thinking that McNairy wasn't bad.  Didn't care for all of it.  But he injected something occasionally fun or interesting or clever.  Almost Chippian.  (I almost wrote "into the brand" -- which is the problem -- when you consider J Press a brand -- at least in the US (maybe it works in Japan) you kill it -- you really alter what it was).  The "Canadian square shoulder fiasco" is what I remember.  Fucking unwearable man.

Too much schizophrenia.  I'm not even sure why one needs to adapt or change really.  At least significantly in the aesthetic.  Business practices are one thing.  The look is another.

* * *

...  I still buy the Brooks OCBD.  I wanted to go with some of the Press shirts but I found them hit or miss.  When they hit, they were great.  But when they didn't, they weren't.

Edit:  one should probably draw a very large distinction between Brooks and Press.  Esp. in the USA.  Two different animals entirely.

yes, in an earlier thread about McNairy at Press in which he was being ripped we discussed some examples of his good stuff there, I agree that it wasn't all bad but with all respect all they needed was somebody to properly cherry-pick their own archives and not mess about and give things quirky twists that date them instantly.

remember back in the day when J. Press was not well-known outside of New Haven, Cambridge, and the Madison Avenue Grand Central college club zone, and there were plenty of numerically sized flap-pocket broadcloth and oxford cloth buttondowns to go around and Shaggy Dogs in a lot of colors besides earth tones and natural-shoulder 3/2 half-lined center-vent tweed sacks and flannel, doeskin, hopsack, and worsted blazers and patch pocket cord sack sport coats? .... that was awesome .....

but in all fairness we all got to discover O'Connell's which was once only known by a select group of square-dressing guys from Buffalo, and none of us are from Buffalo, so there's that .....

------------------------

Brooks and Press were definitely completely different animals but of course the clothes look great together, mixing it up was key, throw in the odd bits of Andover, Bean, Chipp, et al. to complete the trinity .... didn't want to wear head-to-toe anything, that was right out, top to bottom Bean was too much .... not enough individuality

my favorite things from Brooks in school days were by far their English lambswool and also their cashmere v-neck sweaters, black/silver Made in England label .....

availability of Press flap-pockets was unbeatable so I wore them, today the quality of shirts and everything else from season to season and batch to batch at Brooks, Press, O'Connell's, and Andover is variable but generally I'm able to find enough of what I need, but I'd like to see these places improve across the board, because there has been a lot of ground lost .......   



-----------------


"bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay"

 

#21 2017-10-18 13:36:45

Berkeley_Breathes
Moderator
From: Rick's Cafe Americain
Posts: 1348

Re: J.Press Website

Coolidge wrote:

^ I don't have a lot to add to the above three posts, just want to call them out as excellent and perceptive. I am genuinely curious as to who the market will be for Press and such going forward.  The fora are a resource of customers but it's not as though all of the Press aficionados on the fora are actually buying from Press at retail.  A good 50% seem to be thrifting or showing up only at the sale. If Japan has no objection to that kind of loss leader operation, then I guess it's not an issue but you have to wonder what happens to their brick and mortar customer base in a few years...I know a few Yalies who love the place in my age group (early-mid 30s) but not, certainly, overwhelming numbers.

Thanks, Coolidge...

WARNING - THE FOLLOWING POST IS WAY TOO LONG.

I think J. Press has a few main problems with customer base.

1. A lot of the Ivy guys from the Boom Years stopped being Ivy in the 1970s. That's a big chunk of the market gone right there.
2. Brick and mortar stores are hurting across the board - so you do need an updated website to survive on a large scale.
3. The kind of guys who still like J. Press are going to be annoyed by an updated website and push for expansion because it goes against what people see as the whole J. Press attitude (evidence, this thread).

So what are we left with?

- "Trad Dads" who are now probably Trad Granddads. They're still buying this stuff, if they ever need to buy anything new. They are #3 above, though.

- ...and their prep sons who are now somewhat Trad Dads. This is a small market because those prep sons are the JFK Jr. generation, and while they grew up in a tradition, they were also interested in more than just working for the bank or whatever. JFK Jr. was not wearing JFK clothes.

- The current prep school/Ivy League generation looks like Mark Zuckerberg. This isn't me shaking my fist at the kids these days, it's just true. Some Southern colleges and the really elite prep schools are the only place you're still going to find people wearing the kind of dress code that allowed places like Boom Years (into 1980s) Press/Brooks/etc. to flourish. Look at someone like Jack Schlossberg - he's not wearing 3/2 blazers.

- Historical re-enactors. I use this phrase fondly. These are the forums. They want to look like it's 1955/1965/1985, and God bless 'em. But these are also the people who are really going to resist expansion/updating, along with the Trad Granddads.

