Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Imported American Pride

When shopping, I always find it interesting to inspect garments. I especially get a kick out of inspecting at the ones that are designed and created to give that "patriotic feeling" for the consumer. You know the ones... the t-shirts and apparel sold around Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. I look at the overall design first, then I usually look at the price, then look at the label. I look at the price before the label because usually this will determine what origin I expect to find, and 19 out of 20 times it will say Made in China, Pakistan, India or Bangladesh. Why? Bottom line - profitability for the company as well as lower retail prices for the consumer. Even if you could find someone in America to sit behind a sewing machine for 8 hours a day at the minimum wage of $7.25 hr, it is no comparison to the hourly wage of a garment worker in China ($.86), India ($.51), Pakistan ($.55) or Bangladesh ($.55).

Visit a local Harley store and you're sure to find virtually everything hanging is made overseas. Here is the symbol of American freedom, a company that takes pride in patriotism; a company whose core Customer is the working middle class "blue collar" guy or gal. This same company has moved over 90% of their apparel production overseas, but yet they are the poster child for the American worker?!? From an HD perspective, what better person to spend all that time embroidering the company logo and the Great American Bald Eagle than a Bangladeshi?

What's next - will our military soon choose to source their uniforms overseas because of price? Imagine fighting for freedom in a uniform Made in China!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Legendary Rebellion and Anarchist Vests

I don't know about you, but my favorite show on TV is the Sons of Anarchy on FX Network. Now in its second season, it stars Ron Perlman as Clay Morrow, Charlie Hunnam as Jax Teller, Katey Sagal as Gemma Teller Morrow (BTW who is a incredible actress) and an amazing cast of others. Many viewers compare this show to the Sopranos, which I agree. It is set in the fictitious town of Charming, CA where the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original (SAMCRO) control the town, regardless of what the local law enforcement may think. The show was created by Kurt Sutter, who also serves as executive producer. Every episode is well written and directed and leaves you in suspense for next weeks episode.

I noticed the Vest worn on the show was an older design worn by some notorious motorcycle clubs in the past, so the style was befitting for the show's cast. While not the exact copy of the vest shown on the show, we launched the Legendary Rebellion Vest in the fall of 2008. We captured some of the same styling cues and improved the design with added hand pockets and our exclusive star snap covers. We added indestructible Cordura lined inside gun pockets with an integrated mini pouch for smaller items. While it is large enough for a firearm, most Customers just enjoy having an extra large pocket for their wallets, cell phones, etc. Click here for more information on the Legendary Rebellion Vest.

After a while, we started getting requests from Customers to swap out the star snaps in favor of black snaps. While many Customers like the stand up collar of the Rebellion Vest, others prefer a collarless design. And yet other Customers wanted an accented liner instead of standard black. So we launched the Legendary Anarchist Vest, and added all these subtle changes to the new design. We lengthened both vests just a tad, and opened the collar area up a bit so it fits more easily over a riding jacket. We also added a blood red liner which really adds a nice touch against the black leather. All the other features remain - twin hand pockets, inside gun pockets and built in USA. And since we removed the stand-up collar and star snaps, the price was lowered as well. Even before we launched the item, we're receiving pre-orders for it, so believe it will be another popular style. Click here for more information on the Legendary Anarchist Vest.

While these vests may or may not be your style, I do suggest watching or taping the Sons of Anarchy show. I believe you'll be hooked as well.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Legendary Thoroughbred Horsehide Racer Motorcycle Jacket

So we are awaiting production release of our newest Horsehide Jacket - the Legendary Thoroughbred - when I get a call from the factory stating they do not have enough Italian horsehide skins to complete production of this jacket. We did have another production run of Black Stallions being made at the same time, and there wasn't enough skins for a full run of these jackets either! The Black Stallion is our number one selling horsehide jacket, and we are out of sizes 36-46, so we need to have these made before the Thoroughbred. Unfortunately the turnaround time from Italian tanneries is about 3 months, so it looks as if the Thoroughbred will not make this Holiday shopping season, but should be ready for the 2010 riding season.

Thank you to all of our Customers who provided their feedback on what type of jacket they were looking for. We tried to include many of these features into the Thoroughbred - classic simple design with functional features for the everyday all-season rider. It features:
  • 26" jacket length
  • genuine front quarter heavyweight horsehide leather
  • banded racer collar with snap closure
  • bi-swing back with vented underarm footballs (gussets)
  • side zippered sleeve cuffs
  • clean, one-piece main back panel with dropped tail
  • zippered twin handwarmer pockets & breast pockets
  • inside vertical entry chest pocket with snap closure
  • cell phone/smartphone pocket with snap closure
  • removable, zip-out diamond quilted lining with anti-creep straps
  • Union made in USA
As with our other horsehide jackets, these will be a true-fitting jacket, and will be available in Mens chest sizes 40-50. This jacket will probably give the Black Stallion a "run for the money" in terms of popularity.