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I guess all those cheap clothes really add up

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    I guess all those cheap clothes really add up

    I've never heard of Stefan Persson, but he's the 8th richest guy in the world (worth $26 billion), and his father is the founder of H&M. He's now the chairman of the board, and has promoted his own son to chief executive. Not even the Waltons are that rich (though it must be admitted that the Walton fortune was split many ways).


    You know what's worth more than cheap clothes, though? Really expensive clothes. Bernard Arnault is the 4th richest guy in the world and the richest guy in Europe (worth $41), and he runs LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton, Givenchi, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Thomas Pink, Donna Karan, TAG Heuer, Bulgari, and so many other luxury brands ranging from wine to clothing to jewelry, to retail stores that I really can't even list them all. There are really that many.



      I noticed that as well last yr when i got the richest people issue of Forbes. Arnault pretty much owns france...

      "The key to Success is the Quality of Execution"



        I think the founders of H&M, Uniqlo, Zara, and Forever 21 are all billionaires. Fast fashion = big $$$



          @ trash - Interesting but kind of disappointing. It doesn't really seem to incentivize people to start clothing companies that focus on quality and service over trendiness and cheapness. Why work hard to make the best product out there when you can become a billionaire by putting out cheap, imported stuff? Not that there's anything wrong with stuff like H&M and Zara, but trendy, disposable clothes shouldn't be the staple of the modern person's wardrobe.




            @BenR well it depends on what you want to be known for. There are plenty of companies out there that focus and want to be known for excellent service and amazing quality in products over cash value. Take Allen Edmonds into consideration, they have been around for many years and the reason behind it is because they cater to quality buyers. They only want to cater to buyers who are interested in quality products over hype and fame of money.

            So yes, for people who want to get rich quick, H&M and other companies show them it can be done with cheap clothes and pushing quantity over quality.

            I prefer quality over quantity, but its hard to avoid sometimes being that we live in a world where disposable products surround us and are the majority of the market of advertisement. Take a look at our landfills...



              @BenR I agree, but it's hard to build a successful clothing company on any scale. If anything I think it's easier to build a small-scale specialty clothing company nowadays, since the fast fashion space is pretty established. And just as fast fashion rode the wave of more and more people caring about what they wear, niche businesses are doing the same. I think this is even more true with menswear - would The Knottery, or even Bonobos, been successful 20 years ago? There have always been subcultures that dressed in certain ways, but I feel like the average guy is more interested in style than ever before. Granted, that most likely translates into shopping at the big names, but once you get into it, the next thing you know you're dropping $500 on some double monks

              I don't know much about how the clothing industry works behind the scenes, but it seems like if you want to design something and get a sample run made it's easier than ever. I'd love to learn more about all this if anybody has any reading recommendations.



                Call me a social-commi nut job, but I think companies like Zara and H&M do a greater good than a high end luxury house like Louis Vuitton. They bring clothes to the masses at an affordable price and dollar for dollar probably deliver the best experience for the average consumer. They have kept with the times and are able to ramp up production and keep with trends much in the same way that the NYT explored Apple's fulfillment chain (and explained why the we aren't equipped for an Apple Factory in the US).

                One of my greatest take aways from a book I own on LV, with a foreword by the descendent of Louis Vuitton who started at the bottom as a carpenter/trunk maker, is that Louis and them really didn't choose to become a luxury brand. Back when they started, that was how things were made and you either had their quality or you had complete shit/went without. With modern industrialization and mass production, more items became available to the masses and pushed Louis further and further into a luxury realm by the very nature of how they construct their items.

                I think people who are declaring these companies as get rich quick or passing it off as simply peddling cheap clothes are really not giving credit where credit is due for the skill at which these companies have built empires that are affordable & easily accessible.

                *This does not apply to Forever 21 which literally will come apart at the seams and sells slutty clothes under some Christian guise. Their clothes might as well be made of tissue paper. But take it easy on H&M and the like.



                  Menswear success story #1 in my book: Ralph Lauren.

                  Kid from the bronx, went into the army, got out and worked as a salesman at Brooks Bros, started making his own ties -- now has a company that produces both clothing for the masses (polo) and quality menswear (RLPL).

                  Also he likes cars, and I guess he's a nice guy

                  though it does look nice to be that Persson guy. I bet he never wears H&M either.

                  anyone want to start a company?