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This is very bad ...

https://www.desmerrionbespoketailor.com/

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Dear Mr Merrion,

I write about gentlemen's fashion for Bown's Bespoke - an on-screen lifestyle magazine specificaly designed for those who work in financial services in the City of London and elsewhere with large disposable incomes, who desire and can afford the highest possible standards for their wardrobes.

We seek to provide our readers with reviews of the very finest suppliers of clothes and accessories. Bown's Bespoke can be viewed on the public internet at www.bownsbespoke.com [On a Google and a Yahoo search for 'bespoke suit', Bown's Bespoke appears on page one or page two.]

It strikes me that it would be interesting to write an article about the experience of having a bespoke suit made by yourself. Usually, my articles are about the Savile Row tailors, but I thnk people would appreciate something about a really good bespoke tailor who is outside London and is therefore able to charge rather lower prices. I would anticipate covering such matters as what makes a suit from you special, considerations of style, the quality of workmanship, the fittings procedure, and so on. Would this be of interest to you?

If so, what I would propose would be that the suit - perhaps to go in our new 'Bespoke Country Suits' section - should be made on a complimenary basis - in exchange, as it were for the article.

I look forward to hearing from you, and send herewith a link to a typical article in Bown's Bespoke:
https://www.bownsbespoke.com/henrypoole3.html

I would be most grateful for a quick response, even if the proposal is not possible.

Kind regards
Francis Bown

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I don't think it's so bad, if not a little cheeky.

I work in marketing and this type of thing is quite common, a trade for exposure.
It's what PR is based on after all.

I guess I would question the integrity of the review though - i.e. if you made a terrible suit for him, would he still be obliged to write a 'positive' review?

Thoughts?
 

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surprise, surprise.

I am not surprised at all and there have been threads on here discussing this already.

The Bown website is a good reference point but some of the prices are wrong (I am not talking about today's prices but the prices at the time he claimed to have got the item) and his choices are controversial why go to Henry Poole for a bespoke but then be anti-bespoke coat.

Thanks for linking the info.
 

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I guess I would question the integrity of the review though - i.e. if you made a terrible suit for him, would he still be obliged to write a 'positive' review?

Thoughts?
This is the important issue. The way the reviews are written, it is like he paid for the items

"If you choose one of George's materials, the price of an overcoat is £390; taking in your own material the price is £250. This took the total price of my wonderful new overcoat to £480"

Secondly, as mentioned in my first replay to the thread why be so anti-bespoke overcoat? Go to Henry Poole for a £3k suit but you may not have enough money for bespoke overcoat, there is even .

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I am not the person to advise you against Savile Row. I love its traditions, its character and its expertise. If you can always afford it, my advice is always to go there for your tailoring and to go nowhere else in the world. But I am the person to recognise that not everyone can invariably pay £2000+ for a suit and £1500+ for an overcoat. Poverty, as I never cease telling my friends, has its disciplines - and I am master of them all."

Apparently his website is for people with money, so why have this.

I have worked for a few publication companies and some companies did pay for being featured. However, the feature was about the company and what it offers, not trying to make people believe that we have used their services.
 

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I don't see any problem with his comment about S.R. being expensive, or words to the effect of.

Only the most hardened (and rich) fool could imply finance was not a concern when talking about SR.

I guess he is trying to reach all readers who are just as interested in bespoke, but might not necessarily be able to afford SR - he is simply saying there are alternatives.

I still stick by my comment though - I now question the reviews and their integrity.
 

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I must say the good Father Bown certainly has plenty of chutzpah! I edit magazines that people pay $4 an issue to acquire. Bown's blogsite is free to the public. I would never dream of soliciting merchandise equivalent in value to a bespoke suit in return for free publicity. And, if any of my employers, past or present, had gotten wind of such a stunt, it would have put paid to my career.

This is somewhat keyed to the value of the item. I might ask someone for a review copy of a book. I have never and would never solicit a free gun...and any gun I would even be loaned for review would probably be considerably less expensive than a suit of Des Merrion, whatever his prices are these days.

