Martina Franca – Part I

Haven’t updated the blog in a long time, but wanted to get this stuff in writing. The most recent trip to Italy was great, and was a bit of an eye-opener with respect to the density of clothing manufacturers in Italy. Sure, we know that Italy has plenty of production capacity, particularly for menswear, but as we learned quite quickly, small towns can sometimes be hidden gems.

We scheduled a short trip to Italy for the end of 2014, with the first stop being several companies in Martina Franca. For those who don’t know, Martina Franca is a bit of a sleepy kind of town — it is a small, seemingly quiet town with a character all its own. Not too much hustle and bustle — indeed, once you get off the Ferrovie del Sud Este train line, there is no taxi available in the whole town (even though there is a sign for one, strangely). There is simply one little shuttle bus for which you can buy a ticket from the bar down the street for 50 Euro cents. In the span of 20 minutes, the shuttle bus can drive you all around the town. Luckily for us, the bus has a stop in the middle of Martina Franca’s Zona Industriale, or ‘industrial zone.’

Driving through a bit of the industrial zone, you begin to realize that this little town is something of a menswear manufacturing mecca — within a small area (mind you, every single one of these companies has the same address), there are, give or take, one dozen manufacturers — among others, Confezioni Lerario, ITN, Icoman, ICA, NCM, GPA, Abiconf…the list goes on (yes, most of these names are likely unfamiliar to those unacquainted with the corporate parents of random Italian brands but we’ll discuss a few in this post and in the next one).

Our first stop was with Icoman and ICA. Icoman is a very well-known pants manufacturer — er, well known to those in Italy who are manufacturing pants and suits, but not so much outside of that. The company has a long history for producing pants for some of the world’s best brands – Armani, Etro, etc… (indeed the Spring pants for those labels were being packaged on the floor as we got a tour), and sews the pants for many high-end suit manufacturers in Italy, including Lardini (manufacturer of its own line, as well as suits for John Varvatos, Ferragamo, Piombo and lots of others). Icoman has for several years now been producing its own line of pants, Berwich. Beautiful garments, however, their main market is in the far east, particularly Japan, Korea and China, due to the slim cuts of the pants. We may be able to bring in some Spring items a few months from now, but we weren’t able to make any deals this time around.

Our second stop was basically down the street at ICA, a coat manufacturer and makers of the brand Hevo. Again, like many other companies in Italy, Hevo is a relatively recent line from this company, that has long been producing outerwear for third-party labels, but is now making some truly gorgeous pieces under its own Hevo labe – the items we saw for Fall 2015 (to be shown at Pitto Uomo in a little under a week) had some showstoppers. Unfortunately, for Spring, the outerwear options are quite limited, and we did not wind up making a purchase. Nonetheless, if you can get your hands on the stuff in the U.S., we highly recommend picking up some Hevo items for Fall/Winter.

Such was the first portion of our trip. Overall, unsuccessful with respect to striking any deals, but got to make some new connections and get additional insight into a new region of Italy we had yet to visit. Part II of Martina Franca will come later this week.

Royal Hem…Coming [Soon]

Again, our Spring merchandise is a tad delayed due to circumstances beyond our control, however, we wanted to give you a very small taste of what’s in Royal Hem’s Spring 2014 collection. Now, of course, we can’t guarantee this will be available on our site, but it just goes to show that Copen Group is truly upping the quality of its garments. We’re in love with the whole outfit, the blazer that has a great linen look to it, but has other materials to provide some extra structure, and the jacquard print pants.

Spring is Coming [Soon]

Well the polar vortex has delayed warmer weather, and our Spring merchandise is a bit behind as well — our full Spring selection is still probably three to four weeks from going live. But don’t fear — in the meantime we’ll soon be releasing another selection of Italian pants from Vigano, and a beautiful piece of outerwear from Mabro (Made in Italy). Plus, over the next few weeks, we’ll be having a final clearance on our Fall/Winter inventory to try and make as much room as possible for the new Spring inventory. So hold on tight if you’re looking for Spring items, but keep your wallet open in case you’ve really been looking for some great deals on our colder-weather items.

PEURIST – One Year Strong

On January 1, 2014, PEURIST.COM will be one
year old.Taking a look back, it’s amazing to see the growth and progress we have made in such a short time.

As strange as it may sound, in October 2012, our founder was in mourning over the loss of Daffy’s (now apparently reincarnated, but that’s a story for another day). He decided, however, to stop moping and do something about it. He was so impassioned about discounted European menswear that on top of his full-time job as an attorney, he booked a trip to Italy, met with vendors and brought back merchandise to start up PEURIST.COM on January 1st 2013 with a small collection for Spring 2013.

The journey from that first trip has been a long one. We have gotten fast educations in, among other things, overseas importing, vendor relationships, retail merchandising and online marketing, all of which we continue to improve.

