No One Pyrex Should Have All Those Rugby Flannels

This Tumblr image came across my attention earlier today. It supposes that Kanye West's Creative Director, Virgil Abloh, whose recently-launched Pyrex Vision line sold out in a matter of minutes after becoming available, merely screenprinted a handful of Ralph Lauren Rugby flannel shirts and re-sold them for a whopping $550. Now, $550 for a flannel is pricey for most, but in the world of luxury, streetwear-oriented style in which Pyrex is trying to compete, it's not unheard of. Take for example the $355 Givenchy tartan flannel Kanye West sported during an Occupy Wall Street appearance in 2011.

Much of the criticism towards Abloh's new line is directed towards the price points versus materials used. While his tees are printed on Champion blanks, it could easily be argued that Givenchy's graphic tees and the Filip Pagowski-designed heart logo that pushes the price of any Comme des Garcons PLAY basic up a couple of hundred dollars are equally overpriced. There's no arguing that often "luxury goods" get by more on brand cachet than craftsmanship. Upon closer investigation of Pyrex's $550 blue screenprinted flannel and Rugby's Country Workshirt, which retailed for $79.95, but is currently on sale for $35.99 as the brand prepares to shutter forever, I am entirely convinced they are in fact the same shirt.

It's highly possible Pyrex simply bought a bunch of Rugby flannels, slapped "PYREX 23" on the back, and re-sold them for an astonishing markup of about 700%.

For one, you simply can't buy Rugby wholesale. It was a sub-brand that Ralph Lauren sold only in Rugby stores. Secondly, they are definitely made of the same fabric, but what seals the deal are the same construction details (triple-stitched construction at the arms, a pencil pocket on the left chest pocket) and the obvious Photoshop job that shows remnants of an old Rugby tag on the flannels. While the streetwear world has long played on the convention of flipping high-fashion imagery and re-contextualizing in a cultural cool context, Abloh and company's hustle consists of a different sort of swagger jacking. With a limited run of shirts, and the nominal cost of screenprinting "PYREX 23" on the back of each one, it's highly possible Pyrex simply bought a bunch of Rugby flannels, at retail no less, slapped "PYREX 23" on the back and re-sold them for an astonishing markup of about 700%.

Should Abloh be called out for blatantly ripping people off? Or is this absurdity reflective of the current status of the hype game? Yes, it's egregious that these Rugby shirts became such a coveted streetwear item, but what's worse is that they sold out. People who pay attention to the goings-on around Kanye West's crew know that much of Abloh's current pursuits—#BEEN #TRILL and Pyrex among them—started off as inside jokes with other cool guy creatives like Matthew Williams, but what happens when consumers become the butt of it? Is this act to be despised or congratulated? After all, as Jay-Z purported to sell ice in the winter and fire in hell, perhaps Pyrex, and the fact that it's been seen on prominent, style-influential rappers like A$AP Rocky and Kanye West, goes to show that in the world of limited supply and instant demand hype springs eternal.

Update: RSVP Gallery has since removed images of the sold out flannel shirt from their website.

Update II: Union is advertising their stock of Pyrex flannels with the Rugby Ralph Lauren tags intact.

Update III: We reached out to Union's Chris Gibbs for comment...

When Union LA bought the flannels from Pyrex, did you guys know they were Rugby shirts?

“No I was not aware of this. “

If not, did the samples have the tags removed/photoshopped out, as they were on the Pyrex and RSVP Gallery sites?

"There is no way for me to have known that these were Rugby blanks. I ordered them off of an Excel file, so I couldn't see detail like that. That said, I have to admit I wasn't completely surprised or disappointed. I feel like I actually heard the news about the Rugby blanks from the blogosphere while I was in Paris. The goods had already arrived at the store, but I hadn't seen them yet. What I can say is this: Now that the word is out, the customer can make an informed decision. For us we have a very liberal return policy so anyone that is unhappy can return the goods anyways...

Most lines have a following of people who appreciate the line holistically. These customers not only like the product, but they also like what the brand stands for, they like belonging to the community of A-Alikes (like minded) individuals. The Pyrex customer might not really care about Rugby blanks...in fact they might like the whole 'FUCK IT' kind of 'by any means necessary' mentality and the 'LO' [Polo] reference, of course."

Is Union LA now showing the Rugby tags to keep the product's transparency 100% and keep faith in your store?

"We always strive to have 100% transparency..."

  • http://www.mrmag.bandcamp.com MaG

    true dat, true dat *head nod*. its just like the extreme abuse of music for the sake of music, because there are consumers who will purchase basic sounding sh*tty a*s rap because a popular basic a* rapper attached their name to it, with no merit or bearing on the actual art, or lack thereof, contained in the music they’re downloading/stealing. f*ck that sh*t. headed right to the Rugby shop and copping me the real deal.

  • curious bloke

    3 words for you: Supply and Demand

    • http://www.four-pins.com Jian

      I think you meant “Denim & Supply.”

      • Tjay

        Lololol.

      • http://www.supersais.com Sais

        YES!

      • curious bloke

        lol, funny motherfucker, imma have to give this one to you bro, you deserve the laughs.

  • Franklyn

    I see the immediate future here in the south my bros:
    Mad flea market merchants hitting the Rugby site. Copping as many flannels as they can. Seam rippers abundant. Hitting up their screen printing contacts to forge on a new profiteering venture.
    Boom biotches… I just pulled a new Pyrex flannel for only $250 cause I got NYC contacts who get me ½ off of new wave jawnz. Now witness my warm, steezy relevance to society. Ssssh, I might just buy the lot from my local contacts and hit up eBay next! Welcome to my new money merchant-dizing scam, I mean, venture. Jealous yet?

