Over the holidays, I’m paging through Esquire magazine. I happen upon a full-page ad for shirts (page 35 of the December, 2004 issue) that catches my eye. It’s very simple–a stack of not unattractive, flannelish shirts topped by the text ‘Geoffrey Beene Sportswear”. ‘Hmm,’ I think, ‘I kind of like these shirts. Perhaps I’d like to acquire one.’ In short, the ad works. My interest was so piqued that I actually tore out the ad and kept it around for a few days.
Then I wonder, ‘but how will I obtain one of these fine, flannelish shirt? I know! I’ll ask the Intarweb!’ I figured I’d just google this Geoffrey Beene dude, find out where I can buy his shirts in Vancouver, and stop by the store at my convenience.
Alas, Geoffrey and his team of flannel fashionistas have yet to step into the 21st century. When I Google for Mr. Beene (heh), an Amazon page comes up as the first result. The second result is a crap page shilling his colognes, and the third is a tuxedo shop. The next three pages of results get no better. I desperately tried geoffreybeene.com, but there’s nothing there. He sounds a bit British. How about geoffreybeene.co.uk? Nope.
I’m pretty sure that Mr. Beene sells the vast majority of his shirts through off-line retail stores. Why then is he making it so hard to find out where I can buy one in a city of 3 million people? Why can he afford a full-page ad in Esquire but is apparently too cheap to get himself a simple website? How many other Esquire readers repeated my search, became frustrated and immediately forgot about Mr. Beene’s shirts?
My Google clout is pretty good, relatively speaking. I don’t see 1339 searchers for “gay wrestling” every month for nothing. In the future, I wonder how many Google users will find this page? I titled it “Geoffrey Beene Makes Bad Shirts” to highlight the importance of having an online presence. Whether Geoffrey Beene makes bad shirts is up for grabs, but he sure doesn’t want me buying them.
UPDATE: I guess I shouldn’t make light of the guy, as he apparently passed away in 2004. Still, his company needs a website.
UPDATE #2: Jay writes with the following notes: “I, too, enjoy Geoffrey Beene dress shirts – preferably button-down Oxford – BUT, 2 years ago, I had to return several. Because, after retrieving from the cleaners, I noticed a distinct discoloring on the stitching around the shoulder/arm area. I returned them to the retailer from where my wife had purchased them and they properly took them back and exchanged them at no charge. HOWEVER, I am noticing this problem AGAIN…so, obviously, there is a manufacturing problem (it was suggested to me by the retailer that it was an ‘adhesive’ issue”.”
UPDATE #3: Lou writes “This may be a bit late to receive a post but here it is August 2005 and like you, I looked for a Geoffrey Beene website and all I got was a “Coming Soon” note at the website. My wife bought me several pairs of nice(?) Geoffrey Beene shorts and the very first time she washed the first pair, two buttons fell off. I’m waiting to see what happens next. She bought ne for pairs of these shorts which are actually quite nice to wear and look at. After looking at the “Made in Africa” label, I envisioned half naked kids with flies buzzing around their heads.”