Saturday, February 26, 2011

Update, Week of 2/21-2/27

So a lot of stuff has come in this week. Here's a rundown of everything that has come in, including a lot of stuff I haven't mentioned as of yet.

1) Ortenzi (made in Italy) - This is a suit manufacturer that apparently produces for some very well known brands. In particular, I saw a suit from Paul Smith for $200 ('The Byard' which goes for about $1200 in regular retail shops), and a blazer from Dirk Bikkimbergs for $70, though the vast majority of suits were from the company's own label, Ortenzi for $169/suit (purple hang tags if that helps you find them). A few of the suits came on hangers from Romeo Gigli, so I wouldn't be surprised if that pops up somewhere as well. The only place I've seen these so far is the Elizabeth, NJ store (NOT Jersey Gardens). I will post an update if I spot them anywhere in NYC.

2) Patrizia Pepe (made in Italy*) - Looks like just about every store has gotten in at least a limited selection of merchandise from Patrizia Pepe. A lot of casual items -- button-down shirts ($40-$60), t-shirts ($20), jeans ($50), shorts ($40), lots of knit sweaters -- cardigans, v-necks and henleys - most of which will run you $50-60. A number jackets including some nice cotton trench coats ($159). There are also a limited amount of blazers and dress pants; and a few stores have gotten in accessories -- belts and ties -- really just depends on the store you visit. The Elizabeth, NJ store received some nice canvas+leather duffle bags which are selling for $119. Most of the stores have also received a few leather jackets as well -- priced at $239.

* Only thing to be aware of w/Patrizia Pepe -- it seems they've started to move production of some of their items outside of Italy, so read the material label if it matters to you. I noticed few items marked'Made in China', and 'Made in Romania'.

3)  Gazzarrini (made in Italy*) - I'm glad to say almost every store in NYC has gotten in merchandise from Gazzarrini this week. The 34th St. store is covered in suits from this label, as well as pants, blazers, tops, etc... Same for the Soho store, though the suit selection isn't as broad. I'm sure most of the other NYC stores have a good selection as well, though haven't visited yet. In New Jersey, only the Paramus and Jersey Gardens stores seem to have received Gazzarrini merchandise, though none have received suits as of yet - only casual merchandise, blazers and outerware. As mentioned previously for suiting -- Cotton suits are running $169; Cotton/silk blends and wools are $199.

* As with Patrizia Pepe, Gazzarrini seems to have started moving production on some of its merchandise outside of Italy. Just be aware when you're looking at items if it matters to you.

4) Shirting from Alea Fashion Industries (made in Italy) - Some of my favorite shirts Daffy's gets in. Every store got a large shipment of this stuff; great casual and dress shirts, all button-downs, a few knits as well -- I even spotted a pair of pants and a tie, though that is quite rare since I believe Alea mostly produces button-down shirts. Labels include Alea, HB by Alea, Rosso Malaspino (my personal favorite), Giattoni, Dino Erro, Harry Brook, The Golf Club, and Flowear (has a few flowers on the chest area as a logo -- not to be confused with 'Two Flowers' which I believe is a now defunct label).

5) Karl Momoo (made in Italy) - This stuff is new to Daffy's this season. I'm not really a huge fan of the stuff they've gotten in, but the collection on the website makes me hope that perhaps there's some better pieces than I've seen so far. Mostly casual shirts, pants and blazers; a few stores got in suits as well -- lots of synthetic materials, and usage of weird accessory pieces on the garments -- zippers and buckles in strange places, a lot like club-wear for lack of a better description. This isn't really my taste, but I saw a lot of people taking a liking to the label while I was out this week. Looks like every store got in some of this stuff.

5) CPT by Cockpit - I normally won't write much about the young-men's stuff Daffy's gets in b/c it's mostly made in China stuff you can find at any discounter, but this label deserves a quick write-up. CPT isn't anything special in terms of quality - they basically make button down shirts, a few knits. But it's often carried in stores like Bloomingdales and Nordstroms and found on sites like, w/original retail of $65 and up. Gilt sells these for around $35-$40. Every piece I spotted in Daffy's was marked at $13.99. This just goes to show you the margins that Gilt has on their items - Daffy's does closeouts properly; Gilt, not so much. I saw the label at both the Elizabeth, NJ store and in Jersey Gardens. Cockpit was also available last season at the 18th St. store, so wouldn't be surprised if it shows up there again for Spring.

