Two3 is dead... and no one cares??

105
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Joined Jun 30, 2000
It was little fanfare last week that www.two-3.com went down, presumably for good. When one visits the site now, he or she is redirected to www.jumpman23.com. I don't think anyone on here even mentioned that the site had gone down. There was a post a couple of months ago that mentioned that Nike had decided to discontinue the Two3 line, but I was really hoping that its author was misinformed and that, at most, the line was just being reevaluated, scaled back, or even starting fresh. Alas, when the web site went down, my fears were confirmed and it now seems as though Two3 is dead... and no one cares.

Let me start by saying that I loved Two3. I guess that much should be obvious by now, but I honestly thought that the line was a breath of fresh air in designer men's sportswear. I have collected many, many pieces of the brand over the last couple years, and I even paid full price for a lot of them.

However, it seems apparent that Two3 did not succeed. I made a post in the spring titled, "Is Two3 failing?" after noticing the incredibly deep discounts Eastbay were having to offer to clear out the remainder of its Two3 stockpile from spring of 2002. Merely the fact that the line generated only minimal excitement on THIS website says it all. I know there are a few big fans of the line on this site ( Meth and Ceddie immediately come to mind), but a lot of kids on here have either shown no interest in the brand or have expressed negative opinions of it.

To me, these attitudes almost cannot be a direct result of the styling and quality of the line. As a concept, I thought that Two3 was fantastic. Obviously, MJ has a huge legion of fans out there willing to throw down money for apparel with his name on it. To me Two3 seemed like a natural extension of the Jordan Brand, a great next step to take. I don't see where people would be willing to rock Jordan Brand athletic apparel but not sportswear by his label. Afterall, MJ has transcended genre more than any other entertainer or athlete that I can think of. Certainly MJ has a much broader fanbase and transcends his field far more than P. Diddy or Jay-Z and Damon Dash, yet Sean John and RocaWear are rousing success stories. This baffles me. I just can't believe that more people are jumping at the chance to have Sean Comb's name on their jeans and sweaters than Michael Jordan's.

Quality isn't an issue here, I'm almost sure of that. While Sean John has been nominated for excellence in design award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America three years, I don't think anyone questions the quality of Two3. Anyone who picked any piece up knows that quality is very, very good - better than regular Jordan Brand clothing and certainly par for its price point.

I also can't imagine design being much of a factor in its failure. I personally loved the designs and everytime I was browsing the Two3 section at Bloomingdale's, people would come over and excclaim, "wow, these are nice!" A diverse group also looked at Two3; a few people I actually witnessed buying it probably would never be caught dead in Sean John or Vokal, but Two3 supposedly should have appealed to those brand's target demographic as well. The first shipment in fall of 2001 was solid. There were a number of memorable pieces, at least I thought. Most importantly, the logo was dead-on upon introduction. The idea of placing the small Two-3 label with the squares with the Jumpman and letters/numbers was great - subtle, but it gets its point across.

I thought that the brand built a lot of momentum into spring 2002, when the Moroccan Revue collection dropped. It was an exquisite line. The materials, the design - just perfect. I loved how the Two3 labels were placed along the seam on the shoulder on many pieces, such as the Atlas top or the Souky Souky sweater, two of my favorite pieces. From the tee shirts to the sweaters and accessories, I thought that quality and design merit remained very, very high. I also loves the Fall 2002 collection. The use of the orange and brown colors to insinuate the seasonal overtones the the collection were a great touch. My favorite pieces in this collection were the Room Service top and pant (the cotton is SO soft to the touch - unreal) and the Acquisition sweater (great design, quality wool, nice touch with the shoulder seam label and zipper). The Platnium Status leather jacket used incredibly soft, supple leather and suede and incorporated them into a clean design. Into the winter, the theme colors changed into black and light and dark blue. Again, I like the connection to the season that the collection represents. The full-zip West Coast sweater with the label on the back neck was a favorite of mine here, as was the shirt and pant corduroy casual set.

Admittedly, the line faltered a little bit in the spring/summer 2003 collection, but I am almost certain that this fall was a direct result of the designers attempting to drift closer to center to try and save the line.

Again, I'm not sure design played a real role in the failure, though. I don't see how it could. And the name couldn't be the problem. MJ has a huge fan base, and if I'm a Jordan fan, I'm loving the option to wear Jordan rather than Polo or Nautica.

So then, why did the line fail? My thesis here is that Nike did not give Two3 a fighting chance. I hope that the resurrect the line. Maybe a strong showing in this post will help to convince the heads reading at Nike to at least try and bring a casual Jordan sportwear line back in some form.

