Lost in Translation | A Continuous Lean.

Lost in Translation

Aug 14th, 2008 | Categories: Americana, Men's wear, New York City, Style | by Michael Williams

Lots of quirky American brands have borderline-ridiculous yet endearing websites. The Santa Ana, California board shorts company Birdwell Beach Britches is a perfect example. I love that the site is goofy, low tech and distinctly American. You can tell by looking at it that Birdwell spared no expense on Windows 95 clip art. The company does make the best board shorts around though — so who cares! Bruce Pask’s post on The Moment got me thinking about great white jeans and the first thing that popped into my head was Jean Shop.

The company makes some of my all time favorite jeans so I hopped over to the Jean Shop website to investigate further. When I got there what I discovered was horrific.  Jean Shop’s “web presence” is one of the worst things I have ever seen. I am a huge fan of the brand and I’m not one to be overly critical on ACL, but whatever the company is trying to do with their marketing is not working. Is Jean Shop trying to be quirky with a low tech website (or one that appears to be low tech) or is the company just aloof? Whatever the reason (or excuse) something needs to change. It is a shame that a company with such a cool store and great product can’t get it together enough to have a cool website.

Jean Shop (prepare for insane music and unreadable text)

Comments: 6

6 Comments to “Lost in Translation”

  1. Peter
    on Aug 14th, 2008
    @ 4:13 PM

    This kind of website design doesn’t strike me as unintentionally low tech. Especially since there seem to be so many details that were clearly thought through. It does seem like a perfect opportunity for a brand identity makeover, though.

  2. Michael Williams
    on Aug 14th, 2008
    @ 4:37 PM

    I agree with you Peter. In the post I am trying to suggest that Jean Shop is trying to appear as if they are low tech.

  3. steve
    on Aug 15th, 2008
    @ 11:06 AM

    I whole heartily agree with you, amazing brand, horrific site. Jean Shop is the only other jean I’ll wear besides Levis, and they have the coolest stores, one of my first destinations every time I visit NY. I couldn’t get over how bad the site is, and it’s been that way for a couple of years. I am a web designer and always wanted to contact them about doing their site. Peter is right that is not intentionally low-tech. I’d be happy to do their site for them in exchange for a new wardrobe. ;-)

  4. JRameau
    on Aug 19th, 2008
    @ 7:28 AM

    That site killed me, I am still amused at the AOL email.

  5. r
    on Aug 19th, 2008
    @ 11:14 PM

    the birdwell beach britches printed catalog is even better, basically a fanzine with which to order the shorts from, crazy perhaps discontinued fabrics illustrated etc…….and they do last forever.

  6. Michael Williams
    on Aug 21st, 2008
    @ 7:29 PM

    Awww come on, the craziness is what makes it fun. So you know, Earnest Sewn sells them at their store in the Meatpacking. Holla!