I think that in general there are diminishing marginal returns to quality as price increases beyond a certain level. This has been discussed on other threads to an extent. People will always want to justify their own purchases and this applies to SF approved things as well as more mainstream luxury brands. I have seen Lobbs / EGs and the quality is definitely better than what I might see with Crockett & Jones but not 2x better or so. It's one reason I haven't gone off the deep end into the very expensive shoe market (yes, very expensive is relative) personally. I find enough I like about C&J to make it worth paying a roughly 50% premium to Allen Edmonds at times (though I still like AE and have had some of their shoes for years). I can tell you from personal experience that I have experienced a difference in quality when I compare C&J (or even some of my old Alden shoes) to Ferragamo, which is similar to Gucci in terms of its brand cache. It may be less obvious at first, but after a couple rebuilds and a couple Chicago winters, you see a difference. YMMV. I've also never really cared about whether something is an insider brand or not; I just want something that looks good and won't fall apart on me, though I get others may think differently here. I do think that well known luxury brands are more able to charge a premium for nothing but the brand while lesser known brands probably have to rely on quality to a greater extent and you are getting a higher marginal return for your increased purchase price vs. what Gucci would give you, to use your example. That having been said, some luxury brands give considerably less bang for their buck in terms of increased quality / increased price and I do believe that these brands (Armani included) are more fairly and more often criticized. You also have luxury brands who are resting on their reputation for quality from years ago and keep up an appearance of quality by the prices they charge. Other brands get criticized too and there are some who are hostile towards all luxury brands, but definitely not everyone. I tend to believe that brands are imperfect proxies for things like quality. For those who love clothing, we make the effort to learn a lot more about the details and see less value in a brand. For the average person who wants to look good, brands and pricing signals give a rough sense of quality. There are going to be biases here too, but I'm willing to bet the average SFer is much more well-informed about what he is buying than the average person in the population when it comes to clothes. Same applies for a lot of other hobbyists in different areas of life. With respect to Rubinacci / SR, tailoring is a declining art and fewer and fewer cities have great tailors who can make you a high quality and well fitted suit. Certain houses on the Row and Rubinacci as well have a unique aesthetic that can be hard to find elsewhere. You are also getting a suit or odd jacket made with a pattern that is made for you and you alone as well as multiple fittings where minute details can be fine tuned. There are other tailors who are less well known who probably can do almost as good of a job for significantly less, but the trick is finding them. 50 years ago, it may have been practical to do this. Now, short of personal referrals, it can be very difficult to find a high quality but relatively unknown tailor who is competitive on cost. If you go to the Row / Rubinacci, you can be very confident that you are getting a high quality garment tailored to your body and that there aren't going to be shortcuts on construction, fusing, etc. There aren't a lot of places that can guarantee this.