Potential reasons I can think of for the line's failure:

1) Pricing. The prices were high. Just basic tee shirts were $35, once with embossed logos went for $49. Sweater vests ran around $100 and other sweaters went for well over $100. Jeans were over $70. Wool dress pants set you back $150. $35 for a denim ball cap. There were $250-400 shirts and jackets that sold for more than that. Even a wifebeater cost $29. That's a lot a money for a lot of people. Obviously some fans that might have been interested were priced out and others felt it just wasn't worth the money. A consumer could get a very established, high-quality and respected brand like Polo or Nautica for less. Nike's corporate literature listed DKNY and Armani Exchange as Two3's prime competition, however, so prices seemed about right. In my local Bloomie's, Two3 was sandwhiched between Diesel, Victorinox, ****, Kenneth Cole Reaction, and even Hugo Boss at various points. Sean John and Rocawear are also priced fairly high, and we see them flourishing. I don't think this is the main factor in the brand's failure.

2) Quality. Again, I don't think this is it.

3) Design. Ditto. Some people might not have felt it, but on the whole I don't think this is a prime factor.

4) The name. Maybe for some reason people don't want a sweaty athlete endorsing their casual apparel? That is, Jordan Brand athletic wear may be considered premium product while a sportswear line be dubbed cheesy by some. However, this same principle would presumably apply to an item like cologne as well, and Michael Jordan had the best launch in the history of the fragrance industry. MJ's name trancends different types of products, different generations, and different demographics. I don't think this is it.

Here is where I see the real problem, and where i think Nike has some fault:

5) Advertising and Marketing. How many ads did you see for Two3 in the brand's entire two-year existnece? Yeah, that's what I thought. They only went so far as to take out a few print ads in magazines like SLAM and GQ that said that the brand was available at Macy's and Niketown. Nike hired SpikeDBB, Spike Lee's advertising firm, to product a full line of television advertisements for the brand, but those manifested. I think that a television ad presence would definitely have helped the brand out a lot, since a lot of people didn't even know it ever existed. People aren't gonna buy stuff that they don't know is out there. Which leads me to my next point....

I DID see mad NBA players wearing Two3, some even on benches during games when they are injured, but the average fan wouldn't have known what it was. With some notable exceptions, like the Carolina sweater, most of the Two3 apparel did not feature huge, sweeping logos and it would be very difficult for someone without a keen knowledge of the line to identify on television.


6) Distribution. It's also hard to buy something you can't find. One had to be really dedicated and aware to even find Two3 in stores and, even then, if you were outside of a major metropolitian area, forget it. Even at its height of distribution, Two3 was only available at a handful of stores in each major market. MJ was playing here in the DC area at the time, for example, and Two3 could be found in about seven store across the DC/MD/NOVA area. Awful. Its online presence wasn't much better. Niketown.com and, later, Macys.com were the only places to buy it online. They didn't feature the line on their front pages and never carried a decent portion of the various collection to boot. Again, awful.

I've seen mad NBA players wearing Two3, some even on benches during games when they are injured, but the average fan wouldn't have known what it was. With some notable exceptions, like the Carolina sweater, most of the Two3 apparel did not feature huge, sweeping logos and it would be very difficult for someone without a keen knowledge of the line to identify on television.

If you make it, the people will buy, especially with MJ, but you have to get the product to the people and let them know that it's there. I think that Nike messed up here and would hope that they recognize the line's potential and try again, maybe with a nice, big launch in lots of stores with a big marketing push this time. Maybe we'll finally get the SPike Lee-helmed ad campaign.

The problem is that I doubt that they will do it now that it has flopped so badly with their half-***** effort this tiem around. It kind of irks me.

I also remember Method Man saying that Jordan Brand will continue to manufacture casual apparel, it will just be under the Jordan Brand name. To me, this isn't that great of news because there is such a marked difference between Two3 and Jordan Brand casual apprel. In addition to quality differences, there are major design descrepancies. Two3 just was putting out sleeker, more refined product. Likewise, just the idea of having a Jordan line of sportswear that is sold in places like Bernini and Fred Segal is awesome.

Bring it back and do it right.

Opinions?
 
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Joined Nov 20, 2000
The fact that such a small percentage of people care about the demise of Two3 on this board--which should be the target demographic--just shows that the whole thing was destined to fail.

I think Jordan Brand needed more focus anyway.
 
