01 March 2013

M Magazine on Paul Stuart & the End of an Era


"Grodd believed Americans needed an alternative to the overtly
stylish menswear from Europe and the repetitious predictability 
of the Ivy League look."

 (click image to read)

Jean Palmieri, veteran Fairchild editor since 1986,  reports on the recent sale of Paul Stuart to Mitsui. Opinions run the gamut, from Thom Browne to Alan Flusser and down 44th Street to Claudio Del Vecchio at the Golden Fleece.  I called Charlie Davidson when I heard about the sale:

  "It's the end of an era.  Brooks, Press, Stuart...That stretch of Madison Avenue...that was America.  Now, with the sale of Paul Stuart, it's all gone. It's all over."  CD

14 comments:

Smitty said...

CD is spot on. The end of an era. Time marches on and so must Thom Browne?

Makaga said...

Thanks for posting this, Tintin.
Question: The article says that Grodd designed the 'sitting on the fence' logo, but I thought Leyendecker was responsible for that. Anyone have any insight to that?

tintin said...

Smitty - The irony of TB's comment about Grodd, "...and not boringly follow trends" evidences an ego that is riding way off the reservation.

Makaga- Go here:

http://thetrad.blogspot.com/2008/07/princeton-1924.html

I guess it was altered by Grodd because Paul Stuart wasn't around in 1924.

Brummagem Joe said...

I'm a long time PS aficionado but I guess the family (which was on the third generation with all that that implies) wanted to cash out. It's probably for the best since it means the business has a strong capital base and there will be the merchanting skills required for a speciality operation like this. Given the long Mitsui connection we're not likely to see a re-run of the BB M&S disaster.

tintin said...

Joe - I hope you're right. Communication is a stumbling block and there's a chasm with Yanks and the Japanese. J Press is a good example with co branding schemes that have mostly missed.

It's as if I was really into kimonos and started making 'em in the US and then bought the oldest kimono maker in Japan and told them how to make kimonos.

Smitty said...

All this means is that an American will never become president of the new company. Ever....

Anonymous said...

Charlie's too humble. America's in Cambridge.

Adventure Team said...

Thank you for the link, Tintin.
....regarding yearbooks, I have my father's from Princeton in the late 50's early 60's. I should pull them out and scan them sometime.

Brummagem Joe said...

"All this means is that an American will never become president of the new company. Ever...."

I would disagree with this, the ceo of sony is a brit.

Tintin...sorry I don't buy the kimono analogy. How many Japanese are walking around in Kimonos? Mitsui is a long term licensee who has made a success of the PS business in Japan. It's not as if they are new to either the product or the market. The Germans have saved the two premier brand British autos; an Indian company is saving Jaguar/Land Rover; Fiat, Fiat I tell you, is in the process of saving Chrysler/Jeep. It really is impossible to generalize about these things so one has to keep an open mind I believe.

Mcphlip said...

Did anyone else cringe at the phrase "planning an upgradeto the Madison Avenue flagship"?

KSB said...

Brummagem Joe - One quibble with what you write. Fiat did save Chrysler from possible liquidation in 2009 but it is now Chrysler saving Fiat as Fiat's home market implodes and Europe remains a tough market.

Down the road Fiat's small car expertise and knowledge of small diesel engines will help Chrysler but Fiat's one contribution to the US lineup the Fiat 500 hasnt been selling like hotcakes.

Brummagem Joe said...

"but it is now Chrysler saving Fiat as Fiat's home market implodes"

Fiat's survival isn't dependant on Chrysler. The entire European car market simply has too much capacity (GM and Ford's European operations are in the tank also). Fiat was in very bad shape about eight years ago but Marchionne had already done much to rightsize and stabilise the business before it acquired Chrysler. The uno is probably more of gimmick than a serious US market participant. It's the compact and mid sized Fiat engine/platform experience that relevant to Chrysler.

Anonymous said...

The Japanese take on Paul Stuart will be a good thing even if it means not flying the American flag. They are masters of the craft, with more of an eye for the original and its infinite variations than anybody. As if the style audience is not an international one anyway.

If the chinese had taken over, such as at Gieves and Hawkes, you would expect a significant drop in quality and then there would be cause to cry.

Anonymous said...

I live in Japan. The sale is not a good thing. Look at the Paul Stuart Japan web page: http://sanyo-i.jp/paulstuart-mens/top/CSfTop.jsp. It is completely different product. It is of much lesser quality. You are paying for a brand--nothing more.

It is the same with Brooks Brothers Japan. Look at their suits: http://shop.brooksbrothers.co.jp/top/search/asp/list.asp?s_cate3=66. Again, lesser quality than that you find on the US site. I buy all my Brooks Brothers stuff from the US and pay the extra shipping and crazy customs charges.