It’s confusing to watch some legacy clothing giants from Ralph Lauren to Macy’s stumble when it comes to this thing called the internet, the thing that completely changed the way people want to shop and the thing that younger and more innovative entrepreneurs seem to manipulate with more agility. It’s almost as if the thinkers behind these old brands borrow from the too-big-to-fail music industry playbook, ultimately falling behind. With staggering hubris, they expand and expand over and over with more and more new stores in cities across the globe, then ultimately pull back and close those stores because the anticipated sales weren’t there. (Google the story of Tower Records.) In the wake of disappointing sales and closing stores, the spokespeople from these companies almost invariably tell the press some version of “We’re going to start paying more attention to our online presence.” Gee, ya think?
As I’ve written before, it’s exciting to see young brands take a good idea, run with it, and execute it well with a worthwhile product, especially when the product is handsome, well-made, affordable, and workable. One such recent entry is Beckett Simonon.
Co-founded in 2012 by Andrés Niño and Nicholas Hurtado from Bogotá, Colombia, Beckett Simonon offers limited micro collections of great-looking goods, using the direct-to-consumer model with the added twist of made-to-order. They retain no inventory but instead build the goods as they are ordered. There aren’t shelves of shoes and racks of jackets and pants in a warehouse somewhere. Each item is made when it purchased from their online store. As with other brands working on a similar model, this makes things much more cost-effective, enabling the company to pass the savings along to the customer.
The current collection includes great “Gallagher” boots in Italian calfskin for $219, classic casual Italian calfskin wingtips for $189, and a very handsome suede bomber jacket in a choice of three colors for $295.
Given that Beckett Simonon is a made-to-order business, the next obvious question is How long will it take to receive my order? From the point of purchase to delivery, expect about 6-8 weeks, which is more than reasonable considering that the goal is to provide a quality product at such an affordable price point. In this more/cheaper/faster age, men who complain about the 4-6 week turnaround for online made-to-measure $500 suits are being ridiculous. If a t-shirt costs $5, it’s a safe bet that someone’s getting hurt. Quality goods take more than a few minutes to craft. So let’s not be brats about it.
Another interesting twist with some of the new brands that (I think) gives them an edge over the behemoths is transparency about their production chain. Beckett Simonon’s goods are ethically crafted by hand in small artisanal factories in Colombia and Portugal. Their full-grain vegetable-tanned leathers come from a small tannery in Italy. In fact, during the 6-8 weeks while you’re waiting for your goods, they send you photos of different parts of the process so you can see everything about how your goods are being crafted. I’d like to think men are becoming savvier and more conscious about what they buy, looking for things that don’t support an exploitative slave labor system for the sake of cheaper stuff (which is why you’ll never see me in a fast-fashion store).
If, for whatever reason, you’re not happy with your purchase from Beckett Simonon, you get a 120% refund, which means 100% of purchase and a gift card for 20% off your next purchase. Nice.
All told, it looks like Becket Simonon is onto something good.
Use the code GEORGEHAHN10 to get 10% off any order!