The Wall Street Journal, most commonly known for top business news, also has an amazing fashion section. Since I can’t afford a subscription I’m thoroughly enjoying reading my parents subscription during the few months that I’m living with them. [Thanks Dad for always saving my section!]**
This morning while I sipped my coffee and absentmindedly tried to avoid my dog’s eagerness to play, I read an article about the rising prices of raw materials and how it affects the fashion industry. Of course, the increasing costs of textiles and other raw materials affects everyone all over the place but I didn’t think about it most affecting upscale designers. However, it makes sense because they often aren’t willing to compromise when it comes to their materials. They want 100% silk, real leather, real cashmere- the good stuff. Designers are having to get creative when it comes to how they decide to cut costs. They don’t want to cut too many corners because their customers expect high quality materials and production, but aren’t ready to pay a lot more when there’s a rise in the price of raw goods. What’s a designer to do?
Be savvy. Find loopholes, like using two strips of leather for a long strap instead of a single strap, using extra seams to cut down on “whole pieces” of fabric. It’s tricky though, because consumers who are spending $500+ on a bag have high expectations for both design and quality and are typically repeat customers. They know how the handbag was made before and are pretty quick to notice a downgrade.
But, I have a feeling designers will be able to ride out the recession just like the rest of us. They’re more creative than the Average Joe anyway.
Read the full article here.
*Image Credit: WSJ
**My parents always appreciate a shout out. So, I oblige. After all, they did give birth the to insanely awesome person I’ve become.