  • Lefty

    Everything about the guy is a scam! If you google ‘religious painting’ the forth horizontal picture is what hes printed on the tees! The entire line probably took him 15 mins to “design”

    • Samuel

      this is a disgrace to design.

    • dm

      You meant the Entombment of Christ by Caravaggio? One of the most famous classical paintings of all human history?

      ‘Google religious painting’… Shake my fucking head…

      • StoneHenge

        I appreciate the fact that you took the time to look up the name, but you shouldn’t belittle others when you yourself also make silly mistakes. Classical?!?!! LMAO That’s like saying a hiphop song is country. This painting is BAROQUE.

  • http://rich2diefor.tumblr.com/ Richard

    This is amazing. Anyone with a design background or any knowledge of it will notice abdul did little or no work on the pyrex collection. Honestly, i dont think it would have caught on if kanye didn’t wear it. $550 for a flannel shirt was overboard in the first place, on less they are made out of some a exclusive shit…

  • http://ohwrd.com billy

    DAMN

  • http://www.teamrompers.tumblr.com Kevin

    nice to see my image bringing awareness

  • Justin

    virgils eating doe

  • KO

    From the price aspect not much different than the rest of the world.. How much does it cost to make a Nike shoe? How much does it cost to make the iPhone? How much does it cost to make half the ish that is posted on Four Pins? No where near the retail price.. As long as people have the MONEY and are WILLING to pay for it then they will keep selling it.

    • http://four-pins.com Jian

      Generally, markup is half the retail cost. For brands that sell their stuff to independent retailers, that can drive up the cost a little more than for in-house brands making their own product. What’s problematic here is that Nike doesn’t take a bunch of Vans Authentics, slap a swoosh on them, and sell it for ten times the original price. Even the CDG Play and US Alteration Chuck Taylors are barely $100, still expensive for Chucks but not ridiculous. If Pyrex asked for $175-$250 for the flannel in question–a normal price point for hyped brands at this caliber (Supreme, Norse Projects to name a few) maybe the conversation wouldn’t have been a little different. Likewise, if he had gone to Japan, sourced a rare fabric, had patterns cut, embroidered the numbers on the back, then the price point could be justified because of the rarity of the fabric, its source, where it was made, and the handiwork. As it stands, the 680% markup is inexcusable, and the shirts are made from a proprietary, Ralph Lauren fabric–which is also problematic from an intellectual property standpoint.

    • darren gibson

      just found this talk about pyrex brand what you think of the just don hats they are selling

    • StoneHenge

      True. However, the reason why a retail price deviates greatly from the actual cost to make the item, is because of all the time and money it takes to research, troubleshoot, test, and design. Every single product you mentioned above, must go through all these stages and more. Pyrex however does not. Over 6 different iphones are designed and built per year. Materials are researched and tested, and even created specifically for the item. Same with Nike shoes. I doubt Virgil did any testing, etc. No quality control whatsoever. If you were to ask him what year Carravagio painted the famous piece on Virgil’s religion tee, he probably wouldn’t even know, let alone when the Baroque period began.

  • http://four-pins.com/author/angelos/ angelo spagnolo

    about to all pyrex everything fuck da hataz

    • Jake Woolf

      There is no Hype. Only sales.

  • Tjay

    And this is why I say away from that streetwear shit. Shit’s shady, yo.

  • Untitled

    Hey, anyone can go buy those shirts, take them to their screen printer, and have them put “Pyrex 23″ on the back, and sell them ebay. Real deal!!! I swear to DA GOD!

    * See “Hell Rell- Pyrex Vision* For more details.

  • Henny

    But what all yall are saying is what makes Pyrex so great

    As a bloke who did not consider buying any of this, I sit back and smirk at Virgil and his boys

    They conned the game. Just dirty and shadily got 700% richer by trolling with ‘fashion.’ Some true Pyrex coke-game hustling.

    I love it. Its a genius way for the dude to get cash

    He just exploited and punkd all the silly dudes who take this ‘game’ too seriously

    I commend Abloh and Pyrex boys
    (I wish I could pull this kinda shit off)

  • Kay

    THIS is why I love Four Pin. And also why I prefer my clothes to come with no obvious branding

  • Jake

    I have some Pyrex measuring cups. I think my grandma copped them way back.

    • Kaee

      lol

  • mo

    Fashion game Marcel Duchamp

    • prematuresprezzulation

      word, stay up on that art history

  • heh
  • http://slicstic.blogspot.com taylor

    why not!? if u have the money…. and ure a lemming

  • http://coveredvoice.tumblr.com/ coveredvoice

    i will get my money back…$550 aint for a broke boi… especially if i could’ve gotten it for $35.99. Honestly, the whole thing is fuckin insane…

  • Rob

    Sorry… so he just “ordered them off an Excel file, I could see any detail” – wow – an insight into the buying process at Union right there for you…

  • TH

    the NY Times brought me here…

  • http://juicydistortion.tumblr.com/ Carl

    Great article! If Kanye and this pyrex-guy wouldnt be related, there’s no way in hell he could sell those rugby shirts for more than 100$.

  • Kent

    so what?

  • dm
  • letheg

    just like any other brand the tees it self would be 5-8 dollars and a logo printed on the tee to like 50 bucks

  • Christian

    Is this even legal?!…
    Could anyone just go out and buy a piece of clothe and than relabel it and sell it overpriced? Or is there a law against this.. like copyright???????????