6) Spaghetti Western (made in Italy) -- This appears to be an imprint of Messori (mentioned in a prior post); The stores that received Messori also got in casual-wear under this label. It appears to be western-inspired, though more in a comical kind of way than say a levi's jean jacket or snap-up shirt. Basically a few t-shirts w/the name 'Spaghetti Western' written on it, and some come w/little embossed cowboy boots and sheriff badges. Cute, but not for me.

Other Bits and Pieces Worth Mentioning:

A few blazers from a company called Adamus (made in Italy), nothing too special, but they looked decently made -- website seems like the collection is a lot like Karl Momoo; Pants from a brand called Jack of Spades $16.99, currently being sold elsewhere online at closeout for over $30. Random pieces from Terzo Uomo (made in Italy) and Spago Uomo (made in Italy) --  these two brands produce some very 'interesting' items to say the least -- very 'out there' in terms of European styling. Shoes came in from Donald Pliner (made in Italy) and Bacco Bucci (made in Italy) -- unsure of which stores got what, but the selections were not very big from what I saw. More outerwear from Zerosettanta (made in Italy), though this time it's under a label called Brooklin -- this is some nice stuff if you can find it -- I saw it at the Soho store in NYC and the Jersey Gardens store.

STAY AWAY FROM THESE LABELS: Shirts from Sorbino and Theatre -- this stuff is just poorly made - thin/rough cotton material and poor styling.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gazzarrini Explosion at Daffy's!

Glad to say I was horribly wrong about my prediction that we wouldn't be seeing much from Gazzarrini (made in Italy) this season. Visited the 34th St. store today, and they had a HUGE shipment of suits, sportcoats, pants, jackets and leathers. I imagine most stores will be getting it in tomorrow if they haven't already.

Again, don't have much time for a full write-up, but I couldn't be happier at how wrong I was. Expect large selections of suits at 34th St., 57th St. East Side and the Soho store. 57th west side and 40th & Madison stores will likely get limited selections as well. The Paramus, NJ store is expected to get stuff in tomorrow; I'm unsure about the other NJ locations, but given the amount of merchandise that I saw at 34th St., there should be plenty to go around.

Cotton suits will run you $169, cotton/silk blends and wools will set you back $199. For some reason these are priced higher than what I paid at the Philadelphia store a few weeks back when no other store had the stuff in ($139/suit for wools).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quick Update

Have a lot to write about the stuff that came in this week, but don't have time for a full write-up yet; here are the highlights:

- Lots more shirting from Alea Fashion Industries (made in Italy) -- includes, Alea, HB by Alea, Dino Erro, and my personal favorite, Rosso Malaspino (this stuff is awesome) -- both short and longsleeve

- Patrizia Pepe (made in Italy) merchandise has started to trickle in; unsure how much they'll be getting this season

- Casual shirting samples from a brand called Krush; not my thing, but apparently it's big out in Los Angeles -- some very 'interesting' styles -- check some of the styles here on Google Shopping.

- Plus...a little birdy told me that more Gazzarrini merchandise may actually be hitting stores in the next week. Hoping there's some truth to the rumor.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hidden Gems at Daffy's

Won't have a chance to visit the stores for new stuff til late this week, so thought I'd post on some stuff most people probably don't know you can find at Daffy's. The first two are in Daffy's stores right now (specific stores are listed); the last one, I'm unsure if the stuff has arrived yet, or where/when it will arrive.

1) Les Copains (made in Italy) -- At the beginning of every season, a small number of Daffy's stores get in a very limited selection of merchandise from Italian label Les Copains. This stuff is very high-end, and the prices generally go higher than most other items -- $60-$80 per piece, for shirts, pants and some beautiful chunky knits. Currently the Paramus, NJ store and the 57th St East Side store have very small racks of this stuff available -- almost everything in the shirting and knits is a size medium (around sz. 50EU/40US). This stuff sells in high-end stores including Saks for around $200-$300/shirt, knits are probably even more.

2) Paul & Shark (made in Italy) - While not really the most stylish label you'll find, this stuff is again pretty high-end. Only one Daffy's location carries it -- Paramus, NJ -- no other store carries the merchandise. As with just about every major label they get, the stuff comes in once at the beginning of the season and that's it. They generally get a good selection of button-downs, jackets and pants. Prices range $50+ for the shirts, $70+ for jackets, and I believe around $60+ for the pants.

