Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quick Recap

Quick recap of the last week - Patrizia Pepe (made in Italy) made its appearance for the season. Some really nice stuff from what we got here in Philly, though a very limited selection. A number of shirts, pants and sweaters, plus two leather jackets -- one of which I purchased for myself, the other being slightly out of my price-range, but it was this amazing black shearling jacket (pictures to come). I believe other stores, esp. in NYC, likely got a much wider selection or at least a larger volume of merchandise, as I did not even see a singular wool coat, which was quite surprising, and all of two blazers - one of which, the arm and inner lining were completely in shambles (NOTE TO DAFFY'S: Do us a favor, and check your merchandise before it goes out to stores -- this one was NOT marked 'AS IS' and was worth maybe half what you were asking in its current state)

Lots of merchandise from Seven For All Mankind including a lot of leather jackets and wool coats. Some really great prices on all the stuff -- coats at $99.99, and the leathers at $199.99. Much better priced than the jeans that came in last season, though, this stuff is clearly a few seasons old, so your paying less for something which is slightly out of style.

Samples from Ross Graison -- apparently he's a designer local to the NYC area, but I can't find much about him. The stuff was interesting to say the least, but it's a very particular sense of style, of which I'm not really a fan. Decently made, but really a personal-taste kind of thing - you either love it or hate it.

Also, some pretty awful suits from a label called Cigliano. These things are made in China, and pretty bad; At $99.99, they could be going for about half that and I don't think people would be buying them.

More interesting bits and pieces -- blazers from Karl Momoo (made in Italy), Kuhlman (made in Italy), and a few random pieces from Censured (Space 2000 SpA, also makes Bomb Boogie), Ibiza and Sottotono (made in Italy) -- stay away from these last two if you see them

Thought to ponder --- Now, here's what's interesting about all this stuff -- normally you don't really see most of this merchandise until much later in the season, especially Patrizia Pepe. And it's quite unusual that everything has really been dumped into stores at once. Two theories which come to mind, perhaps one of which is correct, or a combination of both:
1. The new CEO/buyers are essentially getting rid of whatever merchandise that was purchased by the previous buyer for this season, up-front, thus making more room for their purchases a bit later on in the season.
2. Someone has wised up and decided that rather than let this stuff sit in the warehouse, it's put out into stores immediately, allowing for quicker turnover.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Patrizia Pepe is in Stores Now

Per the Daffy's Facebook Page, "JUST ARRIVED in stores: PATRIZIA PEPE for MEN! Go now!" -- should be some great stuff, but if it just came in this week, expect most stores not to have put everything out yet.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just a Thought...

More updates will be coming this weekend as I browse the Philly store. But just something which bugged me - several months ago, I added a post called "Sizing Up the Competition and Playing Daffy's Buyer," where, among other things, I listed out several brands I would love to see at Daffy's that no one else, other than perhaps Yoox, was carrying in the closeout market. It so happens that that post is the most trafficked one on the blog to date, and the reason being that I reference the logo of a brand called All Saints, a British-based company that recently opened up shop in the U.S.

Now it appears that the first closeout company to get their merchandise in is, of all places, I'm not surprised persay, I just wish that maybe someone at Daffy's corporate could have read that post and been like - hey, this kid is onto something here and he knows his stuff, maybe we should drop him a line or maybe we should take his suggestions...but no; merchandise that I know would sell like hotcakes at Daffy's is being sold at twice the price it would otherwise sell at on Hautelook.

Perhaps this is just me complaining that the best that the folks at Daffy's corporate have done with my constructive criticism is to link-back to my blog. But I was hoping someone, somewhere would take this stuff all to heart. On one hand, I created the blog b/c I was getting bored at my old job, and was hoping maybe this could get me noticed in an area in which I had no professional experience. On the other hand, I was truly frustrated with the drop-off in quality of merchandise that Daffy's was getting in over the last year or so, and desperately wanted to help improve the merchandise and bring awareness to the awesome stuff which they did have.

But it often seems pointless if everything falls on deaf ears. A lot needs to be done aside from just improving the merchandise, which I'm told is on its way --- the rumors going around the staff are that they will be bringing in merchandise from Ralph Lauren. But honestly, no one has ever shopped at Daffy's for chinese-made American brands. We can get plenty of Polo merchandise at TJMaxx/Marshalls, and on uber-clearance at Macy's, Bloomingdales and Lord & Taylor.