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I like the Two3 brand, I got a few t shirts and three pair of Relays. Only thing with some of their shirts (like the button up shirts) is that they just fit TOO big for me.
[/b]​
 
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Quote:[hr][/hr]Only thing with some of their shirts (like the button up shirts) is that they just fit TOO big for me. [/quote

Clearly this isn't the reason for Two3 downfall but it could not be any mo[hr][/hr]
 

taz92

Supporter
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Joined Jul 7, 2003
two3 was nice....but I'm not surprised it not still around!
BITE ME!!!!
 

blco02

Banned
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Joined Apr 21, 2001
They're coming out with a similar line to Two-3 , except it won't be positioned as a seperate brand - the clothes will fall within the actual Jordan Brand...
 
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Joined Nov 24, 2001
TWO3 was great; best quality stuff. So happy that eastbay has them for cheap. I'm pretty >:
about this loss.
 
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Joined Apr 26, 2003
Some of it was OK. But in my opinion, they tried a little too hard to make it fashionable. So when you add that with the fact that it was highly overpriced, I didn't ever really expect it to get off the ground.
[/b]
[/b]​
 
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Joined Jun 30, 2000
Quote:[hr][/hr]The fact that such a small percentage of people care about the demise of Two3 on this board--which should be the target demographic--just shows that the whole thing was destined to fail.[hr][/hr]
Well, they said that their target demographic was 25-to-35 year old professionals that also buy DKNY and A/X. The average age on this board is significantly lower than that. But, yeah, I get where you are coming from, the board is full of Jordan fans, who one might think would be upset about the loss if it were a success.
 
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Joined Jun 21, 2003
One of the main faults I saw in the Brand was sizing. I know the main target demographic was the "urban" crowd, but others groups would be interested as well, if the clothing wasn't so large. I believe you stated that Polo, Nautica and A/X were the brands main competion, and those brands all feature small sizes as well as a more tapered fit. I could never fit into a TWO3 pair of pants or most tops due to their way oversized cut. I understand that big is in, but you do have to provide options...
 
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Joined Dec 8, 1999
You pretty much summed it all up, RDFM. Along with me there's Meth and of course HalfHeadHalfAmazin who I know to be great fans of Two3.

The crucial part is indeed marketing and distribution. I mean, you couldn't even buy anything online at Two-3.com! The idea is perfect as the demographic group of the MJ fans from the 80s should have grown up and have more financial potential than they used to have. Two3 was perfect for the MJ fan - you could appreciate Jordan in a subtle, mature way without big logos (that was also a central concept of the brand: No big logos, since MJ likes it subtle and elegant) that are suitable for casual wearing in the streets as well as in the office. It's like the AJ XV1: Going from the court to the business rooms - Two3 was essentially this step come true.

Even if it's tough to hype a brand when the economy is not at their peak, I sincerely believe that the brand could have found their niche if they had marketed it right. First, Two3 had certain collections with a thought-through background. Then, with that horrible Miami Twice ad in the JB magazine it has shown that it is trying to leave their role as a specialization brand and move towards a more preppy, mainstream brand. It had no identity, it never has. Marketing should have created one, but I have no idea at all why they just threw that brand into the market just like that. What did they think, it'll just sell itself? Even the AJ line needs PR. And every economics student could have come up with a better marketing strategy than the people at JB, who seemed to have no strategy at all. That is also reflected in the prices: They're too high as to compete with the alikes of A/X or DKNY.

Two3 will not completely die - the name will. JB will still make casual clothes that are incorporated in the Jordan line. But the Two3 patch seems to be a thing of the past.

I honestly think it could have been a gold mine. But I blame it all, and I really say it: ALL on the marketing and distribution strategy. The quality was great, the design was also great - most could find something that they liked. It was a stand-out product for the ones that were fed up with the flood of urban gear brands. And above all, it made me feel very comfortable and self-confident while wearing it. It might sound strange, but it just feels good wearing something from Two3, and usually I wear only Two3 - all bought from outlets or sales...if they had waited a few years more I could easily afford the retail prices, but I'm not in that demographic target group as of yet.

To sum it up, Two3 was never given a real chance to compete. It's like hiding Maurice Green in a cage while the Olympics are taking place. He wants to run and would win, but he can't.

And yes, I am upset. I've been upset ever since I've heard it a few months ago. Now I'm trying to grab as much as possible to worship the last remains of a fallen brand.

Then again, it will save me quite some money...

Ced

Team TWO3 reprazent!
Don't read this sentence.
 
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Joined Nov 16, 2001
IMO, the brand was too overpriced & wan't marketed right. i never knew what there was to buy & where to get it from.
SUPPORT THE CAUSE, buy the gear​
 
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Joined Dec 27, 2001
Yes, you are right. The Two-3 will be part of JB now and not separate. It's still going to be around guys, it hasn't gone anywhere. Look here! This is very fresh, came out just this week!



