Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

The Uneducable American Male

June 1, 2010

Coach’s Lew Frankfort has given up trying to teach American men about fashion, but he still sees opportunity for expanding sales to a male clientele. 
“I believe the American male is largely uneducable,” Coach Chairman and CEO Frankfort said at the Reuters Global Luxury Summit in New York. 
“We need to focus on the segment of males that have real discerning taste. But I can also say that even the undiscerning American male is a smart consumer: that person is looking for a product that is durable, that is classic, that can stand the test of time and that’s what our products do,” Frankfort said. 
Sales of Coach’s man-bags, wallets and other accessories represent 5 percent of its total take, and that is one area where the company is trying to build growth. At a test store for men only, on Bleecker Street in Manhattan, it has seen sales results run at about triple its own expectations, Frankfort said.
“There’s a lot of appetite among the discerning male for quality accessories made out of excellent materials that are stylish. …  In North America, the male consumer remains heavily utilitarian-driven, replacement-oriented, value-based. There are discerning males in Boise, Idaho. I don’t mean to suggest there aren’t.” 

(Photo of Frankfort/Reuters)



Most American men are not stupid enough to put their self worth in a grossly overpriced piece of leather that screams, ” Look at me , I am so shallow that I think this item I just purchased makes me more of a person”

Better idea: Go do something in life that is for others and stop trying to buy happiness.

Posted by Gen | Report as abusive

Hmmm, then it seems that Coach would want to open a store in Boise, Idaho.

Seriously though, as a gay man, I know that many of my brothers are “educable” in terms of fashion and “discerning taste.” But is that a step in the right direction? Don’t confuse fashion with style. I hate the “metrosexual” look, and the whole concept of it. I may be very aware of fashion, and occasionally yield to it. But for my money, I can find lots of things besides current fashion to spend it on. People wearing all the latest fashion items, the trendiest hairstyles, the plucked eyebrows, the in bling, just look ridiculous.

Just as the scent of a cologne is different on each particular person, fashion is applied, but style exudes. And much to Coach’s displeasure, no one needs Coach in order to have a truly personal and significant sense of style.

Posted by k9gardner | Report as abusive

I agree with both posts. I realize my 10 year old Saturn won’t wow anyone on the red carpet, but guess what, I DON’T CARE. It’s not that I don’t know a Corvette or Lamborghini looks nicer, I just don’t value fashion over functionality. Can’t say I’m all that upset that the CEO of Coach doesn’t like my style.

Posted by elgecko84 | Report as abusive

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