Abandon Ship: Lands’ End To Discontinue KJP Knockoff

Last month Ivy Style reported on the suspicious similarities between an inexpensive, offshore-produced belt by Lands’ End and what many consider the real deal made by Rhode Island native Kiel James Patrick (disclaimer: an Ivy Style advertiser).

The post struck multiple nerves, including domestic versus offshore manufacturing and design integrity within the apparel industry, and became the most trafficked post in the history of Ivy-Style.com.

Lands’ End was approached for comment but never responded. But it evidently took notice of the tidal wave of negative publicity that spread around the web via social media, in which many voiced publicly that they would never buy from the brand again.

This morning Patrick informed Ivy Style that he was contacted yesterday by Lands’ End, which said it had had done nothing illegal but had no plans to continue manufacturing the belt, though it is still currently available on the company’s website. Lands’ End also made overtures regarding collaboration, Patrick says. Sounding both shocked and vindicated, Patrick said he is uncertain what the next step will be.

Lands’ End, I think, deserves a tip of the hat for attempting to rectify what many clearly thought was flagrant rip-off, but most of all cheers to you, the members of the Internet preposphere. Your beacon was seen through the thick corporate fog. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

Updated 4/25 at 11:04 AM.

46 Comments on "Abandon Ship: Lands’ End To Discontinue KJP Knockoff"

  1. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

  2. Will Richard of Wasp 101 fame/infamy be collaborating with Brooks Brothers on a prep school blazer now?

  3. As long as the colab doesn’t lead Kiel to abandon his commitment to employing/keeping employed American workers. Part of the product is knowing that everything is sourced within the United States. I’d hate to see KJP designs by Lands’ End up being made in the same factory as the rip off was. That would pretty much defeat the point.

  4. John George | April 24, 2012 at 11:09 am |

    This is refreshing news. I’ve been a frequent customer of LE in the past, and had quietly soured on them since reading your original post. I’m glad to see them respond appropriatly. It restores my loyalty to the brand. Although the idea of small-brand domestic alternatives is still resonating.

  5. If they would try to do more collaborations like this, it would make up for a lot of the ill will they created.

    I’m pretty sure KJP would refuse if they wanted to make stuff offshore.

  6. Preppy Pauper | April 24, 2012 at 11:51 am |

    Lands” End was simply making a contribution to the democratization of once-patrician style. They have betrayed their mission.

  7. Does this mean I now have to go back to paying $88 for a $15 belt containing $2.50 of nylon rope?

  8. Just for the sake of argument, Rick, I suggest you buy a few $15 belts and see what you get for your money.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could all get what we buy at cost while getting the highest fee possible for the goods and services we provide.

  9. I hope Patrick of KJP will not go to LE, regardless of the dollar signs they offer him. His brand will only continue to grow if he stays with what he has been doing since the beginning: artistry, Made in USA, and independent.

  10. Patrick of KJP would be crazy if he didn’t supply clothiers with his product, if he could maintain quality and price point. There are plenty of ivy league dressed potential customers that have never heard of KJP , sadly. Patrick does produce a very fine product.

    Also, beware of the “Made In USA’ label on many products. Very little over all content is needed to qualify.

  11. Philadelphia Proper | April 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm |

    Made in the USA = Paying double for some slob here to make what some slob overseas could make cheaper and (probably) more efficient.

  12. Philadelphia Proper,

    You owe the American worker an apology for your disparaging comment. While it is true that not all domestically produced goods are of the highest quality, it is also true that many are of excellent quality.

    The main problems affecting domestic production are the selling out of the American worker in the pursuit of profit, and the foreigners here who lack Americans’ work ethic and are willing to work for far less than is appropriate in an advanced country like ours.

  13. What is efficient about paying private charities and various government agencies to support unemployed Americans rather than paying a living wage to people who create products that we need/want?

  14. jiheison, with your “living wage” reference, are you suggesting that we should pay people based upon their need, rather than setting their pay upon the value of their goods or services?

  15. jiheison

    The first part is politically efficient. Both are part of the blue model that is crumbling around us in the West.

  16. Let me begin by saying that I’m a fan and patron of KJP, but why wasn’t there such a backlash against him when he began selling his Triton collection, which bear a striking resemble to Lemon & Line (another advertiser of Ivy Style)? Is a matter of domestic versus foreign production, or is it only wrong in a David versus Goliath scenario?

