h (y) r collective Issue #12 | Featuring The Sage Gents Behind Rugby RL


If you haven’t already, stop by h (y) r collective and check out the new issue which includes a story on Lee Norwood and John Fiske that Foster and I collaborated on.  It’s the best issue yet, with great product features and a very inspiring modern day “Take Ivy” photo spread.

14 thoughts on “h (y) r collective Issue #12 | Featuring The Sage Gents Behind Rugby RL

  1. Really enjoyed the interview – not a fan of hyr in general, but found your interview to be insightful, especailly regarding blogs – thanks.

  2. I cosign, but I am of course biased. Great article. The Take Ivy spread was one of the cooler things I’ve seen in a while.

  3. I really enjoyed your article in the latest h(y)r collective issue. But I had one question about the section concerning the growing popularity, or trend if you may, of classic, made in the USA, Americana products. Do you think the movement is simply a trend based upon finding the coolest American made products unknown to the masses? Also, even if it is cliché to blog about this movement, and its seemingly unfair to reveal the “secrets” of Americana products, isn’t the point to support American companies that create quality products here in the U.S.A. and to help increase the public awareness of these small companies? Sorry about the wordiness, but I believe if someone two years ago wore Prada shoes, and now r0cks Quoddy or Red Wings instead, it shouldn’t be considered bullshit just because they didn’t support american brands before. I think if these bloggers truly cared about U.S. made products and American employees, they would welcome anyone who crosses over to purchase domestic products, and help spread the word about these small companies.

  4. Hi Chaise,

    Thanks for your thoughtful commentary.

    If I may be so bold, I’ll explain myself further–

    I think a large part of the Americana trend is disingenuous and driven by a general overriding lack of originality and personal style out there. American & heritage are the buzz words and what’s hot right now, so everyone’s following along– even those who in their heart of hearts don’t truly give a crap, it’s just fashion to them.

    There is a lot of regurgitation going on in the movement, which leads to homogenization of the landscape, which leads to the whole thing dying and people chasing after the tastemakers for what’s next. So in that regard, a lot of it is bullshit.

    We’ll see how many people are truly devoted pretty soon.

    Thanks again for your comments.


  5. I don’t think anyone has a problem with people promoting small companies like Quoddy or Red Wings. What is scary is when other, bigger companies co-opt (steal) the design/concept with cheaper material and questionable engineering at a much lower price point. It’s human nature to like good design on aesthetics alone. The telling point will be whether people support the right companies along the way.

  6. Thanks for the reply. I agree, I think the level of devotion will be revealed fairly soon, so let’s hope that through this trend some people will become loyal customers for these companies.

  7. It does seem to be a trend for a lot of people, as well, a lot of people have been wearing and buying the stuff for decades. For those of us that are newer to the scene, finding value is important, and when it can support an independent artisan, or country’s economy, its even better. I don’t just buy American products because I love American Heritage necessarily – I respect the history, love the stories and references, but I buy the products I do because they are beautifully crafted items that I get excited about personally. For that reason, I buy Visvim products, or Porter products, and it’s this overall mix that creates a personal style and balance between trend hopping and your lifestyle.

    As several of the blogs praising the hand made, made in America or hertigage brands do blog about ‘fashion’, some things will pass, some things will stay, so I think all you can ask is that people don’t try to be something they aren’t. If a guy wants to wear Prada shoes, blogs about them everyday, and actually wears them and is all about them – cool. If he blogs about Prada shoes, RedWings (because they’re cool too), expensive watches and doesn’t wear or care about any of them – not cool.

    Thanks for all of the positive comments about h(y)r collective as well. And another thanks to JP for being apart of it!

  8. JP,
    A comment was made in that article about what a statement it would make if RL started sourcing back in America. I agree for the most part. You were, however, quick to acknowledge the challenges of doing that. Even so, isn’t RRL the true answer to that statement? American-heritage style made in the USA. I would also note that the price tag of RRL clothing represents in large part the cost of producing in the US. The Polo, et.all brand could never survive with pricing like that. My sister works in Blue Label production. I was shocked at how low the margins actually are. Sometimes they even take a negative margin just to get a particular jacket made with the notions they want on it. How could they go about sourcing back in the US? I wish they would.

    • Ryan,

      In a perfect world, yes you’re totally right. RRL is the perfect brand for the RL ‘Made in America’ vehicle. What RRL lacks right now is volume to make a sizable impact– it’s a pretty small business. And at a large company like RL, no doubt a lot of the sourcing/production is under the same silo to maximize efficiencies. With Maurizio Donadi at the helm, things may change– he’s amazing.

      Your comment about margins at Blue Label RL is not true across the board, though. I was there too, in Merchandising, and we drove the pricing so I’ll explain.

      You have to have a big picture view to get the whole story– the total weighted margin. Yeah, there are certain classifications that have lower margins like T’s and special ‘reach pieces’ that need to be there to make the collection– but those are always weighted against other products/categories with higher mark-ups that carry the overall margin. You take a lower margin on some items because you have to price it where the market will bear it, or because it’s special and you want to get it out there (it may also represent very few units) and the margin is always nicely offset elsewhere.

      It’s all about merchandising your price-points and the total weighted average.



      • What you said all makes sense, and I believe it to be true. I guess my real question was, can they feasibly start to transition back to American made? The article almost made it sound like it was a lack of will. I was just pointing out that it in fact just may not be doable in this day and age. I really wish they would. We never should have started outsourcing outside the border. It was a sad day when the last Levi factory closed on US soil. On a separate, but somewhat related note, when was Polo Country made? I occasionally see those pieces on eBay and was curious about the production years.

      • JP, thank you for your kind note.
        Today is the perfect day for American companies to start looking at producing in the US again.
        Passion, quality, expertise and artisanship has been strangled in this country by greed.
        I can not believe that it takes an Italian to encourage a change……

  9. maurizio
    i agree with your comments!
    do u think levi’s would have survived if they had continued with manufacturing?

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