Daffy's has always been known for high-quality, albeit, often unknown, Italian merchandise. Daffy's should stay true to those roots, but instead seems to be diverging in a different path under the new leadership. If there's one thing I've learned about this company, it's that they don't listen to the advice that's in front of them. Customers, not just myself, make all sorts of helpful comments, and store employees are full of great ideas - but not one person higher-up seems to care. I've spoken with lots of Daffy's employees, and while most are clueless about the quality of merchandise in the stores and the brands at Daffy's, it is the one or two employees that really go out of their way to educate themselves that are truly the best resources Daffy's has, yet they are paid no attention.

Apologies if I'm rambling on...just needed to get out some frustrations. Lots more where that came from, but at least this was a start. Perhaps this weekend or sometime in the near future I will write a short series of posts entitled, "Room for Improvement."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Huge List of Updates...Including Some High-End Items

Huge list of updates, including a breakdown of what's available in each of the NYC stores (except Wall St.); have to make this as quick as possible, but be sure to look at the end of the post for the best part of it all (some really high-end items, exclusive to a few locations):

Merchandise that almost all the stores have gotten in w/in the past week:
Various items from Eugenio Sorentino (made in Italy) -- sweaters, pants, shirts and coats; this stuff is decent, but nothing special; designed better than say, Kemitch & FB, but the quality isn't much better. I'd personally stay away, but it may appeal to some of you.

Shirts from Poggianti (made in Italy) -- new to Daffy's for Fall, all at $29.99. Some of these shirts were much nicer than others, kind of hit or miss; but definitely a step up from Asso di Cuori and Roberta Galifa. I'd suggest trying this stuff on before you buy it. Not as good as Mastai Ferretti, but still a good option if you find something worthwhile.

Various items from Futuro/Asfalto/Bocodo (made in Italy) -- all from NCM SRL. This stuff is on the upper end of what Daffy's gets in. Not as much as last Spring, but still a nice, small selection in each store. Blazers are probably the best from what came in, but you'll also find outerwear, shirts and possibly some pants.

Suits and outerwear from Kemitch/Sartoria Corsini/Enyile/Cortellini (made in Italy) -- This stuff is pretty awful. Stay away, unless you need something cheap.

Various items from Wembley Road (made in Italy) -- Again, cheaply made, poorly designed. Your best bet is to stay away from this stuff.

Shirts from Robert Friedman (made in Italy)  -- I saw literally one of these shirts in the Philadelphia store. It's unlikely you'll see any at all, but thought I'd mention it just in case something popped up. These are great shirts, on par w/the best of what Daffy's carries. Unfortunately, the parent company, Fabry's SRL went bankrupt, which is why there's been little-to-no RF merchandise in the store the past season or two.

Store Specific Items:

P. Luca Milano (made in Italy) -- Some decent Italian-made knits, available in Philly and 57th St. West Side

Shoes from Boemos (made in Italy) - one of the best shoe brands that Daffy's carries; they make the main and co-op lines of shoes at Barney's. I saw literally one pair of wool-lined mocassins at the 34th St. store from the current season, marked as a Sample. I sincerely hope that's not all we're getting from Boemos.

John Barrit (made in Italy) -- nothing major from this brand, only a very small selection of heavy knits at 34th St.

Messagerie/Bryan Husky (made in Italy) -- For those of you that have never seen this stuff, take the time to look at it; truly awesome. Suits are only available at 34th St. and Soho. However, every store I visited in Manhattan has a decent selection of outerwear, blazers, shirts, vests (some really nice vests, though couldn't find matching blazers) and pants. Be careful about some of the blazers/suits, however --- the sizing is off on a lot of them for some reason; as in, something normally marked 46 should be a 36, but fits more like the American version of 46 rather than the European version. So try everything on -- and to the folks at Daffy's --- perhaps you should look at your merchandise before putting the wrong size tags on it, b/c your salespeople for sure don't seem to notice any sizing issues -- case in point - size 36 jacket matched to a size 44 pant in a suit, both tagged size 36 on the Daffy's tag, however. I would have bought the darn thing if it actually had been matched properly... -- BUT -- the best part about Messagerie this Fall is the outerwear - my favorite piece was this awesome leather shearling in 57th West Side for $360, sadly one size too big for me, but for those of you in a size 38 I would run over to see if it's still there.

