My Himel Experience (v2)

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by jeo, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. jeo

    jeo Practically Family

    Messages:
    592
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I had initially contacted Himel Bros to ask if they would make me a GW Imperial as I knew Himel had made jackets for GW in the past. Dave told me he would need permission to get the pattern from John Chapman. I reached out to GW and never heard back. I was still in the market for a quality half belt though and I always loved the Frobisher model from Himel. So I went ahead and put in my order.

    I received my Himel Frobisher in October 2018. Upon receipt I noticed some less than desirable stitching in a few places and some very sloppy stitching in other places. I wasn't planning on contacting Himel about it since at the time I was still happy with the jacket. It wasn't until Himel told me that he received the pattern from John and agreed to make me an Imperial did I bring up the stitching flaws as I wanted to ensure that it wouldn't happen again.

    To me, out of all the flaws, the only one that really bugged me was the chest pocket as it is really hard to miss.

    I sent Himel this photo and expressed my disappointment.

    IMG_2999.JPG

    This was Himel's initial response:

    "as for the stitching I am going to bring it up with the team....I am unsure what happened there and I cant have customers unhappy with stitch work. Thankyou for bringing it to my attention. These are often the problems with contrast stitching but that does appear less then our usual standard of perfection and I sincerely apologize."

    I was thinking to myself OK great he's going to take care of it.

    The next day he sent me this email:

    "I talked it over with the team, unfortunately there is nothing we can do to make that stitch work look neater on that pocket because of the pocket placement. According to my main sewer, the problem was the leather is a bit slippery on that hide and the tape on the zipper caused some uneveness of the walking foot....I am really sorry about that...it wont happen again obviously. We are going to be much more focused on stitchwork especially using contrast thread"

    Needless to say, I was beyond disappointed and annoyed with that response. Not only did he not take care of it, he gave what to me sounded like excuses. The stitching on the top part of the chest pocket is better than the bottom part and it's the same placement and same slippery hide, so his response didn't make sense to me.

    As I mentioned there are many more flaws in the jacket as you'll see in the pics below. Some that I noticed when I got the jacket and another major one that I discovered later.

    To be fair, I want to make it clear that I did not send Himel the following pictures. I do not know if I had sent him all these pictures if his response would have been different.

    IMG-6371.jpg IMG-6368.jpg IMG-6376.jpg IMG-6381.jpg IMG-6383.jpg IMG-6385.jpg IMG-6394.jpg IMG-6392.jpg IMG-6393.jpg
     
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  2. jeo

    jeo Practically Family

    Messages:
    592
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    IMG-6395.jpg IMG-6396.jpg IMG-6401.jpg

    Despite all these flaws, I still love my Frobisher. It is my best fitting jacket and the leather is amazing.

    When I met Dave at Inspriation LA he assured me that the Imperial he was going to make me will be perfect. This was my dream jacket so I went ahead and plunged a significant amount of money for him to make it for me. My Imperial came out much better than my Frobisher.

    As I mentioned in other threads, I never brought this up until now since I saw no reason to, but after Himel's post about standing behind his products, I felt I needed to tell people about my specific experience and am writing this thread with the purpose of informing the great people of TFL community as well as prospective buyers.

    I hope this thread will serve well in that purpose.
     
  3. Superfluous

    Superfluous My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Inexcusable at any price, let alone Himel's price. I'm glad your Imperial came out better, but it does not make-up for the poor workmanship on the Frobisher.
     
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  4. jonesy86

    jonesy86 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Thank you for sharing this important information.
     
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  5. Jin431

    Jin431 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,923
    Location:
    Bay Area CA
    Im glad you still like your jacket (perfect fit on you every time I see it) even when it is nowhere near perfect and considering all of its flaws. I do have to admit this leather is super good looking and I love the red tones as it's very subtle.
    Too bad about the construction, its very sloppy. Hard to imagine this passed QC as top tier when you paid top dollar (this would have been a blue label if it was an Aero)

    * the fact that you ordered another jacket from HB is nothing short of amazing considering how your first project with them went and I'm also glad the follow up order was done better than this
     
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  6. Fonzie

    Fonzie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,231
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks for re-posting this valuable thread; I was always under the impression that Himel’s jackets were over hyped and over priced.
    This is clear example of poor workmanship is enough to corroborate my assumption, but that’s just my personal and probably biased opinion, as I don’t have much time for people that toot their own horns too loudly.

    Edit:
    Ps: Like Himel does often.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  7. TheDonEffect

    TheDonEffect One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    210
    Eesh, that is unfortunate.
     