- Hipsters and guys with what I call the "Japanese aesthetic" which is like if you smashed together American sportswear, hiking wear, workwear and Ivy wear in a Bruce Banner-esque lab experiment to create a guy wearing a beanie, Red Wings, a patch pocket jacket, an A.P.C. t-shirt and Carhartts. AESTHETIC SMASH!

It doesn't look good. The Trad Granddads are gonna die. A lot of the current Trad Dads will probably seek out the look as they get older, plus they have the money, so you do have people aging into the demographic. But that number will be small, and a lot of the Trad Granddads are going to die in the next 15 years or so, most likely. Prep schools and Ivy League schools are already turning out a tiny number of Press customers, and that will only shrink. One elite boys prep school here in Manhattan requires its students to wear a blazer - the rest of their outfit is up to them. Yeah that rapist from St. Paul's School looked good, but a) he was a rapist and b) that insular prep school time-warp culture is on the way out - this applies to the Southern colleges too (and that's a good thing - but it also means less Press customers).

But, of course, those people aren't buying from J. Press anyway. They're buying their more traditional clothes - suits, blazers, shirts, chinos - from Brooks. And they're buying their "preppy" clothes from the brands that ruined "preppiness" and turned it into a joke - Vineyard Vines, etc. Places with a lot of South Carolina flags on their stuff.

J. Press obviously sat down and took a hard look at the market and realized that all of these groups - trad dads, prep sons, school dress codes, conservative Southerners, even certain jobs (finance, business, law) which now are all iGents as they say over on The Wardrobe - are all too small to support the company. So they have to:

a) Make themselves look more like Brooks Brothers, because Brooks Brothers has the name recognition to draw people who want the cachet of nice suits and stuff but aren't being handed down the entire worldview described/lampooned in the Official Preppy Handbook. Repp ties and buttondowns and blazers are just the package for these people - it doesn't mean anything more than "grown-up clothes I need for my job" - so there's no need for Brooks to continue putting time and money into little details like full roll, 3/2, good rise, non-treated shirts, because their biggest base doesn't know or care.

b) Also appeal to the hipster/Japanese aesthetic, because the hipster base in the US is growing and the Japan base is stable (due to the same postwar complicated cultural diplomacy reasons that guarantees a strong audience for jazz and baseball in Japan).

We're in a narrow window right now, where Press will continue selling the things we here at TI like, to keep the Trad Granddads and Trad Dads and the few prep school/Ivy league guys and the old-school lawyers and Wall Streeters etc. spending money there. But when that base gets too small, that stuff will be gone like a home run from Yoshihiro Maru, and Press will retain the name, the label, and the basic look for that Japan/hipster market but without the charm or the care (a lot of which is gone already anyway).

So I see the logic in the shift. But I think it's mistaken, because it makes Press more anonymous. There's already a Brooks - why try to be a smaller Brooks? Their best options would be, in my opinion:

1. Just keep being the J. Press of old and f**k the haters. They would go out of business in the next 15-20 years but they'd go out of business loved, and who knows, maybe their dedication would pick up some equally dedicated employees who would either keep the brand going or who would start their own small businesses making the right stuff after Press was gone. Plus there'd be more great J. Press clothes in the world for the future forumites to thrift! J. Press already closed the door on this option, but it's the best one in my view.

2. Petition a rich and successful company - Brooks is the best option - to buy them as a "heritage" wing. Brooks would probably never do this because they're already bending over backwards to pretend like they already sell their own heritage stuff. But if they did, they'd be buying a niche history that can be sold for high prices, like Alden. They would have to preserve the traditional styling of the Press stuff for the deal to go through, and then Press would have cash to keep operating and Brooks would a) kill some competition and b) be able to bolster their own cachet through having guys like GHWB to throw into their catalogs in the "J. Press for Brooks Brothers" section. It might sound crazy, but if the right people made that deal, it would be awesome.

However, it's obvious that the right people aren't there on either end. So enjoy the window while it's open. Get your Press stuff now. Otherwise, head over to O'Connell's - and get used to doing that for a long time.


Bertie: "What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?"
Jeeves: "There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter."

Blog: https://rehearsingtheblues.blogspot.com/

 

#22 2017-10-18 14:22:30

mhalat
Member
Posts: 41

Re: J.Press Website

Due to aforementioned length, I'm not going to quote any of the prior, excellent, posts. But I do feel that my two cents may add somewhat to Beeb's post above.

Uneasy though it makes me feel to admit, I am, at the end of the day, a card carrying hipster, in the vein that Beeb outlined above. I worked for Vice in my teens, back when they scarcely had two pennies to rub together, and often wound up paying me for contract work in piles of streetwear. I went to art school. Very few of these experiences are directly connected to the man I am today - I did a lot of work to polish the rough edges of my character and image for the corporate world, starting right around the time I began cohabiting with a (much better) artist, and decided that a non-ramen meal from time to time would be nice. Looking for a role model to try and shape myself after, I looked to my old man, who worked in NY and HK in the 80s, and became quite the snappy dresser in his own right.

