Rivets cost up to 0.50$ apiece, including manufacturing. That's if you use the very best. So adding hidden rivets on both back pockets costs, um, $2. As for denim quality, well, a yard of denim usually ranges from about $2/yard to $8/yard. There is more expensive stuff out there, but those are reserved for the R for 45RPMs of the world (i.e. the best of the best) and those are about $20/yard. So, in general (i.e not counting the 45 RPMs of the world) the difference based on denim quality is about $10, tops (based on the amount of denim used, and that is pretty generous) beween your Target jeans and your Sugarcanes. Compare that to the expense of the laundries. Raw cost nothing, nada. One rinse costs $1. But an intricate wash can cost $14/piece or more. And remember that the more intricate the wash, the more likely it is to fuck it up, so the real cost is even higher. As for chain-stitching, the difference in the cost of thread and manufacture compared to the cost of manufacture overall is laugably low. And felled inseams are not that difficult or expensive to do. A.P.C. did it for years and charged $110/pair until very recently.
Now, one of my main criteria for jeans is durability, because I wear my jeans hard. But let's face it, if you really want durability, Rodeo jeans weighing in at 17 ounces (I believe that that is the standard) has it in spades, and they cost $45 tops (that's in Santa Monica, on the 3rd St. Blvd, where you can be sure pretty much no cowboys shop. In real western shops, $25-$30 is closer to the going price.) Durability does not equal quality. That would be analogous to saying that moleskin is better quality than a fine poplin, because it is obviously more durable. I don't buy Rogan jeans because they are designed to fall apart, but that doesn't mean that the starting materials were not top notch.
You are right about volume discounts, of course, but that says nothing about how much it costs to actually manufacture the product. That was sort of my point to begin with; but seeing the responses I've gotten, I was obviously being too oblique.
As for the numbers, I got them from people (some on this board, hi guys
) who essentially manage the production of jeans for a living, (or at least that is part of what they do,) and everyone has told me pretty much the same thing.
Originally Posted by cultpop 0217
sorry. i disagree with a lot of what your saying here. there is no way true religeon pays as much per piece than say 5ep or julian red. manufacturing anything in higher numbers lowers your cost (and usually quality). making 10,000 pairs of jeans is going to be cheaper (per piece) than making 1000 pairs.
also most "premium" designer jeans are made to a lower quality standard than most "repros". they are more concerned with fit and wash than durability and details like hidden rivets, denim weave, or where to use a chainstitch. i can say for certain (and from experience) that earnest sewns will not last nearly as long as most of the japanese "repros" on the market. some brands combine fit and style with durability (a.p.c., 5ep, rag and bone, julian red, imperial, even diesel come to mind). for example diesel's heavier denim will outlast most of the so called "premium" fashion brands out there.
as far as womens cuts go stretch denim has definately made the perfect fit far more attainable to most of the fashion brands (seven, chip and pepper, paige, rock and republic, even gap) paige jeans might make your ass look good but the construction is very unspectacular. im not saying the quality is bad but it just doesnt justify the retail (even with a $14 wash) i think one women's brand that combines great fits with great construction is joe's.
and i wouldnt dismiss how difficult it is to get the perfect repro cut. my sister is a fashion designer and lifelong seamstress and alot more work goes into a pair of "denimhead" jeans than a pair of body hugging jeans with 2% lycra and a fancy inauthentic looking fade.
and as far as your manufacturing cost guesses on 45rpm and other repro brands, im sorry, but i find that hard to believe.