3) Pal Zileri, Zegna...(made in Italy) - Daffy's does NOT get closeouts directly from these companies. However, for as long as I've been shopping at Daffy's, once a season they get in a rack of closeouts from a menswear store out on Long Island called Tyrone's. It's literally, just one rack of clothing, usually consisting of a few suits and blazers from Pal Zileri and Zegna, and then other random pieces the store couldn't sell -- last season this included stuff from Belvest and Moschino. Sizing on this stuff is all over the place b/c it's whatever the store couldn't sell. You'll know this merchandise is not from Daffy's usual sources b/c there will be a tiny little handwritten white price tag hanging from the garments with the original sale price. Daffy's prices on these things are pretty good, but are considerably higher than the stuff they get directly from Italy -- around $500-$600 for a suit from Zileri or Zegna in the past few seasons.

The major problem, however, is actually finding the merchandise -- you never know when it comes in, and the location of the rack seems to change each season and is then moved around as the season progresses -- For the longest time, this merchandise would come in exclusively to the Paramus, NJ store. Last fall, however, the rack debuted at the 18th St. store, and subsequently moved to a different location later on in the season. Your guess is as good as mine where the buyers will be placing the rack this season, but if anyone here's reading this and you see what I'm describing, please leave a comment!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just Because it Says 'Made in Italy'...

Just because a clothing label says 'Made in Italy', doesn't automatically mean it's great quality. And that is what I'd like to point out with a few brands Daffy's has gotten in recently. First off, I'll start with a brand called FB -

FB -- also produces under 'EP', 'FB Class', 'Kevin Up', 'Next Trend' and a few other labels. For the past year or so, including this season, Daffy's has gotten loads of suits, sportcoats and pants from this brand. But you only have to take a quick look at the merchandise to know it's sub-par goods. The design on almost everything is out-of-date, and the materials used are often synthetic. Furthermore, trying on just about any garment from this brand, you'll notice that it just doesn't fit properly.

The one thing that particularly upsets me is that Daffy's has carried this brand for at least the past two seasons, and it's always the stuff left over on the clearance racks at the end of the season. Clearly no one wants this stuff, and Daffy's customers realize it's not worth their money -- so why don't Daffy's buyers get the message and stop stocking the stuff? (The same question pertains to all of the brands listed here, as well as ones mentioned in prior posts -- Kemitch, all of the various Cosby Sweater-brands ('Stacatto', 'Birillo')

Next are several brands that came in this week in shirting, I believe the first two at least are manufactured by the same company -- Asso di Cuori, Roberto Galifa and Theatre. As for the first two, Daffy's starting stocking them last season (F/W 2010) -- The shirts from Asso di Cuori and Roberto Galifa border on dressy, probably more casual. The problem being the styling on the shirts is about a decade old, and even though they're made out of cotton, the stuff is extremely thin and poorly made. Also, if you get a chance, take a look at the labels and the hang-tags on these two brands -- they look like they came straight out of the 80's -- the Galifa shirts even have a picture of some guy on their tag who looks like he came off the front of the Inernational Male catalog from back then.

As for Theatre, Daffy's got in a small selection of casual shirts which look like stuff rejected by Aeropostale (note -- this stuff isn't even good enough to have been in an Abercrombie or American Eagle) -- basically some thin-cotton white buttondown shirts with vertical stripes -- think of the collegiate-style shirts pandered at those aforementioned stores for the last decade. And on the front pocket is embroidered a little elephant. Those shirts would be lucky to sell at Old Navy for $10. But they're made in Italy, so they must be good!?!

Some of the stuff Daffy's gets in is amazing -- Jey Cole Man, Gazzarrini, Patrizia Pepe, Mabitex, Simon Peet, Futuro/Asfalto, Mastai Ferreti, Alea, etc... -- it's a decent-sized list, but could use much further expansion. But when I see the stuff mentioned earlier in this post, I wonder to myself what Daffy's buyers are thinking. Customers are not going to buy something just because the tag says 'Made in Italy' - we all know better than that. If they need to simply stock the store, perhaps they would be best served by taking a look at some of the brands available on But either way, there should be a taste-level when purchasing stuff for the store, and these brands fall way below any threshold anyone in touch with modern style and quality would set.

Monday, February 14, 2011

New In This Week + Other Sightings

New Arrivals --

1) Bernard Zins (made in France) - A good amount of pants and a few blazers from this label popped up at the 44th & Madison store. Nowhere near the sheer volume of pants as from Mabitex, but from what I can tell this stuff is pretty well made - haven't been able to find much on the company other than the website itself. The blazers were marked around $40, the pants I don't remember; probably $40-$50 per pair.