  17. It’s just a belt. There are are only so many twists you can do with one. I do like the more contemporary buckle. Gold or brass are dated.

  18. Faltingham | April 24, 2012 at 9:40 pm |

    Whatever happened to proper leather belts?

  19. What a very encouraging story!

  20. LE has begun to stock several (though still a small percentage of their entire stock) Made in America items, including tees, sweats, and ties, so I feel it would be quite feasible to do this collaboration in America. I hope Patrick doesn’t consider himself too cool to be seen working with a large company, because I do enjoy seeing these kinds of collaborations happen.

  21. @ Henry…you sound like a white supremacist. Unless they’re a native american then all american workers were foreigners at one point in time….don’t go down that path. And where exactly are you getting your facts about the work ethic of american workers being greater than those overseas?

  22. Roy R. Platt | April 25, 2012 at 7:45 am |

    Prep School Blazers were mentioned near the beginning of these comments. Some people still associate Prep School Blazers with Captain Kangaroo. People with body types similar to Captain Kangaroo might consider this before wearing a Prep School Blazer unless they are at a school that requires wearing one.

  23. Green
    I don’t think Henry is a white supremacist, Americans come in all colors. Besides, “native American” is a white man’s label of many unconnected tribes. I don’t agree with Henry concerning “foreign” work ethic. I would guess that most of the clothing wore by “ivy league” clothing buyers here in America weren’t manufactured here.

  24. As for sold or serviced in the USA, you get a solid 25-30% reduction in costs by moving a call center (as an example) off US soil. If you don’t do so, you are competing against someone who has that advantage over you. Not saying it’s right. It merely is what it is.

  25. matthew langley | April 26, 2012 at 8:38 am |

    Not to be too cynical, but maybe the reason LE is not continuing to sell the product is because the belt sold poorly.

  26. It is a sad commentary on the ideologically tyranny we live under when a comment intended as praise for Americans is misinterpreted as being potentially “white supremacist.”

    Perhaps you’ve heard of the Protestant work ethic. It’s part of what built this country and made it great. It used to be the norm.

    As for facts, the productivity of American workers has long been superior to that found in other countries. This is the basis of my comment.

    Also, I was referring, indirectly, to the flood illegal aliens in America. Since many of them come from Third World countries with greatly lower standards of both living and remuneration than ours, many of them are willing to work for illegally low wages in conditions that Americans born and raised find unacceptable. Unscrupulous employers are willing to break the law and exploit illegal aliens.

    Finally, as for the “all american workers were foreigners at one point” comment, this is tendentious hogwash. If you go back far enough, every group is from somewhere else (assuming that humans arose in Africa, of course). The only difference with America is that it was colonized by another wave of people much more recently than most of then rest of the world. (Incidentally, no American worker born in America has ever been a foreigner in America, so your comment is illogical on its face.)

  27. Mr. Arthur,

    What you say affects the bottom line in measurable terms. However, one of the things I have always loved about Lands End is the wonderful women they have manning the phones. They often have charming Midwest accents, and are always cheerful and pleasant. Even though it’s more convenient to order on-line, I will sometimes call in my order anyway, just to talk with them.

    On the other hand, how much ill will is caused by having to deal with incompetents at Indian call centers? How much longer do we collectively spend on the phone, trying to decipher their accents, trying to get them to understand, trying to get them to take appropriate action? How many customers have turned away from the companies that use such call centers? That’s much harder to quantify, but is still a significant factor.

    Lands End doesn’t do everything right, but their customer service is excellent, and is one reason I keep going back for more.

    In short: what good does it do to save 25-30% when you don’t get repeat business?

  28. Is it “scrupulous” to move production to countries where exploitation is legal?

  29. I don’t know, is it “exploitation” ? Wages are pretty much relative to location and per capita income. Some would say auto workers in right to work states are “exploited”. I doubt those workers think so.

  30. @MAC

    “Some would say auto workers in right to work states are “exploited”. I doubt those workers think so.”

    Then I doubt “those workers” have a f***ing clue.

  31. Yes you are right, they are probably uneducated. Unlike those 50% of college graduate this year that can’t find a job. You know the ones with the huge education debt.

