WSJ: How Can Jeans Cost $300?

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by randomkoreandude, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. mr.orange

    mr.orange Senior member

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    sorry didnt clarify that i was referring to co-op. BUT most of those jeans i can get elsewhere fairly easily except for diors and rrls

    in house brands, tend to be pretty shitty IMO.

    orly where else? because I'd like try different stores. checked the bloomindales site and they've got some cool citizens of humanity jeans.
     


  2. whodini

    whodini Conan OOOOOOO"BRIEN!

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    I was just @ Barney's in SF today and wasn't terribly impressed with the sale - granted most of the stuff could have been picked clean by now. Didn't focus much on the denim section as I generally don't think of Barney's as a jeans place but they carry RRL?
    Have for a while but I've never seen it at my local co-ops. Did you ever get those jeans?
     


  3. Lel

    Lel Senior member

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    I want to see this done for Levi's and some Wal-Mart jeans and shit, too. I'd bet the markup is not as high but still would freak these people out.

    I could see this going either way. Cost of material, 3rd world wages, etc must be extremely cheap, I'd imagine pennies if not a few dollar to construct the jeans.

    On the other hand they could probably also afford to make less per jean and sell more. I remember watching a "How it's made" documentary and the one thing that stuck out is that it took about 16 minutes to go from start to finish in a fully automated factory. Crazy.
     


  4. newguy

    newguy Member

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    naked and famous seems to be pretty fair with the prices...for now.
     


  5. jimmyfingers

    jimmyfingers Senior member

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    I know the RL Polo shirt costs 3 dollars to product at the moment. The most expensive part is the thread and labor for the pony.
     


  6. dinogj

    dinogj Senior member

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    It was interesting to see how the increase in the price of cotton (less than a dollar per pound) translated to regular levis 501's going from 32 bucks on average to 42 bucks on average. considering the base cost of the jeans and the sheer number of them they have to make...the price jack was a bit steep.

    not to mention the cotton prices have fell back to their pre-hike levels -.-
     


  7. Mauro

    Mauro Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    cotton fucked everyone up for a minute. The price of cotton has yet to drop in the terms of a finished fabric.
     


  8. thatguymj

    thatguymj Senior member

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    I was just @ Barney's in SF today and wasn't terribly impressed with the sale - granted most of the stuff could have been picked clean by now. Didn't focus much on the denim section as I generally don't think of Barney's as a jeans place but they carry RRL?

    Yea, they do carry RRL but usually only have a few different kinds. I was there a few weeks ago for the 60% off sale and they did have the 'clear blue' RRL washed jeans on sale. The SF Co-OP section does have a decent selection of denim but not Dior for some reason, or if they do, i've never noticed it. The sale had been picked over quite a bit when I went 2 weekends ago but I did grab a great DVN tshirt and a BoO polaroid polo for like $70 each. Not bad. I really wanted the blue nylon with leather detailing DVN bomber, I might need to go back to see if it got marked down to 75% off...
     


  9. oldSFer

    oldSFer Senior member

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    Yea, they do carry RRL but usually only have a few different kinds. I was there a few weeks ago for the 60% off sale and they did have the 'clear blue' RRL washed jeans on sale. The SF Co-OP section does have a decent selection of denim but not Dior for some reason, or if they do, i've never noticed it. The sale had been picked over quite a bit when I went 2 weekends ago but I did grab some lame designer basics for like $70 each. Not bad. I really wanted the blue nylon with leather detailing DVN bomber, I might need to go back to see if it got marked down to 75% off...

    ftfy
     


  10. thatguymj

    thatguymj Senior member

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    ftfy


    Sure if you consider an oversized multi-color striped tshirt and a polo shirt with a polaroid negative on it 'lame basics'. I found both pieces rather interesting and would have gladly paid full retail for the Dries tshirt. The BoO polo is unique but would never pay retail for BoO.

    Oh, and oldSFer, why even bother posting here? While I do find some of your shots at posters pretty funny, seems awfully lame to spend your time trolling a fashion forum... What could you possibly have to gain?
     


  11. Nereis

    Nereis Senior member

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    It's a simple case of Giffen goods coming into play. There's a degree of exclusivity in a pair of $300 jeans no matter where you come from. In fact, it's present to an even higher degree for diamonds and mechanical watches.

