Friday, 13 February 2009

Kiton at Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue has been trying for years to create a Kiton boutique in its New York flagship store.

For the uninitiated, Kiton is an Italian clothing company that makes some of the finest quality suits in the world. Their clothes are handmade by a small army of tailors in Kiton's workrooms just outside Naples. Prices are very high: $7000 for a suit and $1200 for trousers.

Saks unveils their new Kiton store on Monday. Unfortunately, their timing is terrible, opening it in the midst of the deepest economic troubles since the Great Depression. Saks's sales fell 23.7% last month and they are laying off 9% of their staff. Like many other retailers, they're being forced to offer discounts of as much as 70% off just to move merchandise out of the door.

Saks is still talking a good game, and undoubtedly there will still be some customers for these clothes in New York, but they must be worried.

Story in today's NY Times.


ADG said...

Kiton....superb stuff. Same can be said to some degree, for Brioni, Purple Label etc. Sadly, there are fewer and fewer people who know enough and care enough about clothes,quality,craftsmanship etc. to discern why something costs seven hundred dollars versus seven thousand dollars.

Stated simply...the target audience for this level of goods is shrinking at warp/weft speed. Additionally, the lack of knowledge possesed by those who sell these goods is breathtaking. My number one reason for not buying off the peg clothing is that I can't get the overall benefit of the purchasing experience anymore.

Sure, everyone can provide me an "anecdotal one-off" about some lone professional that still spoils their devoted following with incredible service and unimpeachable product knowledge. I rarely see it anymore...even in the major destinations..NYC, London etc. If you've got the stones to ask me for that kind of money for your better be as passionate as I am about them.

Sir Fopling Flutter said...

Agree completely. All too often, the people responsible for selling these items (which can cost as much as a car) know nothing about them. It was gratifying to read in the NY Times article that some of the salesmen have been taken to the Kiton workrooms in Naples for a firsthand look at where the clothes come from.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Perhaps I could linger a bit in the showroom... might be the closest I get these days to wearing Kiton; even at a 70% reduction.

Well made it may be, but at $7,000 a suit I think I'd go bespoke.

Kim Gail said...

Saks Fifth Avenue's new Kiton boutique is one of the most beautiful and luxurious stores I have even seen.

Unknown said...

Having worked for Kiton for years and having the privilege to wear the clothes I can say first hand they are unlike any other. It's true the economic climate is unfortunate for both Kiton and Saks. The level of service is suburb and product knowledge overwhelming if you invest in the clothing, sadly with the press you spend most your day talking to people who have no intention whatsoever of buying. We'd all like to have the time and energy to cater to them, but it's commission sales.

So many people come to let you know they know Kiton, great buy or admire no problem, but the idea that the salesperson is supposed to convince every man walking in the door is sadly not possible.

If it's bespoke you desire, then Kiton can handle any body type. Kiton has a stunning variety of bespoke styles and cloths, most exclusive to Kiton, please come and take a look.

You cannot simply compare prices to other manufactures. Kiton is truly hand made taking far longer to produce than Brioni or Borelli. Kiton is for the man who wants the best of the best plus one, not someone bound by cost.