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Designer prices

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
The idea for this thread came from Joe G.'s devastating critique of Prada on another thread.  Are there any designers whose prices are remotely justified by the quality of their products (both apparel and shoes)?  Or are you just paying for name and marketing when you buy designer?
post #2 of 8
I personally think that most are justified as Ralph Lauren's Purple Label, Kiton, Brioni, and such. Also for leather, and shoes I would say the examples of Goyard Paris, Berluti, John Lobb, Ferragamo, and probably many others.
post #3 of 8
My feeling is, designer prices are rarely justified by the absolute value of the design, materials and workmanship. But, then, what is "absolute value?" After all, the other side of the argument is that designers are justified in charging whatever people are willing to pay, especially considering that we're talking about luxury items. (Yes, clothing is a necessity. A Kiton cashmere suit is not.) Personally, I buy almost all my clothing and accessories at sales, outlets, consignment shops, and so on. I won't pay "designer prices" just for the temporary privilege of having an exclusive item during the season in which it was produced. If it's worth all that money, then the item should be good for years, not months, and thus there's no downside for me in wearing something that isn't "of the moment." (If an item is "over" by the time it drops to a "reasonable" price, that's a good argument that it was never worth the money in the first place. I'm more interested in exploring my personal style than in following trends, anyway.) Even given that, I'm willing to spend more money on a classic item that's built to last than a relatively trendy item that may or may not fall apart before the trend is over. Speaking specifically to Joe's comments about Prada, I have found that some Prada items are constructed quite well, and of quality materials, just as others are decidedly not, and that some Prada designs are classics while others say "fashion victim" the day they debut on the catwalk, let alone one year later. I can get my kicks out of even the "disposable" Prada items sometimes, but I can assure you that I only pay disposable prices for them. It is nonetheless as galling to me as I think it is to Joe that a label should charge such astronomical prices when they do not consistently produce products of high quality, regardless of what you think of the current season's designs. Likewise, it is indeed painful to see a high-quality product line bought out and cheapened (while retaining the same high price point)"”a complaint that does not apply only to clothing and luxury goods. If you're going to spend the money on any single part of your wardrobe, make it your shoes. They have a direct impact on your physical health, they endure the most stress, and, as status/style items, they make a statement about you that is at once more subtle and more profound than virtually anything else you wear. A modestly dressed man with great shoes is like a so-so band with a great drummer; you're still going to rock. In both cases, the inverse relationship will simply suck.
post #4 of 8
I'm happy about all of my purchases, and if I didn't think the price was justified, I wouldn't have payed for them (I won't buy Prada, for example). Sure, there's a mark-up because of the designer, but if you want to wear designer clothes then you've got to deal with that. Aside from the designer mark-up, you do basically get what you payed for. Most of the top labels, incorporate the best materials into their clothes, the tailoring, fit and construction is better, etc.
post #5 of 8
Quote:
A modestly dressed man with great shoes is like a so-so band with a great drummer; you're still going to rock. In both cases, the inverse relationship will simply suck.
I've been checking this forum for a while, but I just registered now to say that was ONE AMAZING COMPARISON. --just the reaction of a rocker who has had his fair share of good and bad drummers
post #6 of 8
LAbelking, i agree 100%. actually, i was about to type exactly the same thing, when i saw you had already written it in your post.. any time hand tailoring and great cloth is involved, the price is worth it.....for longevity's sake, if for no other reason (getting 10 years out of a fine suit makes it worth the price, in my book). at the opposite end of the spectrum, there are clothes that only serve as a sticking place to put the label....i.e. most of Armani's stuff (altho i can't say much about classico, don't know much about that one), Polo, etc.
post #7 of 8
Any item is worth as much as you are willing to pay for it. "Designer", what ever that means, sells at a premium, but only because people are willing to pay. After all, everything, even a white t-shirt is  "designed": someone took the decision how wide to cut the body or how long to make the sleeves. To become accepted in popular opinion as a "Designer" as opposed to someone who designs, is, no doubt about it, the result of marketing. If you advertise a lot in the glossy magazines, they will give you a lot of editorial space, your name will become known and you will be given the label "Designer". There is no need for a designer to have production facilities; many things you see with different designer labels come from the same factory. If you specialize in making belts, you will be making belts under your own name, the name of shops and stores, as well as designer names. The quality of making is the same. The designer belt might have a certain something, be it the designer name, unusual material or something that makes the belt a little different, that you are willing to pay somewhat more. If you like an item, if you can afford it, then buy it, it is worth the price to you. If not, leave well alone.
post #8 of 8
Thank you, Bengal-Stripe, for your well-measured opinion. The truth is that regardless of whether you are a Gucci fanatic or a Kiton sycophant, you are paying a premium for the exclusivity, more so than for anything else. We could argue all day as to whether the workmanship on a pair of Berluti shoes or a Dior suit more warrants its price. In the end, though, neither is really justifiable except to say that it brings us pleasure.
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