Why is Luxury Fashion so expensive?

Luxury used to be a synonym for quality. Most of the fashion brands built their brands on the best materials and the most skilled craftspeople, then charged customers a premium for both. Designer clothes of luxury brands are expensive because when the customer buys any designer clothing he not only pays for the item that he purchases but also for the time and energy that the designer and the craftsmen have put into it’s creation. Generally luxury designers spend months over the design of one dress to make it a perfect piece for their customers. Unlike other brands, the designer clothing is more than just clothes, they are a piece of art. After looking at the price tag the customer needs to understand what went into this piece from the start.

Image source – Pinterest

Luxury is not something we need, it’s something we want. The people in today’s world need a lot of attention wherever they go and whatever they do. As they couldn’t get the same free publicity as the models walking down the catwalk in jeans and platform sneakers get via spectators in looking at the models at the fashion shows whose photos end up in the multiple newspapers and social media. So people need to be a little creative to draw attention to the brand they are wearing and get mentioned in different news outlets. Also people want to feel like superstars for which they can spend million bucks as they have a pretty big ego.

Unlike typical store brands, luxury brands are pretty expensive due to the better materials used for the clothing, the longevity of the clothing, the production cost of the limited designer pieces that they create, research and development of the product, strategic brand positioning and the fact they know that they can make the products which would be sold and give them profit in return. For example: “Burberry”, “Gucci”, “Fendi”, “Armani” and lots of more. Luxury brands also spend a lot of money in marketing along with creating exclusivity. Brands spend millions on fashion shows, celebrity and social media endorsements, photographers, models, ads and ad placement in the proper magazines.

“Luxury is in each detail.”

– Hubert De Givenchy

So, most of the money that the customers pay for clothes goes to the department that convinces them that they need those items in the first place. To cover their production cost and make a profit, the brand sells it for at least the double that they paid to the factory for making the piece. Usually luxury brands don’t make 100 pieces rather they make 1 or 2 pieces which drives up the cost as well as the retail prices. Manufacturing small runs of pieces becomes more expensive than the bulk produced. Therefore, the exclusivity and unattainability makes it desirable for the product and they are willing to pay for the product irrespective of the cost because many people love buying designer items as each piece lasts for years with them and becomes a token item in their closet.

Luxury brands being non expensive could be bought by everyone, and would not be able to keep their high status any longer and they would not be called as “designer” and hence would lose their luxury name. These high retail prices keep the products from being obtainable by everyone, which is the sole purpose of luxury fashion.

Divya Karan
3rd Year, Fashion Design

Prarthana Kapadia
3rd Year, Fashion Design
Shalini Mohanty
Assistant Professor, ASFDT

Graphic Designer:
Sonal Dalvi
2nd Year, Fashion Design


One thought on “Why is Luxury Fashion so expensive?”

  1. Written well, but it’s not important that everything that are produced under designers or luxury brands are non affordable, for example cosmetics n perfumes.


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