2) Shirting from Alea Fashion Industries (made in Italy) -- So far I've only seen a handful of shirts which weren't too thrilling. The past few seasons, the shirting from Alea has been my favorite -- very fashion-forward, slim-cut and often the availability of narrow collars which are great for skinny ties, but they've always had tons of it -- so far only a very limited selection. In particular, I love the Rosso Malaspino brand from Alea, but they also make stuff in their own name ('Alea'), HB by Alea, Golf Club and a few other random labels.  These will generally run you $30/shirt which is a true steal. Again, compare these prices to the same brands sold on Yoox -- close to $90 for the same exact items.

3) Messagerie (made in Italy) -- Daffy's doesn't usually get much from this label, but the merchandise is phenomenal quality and the styling is very modern. This season it appears they only got in a few leathers, and that's it -- I saw one leather jacket at the 43rd & Madison store, and a leather vest and jacket at the Paramus, NJ store. I'm unsure whether these came in w/Compagnia Delle Pelli or if they're a separate shipment, but either way, pick it up if you can find it in your size -- will set you back around $179. The only thing to be careful of with this stuff is that it appears the leathers they got were samples, and there may be markings on the leather or problems w/the materials or linings. This is another brand I wish Daffy's was able to get more of -- the stuff is just such high quality and on-point when it comes to styling. If you manage to find it, every so often you'll find stuff from Bryan Husky, which is owned by the same parent company as Messagerie. Great stuff as well.

Other Sightings:

Not necessarily new, but I saw a few pairs of shoes (read: 3 pairs total) from Italian manufacturer Boemos, and another label it produces under, Mo's. These things are on-par with Tremp and just about any major Italian shoe company you can find -- in fact they produce shoes for the Barney's Co-Op line (I happen to have picked up a pair marked as such last season at Daffy's). The problem this year will be actually finding the stuff -- the 43rd & Madison store had literally 3 pairs which weren't so great, though they had a great selection from Tremp if you don't mind flipping through the boxes. I expect the Soho store to get a lot of this stuff, as they traditionally have gotten a lot of it in the past -- also look for stuff from Boemos in a box marked 'Bait'.

It appears there are some suits from Xagon Man as well this season. Really nothing special, but worth noting. Seemed like a cotton blend of some sort.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Arrivals - Messori, Culturata, Xagon Man

Most of the Daffy's stores got in a whole bunch of new arrivals this week - here are the highs and lows -

1) Messori (made in Italy) -- You'll find a good amount of merchandise from Messori  at most Daffys locations. The stuff is pretty high quality, but the styling is very 'flashy' European - i.e., often some outrageous colors, patterns and materials. Pricing is a bit expensive for Daffy's normal fare -- Suits will run you $300, blazers $200, and a good selection of jeans and shirts will set you back around $50-$70 per item. Good stuff if you can find it in your size. Expect good selections at the Paramus, NJ store and the 57th St. East Side store.

2) Culturata Roma (made in Italy) -- This company makes some awesome fitted shirts, all made from organic cotton. Daffy's started carrying their merchandise last fall. Unfortunately, the selection is pretty sparse, and you'll find only a handful of shirts at each store -- I wish Daffy's also purchased some of their other items as well - a few blazers, ties, and other accessories; I saw the full line at a couple of months ago and it's really some nice stuff. Original price on these is well over $100/shirt; Daffy's has them for $30.

3) Xagon Man (made in Italy) -- The stuff I've seen at Daffy's over the years from this company has been pretty lackluster -- generally over-fitted and utilization of a lot of synthetic fabrics. So, normally, I'd say to stay away from the stuff, but it looks like Xagon Man has upped its game a little bit. Still, very fitted and usage of synthetics, but the quality and styling seems much more mature than in seasons past. From what I've seen, you'll see a few shirts, some pants, and a few blazers. I'm hopeful there will be some good stuff based on the website (I've never actually gone to the website to see the full-line before today).

Other Notables --- Some more leathers came in, this time from ZeroSettanta (made in Italy) (the outerwear company mentioned in a prior post) -- seems like it's mostly just some over-shirts - not really my thing, but the quality is good; Hi-Way/Bob/'Authentic Original Vintage Style' -- I'm on the fence about this stuff -- a couple years back, Hi-Way made some decent sweaters, but the stuff Daffy's got in right now is pretty sub-par - a few jersey-knit polo shirts, some t-shirts and some henleys. The long-sleeve jersey-henleys are really nice, but stay away from the short-sleeve knitted henleys - I tried one on myself and could hear the stitching come apart as I tried it on -- not really the sign of great quality. But the price point is from $9-14 on this stuff, so if you find something you like, no reason not to buy it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Footwear Stock - Tremp

This past week, Daffy's got in it's shipment of shoes from 'Tremp' (made in Italy) -- not to be confused w/'tramp' -- honestly, some of these Italian companies need to think about how some of their brands are reflected in other languages...but I digress. The selection the last few years has been pretty slim, but it seems like most stores got a good amount of shoes this season. While I only saw a few lace-ups here and there (some very nice suede boots/chukkas if you can find them in your size), there were a TON of loafers and a few casual shoes (some w/velcro closures, I believe - along the lines of the stuff produced by Diesel).

