Georgina Safe, fashion editor for The Australian Newspaper today wrote a very interesting and intriguing article about Ksubi fashion label founders Dan Single and George Gorrow. Its definately worth a read
The article focuses on Ksubi’s strategic growth strategy as a business, and discusses the fact that as of today (October 2009), Ksubi will become a household David Jones label stocked in 33 of its stores throughout the country. The Ksubi – David Jones partnership will include 19 ‘shop-in-shop’ concept stores, where Ksubi will be stocking over 100 fashion styles and designs.
Spin the globe to the other side of the world and Ksubi are applying a similar concept within the UK, stocking within a concession stand at the famous TopShop menswear department at the flagship Oxford Circus (London) store.
The strategic move to go ‘less boutique and more mainstream’ is no doubt a move that Dan and George planned, given the appointment of Harry Hodge (founder of Quiksilver Europe) to manage the business side of Ksubi. Unsurprisingly, Ksubi plans to launch a fully-fledged footwear/shoe collection and optical range for 2010, thus expanding their fashion labels reach.
However, what prompted us to write this article was this line:
“Ksubi has reduced the price point of its DJs range in a bid to better engage with the broader customer base, with entry-level fashion pieces starting at just $69 and denim ranging from $179.95 up to $350 for the brand’s premium jeans and more technical abrasions, washes and finishing touches.”
Australian Fashion Review cannot help but sigh when an iconic Australian label such as Ksubi ultimately sells out to the dollar. Ksubi (actually Tsubi before they got sued) was a successful boutique fashion label that shot to success because it made custom denim jeans in Australia. Fast forward to 2009 and it seems that Ksubi is focusing on quantity of sales rather than quality of sales. In our eyes, the pricing decrease is the first step to “Made in China” sell them by the boat load clothing items.
Have we gone too far? Are we being to harsh on Ksubi considering so many Australian labels have branched out to offer cheaper off-shoot labels to cash in? Examples include – Hi There by Karen Walker(NZ) for Myer, Nylon Flocks by Nicola Finetti, S & B by Sass and Bide, Stella McCartney for Target Australia, Peter Morrissey underwear for Big W Australia. There are many more of course, but we’re sure you get the point.
David Bush, general manager of womenswear at David Jones said:
“They’ve [Ksubi] been really clever about it because they’ve made it more affordable but it’s still got a hard edge, it’s very sexy and very Ksubi.”
Is this True? Is Ksubi still got edge? Is it still Sexy and is it very Ksubi? For some reason I think the one person who should of got a mention but didn’t – Gareth Moody (the other founder who now runs his own show via label Chronicles of Never) would agree that the strategic direction of Ksubi to become more mainstream is not only a strategic business move, but rather a complete overhaul of its image as a quality fashion label.
Ksubi got its edge for being boutique. Ksubi just lost its edge for being to mainstream. This is why brand perceptions matter so very much. No offence to Ksubi, but your hard edge is smoothing out.
Let us know your thoughts on the new Ksubi – hitting stores via DJ’s Topshop and maybe soon to be Kmart?
Your comments please.