Authentic British Made Men’s Accessories. Our thoughts…..
It's very difficult to write this without sounding bitter, but we can assure you it’s not written in bitterness it is written out of pure frustration.
As a brand we are now in our twelfth year, but by no means are we the new kids on the block with the heritage of our family controlled manufacturing company behind us that has been manufacturing in our wonderful city since 1908.
We are not just a design house, we are British engineers, craftspeople and manufacturers. All of our cufflinks, lapel pins, collar stays, blazer buttons, tie clips, business card holders, lapel chains and key rings are manufactured in-house. Truly Authentic British Made Mens’ Accessories.
From a sketch on a piece of paper by brothers Richard or Jonathan Tyler right through to the finished product we manage every single process. We understand the need for hype when selling and promoting products. However, we are horrified on a daily basis by what our contemporaries put out there be it on social media or in press coverage – made up metal finishes, fictitious raw material names, misleading product information, cost cutting manufacturing processes which remove the need for hand-finishing dressed up to be the opposite as though they are something hi-tech and amazing. Just in this past week we’ve read press where pure design office-based brands are now described as having their own factories.
The buzz word in menswear has gone from heritage to authentic. However, all the hype we see has little authenticity. We could write a long list of these falsities, but that would effectively name and shame those who are doing this, which is something we wouldn’t do.
All of our collection is designed in-house and products outside our manufacturing capabilities such as our leather wallets and woven belts are produced outside the UK in Europe and Asia. However, what we really want to talk about is british made products. The fact is British made product should not be excessively priced, nor should the public feel they’ve got to pay a high price for a British made product – it’s simply a myth. Sadly, the spin and hype put out there by brands is done with such conviction it convinces both Retail Buyers and the public they need to pay a fortune for Authentic British made accessories.
We are delighted to see prominent industry figures like Patrick Grant doing an amazing job with Community Clothing. Mr Grant has a much bigger voice than us so we applaud his work with this great concept/company. A man after our own heart!
It is extremely difficult to work out what is actually going on with the excessively priced British made accessories out there – is it the manufacturers charging brands crazy prices, the brands putting huge mark ups on products or is it a combination of the two? If it is the brands putting the excessive mark-up on items they are exploiting the UK manufactures which saddens us deeply. We have sat in meetings with Retail Buyers questioning our prices, which has also lead to accusations of us not being manufacturers.
Yes, we could easily increase our prices, but we would prefer our collection to have authenticity and be honestly priced.
Another sad fact which is part and parcel of being a British manufacturer in this current climate is that we simply don’t have the funds to pay for advertising or to employ the services of a PR company. Our money is tied up in the huge overheads of running a factory, the wage bill of employing a team of local skilled people and our constant investment in new products for each season.
Without advertising or a PR agency achieving that all important brand recognition by getting our name in the press which in turn leads to store buyers taking an interest is nigh on impossible. Frustratingly, but also understandably British Fashion Journalists only seem to give coverage to brands that are fed to them by PR agencies or to those who spend on advertising with the publication they write for. It would appear that not many journalists actually go out there in search of brands to make their own discoveries.
In a world where social media has become so key and an ever increasing demand for authentic British made products we really feel TYLER & TYLER is a hidden gem to the world of Menswear & Men's Fashion. We will continue to do what we do and face the challenges. We will win out in the end!