It’s not business as usual for anyone in the menswear industry. Here, a cross-section of vendors from different segments of menswear discuss lessons learned and comeback strategy.
Hagen Peyser, Hagen Carmel
"Lessons I’ve learned from the pandemic: Stay positive, take care of your specialty store partners, and expand your offerings.
I started this business with dress and sport shirts; I’ve since added quilted vests, sweaters, sportcoats. While sport shirts remain the backbone, our sweater and outerwear business has doubled.
Back in March, I called my specialty store partners and told them to pay me when they can: they were so appreciative that virtually all paid me on time. We were lucky that in-stock business came back for fall: through GOBs and overcuts, we had extra fall sportswear inventory that we offered to our retailers and that sold out. And spring ‘21 bookings were better than we expected.
I also bought a menswear store: MK Clothing in Burlington, Vermont. Founded in 1977, Tom Pierce is my fabulous business partner and runs it day-to-day. It gives me a good testing ground for my own brand and insight into other great brands. Obviously, I believe strongly in independent specialty stores."