A Closer Look at Rag & Bone Mercer Street | A Continuous Lean.

A Closer Look at Rag & Bone Mercer Street

Oct 23rd, 2009 | Categories: New York City, Retail, Shopping | by Michael Williams

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The third Rag & Bone store on Mercer Street is an airy space with high ceilings and a refined industrial feel. At first glance it looks like the other shops on the retail-friendly cobblestone block, but when you get in there and really look closely you will notice well thought out detailing that makes the space special. The lighting looks like something that came out of an old GM factory (or old New York workspace), the rolling racks were treated with acid to give them a nice patina and all of the furniture in the entire space was custom made for Rag & Bone. One specific piece, a massive floor to ceiling mirror framed in welded steel, serves to boggle your clothing focused mind. One other favorite detail was the Rag & Bone embossed buttons that dot the beautiful gray Chesterfield ottoman that is positioned in the rear of the store under slanted metal and glass windows, a light source that are functional hold overs from the building’s days as a dim warehouse. With the new Mercer space the Rag & Bone folks have walked a fine line between having a functional, beautiful and well branded space — something you don’t see everyday.

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Rag & Bone 119 Mercer Street // New York City

Comments: 35

35 Comments to “A Closer Look at Rag & Bone Mercer Street”

  1. gary
    on Oct 23rd, 2009
    @ 4:59 PM

    Ok you made your store look like the Ace Hotel. Big Fuckin BFD.

  2. ryan
    on Oct 23rd, 2009
    @ 5:30 PM

    Or did Ace take tips from a Rag & Bone lookbook?…

  3. Thad
    on Oct 23rd, 2009
    @ 6:04 PM

    I have to say that the large ottoman is one cool piece of furniture. A similar piece would be wonderful to have in a large kitchen or family room.

  4. cb
    on Oct 23rd, 2009
    @ 6:39 PM

    the ibm clock is great!

  5. Kenyan
    on Oct 23rd, 2009
    @ 7:26 PM

    Those dressing room rails are amazing……….!

  6. kirby
    on Oct 23rd, 2009
    @ 9:52 PM

    gary,

    why are you such a bitch?

  7. poopface
    on Oct 23rd, 2009
    @ 10:58 PM

    Isn’t “Big fucking BFD” a tad redundant?

  8. Nick
    on Oct 24th, 2009
    @ 12:18 AM

    Yeah, the space is lovely — and that ottoman really puts it over the top.

    But I will say that I’ve found the staff less satisfying. The first time I was there they were just plain rude, the second time quite nice, the third almost fawning. I guess it just keeps getting better, but it’s a little disconcerting to be treated so differently by the same people each time you visit a place.

    The clothes make up for it. Basically perfect, at least for me. But have to agree with earlier commentators on past post — “Made in China” a definite turn off.

  9. Russell Sprouts
    on Oct 24th, 2009
    @ 2:30 AM

    ““Made in China” a definite turn off.” – Because I’m sure those “Where the Wild Things Are” x Opening Ceremony collabs are made right here in the U.S of A by proud union workers.

  10. Tuco
    on Oct 24th, 2009
    @ 4:35 AM

    Have to admit I’ve never been a big Rag & Bone fan, but their clothes fit well. Only issue is the “made in China” and the prices they ask for, but their making money, so more power to them.

  11. Sam C.
    on Oct 24th, 2009
    @ 1:15 PM

    Their stuff is made in China now? When did that happen? I have a couple shirts of theirs that are “Handmade in New York” from a few seasons back – I honestly am not the hugest fan of this label but that aspect was the appeal of what I do own.

  12. Greg
    on Oct 24th, 2009
    @ 1:24 PM

    Some of their shirts are made in china. I have a polo shirt from Spring of last year that was made in china

  13. Mad in USA
    on Oct 24th, 2009
    @ 4:14 PM

    Interesting.. sooner or later, no matter what the topic is, this forum tends to boil down to whether stuff is “Made in USA” or not…
    I can appreciate the fact that it’s out of concern for the textile industry in the US, people being laid off etc etc etc..but there has to be some nuance to it, or it just becomes borderline fanatic.
    You’re starting to sound like right wing christians the lot of you, and it ain’t pretty let me tell you that much.
    If I where you, I would support the fact that there are so many US brands popping up, showing amazing stuff, a lot of them at least TRY to produce in the US.
    So, to all of you who bitch and moan like a bunch of school girls, start a label of your own and show how to do it, or at least be constructive in your critique.
    Or shut the f..k up, please.