Prices generally range from $50-$70, but the original retail on these things is well over $200. The construction is pretty darn good, and it's worth picking up a pair or two at that price.

Other Notables: This past week has been pretty uneventful other than the leathers from Compagnia Delle Pelli, over which I can't stop salivating. Hoping this week brings in some more suits -- unfortunately, all the stores got another shipment of junk suits from Romano's Le Colleizione (see earlier post re: 'Daffy's - Home of the $30 Suit?!?'); And also crossing my fingers for some more shirting.

And in other news: Apparently Daffy's is going to be opening a new store in Times Square next fall, which I honestly can't believe given their over-saturation in Midtown-Manhattan, and the fact that they can barely keep their stores fully-stocked as it is. But perhaps this means the buyers will start expanding beyond their traditional suppliers and branch out a little bit. Let's hope that's the case, otherwise the merchandise selection will be even further diluted.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Compagnia Delle Pelli Has Dropped!

Compagnia Delle Pelli (CDP) (made in Italy) is back for Spring! These are quite simply the best leather jackets you will ever own - bar none. Buttery soft Italian leather with original retail prices from $800 on up; Daffy's has them starting at $179 for a jacket. You won't find a better deal on this stuff anywhere else. Mixed in with the CDP leathers, you'll find jackets the company produced for 'Sand' (a Danish company based out of Copenhagen), and a lot of stuff from 'Alfie Bobo' -- which is selling right now for $795/jacket at a store called 'Traffic' in Los Angeles.

Grab these while you can; the good stuff never lasts very long. Most of the New York and New Jersey stores will be getting a good amount of merchandise. Though don't expect the Totowa, NJ or Wall St. stores to get much, if any.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gazzarrini -- Don't Expect Much This Season

After a business trip down to Philly last week, I managed to work in a stop at the lone Daffy's outside of NY & NJ -- on the corner of 17th & Chestnut St's in Philadelphia. Quite a beautiful store if you've never had the chance to stop in - I'm speaking about the building itself -- quite old, 5 floors and lots of great architecture that you don't find in modern buildings anymore. Probably the nicest Daffy's location of all in terms of the physical store.

Now back to the focus of this post -- Gazzarrini. Gazzarrini has been a longtime fixture in the men's section at Daffy's, and while the suit selection was paltry at best last season, there was at least a good amount of other merchandise from the label at just about every location. But things have gotten a lot worse this season -- the only two locations that seem to have gotten any merchandise from Gazzarrini this season are 34th St. Herald Square and Philadelphia. And there isn't much at all - I counted maybe 5 or 6 suits total in Philadelphia, and a few pairs of pants mixed in with everything else. 34th St didn't seem to have much at all either -- and no other stores have received any merchandise from the line -- period.

If I'm a betting man, I think that's all we're going to get this season from Gazzarrini. As for the other usuals, Jey Cole Man is decent this season -- see prior posts (34th St, 57th St, Soho, 18th St, Paramus NJ), and Patrizia Pepe has not popped up anywhere yet -- neither men's nor women's merchandise.

Other Notables: Here's some stuff that has been appearing in Daffy's over the last few weeks: ---

Shirting from Mastai Feretti (made in Italy): These are some phenomenal quality shirts, just don't expect much from the actual 'Mastai Feretti' label this season. The vast majority of the shirts right now from the Mastai Feretti factory (which is made by Truzzi) are marked 'Jeff Kerry' & 'Brual'

Coats/Jackets from ZeroSettanta (made in Italy): Daffy's first started stocking these jackets last season, and I'm glad to see them back again. Very well-made jackets at inexpensive prices. Look for labels marked 'ZeroSettanta' (in cursive, see the pic to the right), and '070'. The only problem I have with this label is that every coat Daffy's seems to get from the company is a size 40US/50EU. Best part is that one of Daffy's local competitors (Century 21) carried coats from this label last season for nearly $70 more than Daffy's.