in Branding

Brand Layering vs. Customer-Made

Last Saturday I sauntered into Urban Outfitters to see what they were selling these days. Their inventory is pretty edgy and feels like a bellweather of what fashion is moving from the lead users to everyone else.

I was drawn to this line of relaxed suit jackets, which mix business and design in a way you might think I’d want them mixed. The line is called Urban Renewal (a house brand?) and which — according to the tags — might be vintage clothing, might be new, and/or might be modified somehow…

Some of the jackets had added stiching patterns or an ’80s iron-on or patch on the back. On this particular specimen, the jacket was vintage and simply rebranded, which is only appropriate as the original was created by Needle Craft for another company called Good Friends of Athens, Tennessee. Notice how Urban Renewal leaves the original label inside…

It was only $59, so I had half a mind to buy it and add my own layer of branding to it. But, now inspired, I instead headed for the vintage store where I found a mint DKNY suit jacket for $15. After spending another $10 in funky buttons at the sewing store and a half hour of sewing, I had a Noise Between Stations brand jacket. The customer-made approach was more fun, an exercise in play, and saved me $35.

  1. Yeah, what’s with that?! I’m with you – I spend the extra time to find something at a vintage or resale shop and feel better about the fact that 1) there are no others like it and 2) I’m supporting an indy retailer. I often wonder who buys the jeans that are new but come with the faux “wear and tear” finish. Why not get second hand and pay second hand prices?

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