Friday, June 17, 2011


Believe me, I will get back to more positive matter...ehmmmm as soon as I get done slaying the next dragon.

Among my most peaceful moments are the mornings I linger on my porch reading the paper accompanied by a lovely cup of double espresso. So it is with  increased annoyance that I address this issue.

People have always loved numbing themselves to believe whatever it is they want to believe. Fine I say, I wasn't the anointed one to save the world. But people this is 2011, should you not be in charge of selectively numbing yourself?

Hickey Freeman's ad in the local paper has got me all worked up, I know, it doesn't take much, passion and honesty will do that to you.

They are suggesting that they are offering you, their most respected customer, a sale. Let's do the math shall we? Seeing that they chose to list the prices of suits as an example of the wonderful deals this is what I'll talk about.

THE CLAIM: Suits Original Retail- $1,395 to $3,495


MY QUESTION: If $449.99 is their highest price on sale, surely that must be the suit that retailed the highest at $3,495 is it not?

Even with the assumption that at $449.99 they are giving it to you at cost, and therefore a loss because working for nothing is a loss, this would mean incredible margins at retail.

Do you see my point? If Hickey Freeman sells it to the stores for $499.00 and the retailer sells it for $3,495.00, this means the retailer marks it up  about $3 short of 7 TIMES.


Someone is not being honest, the manufacturer or the retailer or both, and YOU should be the first to know. What sickens me more than a company taking a consumer for a the consumer allowing it.


Thursday, June 2, 2011


This is a topic I've touched on before and will continue to do so until I am least a wonderful shade of Midnight Blue.

"Made in Italy", as you see it on products, was meant to tell the consumer that this was indeed a product made in Italy by skilled workers that worked under internationally accepted labor laws.

This no longer is so, and it hasn't been for many years, as the laws pertaining to this matter shifted in various amounts over time to benefit those that were producing anywhere but in Italy. It hasn't been something in the industry or at government levels that anyone has wanted to talk about. Clearly not a deterrent for me.

Yesterday I stopped at one of America's most prestigious stores, Saks Fifth Avenue. Not to discover something I didn't already know but to gather photographs to make a point for you.

I found three shirts that exemplified my point, a Bruno Cucinelli, a Valentino and one by Isaia. Very well known and respected brands in the Luxury market each in their own way and all sold in the same area of the men's department.

This is a shirt made by ISAIA in the renowned Neapolitan tradition of shirt making. One arrow points to a portion of the logo identifying this as an ISAIA shirt, while the other arrow points to the price of $395.00 which is in keeping with a shirt that is truly Made in Italy and of this quality.

This next shirt is one made by Brunello Cucinelli, a premier Italian producer of garments. You will notice that one arrow points to the label with the logo as well as the "Made in Italy" country of origin declaration required to be in plain sight by the laws of the USA.

The second arrow points to a price tag showing the cost of this shirt at $495.00 which again, is in keeping with the pricing of a quality shirt with a certain amount of details that is truly Made in Italy.

The shirt from Valentino at fist glance appears to be of great value as it is priced at only $225.00 as pointed out by the arrow. Notice however that the country of origin label that is supposed to be readily visible in accordance with the laws is not there. So, where is this shirt made? Is it really made in Italy? Is that why it is so much lower in price?

There is no magic, no voodoo in fashion. There are reasons for the prices we see and the quality of the garments, marketing aside, and sadly, you as a consumer shouldn't expect an average retailer, even a prestigious one, to educate you anymore. Take control yourself....and discover the truth and beautiful garments that are made by true artisans.