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Why is crocodile so expensive?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by godofcoffee, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    The reason it's expensive is that they have to be hunted by real men like Crocodile Dundee and cannot be raised in herds like cattle. Over a 100 men a year get killed by these beasts. Hence, it's a dangerous job and must pay well.
    No disrespect intended but that's just simply nonsense. Crocodile is farm raised in the Philippines, Australia, and in S. Africa and Zimbabwe. American Alligator is farm raised in Louisiana, Georgia and Florida.
     
  2. artoftime

    artoftime Senior member

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    Much to my shagreen.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. mr monty

    mr monty Senior member

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    Alligator and crocodile are only marginally more difficult to work with than calf. Most, but not all, of it is raised on farms and I suspect the point about feeding is close if not spot on.

    The primary reason that it is expensive is that it is a beautiful leather that is far more impervious to scuffing and so forth than calf. Especially in recent years as the tannage has changed, it may even be as resistant to cracking as calf if not moreso.

    And everywhere in the world...except among SF'ers...it is considered the premium and most desirable of leathers. It is in high demand around the world and that pushes the price. I suspect that if allowed, Japan alone would take all the annual production of American farms.


    Japan sells more than Detroit?[​IMG]

    Not considering quality, is Mezlan the largest exotic skin shoe manufacturer?
     
  4. gamblor

    gamblor Senior member

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    The reason it's expensive is that they have to be hunted by real men like Crocodile Dundee and cannot be raised in herds like cattle. Over a 100 men a year get killed by these beasts. Hence, it's a dangerous job and must pay well.

    This explanation makes my Hermes Jacket that much more satisfying.
     
  5. Jangofett

    Jangofett Senior member

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    The reason it's expensive is that they have to be hunted by real men like Crocodile Dundee and cannot be raised in herds like cattle. Over a 100 men a year get killed by these beasts. Hence, it's a dangerous job and must pay well.

    Yep DWFII is right. Crocs are reared in farms where they get big and fat. I have seen some who are decades of years old and are equivalent to 2 grown men in size. But not all are killed at that size. Some are killed when they are younger because their scales are of a certain size to be used for certain products. I suspect some crocodiles are kept isolated because fighting among crocs can lead to their scales being damaged and will not be so perfect anymore.

    Hunting crocs so they can be used for handbags would probably jack up the price to 3 times what the ladies are paying now.
     
  6. Johnny24

    Johnny24 Senior member

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    I cannot discuss that at this time.
    People go cow tipping for fun.......Try that with a croc. That should be all you need to know.
     
  7. haganah

    haganah Senior member

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    I thought a lot of the supply was controlled by one company which dictated pricing, non?
     
  8. Advent

    Advent Senior member

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    An alligator or crocodile ("croc") must be between five and eight years of age to be large enough to produce a skin suitable for making a handbag (for example). Depending on the size and quality of the handbag, the larger the size of the skin (cheap croc bags are made from assorted pieces of croc, expensive handbags are made from two or three skins rather than a ton of little pieces). Same with shoes and belts. The animal must be kept isolated from other animals as they have a tendency to fight and no one buys croc skin with holes and tears in it. For this five to eight years the crocs must be fed and cared for. This is only the beginning of the process. A Patek Philippe watchband or an Hermes belt bears little resemblance to the skin in the initial process. Additionally, the most sought after portion of the croc is the belly, the back being spiny and tough. Below are two highly informative articles. FYI: Heng Long is one of the suppliers of skins to some of the most prestigious brands in the world (Hermes, Patek, Prada, Testoni...) and is based in Singapore. Wholesale skins are quite expensive and there are numerous grades of skin quality (one of the reasons a Nancy Gonzalez croc handbag is relatively inexpensive compared with say Hermes or Botega Veneta). It is not true that Porosus is better than Niloticus, as Hermes (or their customers) would like you to believe. They are simply two difference species of croc. The price difference between the two, at wholesale, is negligible (although Hermes charges a premium for Porosus- more Hermes Kool Aid?). Someone previously noted that Hermes was selling a croc jacket in the $75K range...but that is only half as much as one they had in their shops a few years ago (a blazer, so it used more and larger skins). It seems that there is not enough croc to go around, and this drives up the price of the skins. PPR (the conglomerate that owns Gucci), for example, owns their own tannery but still must purchase additional skins from other tanneries (there are five croc tanneries worldwide) to satisfy its needs. Hermes owns a croc farm in Australia yet still purchases from other tanneries (Heng Long being their primary source as it is widely considered the industry leader). http://www.nextinsight.biz/index2.php?option=com_content&task=emailform&id=727&itemid=60 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...g=content;col1
     
  9. Chips

    Chips Senior member

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    Much to my shagreen.