Belvedere (made in Italy) -- Apparently Belvedere makes exotic leather shoes. I've never heard of them, but they're very interesting to say the least. Available in, among other things, regular leather, Stingray (yes, the fish), and Crocodile (I believe these were close to $500 in Philly). They are available in Philly and 34th St., though probably more stores will get them as well. Philly only received them in a size 8.

Jey Coleman (made in Italy) -- More outerwear came in this week. To be aware of -- JCM merchandise is only available in 34th St., Soho, and both 57th St. stores (as well as Elizabeth, NJ, Philly, Jersey Gardens & Paramus). There is no JCM merchandise in 18th St. or 44th & Madison.

Sartoriani suits (made in England) -- These came in last Spring and are back. I only noticed maybe two or three of them, but they're again only at 57th St., East Side. Remember, these are left-overs of made-to-measure suits that never got picked up, so they are NOT standard-sized.

Petronius (made in Italy) ties -- Wool ties from Petronius available only at the 57th St., East Side store. The tags indicated these came from Tyrone's, which is very early on in the season, but they're out. No other store has gotten any Tyrone's merchandise that I'm aware of.

Les Copains (made in Italy) -- Very (read 3 or four pieces) small selection of knits at the 57th East Side store.

And for those of you that couldn't wait for this --- a very limited selection of high-end merchandise (from actually known labels) is available at three stores -- 44th & Madison, and both 57th St. stores. The Madison store got the best selection (it's on a rack right next to the suits and belts) - a couple blazers from Brunello Cuccinelli ($699), items from Rag & Bone, APC, Woolrich and shoes from Duckie Brown (see pics) and one pair of Rag & Bone chukkas. 57th East side got a smaller selection, mainly shirts from Gitman Brothers, Woolrich and Levis (all American made). 57th West Side only received a few coats from Woolrich. The prices on these thing are much steeper than the normal merchandise as they're retail closeouts rather than direct from manufacturer. For those that care, a bit of sleuthing has turned up that these are likely from a store out on Long Island called Hirshleifer's.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

New Daffy's Record

New personal record --- 6 Daffy's in a span of less than 8 hours. I visited every Daffy's in Manhattan except for Wall St. (which doesn't really count anyway since the merchandise there is usually pretty bad).

Will be updating as soon as I find time to write down all my thoughts, including some insight as to what's going to be coming to the stores in the near future under the new regime (new CEO + new buyers).

Friday, July 22, 2011

Updates Coming Soon

Made a stop in Philly today, a lot of interesting goodies which came in -- some good, some bad, some awful; but, one of the employees told me they have a bunch of "Stingray" shoes in the basement which haven't been put out yet. I believe 'Stingray' is a type of shoe and not a brand, but there may be something there I know nothing about...

Anyway, a full list of new merchandise will be coming this weekend. As well, I will be visiting the NYC stores and will provide an update on the main outposts (Soho, 34th & 57th East Side).

Monday, July 18, 2011

And for Good Measure...

Just wanted to share w/those of you unfamiliar with Mastai Ferretti (made in Italy) some of the incredible work that they do. Mastai Ferretti is under the same corporate umbrella as a more well-known brand called Truzzi -- Saitt SpA. Saitt makes all of the shirts that are currently in Daffy's stores right now for Fall, including some under the Mastai Ferretti label. These shirts sell for well over $100 a piece at retail boutiques across Europe and the U.S., and sell for more than 2-3x's the Daffy's price on Will be interesting to see if we get pants from them in the future (based on the video).

More Updates from the Field

More updates as they roll in: One of my favorite things which Daffy's gets in is always there random selection of Italian belts. Right now, the stores that got in a good selection of Jey Coleman merchandise, also got in a few of the label's belts which are pretty sick -- some blue patent leather, and one I saw w/some turquoise bead work. VERY limited selection of JCM belts, likely in the larger sizes. Just wish they had some JCM shoes -- I've only seen one or two pairs all the years I've shopped at Daffy's, but I know they do exist. (Same goes for shoes from Gazzarrini and Patrizia Pepe, both of which are huge rarities). Also in the belts are some nice pieces from John Barritt (made in Italy) - I'm not a huge fan of most of the Barritt items, but the belts are always top notch, and these are no exception.

