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Why are Luxury Clothing Brands so Expensive?

Updated on April 24, 2015

What are Luxurious Clothing Brands?

Not all clothing brands are created equal. This may be insanely obvious to any of you who loves venturing into luxury stores at the mall. On one end, we have the average clothes. The clothes that are not anything special; they are ordinary clothes that come with an ordinary price.

But at the other end, we have those luxurious clothes, bags, shoes, belts or makeup that hang such a heavy price tag that you start to question, "Why would anyone buy this?". That happens to be the question that we will take a look at.


Some Famous Names

  • Dior
  • Chanel
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Prada
  • Coach
  • Kate Spade
  • Miu Miu
  • Bottega Veneta
  • Yves Saint Laurent
  • Valentino
  • Fendi
  • Gucci
  • Givenchy
  • Armani
  • Hermès
  • Guess
  • Burberry
  • Issey Miyake
  • Dolce and Gabbana
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Versace
  • Balenciaga
  • Bruno Magli
  • Céline
  • Jimmy Choo
  • Christian Louboutin
  • Michael Kors
  • Mulberry
  • Diane Von Furtsenburg
  • Alexander McQueen
  • Salvatore Ferragamo
  • Giuseppe Zanotti

Why are they so expensive?

Luxury clothing brands are expensive for a couple of reasons, as follows:

They are very expensive because they are made from seriously pricey materials. For example, handbags are hand-crafted out of real leather. Real leather from real animals are very hard to obtain because it has to be the perfect size in the perfect condition. Feeding and housing the animals already cost a lot. Many handbags are also not made from just leather, they are sometimes crafted from alligator, crocodile, lizard, stingray, python and ostrich's skin, all of which hugely impact the bag's final price.

Not only the material but the time, effort and people they need to make it. Because they are of such high quality, most of them are hand-made. This means that they need to hire professional artists and skilled makers (which is not at all cheap).

Also, these clothes are not randomly made. All clothes dragging an impressive price tag was once carefully planned and designed by masterful designers. Such proficient designers who come up with gorgeous designs do not do things for free. They were paid - a lot too!



Luxurious clothes are made from luxurious material! They are usually carefully-selected, top-quality and sometimes even rare items.

Take leather for example. Shoes that you would find at an ordinary store are usually made of fake leather. Real leather, on the other hand, is much more expensive. Raising the animals for leather often costs hundreds of dollars. Some leather are from very precious skins such as alligator, ostrich, stingray, etc. Here is a table showing the price of different animals' skin.

Price ($)

As you can see, the prices of genuine leather and exotic skins are beyond the average budget. Also, keep in mind that there are various grades and finishes when it comes to leather. Expect to pay twice the price if you are looking for flawless leather with premium finishes. And just to put this into perspective, artificial leather is usually less than $5 per square meter.

Crocodile skin.
Crocodile skin. | Source

Time, Effort & People

A lot of luxury brand clothing were handmade, as opposed to being made from a factory. This allows the final piece to have much more delicate details. This also takes up a lot of time and effort, all of which have a big impact on the price.

For example, Louis Vuitton bags are hand-stitched by hand-crafters whom are all professional and masterful with needles, threads and other artisanal techniques. Since hiring humans, particularly skilled ones with an incredible amount of patience, is much more expensive than hiring robots, hand-crafted accessories and clothes are usually so much more expensive.

Just for a comparison, Louis Vuitton bags can take up to 60 hours to make, and 90 hours for a Chanel purse. However, the average bag manufactured by machines take less than 20 minutes to make.

My sister's Christian Louboutin shoes.
My sister's Christian Louboutin shoes.


Designers shoes, handbags or dresses are always more expensive than non-designer. That is because designers, such as Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, design literally masterpieces. Normal clothes are not randomly made, but not dramatically designed. That's why there might not be anything special about them.

However, talented designers make their designs look special. The additional cash is due to years of designing and planning, which is why their products end up looking flawless and stunning.

Do you think Luxury Clothing Brands are worth it?

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    • profile image

      your mom 

      3 years ago

      i cri so hard

    • Frederick Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Palis Pisuttisarun 

      3 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Thanks for the positive comment! I'm also a big fan of those and people question your sanity when you just spent $70,000 on a dress. Well, it's one of those things I care less about!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Interesting and detailed hub. I am a huge fan of luxury brands because they provide you with status and it's designer brand.

      I've heard lots of negative things about them being a waste of money but I don't care at all.


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