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  8. torfjord

    torfjord One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,309
    My fivestar has much better stitching than that Himel! Come to think of it, every jacket I’ve ever owned have had better stitching than that Himel.

    It is really disappointing to read that he didn’t own the mistakes on your jacket, but gave excuses for them. That is unacceptable at any price point IMO. At the price point they are at... I don’t even know what to say.
     
  9. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,845
    That is certainly not acceptable for any quality jacket, especially at Himel's price point. I also would not personally be happy with that response either. It really does just sound like an excuse which IMO is not cool.

    I'm glad your next jacket turned out better, but this is very unfortunate.

    I have owned two Himel jackets. Neither was completely perfect in terms of construction, but I was certainly happy with them and they did not have anywhere near this level of issues. Each one had one or two very minor stitching issues, similar to my current RMC jacket. If I got this, I would not have been cool with it.
     
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  10. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,555
    To me, Himel's response on the issues with @Carlos840 Chevalier (offering to make a replacement jacket because Carlos's jacket had serious issues,
    see link below) came across as cheap and easy damage control instead of the action of someone who stands behind his product.

    Why? Because I've seen several pics online of Himel jackets that had similar issues. Not all as bad as Carlos's jacket, but definitely not the standard you'd expect from a man who prides himself in interviews on his company's sewing techniques. Just look at the issues on Jeo's jacket. These are not one-offs that shouldn't have made it through QC. I see a pattern. Apparently Himel's jackets aren't that good as he says they are. Yes there are many good ones, but there's a reasonable chance of getting a bad one too when you buy a Himel.

    I quote Dave Himel:

    "The ones whose jackets do not fit or have manufacturing errors get their jackets replaced, remade or redone. I can count on one hand how many times a year we have to do it, but we do it. "

    Now we know why he can count the remakes on one hand. Apparently Jeo's jacket is not below Himel's own standard. Otherwise Jeo would have gotten a remake.

    Link to Himel's response:

    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/thr...ets-are-overhyped.103390/page-15#post-2781831

    Edit: typo. misspelled Chevalier
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  11. willyto

    willyto One Too Many

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    1,232
    Location:
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    Thanks for the informative post. Not acceptable at the price point and I’m one that isn’t obsessed with laser perfect stitching.


    Bartender Edit: Let's not go over this all again, please. The matter is now closed.


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2021
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  12. Robbie79

    Robbie79 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,657
    Thanks for sharing this valuable information with us! It's definiely a Warranty case in my opinion. If Himel fails within a reasonable period to meet his obligation for remedy of a defect which he has to repair (or replace if a repair is impossible) the buyer is entitled to withdraw from the sales contract.
    It's hard to believe why people spend $2.5k+ for their leather jackets where you can have for instance 3 Aero Badalassi jackets at similar quality - at least I like Badalassi as much as I like Himel's oil tanned Shinki! Or of course 2 Field Leathers jackets at higher quality and with same leather quality to mention a few. I have to admit that I also spent that much money on my Himel and fortunately I didn't closely look for flaws. Due to Himel's good /probably better marketing and the "hype" on his jackets I also believed that he's making the best leather jackets. Despite Jeo's review I still like my Himel but as customer service and value for money of other makers is obviously much better this will be my first and only Himel.
    Again, thank's for your detailed review!
     
  13. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,412
    Single needle double stitch lines with contrast thread makes every error very easy to spot... thanks for sharing Jeo.
     
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  14. Riu

    Riu A-List Customer

    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    UK
    To me, this picture is more than enough:

    Screenshot 2021-03-03 at 09.11.22.png

    I didn't get to see your first post, thank you for sharing your experience and these pictures again. I can understand issues caused by the material but this is not the case. Like you said, maybe if you would have sent him more pictures it would have been different.
     
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  15. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    12,996
    This jacket shouldn't have left Himel's workshop and if you'd showed it to us, asking for an LC, I'd be 100% sure that it's a piss poor knock-off because it is precisely this kind of make that's unique to horribly made, parking lot scam copies (I've often seen near exact stitch on fake Belstaff jackets, for instance) - but - To be fair, Dave based his decision, however debatable it may be, being aware only of a single flaw and the fact is, his response might've been entirely different had he been presented with a full picture to draw the conclusion from.

    There are many things to factor in that might've been responsible for this disaster.
    Could be they have just hired a new machinist who proved to stink or that the jacket was sent out without passing QC, etc. I'm not making excuses for Himel here 'cause frankly, that's not our concern - I still stand by my opinion that any kind of irregularity on a $2000+ jacket is 100% inexcusable but let's put that aside right now - Thing is, this shouldn't have been sent out under their brand name but I cannot help but think that had Dave been made aware of it, their response woulda been different.
    Because this isn't the jacket with flaws or issues. It's an issue in a shape of a jacket.