Most stores also got in a small selection of Martin Gordon t-shirts in long and short-sleeve. Also to be had, a nice selection of jeans from French Connection (all at $19.99 if I recall). Also some pretty awful pleather jackets from a brand called Addicted - for $23.99, they're not a ripoff, but I also wouldn't be spending my money on this stuff; wait til the real leather comes in in the next month or so.

And finally, all the stores got in a new batch of ties for the Fall from Altea (made in Italy) - again still $16.99; these things are awesome - skip the Calvin Klein, DKNY, Izod and Michael Kors they're stocking, and buy something that will last, and more importantly, tie a good knot.

And here are the pics I promised: to the right is a green sweater/sportcoat from Jey Coleman (made in Italy) and then a cream-corduroy sportcoat w/plaid flannel-weight cotton underneath, also from JCM. Below that are some of the suspenders that are available from Trafalgar for $19.99. Finally a quick look at a rack of Xagon Man (made in Italy) merchandise. Apologies for the bad photography - iPhones aren't exactly SLR's. Click on the pics to be taken to larger versions.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Great Day in Philly + Rumors

Had a great day in Philly today, picking up a number of Mastai Feretti (made in Italy)-made shirts, under the Bonser, Agho, Michele Negri. Also got a JCM blazer, and a pair of JCM pants. Really terrific stuff on every end. And for those of you that don't know about it -- Daffy's has a layaway policy -- you pay a portion of the total price up-front, and they put it on layaway for 30-days, when you pay the remainder. Great for right now when you might want to pick up the Fall merchandise before it disappears, but have nowhere to put it just yet.

New stuff which came in later this week - A selection of shirts and pants from Xagon Man (made in Italy) - Again, while it's on my Brands list, you have to be very careful with Xagon Man. The clothes, while the shirt I tried on was 100% cotton, are often made of synthetics and the fit is very strange -- almost over-fitted for some reason. But nicely designed.

Couldn't believe they were still bringing up the Mastai Ferretti merchandise from the basement -- apparently there's still loads of shirts down there even at the end of this week. Other bits and pieces which came in -- Boots from J. Shoes at $69.99, Desert Boots from Natha Studio, and accessories from Joseph Abboud and Trafalgar -- wallets, some nice leather grooming bags (the little things you can travel with, put your razor, deodorant, etc... into), and some really awesome-looking suspenders or 'braces' as Q called them in the comment to the prior post -- I will have pics of those up in the next few days -- amazingly priced -- $80+ retail, selling for $20.

And now from the rumor mill -- along with the new CEO, news has spread amongst the staff that there are new buyers afloat at Daffy's. If that is the case, welcome, and let's hope for good times ahead. No more bottom-of-the-barrel junk which can be found at Payhalf as well as Daffy's, please.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

First Look at Fall '11

Well I didn't have a chance to take pictures as of yet - those will come this weekend, at least of decent merchandise worthy enough of a photograph. As for what stores have gotten in thus far, here's the rundown, including stuff I may have already mentioned:

- Suits, pants and sportcoats from FB/EP/FB Class/Kevin Up (made in Italy) - I will continue to state my disapproval on this stuff b/c the construction and materials are simply inferior; but the Philly store had TONS of it
- Shirts from Mastai Ferretti (made in Italy) (note: picture is not of an actual shirt currently at Daffy's) - Really great stuff, all priced at $29.99 - includes brands such as Agho, Bonser, Cleveland, Paolo Veri, Korus, Nervesa, A. Basile, and many others I haven't mentioned. In my very quick browse-through, I did not see any shirts that were marked Mastai Ferretti itself, but all these shirt brands are produced by that company.
- Shirts, suits, pants, sportcoats, knits, etc... from Jey Cole Man (made in Italy) -- the Philly store has only received shirts but I am 100% certain that other stores (esp. NYC stores mentioned in prior posts) have received a much wider selection
- Shirts from Roberta Galifa and Asso di Cuori (both made in Italy) - Again, much like FB, I would avoid this stuff like the plague. Horrible construction and fabrication.
- Small amount of zip-up cotton sweaters from French Connection

