Fivestar Werber Sportswear

Shawn Ali

Well-Known Member
This is what I don't understand. Over the last 12 - 18 months somewhere and somehow along the way we seem to have slipped from drooling over the latest details creation from Goodwear, or debating the merits of ELC's new leather, the cut of Aero's fleece or the accuracy of Buzz's latest annual B-10 repro etc down to picking over jackets that are bargain prices with some vague echo of a repro of repro of a wwii jacket with the justification that the customer service is great, you can have any customisation you want and the prices are really cheap? Really? Is that what we've come to? It's not just 5 star, we seem to drool now over sub 100 buck Chinese 20% acrylic "value" B-10's, L2a's etc as much as anything else.

And much as I like young ladies, is the jacket above relevant on this forum? I hardly dare post about my mid summer madness yearning for an ELC Perry B-3 anymore... it just doesn't feel relevant. How long will it be before we're picking over the forthcoming Frakenstein'esque B-3's and heaping praise on their practicality, pricing and easy purchase. They feel what's relavant on this forum now.

I really dont mean to be unkind to anyone, and just my opinion. I totally get that not everyone has bundles of cash to layout on jackets and we all have to start somewhere and a cheaper entry point is nice, and at the end of the day whatever we spend our hard earned cash on is (rightly) entirely our individual choice but my observation is as VLJ forum we're losing our way somewhat.
Dear Mr. @stanier

Thanks for your message,that post was just to add and inform about our new work on A2 for women, and I always get valuable advice here from well informed and worthy members of VLJ I always Respect, and I am also keen to make some ladies A-2 authentic work, which was my purpose to have some views and make some authentic work, but If I can't get advice here I will not post such stuff again.

Best Regards

Shawn
 
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mulceber

Well-Known Member
This is what I don't understand. Over the last 12 - 18 months somewhere and somehow along the way we seem to have slipped from drooling over the latest details creation from Goodwear, or debating the merits of ELC's new leather, the cut of Aero's fleece or the accuracy of Buzz's latest annual B-10 repro etc down to picking over jackets that are bargain prices with some vague echo of a repro of repro of a wwii jacket with the justification that the customer service is great, you can have any customisation you want and the prices are really cheap? Really? Is that what we've come to? It's not just 5 star, we seem to drool now over sub 100 buck Chinese 20% acrylic "value" B-10's, L2a's etc as much as anything else.

And much as I like young ladies, is the jacket above relevant on this forum? I hardly dare post about my mid summer madness yearning for an ELC Perry B-3 anymore... it just doesn't feel relevant. How long will it be before we're picking over the forthcoming Frakenstein'esque B-3's and heaping praise on their practicality, pricing and easy purchase. They feel what's relavant on this forum now.

I really dont mean to be unkind to anyone, and just my opinion. I totally get that not everyone has bundles of cash to layout on jackets and we all have to start somewhere and a cheaper entry point is nice, and at the end of the day whatever we spend our hard earned cash on is (rightly) entirely our individual choice but my observation is as VLJ forum we're losing our way somewhat.
Y'know, this is a pretty big board. There is room for both kinds of discussions. If you want to see more posts about BR, ELC, GW, well...you're a member. You could start some threads. And I'd love to read 'em. Burt and I had our "let's compare United Sheeplined originals" thread earlier in the summer, and we've got more threads of that flavor planned in the future. You could do something similar. Or a really detailed review of one repro or another.

I suspect the recent rise in Five Star and Bronson posts boils down to a couple factors. One is that they're the ones who are coming out with most of the new products. Eastman hasn't released a new flight jacket since I've been here. Ken has said that military jackets aren't the side his bread is buttered on. BK has introduced their new Navy jackets just recently, but to my knowledge, nobody here has bought them. Or, if they have, it's too soon for anyone to have received one. In those circumstances, most posts about these makers are just going to be oohing and ahhing over a person's latest purchase, which we do, whenever they arise. And that's great.

Speaking for myself, what I like about FiveStar (besides what a nice guy Shawn is), is that we, the jacket consumer, finally get a say in the nitty-gritty details of our jackets. No offense, but when you were talking about picking apart the details of BR, ELC, etc., I found myself saying "well, what's the point in that? No one at Eastman is listening." With Five Star, if I think the epaulets on a particular jacket need to be tapered just a little bit more, or need to be a little bit forward of where they are, I can just find photos, send them to Shawn when I order, and it will show up in my jacket. The consumer actually gets to be involved in the design process - and I think that's great. More than great, it's a lot of fun!

That doesn't have to be your cup of tea though, so if you want to see more content about top-tier makers, post it! :)
 
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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
I think that both opinions have their merits.
Maybe the answer is, to add a sub section entitled “Custom Leather Jackets” in the thread menu. It would broaden the scope of the forum and maybe attract a few more new members and keep everyone happy. Just a thought...
 
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bn1966

Well-Known Member
I had a lot of fun getting my custom G-1 type put together by Shawn and the price meant I could take a gamble without needing to worry.

Can see my Wife wanting one of those Ladies jackets, so maybe a small foray into my ‘hobby’ for her.

This week I’ve mainly been breaking in my Monarch ‘Warhorse’ ELC A-2 though and it’s coming along a treat :)

Room for all
 

stanier

Well-Known Member
Y'know, this is a pretty big board. There is room for both kinds of discussions. If you want to see more posts about BR, ELC, GW, well...you're a member. You could start some threads. And I'd love to read 'em. Burt and I had our "let's compare United Sheeplined originals" thread earlier in the summer, and we've got more threads of that flavor planned in the future. You could do something similar. Or a really detailed review of one repro or another.

