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The Dow may be surging, but it’s going to be quite some time before that money trickles down to the average man of style…much less the average shop-owner.

Hypebeast recently had the same idea as us, and approached some of the wiser boutique men and label owners with notebook in hand.

Streetwear isn’t exactly our scene, but the lessons are more or less the same: cut back on stock, streamline production, and try to ride the whole mess out. The most surprising takeaway is the longterm effect of all the sample sales you’ve been seeing. We aren’t usually inclined to speak ill of the occasional 80% discount, but labels and shops need high margins to keep afloat, which makes it hard to imagine what the sample sale scene will look like six months from now.

Alyasha Moore of Fiberops:
Think what is going to genuinely set you apart from the rest of the industry. Not some cheesy rehashed mission statement. Not your take on the same thing that everyone else is doing, but really spend time developing your own brand identity. If everyone else is looking at the same thing your product will stand out more. Don’t get caught up in being “the man” or the “it girl” … Focus on your craft, be creative in how you market yourself, work hard and your work will speak for itself.

Arthur Chmielewski of HAVEN
The biggest impact for us has been the very volatile exchange rates. We import a lot of our brands and unfortunately the Canadian exchange rate has dropped quite a bit in such a short period of time. We try to provide the best pricing we can but unfortunately as of late we have had to increase a lot of prices quite significantly. We had placed a lot of orders 6 months ago thinking that our Canadian dollar would remain on par with the USD, but that hasn’t been the case. Local customers feel the impact the most unfortunately. Hopefully our Canadian Dollar can rebound, but for the time being we are being a little more careful with how much and what we bring in after factoring in customs and currency exchanges.

Hikmet Sugoer of Solebox
Please rethink your philosophy of doing limited editions and specials. On the market there are more limited editions then inline stuff. The inline products are more limited nowadays than the limited products. Your inline products are good enough to serve the market.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom