Back in 2012, a minor Internet kerfuffle erupted over a belt Lands End offered on its website. Many observers noted that it was strikingly similar to one Kiel James Patrick had been selling.
Understandably, Kiel James Patrick’s owner was apoplectic. While fashion designs cannot be copyrighted, he bemoaned that state of affairs, waving the banner of local production:
“It broke my heart to have customers, friends and family send me link after link this past week to Lands’ End’s e-commerce site. There was my creation being sold at a fraction of the cost simply by sacrificing quality, originality and integrity of local production. I couldn’t have felt more discouraged on my mission to continue designing original products and sustaining my American production.”
For years, his namesake company has been a steady and reliable source of classic clothing, manufactured in the United States. In fact, the very first item we featured in these parts was one of the company’s New England made scallop oxfords.
A couple of years ago, my wife was in the market for a nice winter dress. She ended up purchasing one in navy plaid from the company’s Cozy Cabin Flannel line–made of course in the United States.
Fast forward a couple of years, and the company’s clothing line is, as far as I can tell, increasingly bereft of American made items. Nearly everything seems to be “Imported”–a craven descriptor that tells you everything you need to know about how thoroughly Kiel James Patrick has jettisoned it’s commitment to “local production.”
The hypocrisy galls.