Have you ever spent more than you wanted to on a piece you HAD to have? For me, I have done it a few times and each time I wear that thing more than anything else and it lasts what seems like forever. In the end, it's worth the price, right?
I thought it would be interesting to get their take on pricing versus quality and how they juggle that to come up with excellent exchange.
My prices are determined by adding up materials and time. Some pieces are easy and come quickly, others the idea takes longer and/or the making takes a long time. I also factor in taxes.
For me, this collection was all natural fibers like silk, and wool. all of this stuff is EXPENSIVE and imported from Italy and India. it's top knotch quality. The main problem a designer/manufacturer faces is finding someone who will sell a small amount for samples, then when it comes time to reproduce the design for a customer or boutique or whatever, that supplier needs to have that fabric available. This usually means the per yard price on a given fabric is marked up a lot...it's like paying for insurance.
If you look at the pieces, the tailoring is impeccable. It's all hand sewn by local seamstresses and mostly myself. It's something that you don't see a lot in woman's wear when you go to stores like H&M or Forever 21 or Express. Those places tend to ship stuff out to manufacturers. The turn around time is so fast because those factories cut a lot of corners and use really cheap inexpensive labor and materials. So in turn, the retail prices for the public are LOW, but the quality is poor. This is why clothes from these places fall apart so quickly....or fit so poorly.
If I were to include the time and energy it takes to construct just one dress, these prices would be close to $1,000. but due to our recent economic climate and the fact that I'm just starting out, I decided to not do that.
A lot of these pieces will end up being owned by anywhere from 1-100 people, depending on the piece, and will end up being limited edition pieces which is a bit more special.
The price on a piece reflects the time and quality of a piece and is there to ensure that business goes well for the designer and the buyer/venue/store. Otherwise we'd have to close our doors and that would be the end of some pretty fabulous stuff.
The really important thing for customers to know is that everything is more expensive for the designer when we produce in smaller quantities. Without economies of scale it's very difficult to get low prices on fabric or labor. Overhead is generally calculated as a percentage of the garment cost, so when designers produce something in small quantities it generally won't even cover their fixed costs.
What do you think about quality versus price? What is more important to you?