I suspect the recent rise in Five Star and Bronson posts boils down to a couple factors. One is that they're the ones who are coming out with most of the new products. Eastman hasn't released a new flight jacket since I've been here. Ken has said that military jackets aren't the side his bread is buttered on. BK has introduced their new Navy jackets just recently, but to my knowledge, nobody here has bought them. Or, if they have, it's too soon for anyone to have received one. In those circumstances, most posts about these makers are just going to be oohing and ahhing over a person's latest purchase, which we do, whenever they arise. And that's great.

Speaking for myself, what I like about FiveStar (besides what a nice guy Shawn is), is that we, the jacket consumer, finally get a say in the nitty-gritty details of our jackets. No offense, but when you were talking about picking apart the details of BR, ELC, etc., I found myself saying "well, what's the point in that? No one at Eastman is listening." With Five Star, if I think the epaulets on a particular jacket need to be tapered just a little bit more, or need to be a little bit forward of where they are, I can just find photos, send them to Shawn when I order, and it will show up in my jacket. The consumer actually gets to be involved in the design process - and I think that's great. More than great, it's a lot of fun!

That doesn't have to be your cup of tea though, so if you want to see more content about top-tier makers, post it! :)
Hmmm, I'm not sure my post warranted quite that reply Mulceber, but I know you're a decent person and your opinion is valid to me.

I'm not quite sure or understand that I could be accused of any lack of thread starting and I was aware I would provide some controversy with this post.

Personally I believe that the "popularity" of 5 Star and Bronson product has far more to do with price than any other factor.

If 5 Star, or anyone else "listening" equals compromised product, personally I'd rather they "cocked a deaf'un". I have zero doubt that 5 Star (in particular) could produce a killer product. But, to me, compromised product has a very defined line in this forum and that ladies "A-2' is not it, and I'm fed up of the forum playing host to it. Sorry.
 
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stanier

Well-Known Member
And actually, whilst I am on the subject, I make the following observation.

A couple of weeks or so ago there was someone on this forum looking to sell original D-1's. 5 Star, or anyone else, could have purchased one, repro'd away, and if up to mustard, I likely would have purchased one.

Instead we have a debate about overly long fleece (which really didn't need any debate) and someone receives a 5 Star D-1 jacket with, from my observation, crazy length fleece and pipe cleaner arms and we're all supposed to be forgiving and rave about 5 Star, because they have excellent customer service etc etc. But Platon's Dubow get criticised for slight curve perception on the pockets and collar a year or so ago, FFS!
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
Hmmm, I'm not sure my post warranted quite that reply Mulceber, but I know you're a decent person and your opinion is valid to me.

I'm not quite sure or understand that I could be accused of any lack of thread starting and I was aware I would provide some controversy with this post.
I'm sorry if my post came off as overly sharp. I was trying my best to disagree as amiably as I could. I'd actually like to see more variety in our conversation as well. I just don't think complaining about the topics people do discuss is going to produce a wider range of topics. It'll just stifle ones we have. I also agree that we shouldn't look at anyone's jackets uncritically, but I think Shawn's jackets actually do get a lot of constructive criticism. It's just that since he actually listens and takes to heart our suggestions, most people try to avoid giving him both barrels when suggesting changes, whereas with other makers, who either aren't listening or aren't taking our suggestions seriously, we don't mince words.
 

stanier

Well-Known Member
I would like to see 5 Star produce a banging jacket, patterned from an original with no compromises or customer "requests", including incorrect length fleece, and "can you make me one out of vinyl?"... (joke I hope!). Right down to all the tiny details. It doesn't have to be an A-2, but it does have to be right. Then I will have a very close look. And if made with the skill the 5 Star team clearly have, I might be tempted.
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
And that's fair. I guess where I'd like to push you to define your position better is, what do we mean by "no compromises?" Every repro involves some degree of compromise. To take A-2s as an example, if you buy from almost anyone except Eastman, there's a very good chance that you're compromising on the zipper, since Eastman bought up the copyright to Kwik zips and Crown zips, so nobody else can get repros of those, and NOS zips are expensive (a Crown on a BK jacket will actually make that jacket more expensive than an Eastman). If you buy from any of the big makers, you're compromising on leather, since the originals were chromium tanned and mostly pigment finished. Likewise, you're compromising on color, since the originals came in a wide spectrum of colors, not just the "house russet" and "house seal" that most repro makers stock.

My point here isn't that "since we compromise in some places, it's ok to compromise anywhere" (that kind of devils advocate argument would be silly). I'm interested in defining reasonable expectations for accuracy.
 
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stanier

Well-Known Member
By no compromises, I mean, as a start:
No goofy customisations
Do the proper research - buy an original and pattern from it.
No plastic, acrylic etc
Get the tailoring, drape etc as near as practical to the orignal
Use your own photos, not library or competitors pics

The points on leather tanning and zips etc are well documented and not what I was referring to. The recent posts on fleece length and incorrect arm tailoring and the caricature Doniger collar just as examples suggests to me there's bigger points to attend to than tanning methods and zip type at this stage. And having gone through the years of the BK / Platon relationship with the forum and the minutiae of the development of Good Wear and ELC through the time of Rottenhan and others 5 Star, and some of the other cheap jacket makers are lucky, imho, to to be in easier times on the forum.
 
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