Ray from Pasadena, our best client, sent us this April 6 article by the New York Times’ fashion director, Vanessa Friedman: seaplaneshirts.com/pages/here-to-help
Responding to a reader who asks if discussing fashion during a global pandemic is tone-deaf, Friedman notes that, in fact, distinguishing oneself in times of crisis is an old practice. Getting dressed is ‘a statement about the belief that good and beauty will prevail… a sign of faith in the future.’
Just as forcing yourself to smile can make you feel better, she writes, making a special effort may remind you of yourself.
Additional interesting perspective from Friedman is April 23’s interview (link below), with Andrew Ross Sorkin and Jason Karaian of NYT’s Dealbook, on the impact of COVID on shopping malls.
Friedman reports that department stores occupy 30% of total mall square footage in the United States. Sears and JCPenney together lease fully 10% of the total. Imagine the impact of the loss, Friedman asks, of such anchors on co-tenants. What organization could lease those spaces? Not a gym, probably not a cinema, and definitely not a department store.
Then there are storied brands like Macy’s, Lord and Taylor, Neiman Marcus — and all their suppliers who have increasingly carried the burden of inventory as stores teetered.
Heartening for Seaplane are Friedman’s comments about brands of the future, who, like us, will have a direct-to-consumer focus. Given an endless selection of competent product, consumers will be more critical of what we’re spending our money on: quality matters. The why of a product becomes as important as the what. Tomorrow’s designers will all have strong e-commerce with online brands that build a sense of community.
May we point to the repeated visits by fans who have volunteered, even traveled cross-country on their own dime, to help us build new stores? Clients who insist on paying for free units; friends and staff who volunteer to model; daily attestations of affection for our shirts — Seaplane is participation.
Since 2011, thanks to our community, a special product made possible by smart sourcing, artisanal production and no effort wasted on wholesale, Seaplane has grown making collectible shirts in the USA.
Friedman might find much to admire in Seaplane.
Online is where we started this business. Come visit.
Listen to Friedman's Dealbook interview here: