The Permanent Style trunk show

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Thank you.

Thank you so much on my behalf, and more importantly on behalf of the four artisans - who trusted me, and by extension you, to come over to London and do something they'd never done before, in a location they'd never seen before. 

Because of you, our Permanent Style/Gaziano & Girling trunk show last week was a big success.

Thanks to those that commissioned something, those that attended the party in the evening, and those that simply came and learnt.

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For Heurtault umbrellas, Lavabre Cadet gloves, Cerrato trousers and Serge Amoruso leather goods, this show was mostly an exercise in awareness.

The aim was to make the brands available to the discerning men of London; to talk about bespoke and their work back home; and generally to have useful conversations, both speaking and listening. 

It was about communication rather than commerce. And yet, no one seemed to stop selling all day: from big bespoke bag commissions to linen/cotton umbrellas, alligator gloves to 'ice' covert trousers. I don't think Marco and Massimo had much of a chance to drink, they were so busy measuring people's legs.

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In the evening we had a very informal discussion, with myself introducing each brand and telling everyone what I thought was so special about them, before asking a few questions. 

This could have been stilted by the lack of English, but actually everyone spoke a little English, a little French, a little Italian, and we got by.

Jean-Baptiste Rosseeuw (second from the left, above) had the unenviable job of translating Serge Amoruso's (second from the right) fluid thoughts on French craftsmanship, but even he did well. 

From that discussion we concluded that the French are awful businessmen - always making the finest product and only later working out if there is a market for it. We learnt that, oddly, big Italian businesses get more help than small ones. And we were told about Marco and Massimo's very 'hands on' measuring style.

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Everyone enjoyed seeing so many of the products first-hand, whether it was Michel's new silk canopies or Serge's beautiful small-leather goods (above). 

It was interesting how well the selection of Marco's trousers went down as well. The spread (partially shown below) had a great range of contemporary colours or materials - that pale-grey covert, a deep deep green cord, denim, and brown and grey donegals. A long way from the trousers tailors on the Row are used to making. 

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Thank you also to all the readers that sent personal emails after the event thanking us - always a lovely touch. And yes, I'm sure we'll be doing it again. 

And last but in no way least, I'd like to say thank you to Tony Gaziano, without whom none of this would have happened, and Neus and her team in the shop, who put together a fantastic event.

Thank you all.

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John

Hi Simon,
Thank you for this report. This was a great initiative! This is the kind of action among other things, I expect PS to be doing!
John

Adam Jones

Actually thank you and Tony for bringing this event to us. Everyone took away something different from the event i think, something you do not get with Single brand shows. For example I admired the craft of the umbrella’s and gloves but they are not for me, to much for an item to leave on the tube, but some people loved these and wanted to commission. For me the trousers were something I would never have found on my own and I was so pleased I met those guys. I didn’t order anything on the night but I will at some point – and such good value. It shows there are so many more artisans out there who are unknown to the majority. Would love to see an event like this in the future.

Gonzague

“The French are terrible businessmen…market”
I find this topic to be very interesting. Not just on whether this is specific to the French (is it?) but also on how a talented craftman may guess the market and reach it, esp as the price bands often mean that one has to reach happy fews on a global basis. It always puzzled me that Lafabre Cadet former owner could not expand globally: a customer can draw the hand outline oneself and send a scan to the maker…
Conversely, giving the global affluent customers what he wants rather than educate him may dilute the product dna or not work (hearing that Berluti expansion is not a success, but I don’t know whether it is the clothes or shoe (IMO terrible) diversification).
If anything was said about it or if you already wrote smthg about these themes, I am interested.
Regarding helping italian firms, I guess you are referring to subsidies/financial help (govt, banks, federations,…).

Gonzague

More…
Do blogs like yours intend to fill that gap between small brands and their adressable market? Before (market research,…) and after the product is launched (ads, reviews, trunk shows,…)?

Fashion Bags

The trunk show was great