    What I said earlier, I hate seeing any maker damaging their business thus livelihood to any extent (because, let's face it, only they can do that to themselves - Jeo didn't need to post a single word alongside the photos showcasing their work, the damage is done) and I believe that it would be... Well, fair to give Himel a second chance to do the right thing.

    @jeo, I know you said you don't want a remake/refund and while it's not my business to tell you what to do... Well I think that... I don't know, but this no longer is the matter of feelings or personal takes, but simply getting a replacement for a faulty product.
    You feel cheated and hurt and scammed but at the same time, Himel might not be aware or it. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY would be okay with something like this showcasing their work and despite my personal feelings about this maker, they do seem to be particularly proud of their work. Which is cool.

    In all honesty, if this left my workshop without me knowing about it and eventually finding out, I'd first fire whoever was responsible for it and then make you two new jackets, free of charge and let you keep the one you got. I would make a helluva marketing stunt out of it but why the heck not.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  16. red devil

    red devil My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Location:
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    Glad to see this thread, it needed to be shown.

    There is a consensus, if I read this right, that this is not an acceptable product from any of the makers here. The response is disappointing to put it mildly, but maybe not so surprising. There was a white deerskin jacket that had the wonky stitching on the collar that was once shown here - unfortunately, the picture does not show anymore. And this was shortly after Himel had made a tweet post showing his superior craftsmanship if memory serves.

    His answer is here:
    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/himel-brothers-leather-co.62833/page-33#post-2264984

    I have discussed deerskin with several makers, and indeed it is a challenge to sew. But it is not impossible to get it straight. To me "handmade product" should not be used to cover for lack of skill or mishaps. I have seen it overused in other products.

    Did Himel ever sew his own jackets? It makes me wonder about his team dynamics...
     
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  17. 58panheadfan

    58panheadfan Practically Family

    Messages:
    660
    Location:
    Switzerland
    What makes a Himel leather jacket so special, why is there a "hype" about it? Of course you can buy several jackets from other manufacturer for the money a Himel leather jacket costs. I was one of Himel's first customers when it appeared on the market. Why? Because his leather jackets stood out from the crowd. They were special in design. Of course, Himel did not reinvent the wheel. He has an extensive archive of old leather jackets from which he can choose from. What distinguishes him from other manufacturers, is the implementation, the design he incorporates into his leather jackets. There are countless manufacturers who only copy, some well, others less. All of my Himel leather jackets had small flaws but none had big ones as those of @jeo. As I already mentioned, small mistakes make a jacket unique and give it that certain something. However, the mistakes in jeo's jacket cannot be tolerated, even if the jacket would be much cheaper. The design is one thing, the craftsmanship is another. As cool as the leather jackets are, obviously there is something missing at Himel Bros. in terms of workmanship... as seen on jeo's jacket.

    Edit: I would like to add I was always very satisfied with himel bros. customer service it was always solution-oriented.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  18. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,555
    Why do you think this is not a jacket that deserves the Himel company logo. By stating that, you're basically saying Jeo's flawed jacket is a one-off. The exception to the rule.
     
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  19. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    21,794
    Location:
    London, UK
    @jeo I think this in particular is a very good point for anyone going forward who received anything from any coimpany about which they have concerns or are unhappy: clear photographs of the issues in question are really helpful in communicating the problem. This is one of those areas where buying what used to be called 'mail order' does make things harder - though on the flipside, the web and global visibility has made possible a lot of niche businesses that simply would have had enough custom to exist back in the day, so it's not "all bad".
     
  20. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    12,996
    Because majority of Himel's work that's been showcased here hasn't exhibited flaws even remotely similar to Jeo's jacket - And I am saying that despite of how I feel about the brand, which is something I never made a secret and too often a point of.

    This is an abysmally badly made jacket. It's so bad that I have NEVER seen anything like it and having seen ton-load of leather jackets, I can with absolute certainty claim that neither did Dave. And following that logic, I cannot possibly believe that ANY leather jacket maker in the world would want to have their company logo affiliated with it, least of all Himel Bros.

    To cut this short, what I mean is while we might have nitpicked some of the flaws in Himel's work in the past, highlighting issues that may or may not have been acceptable (IMO definitely not acceptable, especially at this price range 'cause the f we paying as much for, and especially since perfection had been times and times again proven as achievable but this is all so very subjective and frankly falls entirely within tolerance of ones OCD) this isn't the case here.

    How many jackets like this have you seen? I do believe that this one's an exception on any rule out there, yeah.
     

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