Nice ah?! I like it! :D

Miro- Bulgarian Bull.
 
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Joined Apr 17, 2003
I agree with a lot of what RDFM and Ceddie said. I am upset that TWO3 is probably going to be phased out, but at the same time I can't say I didn't see it coming. Here's my two cents:

-Price had to be a huge reason for TWO3s failure. No clothing design company can hit the market expecting to be the same caliber (price-wise) as Calvin Klein or POLO fresh out the box. If they were smart they would have started gradually and built up their image in the semi-casual/semi-formal clothing industry over time. Lets be honest, at the prices they were asking, there generally arent that many people that can afford to buy new gear regularly. At up to $70 for some of the button up semi-casual shirts, $80 for the jeans, over $100 for the sweaters, and over $140 for the shoes (thats not even getting into the leather jackets or outfits), youd practically have to be a mid to upper level executive making upwards of 50 to 75 large a year to afford a whole fresh new TWO3 wardrobe. How many people in this hobby really make that much cash, especially with the economy the way that it is? While its true on the whole that most of us OG fans that grew up in the 80s do have more spending power now (because we actually have jobs now instead of going to school), the group that can afford that kind of lifestyle is pretty much the minority.

-Sizing and cut had to turn a lot of people off as well. I remember that in the very first wave of TWO3 apparel in 2001, I thought the designs were it, and I copped quite a few shirts and some jeans. Then the second wave hit, and to my surprise I found out from a NT manager that they werent cutting the new jeans lower than 34 length. They should have realized that not everyone is a 6-4 and up NBA player. Again, only a minority of people have that kind of size. At just over 6-0, 34 length was just a little too long for me, so I can only imagine how the shorter guys must have felt. Again, they turned off a large portion of the market by oversizing the clothes and not even offering normal sized people any options.

-Somebody else said that you cant buy what you cant find. True, I saw some TWO3 product in Macys, but other than NikeTowns, nobody else seemed to have any kind of a selection. Well, again, the majority of people in this country dont have access to NikeTowns. NikeTowns are not located near every major city, hell theyre not even in every state, so how was the best selection of TWO3 product supposed to be seen by the majority of the targeted consumers? Were they supposed to call Miss Cleo and ask about it? Some people probably didnt even realize that there was a TWO3 line.

-I dont think this failure had anything at all to do with Jordans name or popularity. It seems pretty well recognized that the JB marketing people really fouled this one up. On one hand I think they wanted an urban market (these days, who in the apparel business doesnt?), and at the same time they wanted a market of grown up OG Jay fans from the 80s, but a lot of their later ads were geared to neither. Instead you get what looked like a bunch of rich preppie kids from Miami (like what you saw in the second or third issue of JB magazine). NO identity whatsoever. If they had taken the time to establish their identity then maybe we wouldnt be having this post mourning TWO3. But it seems these days everybody wants everything bigger, better, stronger, and faster, and if something isnt an instant hit then its a failure. Amateurs (like us, perhaps?) could have done a better job marketing TWO3.

-Lastly, I dont think this has been covered much, but saturation of the market doesnt always help a company. For years anything Jordan related has always been considered as made by Nike simultaneously. Now JB wants consumers to believe the illusion that they are theyre own company. So everything theyre making has a Jumpman slapped somewhere on it. Boots, training shoes, baseball shoes, basketball shoes (separate from the Air Jordan), and athletic apparel are all being manufactured by JB and thrown into the market. Believe it or not, this turned a lot of people off. Ive heard many comments over the past few years about how people dont agree with the pimping of the Jumpman, and that argument does have some teeth to it. Im sure that more than a few people looked at TWO3 and thought, Oh GOD! Now theyre slapping a Jumpman on casual clothes, and wrote off TWO3 as just trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of the Jumpman.

We can speculate all day, but whatever the real reason for the demise is, Im going to miss this line. Some of the designs really were hot (mostly from the initial line), sheesh, I even wore a pair of Cavvys with a tux to my second wedding in 2002. But as I said, Im not that surprised to see it go.
 

realjump

Banned
3
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Joined Aug 21, 2003
I am a Jordan Two3 Fan also and was waiting to get the Carolina Sweater in bleeach blond, anyone have that sweater for sale?

thanks for helping me out
 
105
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Joined Jun 30, 2000
Well, as I expected, Ceddie came on with some very strong points and expressed his dismay at the brand's cancellation. PainBL made some good points as well.

I must admit that I never thought of the cut of the clothes being a problem. I'm a big guy and like my clothes baggy to boot; I actually liked the cut and never found it too big. Again, I'm already big and want my fit loose, so that explains that. I did think it was odd that they didn't offer inseams of less than 34 in some styles. A 34 inseam is for people over 6-feet tall.