    Compound that with the fact that people in the industry have to make money too somehow, and it's easy to see how the 100% mark up (minimum) comes into play.
     


  12. Sebastian_Flyte

    Sebastian_Flyte Senior member

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    I don't why the WSJ keeps repeating this "all premium jeans are made in the US" thing. Lots (most) of premium US mens jeans are made in Italy.
     


  13. kmdsimpson

    kmdsimpson Senior member

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    I could see this going either way. Cost of material, 3rd world wages, etc must be extremely cheap, I'd imagine pennies if not a few dollar to construct the jeans.

    On the other hand they could probably also afford to make less per jean and sell more. I remember watching a "How it's made" documentary and the one thing that stuck out is that it took about 16 minutes to go from start to finish in a fully automated factory. Crazy.


    Your choice of where to manufacture definitely makes a huge difference in cost. There's a reason so much of textile manufacturing has been moved offshore. It's a brand choice, right? Is the customer willing to pay the difference to have their jeans manufactured in the US or Italy or Japan or wherever they think is best? And then how many of those customers are there? Walmart's customers are not going to pay more for made in the USA, and I'm certain they have a lot of customers.

    I know the RL Polo shirt costs 3 dollars to product at the moment. The most expensive part is the thread and labor for the pony.

    A colleague of mine who used to work at RL had told me the same thing. He estimated $5, but close enough.


    I remember a WSJ story just like this from a few years back, talking about Five Four (I think that's the name of the brand). It was right after the financial crisis started, and they were talking about how much money the founders were making during the good times before the crash. There was a comment about how they had planned to sell these shirts for $80 or so at retail, and someone made a comment to the effect of "no one buys $80 shirts anymore; all the good shirts are $120". So they just jacked the price up at the last minute - the difference was pure profit for them and the retailers. That story just stuck in my head as an example of some designers hitting the lottery with their timing.
     


  14. stevent

    stevent Senior member

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    Oddly enough, the correct number is used in the print edition.

    What I found totally ridiculous was that the guy from J Brands said that if he moved production to China that the retail cost would fall from $300 to $40.


    I have some raw J Brand Kanes and they have a nice fit and the denim is well put together.

    I don't know why you guys think J. Brand is worth anywhere close to retail. I got a few pairs back in 2008 or so when Off Saks had them for around $25. I got standard dark blue washes and all of them faded within 6 months and the crotch ripped really quick too. Fit was pretty good but even at $25 I was a bit surprised at such a low level of quality. They are still better than 7s, True Religions etc. but not worth anywhere close to retail. Even when they are like $50-60 on gilt or something like that I wouldn't buy it. You could get a bunch of N&F at Barneys for just a little more during sale time.

    yeah barneys jean selection is def not that great, but good during sale time
    I was just @ Barney's in SF today and wasn't terribly impressed with the sale - granted most of the stuff could have been picked clean by now. Didn't focus much on the denim section as I generally don't think of Barney's as a jeans place but they carry RRL?

    Compared to the other standard department stores (West coast availability Neiman/Saks/Nordstroms/Bloomingdales) Barney's blows everyone out of the water in terms of jean selection. I mean places like Nordstroms/Bloomingdales don't even carry any (or very very limited selvedge). Sure you could get stuff from NeedSupply or a few other stores, but it's nice to be able to try out different fits and everything and to see the washes in person. Barney's also has a great return policy.

    The Barney's sale started around a month ago. At 40% the selection was full, but once it hit 60% a bunch of stuff disappeared within two or three days. If you're going during 75% time of course selection is going to be worse. RRL has been at Barneys for quite some time now.
     


  15. johnH123

    johnH123 Senior member

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    Sadly, it wouldn't be very different for some. For others, the margins are definitely more conservative.

    Of course, it also depends if the brand is strictly wholesale or if they have their own store/e-shop in which to improve those margins.


    That's kind of what I was getting at. I know some people here who make/design their own lines are more transparent then others when it comes to costs. From what I've seen, clothing design, production and selling (if you sell your own stuff in-house) certainly has to be a strong passion since the profit margins (especially when you work in small batches and limited runs) must be fairly small.

    I think johnH would be in for a shock if he found out his precious jcrew shirts cost $3 to make.

    $3? Fuck, I would have guess a $1.50 max for most of their shirting. I wonder what my new NBs cost to make.
     


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