Over at The Financial Times, there's an interesting piece about the state of new brands. If you haven't been paying attention, the new brands of the day very rarely venture into the industry with a full collection on their backs. Instead, they're dipping their toes into things by honing in on one specific product. FT calls them "monobrands," which is fine, I guess. But do we really need a separate name for them? That seems a bit unnecessary. Just call them "brands" for God's sake. Just because they're focused on one thing doesn't really change that much.
Anyway, you see this a lot, especially recently. By beginning with one specific piece, it makes the task of finding a dependable factory easier and allows the brand to build a reputation on what it does exceedingly well. It doesn't immediately enter a crowded marketplace of other, more experienced brands who have produced full collections for years. Lately, there have been a lot of sweater and knit companies doing this—like The Elder Statesmen, which makes crazy cashmere pieces like the above photo. The real question for them down the line is when is the right time to diversify and go for the gold? We've seen, for example, John Elliott, who started out with the now well-known hoodies, move into more technical pieces as the brand has grown. Most "monobrands" don't stay that way for very long. With more products typically comes more money to make, but also a lot more money required to finance the venture. But the process leading up allows the brands to stick around longer rather than blow up and flame out too quickly. Which is good for everyone.