An interesting story out of the LA Times about American "heritage" clothing brands like Red Wing and Filson and how they are back in style again. These traditional styles and the new, hipster brands that are copying them are extremely popular, but not only in the US. Japan, for whatever reason, seems obsessed with American trends, from preppy traditions like Brooks Brothers and J. Press to classic workwear like Levi's (the Japanese obsession with classic American denim is unbelievable). I've been aware of the return to fashion of these brands, but it never struck me as a mainstream thing until I saw the Times article.
In another interesting fashion related story, its being reported that Saville Row designer Richard James used Mauritius laborers to do the dirty work, then having the suits sent back to the UK to be "finished" in England and allowing them to be labeled "Made in England." This is the dirty little secret of the fashion world. Despite clothing, shoes, and accessories that are labeled "Made in England" or "Made in Italy", the majority of the work is often done in a developing country, with China often being the favorite choice.
Should this matter? It depends on your outlook. Those in the yes column argue that they are being overcharged. While they understand paying a lot for English or Italian craftsmen who, because of wage laws and experience, must be paid more, if in reality the majority of the work was done by a 18 year old Chinese or African girl being paid peanuts, there is no justification for the high price. The other side who argue that it shouldn't matter claim that as long as the quality is in keeping with what one expects from the brand, then it shouldn't really matter to the consumer if 60% of the work was done elsewhere and the product was only "finished" in England or Italy.
What are your thoughts? Also, any US "heritage" brands that you love or would like to see brought back?