    Best follow up of 2010 [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. Jangofett

    Jangofett Senior member

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    (although Hermes charges a premium for Porosus- more Hermes Kool Aid?).
    Someone previously noted that Hermes was selling a croc jacket in the $75K range...but that is only half as much as one they had in their shops a few years ago (a blazer, so it used more and larger skins).
    It seems that there is not enough croc to go around, and this drives up the price of the skins. PPR (the conglomerate that owns Gucci), for example, owns their own tannery but still must purchase additional skins from other tanneries (there are five croc tanneries worldwide) to satisfy its needs. Hermes owns a croc farm in Australia yet still purchases from other tanneries (Heng Long being their primary source as it is widely considered the industry leader).


    http://www.nextinsight.biz/index2.php?option=com_content&task=emailform&id=727&itemid=60

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...g=content;col1


    I heard of Hermes owning a croc farm in Australia to corner their own supply for Porosus as well. I wonder do they keep each of them in a pen, like cattle and feed them so they can grow big and fat and they wont get scars from fights with other crocs.

    Saw some Porosus skin products from Hermes on the net. The scales seems nicer than the other type of Croc skin products I own, but no way I am paying a premium.

    I think its Bobby Tonello's book where he mentioned seeing a 100 k jacket in a Hermes boutique. He was flabbergasted and this is coming from a guy who buys branded goods like Pradas, Armani, John Lobbs etc.
     
  11. MalfordOfLondon

    MalfordOfLondon Senior member

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    I've got some Stemar Croc card holders on my shop at the moment which retail for £975 ($1500). They're only small. What would have been the cost to produce that do you think? The markup must be ridiculous?!
     
  12. Jangofett

    Jangofett Senior member

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    I've got some Stemar Croc card holders on my shop at the moment which retail for £975 ($1500). They're only small. What would have been the cost to produce that do you think? The markup must be ridiculous?!

    Even for Grade A Croc skin (the cream of the crop), and you get to choose which part of the Grade A Croc skin you want to make the card holder and every part of the card holder uses the Grade A Croc skin of your choice and the artisan spends his entire day painstakingly and meticulously doing it for you and redoing it for you even for the tiniest flaws you cannot see (and wastes some Grade A Croc skin) and another few rounds of quality control, I say $400 is very generous.

    But if you want a unique colour, thats a different issue because they cannot dye one skin just for you. Dark green is not a unique colour I would think.
     
  13. Advent

    Advent Senior member

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    I've got some Stemar Croc card holders on my shop at the moment which retail for £975 ($1500). They're only small. What would have been the cost to produce that do you think? The markup must be ridiculous?!

    That is totally insane. Check out this site, they specialize in exotics and they make that exact cc holder...and it's $200.

    http://www.alexandraknightonline.com/

    click on Collections/Mens
     
  14. MalfordOfLondon

    MalfordOfLondon Senior member

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    That is totally insane. Check out this site, they specialize in exotics and they make that exact cc holder...and it's $200.

    http://www.alexandraknightonline.com/

    click on Collections/Mens


    Can't see it in there but see some similar size items with similar skins. Can't believe they have the front to charge nearly £1k for a card holder...
     
  15. MalfordOfLondon

    MalfordOfLondon Senior member

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    That is totally insane. Check out this site, they specialize in exotics and they make that exact cc holder...and it's $200.

    http://www.alexandraknightonline.com/

    click on Collections/Mens


    Actually I think that's Alligator - not Croc.
     
  16. Advent

    Advent Senior member

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    Actually I think that's Alligator - not Croc.

    It's the same thing (price wise).
     
  17. MalfordOfLondon

    MalfordOfLondon Senior member

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    It's the same thing (price wise).

    Well you learn something every day. I always thought Croc was more expensive than alligator for some reason.
     
  18. Advent

    Advent Senior member

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    Well you learn something every day. I always thought Croc was more expensive than alligator for some reason.

    No, essentially all the same. There are different grades of each though, several actually, and that has a large impact on the price. The grade that a company like Hermes, BV, Patek, etc, uses is the highest grade and quite costly. There is a huge price difference between that grade and say the grade that Nancy Gonzalez or Mezlan uses.
     
  19. Advent

    Advent Senior member

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  20. Pantisocrat

    Pantisocrat Senior member

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    I have a coat made from guanaco/vicuna/silk/cashmere blend from Brioni. In it, the pockets are trimmed with crocodile, buttons made from Siberian mammoth bones, and it's canvassed with pinseal.
     

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