 I will have a much more in-depth report on the weekend, and anticipate visiting a few Daffy's locations outside of Philly (yes, I have a problem; but no, I'm not addressing it at the moment) ;)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

One More Quibble

Just an annoyance which irked me when I was out shopping today. Those on the East Coast that are familiar with Daffy's are also likely familiar with a chain of stores called PayHalf. I've ragged on Daffy's before for carrying a lot of the same Young Men's merchandise as PayHalf, b/c PayHalf is really at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to discount retailers and the merchandise they carry.

Anyway, I happened to stumble into the PayHalf Philly location today, and noticed, aside from the Young Men's merchandise, PayHalf was also carrying Alara and Metropolitan View dress shirts, at the same or lower price than Daffy's (both $19.99 at PayHalf). I realize that the two chains likely buy a lot of their merchandise from the same distributors, but come on; I'm sick and tired of dealing with great merchandise for about two months, and then getting junk the rest of the season that can be purchased at any discounter. Fingers crossed that this Fall will set a new trend.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Last Update Before Fall Merchandise Released

Most stores will be doing inventory in the next few days - Philly will be doing inventory tomorrow, closing an hour early, other stores will be doing inventory on Monday. That means fall merchandise will be coming out early next week. I believe I was slightly premature in my Jersey comments, but I have been assured that most Jersey stores will be putting the Fall line out on Tuesday. NYC stores shouldn't be far behind.

The merchandise listed in the prior post, however, is accurate. Jey Coleman (made in Italy) will be a hot ticket the first few weeks. If you're looking for full suits from JCM (as opposed to just sportcoats), I highly suggest visiting 34th St., 57th & Lex. or Soho. But most of the locations should have a good selection of sportswear, including shirts, knits, jeans and outerwear. I do NOT anticipate JCM merchandise at the following stores (please note I have no experience with stores outside of Jersey, Philly, and Manhattan) - Totowa, NJ; East Hanover, NJ; Secaucus, NJ; Wall Street

In terms of new merchandise this week, I didn't notice anything at all. I picked up a few scraps at the Philly store in the nature of a pair of Aquascutum khakis (made by Giab's) and a nice button-up from Alessandro Gherardeschi, but both have clearly been w/in the Daffy's system for a long time.

Anyway, my next post will be reporting on some of the Fall merchandise. I would wait until at least Wednesday for the stores to put out everything they've got in their stock rooms, but as always w/Daffy's, early bird gets the worm. Happy Hunting! Do be sure to leave comments on the new merchandise that's rolling in; I'd be glad to post pictures of some of the stuff you're finding - and I will reiterate - the Jey Coleman merchandise is awesome this season, so get it while you can.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

NYC + NJ - What to Expect in the Next Few Weeks

Well, based on some reports I was under the impression that Fall merchandise was already trickling into the NYC stores, which is not the case. Eight Daffy's stores in two days, and not one has officially put out Fall stuff yet (even though half of Century 21's floor is covered in Fall merchandise, which happens to include leather jackets from Compagnia Delle Pelli and knitwear from Fiume).

Most of the NYC stores have received their first batch of Fall merchandise, but, like the NJ stores, all the stuff is under lock and key in the back until inventory takes place and they're told the merchandise can be put on the floor. Herald Square happened to have a few Jey Coleman pieces already out (read: two blazers, one vest), but I think that was a mistake by one of the stockists (see pics -- not the best of what's to come for the fall, but the vest in particular was quite nice, and should give you an idea of what to expect -- heavy wools and knits with a very mature look; the hang-tag pic shows you the 'Season E' notation).

So here's the deal -- NJ stores will be doing inventory early this week, and will be putting out the fall merchandise thereafter - so by the end of this week almost all the NJ stores should have their first bit of Fall merchandise out. From what I was told, NY stores still have another week and change til inventory takes place (much like the Philly store), and the Fall merchandise will come out afterwards - so two weeks-ish. Until then, we're out of luck aside from some spring leftovers.

