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Author Topic: Ask Giles Anything  (Read 10316 times)

Offline Giles

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Ask Giles Anything
« on: April 02, 2016, 06:29:02 pm »
I have been asked a number of questions recently, that I have enjoyed answering because they made me think and reflect.

There may be stuff you want to know about the Iron Heart business but have never had the place to ask the specific question.  Well, you do now.

I don't mind in the least being as transparent as I possibly can because I think that the more you know about what we do and how we do it and the pressures and dynamics involved, the more you will understand, and that will possibly bring some of you even more enjoyment and a sense of involvement.

I knew the square root of fuck all about this business when I decided I wanted to be involved - other than jeans are made from denim  :D.  I've learned a lot, and it would be rude for me not to share.

So ask away, I'll always be as honest as I can, and if I cant, I'll tell you.... :)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2020, 10:19:49 am by Giles »
"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline jordanscollected

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Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2020, 08:31:16 pm »
1. What item did you expect to sell like hotcakes and ended up not doing well?

2. What item ended up being way more popular than you thought it would?



« Last Edit: November 19, 2020, 09:42:12 am by Giles »
Minnesota, USA

Offline Appfaff

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2020, 08:38:48 pm »
this is fun, my guesses... 

1. Any Lined CPO

2. The 301 cut when Haraki showed him

Offline neph93

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2020, 09:17:20 pm »
I'll play, although I've been at this for a while and like to follow along...

1. The entire range of double indigo duck products, but notably the type III's and jeans made of it. Did not capture the imagination of the punter at the time, despite being fekking gorgeous. My theory is that it was ahead of its time. I reckon it would sell in buckets now.
2. More difficult... I know the order for the IHSH-163's was small, like one in each colour in each size and they ended up selling three times that many (I did buy two though).

Good call from @Appfaff on the 301 cut. That being said, I'm happy about the way it played out as I think the 777 is a much more refined cut than the 301, so SE are welcome to it...  ;D
Get ahead, go figure, go ahead and pull the trigger,
Everything under the gun.

Offline Appfaff

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2020, 09:22:30 pm »
Oh yeah, the 777 is better for sure, but for years the 301 was the slim flagship, especially when it was just 461 and 634s.

I just love the idea of Haraki showing G a pair of low rise, slim jeans, and he's like "Feck that, I'm not about that life" and then Kiya swoops in and is like "Cali peeps would eat these up.." and they did. And honestly, SE really did push the boundaries on taking the Japanese fabrics and details and packaging them up into slim tapered packages for Westerners. I believe the IHxSE01 was a direct Dior 19cm repro if I remember the story correct.

Anyways, I'm just a geek for the history and progression of gear.... Carry on!

Offline neph93

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2020, 09:33:56 pm »

Anyways, I'm just a geek for the history and progression of gear.... Carry on!

No, you carry on... this is great... I also enjoy that weird split in the IH development continuum when Giles and Kiya were the only games in their respective towns. Two very different attitudes to selling the gear are obvious, as well as two different attitudes to developing the brand.

I've often considered researching and writing a brand history... I reckon I could get a full book out of it, that at least a few people would want to read. I figure I'd need to take three months off work to get it started though travel to the UK, Japan and the US. The financial implications of that are where these daydreams tend to end  ;)
Get ahead, go figure, go ahead and pull the trigger,
Everything under the gun.

Offline jordanscollected

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2020, 09:40:05 pm »
@neph93 it could be a forum funded book, I'd put money into it for sure. I'd much rather my money going to this as opposed to "do you want to round up for charity?" at every damn checkout I go to in states. Plus, I can't speak for everyone, but I bet you'd have a free bed and free "fed" in many towns across the globe from anyone passionate about your project.

I'd maybe finish Hot Ingrid's house first. 
Minnesota, USA

Offline Appfaff

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2020, 09:41:19 pm »
If you need a co-writer, holla at ya boi (Me, if you were wondering lol)

Offline neph93

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2020, 10:00:16 pm »

I'd maybe finish Hot Ingrid's house first.

Critical point, well made. I think relying on some good will would definitely make it possible though...
If you need a co-writer, holla at ya boi (Me, if you were wondering lol)

I reckon you would at the very least be an important source and require interviewing for many hours. Those interviews would require meat and beer.
Get ahead, go figure, go ahead and pull the trigger,
Everything under the gun.

Offline Appfaff

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2020, 12:30:49 am »

I reckon you would at the very least be an important source and require interviewing for many hours. Those interviews would require meat and beer.

100%


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Offline Jett129

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2020, 12:38:04 am »
Can I be the photographer?

Offline Appfaff

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2020, 01:47:39 am »
It would only be fitting Jett!


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Offline Giles

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2020, 05:36:02 am »
@Giles

1. What item did you expect to sell like hotcakes and ended up not doing well?

2. What item ended up being way more popular than you thought it would?

1) The simple answer, is anything that we have to put in the outlet. This is a business, we need to make money, every time we have to discount something, is really an admission of failure.  Another answer is Triple Works, it was amazing stuff, but because of what I can only put down to brand snobbery (end-user customers and retailers) it did not sell, but had it been tagged IH I am sure it would've sold really well. We launched the 14oz denim under the TW name, it sold really poorly, I asked H to rebrand it IH, so we did.  When I asked for retailers orders, it was, at that time, the largest order I had ever taken. And I would guess, it is now our top selling denim weight.

2) Shorts, IHC-16 and sometimes a UHF completely catches me off guard.

This is one of my mantras:

The art of being a successful retailer is not how often you get it right, it is how often you don't get it wrong.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2020, 12:32:36 pm by Giles »
"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline Giles

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2020, 06:03:32 am »
I just love the idea of Haraki showing G a pair of low rise, slim jeans, and he's like "Feck that, I'm not about that life"
So what happened is that I was in one of my first meetings with Haraki and Kiya in Tokyo.  Haraki shows us a pair of slim jeans he had developed, but did not want to sell in Japan. Kiya said, "I like those, can SE have exclusivity on them?" Because slim jeans were not part of my heritage and not why I had got into the business, I said: "You bet".  The cut was not perfect and it took a few iterations to get it right (mainly because I did not know at the time, but the Japanese do not include the waistband when measuring rise), it became the 301 cut.  From a IHUK point of view, it was one of the worst decisions I ever made, but from a brand perspective, it proved to be brilliant. 

As time went by, I began to realise the folly of my ways and that we needed a slim jean in the portfolio, I could not take away the exclusivity I had given Kiya without breaking my word, but I also could not develop a jean that was too similar to the 301, otherwise, it was effectively the same thing.  So I came up with the 666, then we made the 555 initially just for the Indonesian market, and then at the suggestion of a customer, we came up with the 777.  Which I 100% agree, is the best of the lot.
"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline Appfaff

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Re: Ask Giles Anything....
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2020, 06:22:12 am »
Love those stories!!


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