Over the past few years, as I have become relatively well-versed in vintage goods, I am increasingly aware of where things are made. Generally, if something vintage is made in Italy, France, England, or the USA, the quality is high and the style is good.
We all know the big C-word, where it seems like everything is made today. And whether true or not, to many people, myself included, the words "Made in China" are often synonymous with inferior quality. I am not sure if it is due to my vintage obsession or my desire to purchase quality over quantity, but now I find myself checking labels before I buy something. In fact, I will hesitate and often skip the purchase if it is made in China.
I guess I am not alone, because the folks at JCrew seem to be playing games with their descriptions in an attempt to convey that their clothes have Italian origins. I snapped a quick pic from the latest JCrew catalog.
The description states, "The Cocoon Coat, in our stadium-cloth, inspired by extra-toasty stadium blankets and made just for us by Italy's Nello Gori Mill." Sounds like the coat is made in Italy, right? When you look more closely at the tiny description on the side, you see that code word that just screams MADE IN CHINA- "Import." For anything in their catalog that is actually manufactured in Italy, the words "Made in Italy" are typed in the boldest of prints. But here, the word "Import" (as is printed beside 90% of the items in the catalog, even those with seemingly Italian roots), shows the discerning purchaser that while the fabric may be made in Italy, the garment itself is made in China, even though the word China is nowhere to be found in the catalog description.
This is just one of many examples of this description game-playing in the catalog. Does this bother you? I am sure the team of JCrew lawyers made sure the appropriate commas, italics, line breaks, and hyphens were located in the big bold description shown above so that they can argue that the description refers to the fabric, not the garment. But to the average consumer, this description strikes me as misleading.
Do you check labels for the item's place of origin? Does it ever affect your decision to purchase?