A DSTLD MANIFESTO
1) RETAIL IS BROKEN.
Every day, millions of people still go to malls and big-name retail stores looking to keep their style current. Bone up on what’s new from the of-the-moment designers and labels. And all too often, maybe because it seems like the only option?, style-seekers will shell out an extraordinary sum of money for the “luxury goods” they fall for in stores.
Many are never educated about the big picture in fashion retail, let alone take time to investigate. Not that we could blame them. It’s not a glamorous sight. Once you’ve pulled back the curtain, beheld the seedy, underhanded underbelly of retail… It does spoil some magic, frankly.
What you see, you can never un-see: that while a product may have been dreamed up with a top designer’s level of taste and artistry, the buck often stops there, with actual production taking place overseas somewhere, on the cheap. And then, to make matters worse, the shabbily-made product is sold into retail slavery. Sent to a big, beautiful store where it gains a big, beautiful new price tag.
The brand new clothes you bought were a grand idea… on paper. But reality bites. The pretty label stitched onto your jeans’ overpriced posterior means nothing. Their admired designer has been absent for most of their life. The fantasy is bunk.
Toxic truths in brief:
- Quality of goods in retail store: questionable at best. A product’s exact path/manner of production is seldom clearly explained (if approached at all). You, the customer, are left to blindly guess about quality and hope for the best.
- These goods are stuffed with pointless markup, extorting extra cash from victims customers. A retail price tag may be 4x, 6x, as much as 10x higher than the actual cost of production. (In your experience, do stores often present some huge bonus in value, justifying a staggering price increase?)
- Handled the “retail” way, designs become divided from designer; separated from their company of origin. It is up to strangers with no connection to the brand to introduce and sell these “luxury goods” to you.
Knowing this sucks the sweet, exhilarating shame right out of the credit card-debt fête; kills the buzz of a perfectly good overpaying-for-pants party.
1A) YOUR “WAY AROUND IT” = BS.
Trying to score actual value out of the retail game, some look to designer discounters. These stores and sites are tempting, but deep down we all know they are gaming us. Most of them openly admit the facts: they are mostly stocked with a) past seasons’ fashion and b) a designer’s lesser quality products, which can be a hard thing for a customer to discern. It’s a gamble. You might come away with a great find, but only rarely, and never without hard work: bargain stores’ level of organization (and quality of shopping experience overall) tend to match those super-low prices.
1B) BONUS ROUND
There’s no editor in stores; no filter. Stores, especially those like the household names in luxury retail, hope to sell you everything; an uncurated overabundance. When we look at a vast, sensory overloading room full of brands, styles, and options, there is no clear way for us as [would-be] customers to even tell what’s what. Which products here are “good,” i.e. legitimately high style + quality, and of a high value for the asking price, and which are not worth a second glance? It’s a disconcerting shopping experience at best.
We can do better than that.
II. THE REVOLUTION IS COMING.
People are beginning to wake up. Starting to question the status quo. We’ve adjusted by now, most of us, to the malleable modern era; gotten used to a constant stream of change, growth, and tech-advanced tweaks to our day-to-day. The flood of ad campaigns, rampant consumerism, multichannel multitasking, the mental and literal fog… we know them all well.
We have an excess of excess and limited time.
But we remain a thinking, evolving culture. And for a subset of people, there is a movement on the rise. An organized rejection of all things hollow and pointless. A gravitation toward a more deliberate, consciously edited existence… a life of fewer, better things.
At DSTLD, we encourage a shift in one small, but high-impact, practice: the attainment of impeccable style. Ours is a provocative, if not terribly new, idea: Just do it… yourself. Leaving the middleman behind, we address the chaos of modern life and the dilemma of retail head-on, in one simple, direct-to-you move. Because #FCKRTL.
- design luxury-grade denim (and coming soon, a full range of wardrobe necessities) in-house, with cutting edge style and remarkably advanced fit.
- craft products fairly, responsibly, and with visibly solid workmanship.
- explain our process, fabrics, & sources clearly and openly.
- present a line of premium goods to you directly in a clean, streamlined form.
- see a small collection of perfect things. Nothing more.
- enjoy a lack of guesswork and a price that is free of retail impurities, like excessive markup.
- gain access to high-style essentials and the flexibility to build your ideal wardrobe, without going into debt.
-attain luxury pieces with quality you can be sure of. Because unlike Nordstrom salespeople, we know the product inside and out. It’s ours.
With DSTLD, there’s no mystery; no lack of education. We can’t hide behind a big-name luxury store. We are who we are, we stand behind our line, and we are here in person to show it off.
We may not be able to repair retail, but we can pave a better, faster road to impeccable modern style.
Today: premium denim. Tomorrow: the world.