Designer brands are a big part of our contemporary culture. You can see lots of apparel adorned with big names such as Gucci or Louis Vuitton all across social media. With this rise of visibility, some of you may ask, why are designer clothes so expensive?
What are Designer Clothes?
Designer clothing is a category of clothes made by high-end luxury brands. These types of apparel are commonly made from quality materials, expensive, and custom-made.
A few examples of companies that produce designer clothes are Gucci, Prada, and Versace.
The industry is thriving and continues to do so every year. In fact, the executive of Louis Vuitton Bernard Arnault is among the ‘Top 10 Richest People’ on the Forbes List. He is the only one who doesn’t belong to the tech industry.
The price of the luxury brand industry is estimated to cost around $300 billion.
Now that we know what are designer brands, let’s see the reason:
Better Materials and Quality
Designer brands unlike fast fashion factories, rarely use synthetic fibers in their clothing. For example, brands like Hermes and Louis Vuitton use genuine animal leather for their bag. These materials are far from what other low-end companies can offer.
Most designer clothes use authentic organic and natural fibers such as silk, cotton, wool, and linen to ensure the comfort of their clients.
Designer clothing also uses expensive jewelry such as diamonds and gold to accentuate its design. These additions are another cause for a higher price tag.
Higher Cost of Labor
High-end brands often use labor from Europe and America. These continents have a large number of labor fees. Factories are frequently operated in these continents as they are assumed to produce a more high-quality output.
The amount of people working on one design is also a factor. A large number of people work on the designer brand’s pipeline that needs high payment.
Fashion designers, sewers, and people that cultivate the materials are not low-paying jobs. As they work on a luxury brand, they have also compensated accordingly.
As stated earlier, most designer brands offer quality materials on their products. It also means that they have much more staff to pay.
Luxury brands thrive on the feeling of exclusivity. As their products aim to appeal to upper-class citizens, these brands offer one-of-a-kind clothing to their clientele.
A few marketing strategies such as lowering the number of the clothing or making it a collector’s item, are a sure way to satisfy the craving for designer brands. For example, instead of producing 100 pieces of the garment, they will only sell 10. By limiting the number of products, they also mark up the value.
Although exclusivity doesn’t just come with a specific amount of products, it can also show through the type of materials the luxury brands are using. If they are going to outsource a rare piece of jewelry for a clothing collection, it can mark up the price significantly.
Upper class or rich people are no doubt the target clients of these designer brands. Since they know what type of demographic they want, they also put the numbers on the price tag accordingly.
Most designers cost from a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars. Although this price is a large amount of money to the majority of people, rich people will buy these clothes to show their wealth and status.
Of course, luxury brands should have clothing items that reflect their target client’s perceived image. This is done by either using high-quality materials or having a great quality product.
Most designer clothing is found in high-end boutiques and malls with dedicated customers. These boutiques also sometimes double or triple the mark-up price of the garments compared to the original price. As most of them have regular customers, the price for someone who is new to buying designer clothing can be pricey.
Branding and Advertising
Branding and advertising are the backbones of the operation of any business. To show the world how luxurious and one of a kind their products are, companies will do campaigns and ads to push their branding.
For the clothing, they mean one thing, a larger price. Advertising campaigns cost from a few thousand dollars to well over hundreds. Luxury brands love to incorporate A-list celebrities in their advertisements, leading to much higher marked-up prices.
Designs clothing thrives at the idea of giving their customers the best luxurious experience they can have.
Advertisements with most companies strive to reach as many people as possible, but designer brands don’t do that. They target a small number of people that can pay for the prices of their products then stick to them.
Building a brand that can connect emotionally to people with their products is the greatest way to ensure a dedicated base of customers.
The Business Model
The prices of the products do not always reflect the amount of money that takes to manufacture them. Luxury brands always follow a very widespread business model:
“Don’t charge for what it costs to make, charge with how much people are willing to pay for it.”
Plainly said, the products from luxury brands don’t always have a high price due to their high quality or production costs. They cost so much because there are still people that are willing to pay for them.
Some non-luxury brands can even have a higher quality with lower prices compared to designers. It all comes down to what people are willing to spend on a piece of shirt.
Haute couture is a type of dressmaking process that is made through hand stitching the entire garment from start to finish. This method is one of the priciest as it’s custom made and most of the time only one item of clothing is produced.
Haute couture is a high-end type of dressmaking is implemented by a lot of designer brands. By bringing in well-known designers and tailors, they ensure the quality and exclusivity of the piece.
Haute couture clothes are the ones commonly shown in runway clothes. They are intricate, hand-sewn, and scrutinized up to the last detail.
This leads to a higher cost to the garments produced by haute couture.
Why do People pay for Designer Clothes?
Since the price of designer clothes is much higher, why do a lot of the general public still buy them?
Shows Higher Status
Since these items have a higher price and are seen as luxurious, wearing one can show a higher status. These types of clothing can give a lot of people a sense of belonging and confidence.
Unfortunately, a lot of people treat one another based on perceived wealth. For example, if you go to a restaurant wearing designer clothes, you are more likely to be treated better than if you go there and wear jeans and a t-shirt. Having nice clothes can also provide you with opportunities such as desirable corporate jobs.
As unfortunate as it sounds, a considerable number of people buy designer items to be more accepted by their peers and society at large. Having expensive items can show how high your social status is, leading to a more accepting crowd.
Approval from your family, friends or even teenagers is why an abundance of people buy expensive and high-end products.
Have a Sense of Accomplishment
A lot of people put a value on how much a product costs. If someone from a middle-class background finally saved enough to buy a suit or dress from a luxury brand, it can help them have some sense of accomplishment.
This achievement shows that they can also have good things. Due to the advertisements done by these brands, people are now hooked to the idea of luxurious life as a sign of success.
Seen as an Investment
Since the higher quality of the products means that it provides more longevity, a lot of people see buying designer clothes as an investment.
For example, buying a part of suit and shoes from a designer brand can last for years. It’s much better to have one good quality suit that will last for years than to buy low quality that will only last for months.
As designers are the type of clothing commonly worn to formal functions, you can easily blend in with people and give an impression of wealth.
A lot of designer clothes also serve as collector’s items. Having a dress or shoes and auctioning them can double or even triple your profit. The rarer the article of clothing the higher the price is.
With the rising accessibility of designer brands, people wonder why designer clothes are so expensive. There is an array of reasons for this such as the materials, branding, and business models. We hope that with this article, you learned a lot of things about designer brands and high-end fashion.
If you have more questions about fashion and clothing, make sure to let us know.