The biggest learning curve was realizing exactly what our customer base demanded — the best prices possible on high quality European menswear. We are not a boutique; we are a discounter in every sense that the word has come to mean, both good and bad. We are a volume business at insanely low prices, with an emphasis on quality and fit. We are not here to bring you fancy pictures of models or half-baked discounts. We are here to empty the closets of the world’s best menswear designers and manufacturers at rock-bottom prices.

As PEURIST heads into its second full year of operation, we know that the hard work we have put in will not be for naught. We are continuing to develop and establish new connections to bring you some of the best deals on European menswear, and, believe it or not, our prices are only going to get better. You may have seen that we have already started to develop new relationships, bringing in Made in Italy shirts from Culturata for $29.99, and pants from Vigano, Mabro, Ballerini and others that retail for well over $200/pair for less than $50. Our goal for future merchandise includes blazer price points of less than $100, and suit prices points of less than $150. And, yes, this includes items Made in Italy.

So as this first year comes to a close please join in our celebration and help us clear out our winter inventory to help usher in a great Spring/Summer 2014 collection. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Best wishes for a happy and a healthy New Year — PEURIST.COM

Bet You Didn’t Know…Shirt Edition

We’ve started off our Fall/Winter 2013 collection with a wide array of shirts from Saitt, manufacturers of Mastai Ferretti and Truzzi. All Daffy’s fans, as well as those that are familiar with some of the more obscure brands in Europe, will be familiar with the fit and quality of these shirts. But what you probably didn’t know is that the same company that manufactures these shirts also makes the Luciano Brandi brand (and others) being sold over on one the of big flash sale sites, for well above our $39.99 price point. Plus, shirts from JB Henderson and Bonser, two brands which we are also currently stocking for $39.99, sell between $75-$120 on the site of a very well known discounter.

Some would say we’re stark raving mad; others would just say we’re being reasonable. We prefer the latter interpretation, but if the first one makes you purchase more, then go right ahead 🙂

Fall Inventory Update

Well our merchandise is here and we’re hoping that it will be all up on the site in the next few weeks. But for those chomping at the bit, here’s a short run-down of what we have in store:
– Shirts — Approx. 250 shirts from the folks that make Mastai Ferretti and Truzzi
– Leathers — Approx. 50 leather jackets from Compagnia Delle Pelli, and a few items from Emporio Armani that are simply stunning; Approx. 15 leather/canvas messenger bags from CDP as well
– Suits/Blazers/Outerwear — Approx. 100 items from various labels, including, Gazzarrini, Royal Hem, Sartoria de Curtis, Della Chiana, Andrea Neri and Hackett

If we can get sell-through the merchandise rather quickly, the hope is to start picking up some items locally, and place some orders w/our friends in Italy from the U.S. w/out actually heading there (while we love it, it gets awfully expensive after a while). Lots of pics will be coming out shortly; be sure to watch the Facebook page for more info.

‘Best Offer’ Sale Going on Now — Name Your Own Price!!!

With Fall inventory on track to be here very soon, we need to clear out as much merchandise as possible. So instead of offering you piecemeal discounts, we’re letting you decide the price. Send us an offer via our Contact page at peurist.com/contacts, and if we accept your offer, the item(s) in question will be discounted to that price for the next three days (everyone will have access to the special pricing). Full terms and conditions of the sale available at peurist.com/best-offer.

Our first request came in this evening from a new customer for Emmett London shirts to be priced at $20. Done and done — all Emmett shirts are $20 through Thursday. Buy ’em up before they disappear.

MRKET & Project NY

Don’t know why two menswear shows are happening on the same exact dates, a little more than 10 blocks from each other, but such is life. Headed to NYC on Sunday to take in the sights and sounds of the various vendors at these shows. Royal Hem will be at MRKET, and Mastai Ferretti/Truzzi will be at PROJECT. Hopefully we’ll get to meet some new brands, and introduce our own to those in the U.S. that may need some services in Italy — one way we’re looking to reduce costs of (hopefully) future trips to Italy is to do consulting work (Q/C of purchases, or buyer services) for companies based in the U.S. that do not have the time to head over there.

Expect lots of pictures of beautiful merchandise for next spring to head your way next week. Have a feeling there is going to be some awesome product at both events.

 

Italy – Last Stop

Our last stop on Thursday was in Civitanova-Marche, home to Copen Group, makers of Royal Hem. Got some really great suits, blazers and outerwear, almost all from the Royal Hem line, and a few pieces from De Curtis and Romeo Gigli as well. Lots of heavy wools, including a number of tweeds and even some garment-dyed wools. If there’s one thing to note, it’s that production quality has gone up — better fabrics and better construction.

Interestingly, Copen Group has now started production on a full line of menswear for Baldinini, an Italian shoe company that some of you may be familiar with. Down the line there’s a good chance we may be able to grab a bit of that as well.

So that’s it folks. All in all it was a great trip. The merchandise should be headed to the States in approx. 2 weeks, and, G-d willing, up on the website for a debut in mid-August. If anyone out there wants an in-person preview, do feel free to hit us up and we can try and schedule an appointment once everything arrives (appointments are limited to those who have had a significant purchase history with us in the past — you know who you are).