  14. Maid in the USA
    on Oct 24th, 2009
    @ 4:49 PM

    It’s not an issue of China vs USA, it’s an issue of companies (like R&B) that create a brand based on US manufacturing and charge a premium price for a shirt manufactured in NYC. Then these same companies outsource the manufacturing to ‘bring the costs down’ and the prices to the consumer are virtually unchanged. It’s about the company’s greed.

  15. Michael Williams
    on Oct 24th, 2009
    @ 4:51 PM

    Mad in the USA / Maid in the USA — you guys both have good points.

  16. dwcharlotte
    on Oct 24th, 2009
    @ 7:21 PM

    MW-This is off topic but mad kudos to you and your crew for the way pictures are displayed now. Very easy to scroll through making all of our lives easier. RB store looks great…what camera?

  17. Christopher Baus
    on Oct 24th, 2009
    @ 11:13 PM

    I had a pair of their raw denim from a few years back. They were US made. I really liked the finish on them with a lined waist band and locker hooks. But unfortunately the crotch blew out after about a year, while the rest of the garment was still in good shape. I haven’t seen their stuff much in stores out in SF since.

  18. Christopher Baus
    on Oct 24th, 2009
    @ 11:16 PM

    I agree with Maid in the US. I don’t care where the garment is made (ok I do a little), but if a brand is “American” like say Levi’s, I think it lacks a significant amount of authenticity to make a product in China. It is like buying a samurai sword made in Bulgaria. It doesn’t feel authentic.

  19. R4
    on Oct 25th, 2009
    @ 12:18 AM

    But unfortunately the crotch blew out after about a year, while the rest of the garment was still in good shape.
    =winner

  20. Cutting Dash
    on Oct 25th, 2009
    @ 8:34 AM

    R4, that made me laugh too.

  21. Alex
    on Oct 25th, 2009
    @ 4:37 PM

    Great brand, love their aesthetic. My guess is they are increasing their profit margins by manufacturing in China, it’s no secret that the cost of labour is much lower and they are still charging over $200 for a Woven ? That’s just not fair after they probably payed somewhere between $20-30 from China for it.

    Maybe they should make a Capsule Collection for a lower pricepoint, since they’re already in China anyway. Gitman Produces in the USA and are retailing their shirts at $150.

    R & B is creating a lifestyle image and charging you for it. It’s a nice image though.

  22. christopher baus
    on Oct 25th, 2009
    @ 8:46 PM

    Well my crotch blows out about once / year :)

  23. Testa di Cazzo
    on Oct 25th, 2009
    @ 8:57 PM

    Now that R&B is big into Nordstrom, Saks and Bergdorf, they’ve got to increase their margins in order to pay these department stores for markdowns, special hangers, extra warehouse and customer service staff and advertising/marketing.

  24. christopher baus
    on Oct 25th, 2009
    @ 10:42 PM

    Doh, should have gotten the LDS reference there. Opps…

  25. rob
    on Oct 26th, 2009
    @ 9:32 AM

    1. Why is made in china still a (subliminal) knock on quality? Chances are your well designed iphone and powerbook were made in china. so were the computer systems for most german luxury cars. When quality control is put in place and proper factories used, China may be the BEST place to have goods manufactured.

    2. Why do brands use Made in USA as a way to charge high prices for their garments. There are companies that manufacture in the US and don’t charge 200 for a woven. LL Bean/Redwing still produce a decent amount of goods domestically for a reasonable price. I get it, it’s marketing and branding, can we at least just be honest about it?

  26. Patrick
    on Oct 26th, 2009
    @ 1:51 PM

    http://acontinuouslean.com/wp-content/gallery/rag-bone-mercer/rag_bone_mercer_10.jpg

    In this picture, does anyone know who makes those shoes? They look like wool sambas.

  27. Mad in USA
    on Oct 26th, 2009
    @ 4:32 PM

    Maid in the USA, I hear you. Different issue, but very true, and much more disturbing than the country of origin.

    Christopher Baus, how many “authentic brands” do you have left reasoning like that?
    Levis started producing their jeans overseas like 30 years ago.
    (I’ve got a bunch of Redline 501′s made in Malta, they’re still kind of nice you know..)

    Name one clothing brand that is concidered more American than Levi’s with the general public. (I’m not talking within our nerdy little community of obsessive bloggers)

    Keep in mind, China & India where making beautiful Madras and Indigo fabrics while you guys where still Brittish/Dutch/French, pondering how much booze and glass pearls it would take to lure Manhattan from a bunch of clueless Native Americans.
    What you’re experiencing is just remnants of the cold war and a MCarthy-ish fear of the unknown, you feelin’ me, dawg?