Asking to have a suit made at a modest discount in return for publicity on the blogsite would probably be acceptable, IMO. If Des Merrion volunteered to make the erstwhile clerical gentleman a suit in return for publicity, that again would be ethically acceptable, I think, assuming Fr. Bown gave it a fair and objective review.
 

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Men who read Bown pay nothing for the entertainment. His business model has been in use in trade publications for as long as there have been journalists. If he gets merchandise he should disclose it, but other than that who expects him to work for free?

I sometimes get things for free, sometimes at wholesale, and sometimes at full price. Whatever I pay, I only write if I think it's something my readers will be interested in. If I did it any other way, no-one would read me.

And Merrion has some cheek, in my opinion. This is a man who last spring said he'd make me something for one price after looking at what it involved, told me three months later he wanted twice as much before he'd start, and when I said no thanks has kept my deposit even though he hadn't done any work on the project.

He did complain that he spent money on a train ticket to London to measure me, however I spent an equivalent sum at his request to send him a partially completed suit that he said he'd pay shipping on so he could look at it. He hasn't paid that shipping either.

Be careful of men who are holier than thou.
 

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This is very bad ...

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I don't think so. It's only a clothing review. It's not the FDA reviewing drug safety.

It is apparent that he is writing of favorable experiences with favored vendors. The same holds for his reviews of hotels.

One of the vendors told me years ago of the "arrangement." The vendor agreed because of the free publicity of a well written review.
 

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Men who read Bown pay nothing for the entertainment. His business model has been in use in trade publications for as long as there have been journalists. If he gets merchandise he should disclose it, but other than that who expects him to work for free?

I sometimes get things for free, sometimes at wholesale, and sometimes at full price. Whatever I pay, I only write if I think it's something my readers will be interested in. If I did it any other way, no-one would read me.

And Merrion has some cheek, in my opinion. This is a man who last spring said he'd make me something for one price after looking at what it involved, told me three months later he wanted twice as much before he'd start, and when I said no thanks has kept my deposit even though he hadn't done any work on the project.

He did complain that he spent money on a train ticket to London to measure me, however I spent an equivalent sum at his request to send him a partially completed suit that he said he'd pay shipping on so he could look at it. He hasn't paid that shipping either.

Be careful of men who are holier than thou.
Thanks for the warning.
 

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And Merrion has some cheek, in my opinion. This is a man who last spring said he'd make me something for one price after looking at what it involved, told me three months later he wanted twice as much before he'd start, and when I said no thanks has kept my deposit even though he hadn't done any work on the project.

He did complain that he spent money on a train ticket to London to measure me, however I spent an equivalent sum at his request to send him a partially completed suit that he said he'd pay shipping on so he could look at it. He hasn't paid that shipping either.
You didn't say how much the deposit is...a little or a lot. If it is a little I wouldn't write him off, because you may like his garments enough to write him up as a character.

I think some of his advisors are not to bright and it shows in his business practices. Craftsmen are not always business elites. More like, few craftsmen are business elites.
 

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Men who read Bown pay nothing for the entertainment. His business model has been in use in trade publications for as long as there have been journalists. If he gets merchandise he should disclose it, but other than that who expects him to work for free?

I sometimes get things for free, sometimes at wholesale, and sometimes at full price. Whatever I pay, I only write if I think it's something my readers will be interested in. If I did it any other way, no-one would read me.

And Merrion has some cheek, in my opinion. This is a man who last spring said he'd make me something for one price after looking at what it involved, told me three months later he wanted twice as much before he'd start, and when I said no thanks has kept my deposit even though he hadn't done any work on the project.

He did complain that he spent money on a train ticket to London to measure me, however I spent an equivalent sum at his request to send him a partially completed suit that he said he'd pay shipping on so he could look at it. He hasn't paid that shipping either.

Be careful of men who are holier than thou.
Ref Boehlke comments, my side of the story.

