March 18, 2013 by Ville Raivio
I’ve a problem with outsourced apparel. I can somewhat trust makers who own their factories, or at least come clear with the manufacturers used in outsourced goods. Most do not, leaving the customer pondering the true source and grade of goods. When the maker is revealed or known, the customer can rely on a certain level of quality and make great finds in sales. Some factories offer limited sales percentages with the aim of maintaining an aura of prestige. One example is Edward Green, who does make a few models for Brooks Brothers. While EG’s models will remain expensive, the pairs made for BB may be offered with favourable prices.
One prime example of re-branding comes from Ralph Lauren, whose webstore features a dull half-brogue titled ‘Denver‘ for $1250. The very same model, made for RL by the Italian factory Silvano Sassetti, sells for around $400 as part of the makers own collection, titled ‘Passo‘. The pairs might differ if RL has selected higher-grade leathers for its model. This tidbit must be gleaned from the seller or someone higher up, yet I highly doubt whether RL is willing to reveal such details. Outsourcing, or simply replacing brand tags and packaging, is among the fastest methods of hitching up profits. Buyer beware.