Akash Patel's Profile
As someone who has tried out nearly every shaving company (Gillette, Art of Shaving, Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s), I appreciate that you took time to discuss how Harry’s is the only one that’s vertically integrated. The value in price to the consumer is undeniable with Harry’s and Dollar Shave, but I’m cautious about these companies because of the blade design patents that Gillette has secured over time. For example, Gillette’s line of razors use multiple (3-5) blades lined side by side, each one nearly parallel to the face when shaving. Harry’s, on the other hand, has blades that are more perpendicular to the face, causing far more irritation when shaving. I wonder how much this will matter to consumers over time, and if they’ll be able to take significant market share from Gillette despite having less-than-stellar reviews from those who have tried out multiple brands and styles of razors. I also would not be surprised if Gillette acquires Harry’s as a preemptive measure.
CG presents an interesting model that compares well to Indochino (the company I did my post on). While CG is entirely vertically integrated, Indochino is moving in that direction by sourcing raw wool and assembling suits in Chinese factories once built for mass production of branded suits. It will be interesting to see where the menswear paradigm shifts over the next few years — will consumers prefer the value that comes from a suit that cuts out the middle man, or will they opt for a custom-fitted suit that costs twice as much? I bet on the latter because factories are slowly moving production processes toward mass customization, allowing costs of custom-fitted clothing to decline over the next decade. It seems that CG also is bullish on this shift, as they’ve started moving to a bespoke suit model.