I was contacted by Will and asked if I could finish off a linen suit that he had been left lumbered with from a previous tailor he had commissioned the suit from. I asked Will what stage the suit was at, he told me it was almost finished, and was a good fit.

Based on Will's comments we agreed a price to finish the suit (£750) I was informed that I needed to see if I could still purchase the cloth that would allow me to finish the suit and check if the cloth purchased would be a good enough match regarding the shade. This I did and the match was close enough to go ahead and finish the suit.

The suit was sent over to me, along with another he no longer wanted for me to just look at the canvas etc. When I received the suit the first thing was the suit was nowhere near finished as Will had told me, it was barely beyond a pocket fitting stage. I thought OK at least the fit was supposed to be good so I would make some money, not much, but some and I may gain a new client. I arranged to meet Will at his Hotel in London so I took 1 day off work and travelled to London by train. I tried the suit on him, the fit was nowhere near it was a mile off and would need completely stripping, fully re-cutting and then re-trying on.Will gave me about £300 deposit.

I arrived home and some time later on emailed Will telling him I could not finish the suit at the price quoted, which had been agreed before I even saw the suit and was based on WILLS opinion of the work needed. In reality the work required combined with the fit issues meant I would basically be making him a bespoke suit for less than half my normal price, which I could not do, I asked for double what I previously asked for which was still less than my full bespoke suit price but was a fair price considering the amount of work needed to finish it. I would also have the added cost of having to visit London again to give him at least 1 further fitting which by even doubling the price meant I would make nothing but still thought I may gain a client so it may be worth a punt. Will refused the price increase I then started receiving various emails from Will asking for his money back, most of which were replied too but not all.

I initially agreed to a refund as this was not a big problem, but after the emails become more threatening and in Wills words "I shall start talking to some men I know" I told him to do whatever he wanted and tell anyone he wanted, I also thought this is not right, I felt I had travelled to London on false pretences, as the suit was nowhere near finished, as he said it was, and not a good fit. My costs were 1 full day off work, the train fare costs to London, and taxi costs in London to and from his Hotel, which in total was much more than the deposit he gave me I would also have had to purchase the cloth to finish the suit.

Why should I make a bespoke suit at a loss? I had incurred the cost of 1 day off work combined with expensive travel costs. So due to Wills aggressive stance I changed my mind and kept the £300 and considered it fair compensation for wasting my time even though my out of pocket expenses were much greater. As for cost Will the equivalent... It had cost Will around £30 to send me the suit.

I consider the matter a disgrace, someone asks you to help them out the result of which is you incur substantial costs they then want a refund when they don't want to pay a fair price. I consider he got away lightly as my consultancy fees are £750 per day minus expenses.

The matter is closed as far as I am concerned.
 

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Be careful of men who are holier than thou.
Now who is holier than Thou? You didn't even captilize Thou! "I shall start talking to some men I know" I think in some states that is good enough for felon jail time.

It is kinda strange for an experienced clothier to expect some humble tailor to travel to do a total recut on a garment with pieces missing when you are already traveling, and at such a low low price. Maybe your the con- theats and all.
 

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I've made stuff before and what Will ask is way way to low.

Making a garment is a lot of work. Manufactured make something like 800 in a day with jigs and whatever all the same or close. Custom is a whole different way of construction that makes a better coat. And each is different. A quick custom coat can be made in about 35 hours. A customers coat can take a lot longer. Trouses take about 8-12 hours. What is a liveable wage and overhead and cost of the goods? And who wants a livable wage? Everybody wants more. So, the price is up there for custom and the comfort is worth it sometimes. I can buy pants at Ross for about $10-12. But I buy some junk cloth at JoAnn's for about that much, and thread and zipper, pocketing, waistband lining, hook & eye and good buttons comes from elswhere, and about 8-12 hours, includes making a pattern, I end up with trousers that are so comfortable that I have to look down now and then to make for sure I didn't forget to put them on. The fit and comfort of hand made clothes is worth the effort and time.
 
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