  32. “Right to work” my ass. Living in one of those states for much of my life, let me assure you, it is “right to fire you for whatever reason I feel like.” While the supporters of “right to work” often tout it as pro-worker since the worker is “free” to enter or exit jobs with minimal exertion, in fact, this is the same argument used in labor cases which tried to undo workplace safety laws, hourly maximums, minimum wage, etc, etc. No, I don’t think I was exploited, but it wasn’t because I couldn’t have been, it was because I worked for employers who chose not to fire me for ridiculous reasons.

  33. Did they over turn all those labor laws? You don’t think you are “exploited”. You are lucky not be working for all the rest of those irrational employers that fire good workers for no reason. 🙂

  34. “Wages are pretty much relative to location and per capita income.”

    Which all part of the wage shell game. Paying people based on their need is “communism” — in a “capitalist” economy pay should be based on the value that a worker can create. That is, up to the minimum amount that they can be forced to accept, based on their location. (Never heard the latter applied to a CEO.)

    More games: Heads, you’re fired. Tails, you are “free” to seek employment down the street if you don’t like the pay here. (Of course, the company down the street is neck-and-neck with your current employer in the race to the bottom).

  35. We can pretend supply and demand doesn’t exist, we can also pretend wage markets don’t apply to the individual’s location, experience, education and sector. We’ve basically tried to do this, it ain’t workin. The blue model is deteriorating fast for lots of reasons.

    I don’t concern myself with CEO compensation, for the most part it’s none of my business unless I own stock in the corp.

  36. “I don’t concern myself with CEO compensation, for the most part it’s none of my business unless I own stock in the corp.”

    If you have a stake in the economy and thus society at large, it is your business, even if you pretend otherwise.

  37. “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded- here and there, now and then- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.This is known as “bad luck.”.”

    Robert Heinlein

  38. Robert Heinlein must have been referring to some idealized imaginary society where wealth “creation” wasn’t just a euphemism for enriching the few by ever further impoverishing the many.

    What does that have to do with the parasitism we are discussing here?

  39. Parasitism?

  40. Nice jiheison! You write these dirty little screeds from a computer you could never invent through a system you can’t even comprehend, about a subject, business, you seem to know nothing about and you have the temerity to use the word “parasitism.” You are the slimy tapeworm in the gut of society cursing your host body, adding no value and hating anyone who does.

  41. Michael Bastian has a “nantucket belt” on the Gant website that is the same thing too…I rocked these bracelets back in the early 80s way before this kid was born, so its kinda hard to really be mad at them…its a preppy staple. I do have a KJP and its awesome… Bought it at the Hilfiger Popup House…

  42. Abdullah | May 6, 2012 at 5:59 am |

    @Henry

    You actually believe Americans have a stronger work ethic than “foreigners”? Your argument seems to be that this is because foreigners are willing to work for less pay…which is puzzling to say the least. This line of reasoning makes no sense unless you equate “work ethic” with union membership.

    Your view seems more based on some kind of sentimental fantasy rather than the present reality. Most Americans (including the “workers”) have been blessed with relative security and ease. Naturally, they would not tolerate the same conditions and pay that many “foreigners” take for granted.

    And when you start lamenting about the “Protestant Work Ethic”, I see how immersed in this fantasy you are. How does the struggle of the Irish, the Jews, or the Chinese relate to this “Protestant Work Ethic”? What about the “Slave Work Ethic”?…..(Well, I guess most slaves were technically Protestant, so perhaps they fit under this ill-defined term).

    Maybe instead of talking in cliches, you could study history and the present day reality.

  43. spudnik99 | May 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm |

    Sarah Vickers, the other half of KJP, has a Jack Rodgers sandals giveaway on her blog (www.classygirlswearpearls.com). For those of you not in the know, Jack Rodgers are Guatemalan made knock-offs of Palm Beach manufactured Stephan Bonanno (sbsandals.com) and Monica Bonanno (pbsandals.com) sandals. How’s that for irony.

  44. I know this is not gentlemanly and in good taste, but Sarah Vickers is HOT! I don’t wear sandals, but thanks for the link.

  45. Charleston | May 13, 2012 at 11:31 am |

    Land’s End is a class act, and can be counted-on to do the right thing. Well-made, classic styles at a good price, with good service and a guarantee. I would even say they have stepped-up their game over the last year.

  46. Henry Contestwinner | January 28, 2016 at 5:43 pm |

    Abdullah, your leftist deconstruction of the exceptionality, and greatness, of America is without merit. You read what you wanted to see, not what I wrote.

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