I think there is a subset of person for whom there is a need to bridge the gap between hipsterdom and adulthood - in much the same way that many of the hippies of the 60s became the Madison Ave men of the 70s-80s. It's unfortunate that most of the creatives at an agency in our time wear something close to pyjamas to work. But, I like the idea of a 1-stop shop, in which your Hypebeast stuff sits next to your clothing for grown men. Where forums play their role, and where brands can do better is in fostering connoisseurship. Many people who wear the Japanese aesthetic are connoisseurs, albeit oftentimes misguided ones. I'd like to think that the right retailer would be able to harness that otaku (obsessive/maniacal) energy, and redirect it towards Ivy; even if only a piece at a time.

But then, I'm far from the nattiest guy here, and am prone to punctuating my bleak pessimism with occasional bouts of maniacal optimism, so who knows?

Last edited by mhalat (2017-10-18 14:41:44)

 

#23 2017-10-18 14:35:33

Coolidge
Member
Posts: 1192

Re: J.Press Website

I see a not all that distant future, c. age 50, where I just bring my old suits in to a decent tailor and say "get the closest thing to this fabric and make another one cut exactly like this", continue buying custom shirts from Brooks, hope they keep selling classic Ivy ties, and hope O'Connell's somehow stays in business...though their longevity almost has to be in question too based on Beeb's analysis above, right?

 

#24 2017-10-18 17:48:11

Berkeley_Breathes
Moderator
From: Rick's Cafe Americain
Posts: 1348

Re: J.Press Website

mhalat wrote:

I think there is a subset of person for whom there is a need to bridge the gap between hipsterdom and adulthood - in much the same way that many of the hippies of the 60s became the Madison Ave men of the 70s-80s. It's unfortunate that most of the creatives at an agency in our time wear something close to pyjamas to work. But, I like the idea of a 1-stop shop, in which your Hypebeast stuff sits next to your clothing for grown men. Where forums play their role, and where brands can do better is in fostering connoisseurship.

This is very well stated. I agree with you, and I think moving away from insular societies of any kind is always good. I'd love for J. Press to still be J. Press and be accessible to lots of people... And I think when companies try to be *everything* is when they fail... The 1-stop shop idea would solve all that. Kind of speaks to my idea of Press being the heritage wing of Brooks, but more wide-ranging than that...

As for the Japan aesthetic, don't get me wrong - those guys are impressive, and they obviously care a ton about what they wear and why. Japan is a place where connoisseurship is still alive for sure... I also think it's an aesthetic that grew out of grabbing bits and pieces of other things - now it's being marketed by US companies who see a market in US hipsters who want to emulate that aesthetic, which spells disaster for the goodness in that style...


Bertie: "What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?"
Jeeves: "There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter."

Blog: https://rehearsingtheblues.blogspot.com/

 

#25 2017-10-18 17:55:13

Berkeley_Breathes
Moderator
From: Rick's Cafe Americain
Posts: 1348

Re: J.Press Website

Coolidge wrote:

I see a not all that distant future, c. age 50, where I just bring my old suits in to a decent tailor and say "get the closest thing to this fabric and make another one cut exactly like this", continue buying custom shirts from Brooks, hope they keep selling classic Ivy ties, and hope O'Connell's somehow stays in business...though their longevity almost has to be in question too based on Beeb's analysis above, right?

If I had the money, I'd already be there, Coolidge. And I agree, it's definitely where I'll end up. Right now I'm mainly focused on amassing the prototypes!

(Speaking of ties - check out eBay seller hanntex, if you haven't already).

I think, at least right now, O'Connell's is in a good position, because:

a) They know they're in a niche market, and they operate to please that market. This guarantees a devoted customer base, which if you don't need to get huge is really all you need.
b) Because they're about the only ones who really do satisfy that niche market right now, especially for those who don't have in-person access to these clothes and need to shop online to get what they want, they can charge very high prices. But their baseline suit and blazer ranges still have the trad details but are cheaper than a lot at Press or Brooks. It's a sweet spot for pricing.
c) They're also a marketplace - this part is really smart. They don't just sell O'Connell's stuff, they sell a wide range of products from a variety of companies and sources that all satisfy the customer base. So they're getting traffic, money, and from diverse range of products. They're pulling people in for one-off purchases who like a lot of different stuff, but they're also getting return customers because they're the only dealer in the game in a lot of ways.

I'd say if O'Connell's can stay on the same trajectory and doesn't need to expand, they can do this for a long time. At least, I hope so...


Bertie: "What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?"
Jeeves: "There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter."

Blog: https://rehearsingtheblues.blogspot.com/

 

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