Here's what to expect so far in the first run of Fall merchandise: Lots of beautiful items from Jey Coleman (made in Italy), Suits, Blazers and Pants from FB/FB Class/Kevin Up (made in Italy), and shirts from Asso di Cuori and Roberta Galifa (both made in Italy). IMHO, the only stuff in that batch worth your time is the JCM merchandise, but I have a feeling some of the FB blazers will be quite nice -- from what I understand there will be a lot of corduroy blazers from them this season which are likely better fare than the suits I saw in Secaucus.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

NJ Daffy's Updates

Made it to four Daffy's locations today on my drive up the NJ Turnpike. I was actually surprised at the fact that they had no fall merchandise out yet and that the selection was just as bad as in Philadelphia at the moment. Some additional merchandise which I noticed that I didn't see in Philly or may have passed over in Philly - decent suede chukkas from Kenneth Cole Reaction, a good assortment of new casual sneakers from PF Flyers (picked up a pair for myself), canvas sneakers from Robert Wayne, some boots from Timberland Earthkeepers, and shirts (in wrapping) from Metropolitan View (which I believe is a Bloomingdale's house-brand). Nothing particularly special, except for a few bits and pieces of sale merchandise which I picked up for myself (was particularly upset at the fact that a beautiful Gazzarrini nehru-collar shirt was not on sale at Jersey Gardens; all Gazzarrini stuff is on sale, but it didn't come up in the register, and the manager wouldn't make an adjustment :P)

But here's the important info -- all NJ locations will be doing inventory next week, and soon thereafter will be putting out Fall merchandise. I happened to get a sneak peek at one of the stores I visited, and from what I understand, just about all NJ stores will be putting out a decent assortment of Jey Coleman (made in Italy) next week (varies depending upon when inventory happens) -- in fact they have the merchandise in stock already, but are not allowed to put it out/sell it until the buyer gives the go-ahead (honestly, if I were running these places, I'd just get my merchandise out and moving, esp. if a guy like me comes along who wants to spend hundreds of dollars in one shot, but, sadly, I have no say in this...) -- though, DO NOT expect JCM at the Totowa, NJ store, and based on past history, unlikely at the East Hanover store either.

The merchandise itself from JCM is quite awesome, in fact those of you that are unfamiliar with Jey Coleman, I would urge you to at least take a quick stop at your local Daffy's in the next few weeks as the stuff looks amazing.  Lots of blazers, shirts, knits and pants. Only downside is that prices have gone up a decent amount from what we've been used to, probably due to the cost of raw materials (ex. - wool blazer that would have been maybe $99.99 in previous years will run you roughly $149.99-$169.99). Other than JCM, the stores are also stocked w/lots of fall suits and pants from FB/FB Class/Kevin Up..., which I personally detest -- the Secaucus storefront in fact already had the suits on the floor. (Note: Fall merchandise will be marked w/season code E on the hang-tags).

I will be hitting the NYC stores tomorrow, good chance I will make at least 3, hoping for 4 -- starting off in Soho, make my way up north to 34th, and 57th & Lex (possibly an additional stop at 18th St. if time permits).

Friday, July 1, 2011

System-Wide Updates Coming Soon

As you may have seen in the previous post, I intend on making numerous Daffy's stops this weekend. Philly for all intensive purposes is worthless at the moment -- the 'Final Floor' only has women's merchandise, and there will never be getting a men's equivalent; sheer idiocy, but not my decision (one staffer said Daffy's corporate thought men wouldn't take the elevator to a higher floor in the building....geniuses); and I've been told Fall merchandise won't appear down here for 2-3 more weeks after inventory takes place -- in the meantime, there was barely any new merchandise -- some random gray t-shirts made in italy from a brand called Teodori, and more shoes from Banana Breeze, neither of which were special at all. Though, strangely I also noticed a pair of wool pants from Tombolini (made in Italy), which is another brand that hasn't been at Daffy's in a very long time - literally, just the one pair, but thought it worth mentioning in case the NYC stores actually got a decent stock.

So, Jersey and NYC stores will be on my list this weekend, and I will be providing as many updates as I can. Hopefully there is at least a decent amount of fall merchandise already out on the floor that my excursion will be worth it. Happy 4th of July Weekend to everyone out there.