  28. Testa di Cazzo
    on Oct 26th, 2009
    @ 5:41 PM

    Check any catalog and notice that when the product featured is made in Italy, it says “Made in Italy” — when it is anywhere else (particularly Asia), it says “Imported”. Why is that? Because the perception of quality when made in Asia (except Japan) is that the quality is inferior — that’s not say that it’s always the reality, it’s just that when MOST of the product that comes from China/India/Vietnam, etc. is low-quality, it hurts the overall image of products made in those countries. Italy never exports poor quality products (except Berlusconi) — they’ve done a brilliant job of keeping the bar high with their “Made in Italy” exports.

  29. Elliot
    on Oct 27th, 2009
    @ 9:51 PM

    SO maybe we should all just buy brands that are less greedy and don’t rip us off ? R&B is nice, but only if you pay wholesale !

  30. a.b.
    on Oct 28th, 2009
    @ 6:22 PM

    if you look a the labels, the only r&b things that are made in china are fully fashioned knits and sweaters and shoes- things that you clearly cannot produce here in the states at a reasonable price. i asked a store employee while i was there, everything else is made is good old u. s. of a.

  31. Dean
    on Oct 30th, 2009
    @ 12:45 PM

    For the last four years I’ve acquired at least one Rag & Bone jacket or coat. I can’t wear everything but I’m small and I like the fit of their clothes because they’re slim. Aside from their basic aesthetics I’ve always loved the fact they were creating mixtures of the classics and fashion-forward looks for the most here in the U.S. Great design created and manufactured here is the best of all worlds to me.

    Very disappointing to find out they’ve moved some production to China after spending some much time establishing themselves as an American company. To me has to do with the feeling or subtle (?) nuance that pervades the manufacturing. The reason the Japanese for instance are so crazy about hertiage brands like Alden is the fact they are actually made here in the U.S. by people who actually have a history with the said product as opposed to having some laborer in Thailand or China who has no cultural connection with wearing suits or jackets or certain styles of pants or shoes. “Made in China” at this stage in R & B’s life is sad and in my opinion goes against everything they apparently stood for.

  32. Adam Humphreys
    on Nov 2nd, 2009
    @ 4:29 PM

    I work in the store.
    @Dean we produce knits and shoes in china; the rest of our line is produced in the garment district
    @patrick those shoes are made by rag and bone, they are a grey wool trainer; yes, something like a samba
    @rob re “Why do brands use Made in USA as a way to charge high prices for their garments.”
    we make clothes in the USA because it allows us greater oversight of the production process, resulting in better overall quality – also allows us to support the garment district, local business etc.
    @maidintheusa
    re: “It’s not an issue of China vs USA, it’s an issue of companies (like R&B) that create a brand based on US manufacturing and charge a premium price for a shirt manufactured in NYC. Then these same companies outsource the manufacturing to ‘bring the costs down’ and the prices to the consumer are virtually unchanged.”
    our shirts are made in the USA, they retail between 200 and 300$; the tees, sweaters and polos made in china have a lower price point
    @nick sorry about your bad experiences

  33. Maid in the USA
    on Nov 4th, 2009
    @ 11:26 AM

    Adam, it’s the profit margin on the USA vs China items that are the sticking point for me. Sure they’re ‘lower’ price points on the Chinese items but the real difference is the profit margin that can be tacked onto the imports once the higher USA price point has been established.

  34. The Fashion Informer
    on Nov 9th, 2009
    @ 1:38 PM

    If you want to learn more about why nothing’s made in the USA anymore (currently, only 5 percent of clothing designed in America is produced in America), watch the HBO documentary “Schmatta: From Rags to Riches to Rags.” Not sure what can be done to bring clothing manufacturing back to the USA since we began willingly outsourcing to China, India, et al. in the 60s, but it’s a really fascinating exploration of the topic.

  35. Ro
    on Dec 5th, 2009
    @ 12:23 PM

    I’m no longer impressed with their items. The store design is ok, but poorly laid out. Prices have increased, while the fit and style has degenerated into a hipster haven. Frankly, it’s stupid. APC next door has better items, with slight more classic cuts, which is all some of us can ask for in modern attire. Go around the corner to Seize and get a vingt shirt for $180 that will last you for years and fit just about every occasion.