It seems that, other than that, everyone seems to think that marketing was a big problem. We have people all over the thread saying that they couldn't or didn't even find the clothes. Nike suits, if you're reading, take note. You botched it up, how about we give it another go?

Other comments:


Quote:[hr][/hr]I think Jordan Brand needed more focus anyway.[hr][/hr]
I actually would be inclined to agree with you, with Two3 as an exception. I viewed Two3 as a sort of sister line to Jordan Brand, kind of like Jordan to Nike in a way.


Quote:[hr][/hr]And yes, I am upset. I've been upset ever since I've heard it a few months ago. Now I'm trying to grab as much as possible to worship the last remains of a fallen brand.[hr][/hr]
I hear that. Me too. I've been scooping up the deals at the outlets and Eastbay while I can. I copped a decent amount at retail, but the rock-bottom clearance has helped me beef up my collection. This is good for me, but obviously point to the end of the brand. I've found myself buying anything and everything Two3 just to get all of it I can before it is all wiped out.


Quote:[hr][/hr]Then again, it will save me quite some money...[hr][/hr]
Ditto.


Quote:[hr][/hr]Yes, you are right. The Two-3 will be part of JB now and not separate. It's still going to be around guys, it hasn't gone anywhere. Look here! This is very fresh, came out just this week![hr][/hr]
Yeah, but I actually thought the fact that it was seperate and sold at high-brow stores was part of the coolness. I loved walking into Bernini and seeing Versace with Two3 right next to it.

As for that sweater, it is muy hot. I saw it last week when Eastbay put it up. I have a question about that here is in a second.


Quote:[hr][/hr]Im sure that more than a few people looked at TWO3 and thought, Oh GOD! Now theyre slapping a Jumpman on casual clothes, and wrote off TWO3 as just trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of the Jumpman.[hr][/hr]
Yeah, good point. That's part of what I was trying to get at in my discussion about how some people might not like the idea of Jordan casual gear in general and find it cheesy.


Quote:[hr][/hr]I am a Jordan Two3 Fan also and was waiting to get the Carolina Sweater in bleeach blond, anyone have that sweater for sale?[hr][/hr]
Realjump, I know where you can get it. E-mail me at.


Back to that sweater, I saw it - the Cuttin' Cords sweater - as well as a new "Carolina" beanie up on Eastbay last week. Both appear to be Two3, not straight Jordan Brand. The Two3 label is even on the beanie.

So, for the insiders out there, has the line totally died? Are these just some leftovers that they are putting out? What's the deal? If any of you insiders out there have the scoop on the deal here, speak up.

And again, any Nike suits reading, you can read this thread and see what the people think.....
 
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105
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Joined Jun 30, 2000
Quote:[hr][/hr]i dont even know what two-3 is. [hr][/hr]
I'm not surprised. See, you're proving my point. And you're on NikeTalk. C'mon, Nike, look at this.

Quote:[hr][/hr]That much text about Two3? [hr][/hr]
Hehe. Hey, I like Two3.

I'm probably one of the only people on the board that loves Jordan Brand apparel as much as the shoes.
 
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Joined Dec 9, 1999
Just about every piece of Two3 seemed to be designed for someone about 6"'4. On top of that the availability of the line was suspect. the only stores out here in SOcal that carried anything in the line were Beverly Center Macy's (no other macys carried the line to my knowledge), Niketown LA (not even OC Niketown), Sheiks, and of course where most of the line wound up the Nike factory stores.
The best way Nike could have marketed the line (as an upscale casual brand)would have been to open up small concept shops at "exclusive" shopping areas (ie Bev center, Rodeo drive, South Coast Plaza, 3rd street promenade).
 
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Joined Apr 30, 2001
Yeah too bad. I like the two3 line, especially some of the shirts. I am in the demographic (fan from the 80's now professional) and have been delighted to swoop on stuff at the outlets and at eastbay final score. Too bad it is dead, but I have to agree that with little or no marketing, it was destined to fail. Also the sizing was dedicated to people over 6 feet tall. I am 6"2 so no problem for me, but alot of the Jordan fan base is under 6 feet, and therefore would have to have the clothes tailored. Why pay a substantial price, and then pay to have it altered.? 8)
 
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Joined Aug 3, 2001
It really seemed like the clothes were cut for NBA players.

For me personally, I never really felt the style - but of course, I'm NOT the demographic Two3 was trying to appeal toward.

Leather pants? Didn't they make some leather pants? Sweater vests like no tommorow too...


www.flipnace.com
 
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